SAFETY

Acadia Park Kayak Tours

 

Done correctly sea kayaking is a very safe activity, especially within the protection of the bay.  Two person kayaks are very stable and do not tip over easily.  With a highly qualified and experienced guide, like the ones that work here, you do not need to have any prior sea kayaking experience to go out and have a safe and fun trip.

We are
Registered Maine Guides.  Maine is one of the only states that requires a license to lead most types of sea kayak tours and the test to receive the license is rigorous.  But while the test to receive a license is difficult it is only a first step in being a truly prepared and qualified guide.


We are a small company and only the owner or a few other guides lead trips
Any guide who is currently working here will have their own profile page on this website so you can read about their experience and qualifications.

Some guiding services, including ones in this area, have much larger staffs than we do and have a high rate of employee turn over from season to season.
Their guides are often older high school and college ages students who had sometimes never kayaked before and in some cases had never even seen the ocean before this season

When you come out with Acadia Park Kayak Tours there is no possibility that your guide will not take appropriate safety precautions, not be properly equipped, or be inexperienced.
We are adult outdoor professionals with years of experience doing this job as part of our careers.

The owner is a certified Wilderness (medical) First Responder working his way to being an EMT.  A wilderness first responder has 80 hours of medical training that is specifically geared towards giving care in a wilderness setting.  The typical first aid course gives as little as four hours of training.  Maine guides are only required to be certified in first aid and that is the certification most guides have.
Other guides working here either have a wilderness first responder certification or are working their way towards it.


Unless the conditions are safe we will not take out a group.  We listen to weather broadcast, look at radar, and observe the conditions on the ground.


We have placed reflectors  on our paddles that reflect light and to some extent radar to help make us more visible to other boats on the water.


We use Wilderness Systems Northstar two person kayaks.  These are the longest and most stable two person plastic sea kayaks made and are the most comfortable kayaks for taller people.

We have paddled most of the plastic two person kayaks that are made and have paddled all of the two person kayaks that the other outfitters in the area use and while they all perform well in perfectly calm conditions in even mild wind and waves the Northstar two person kayaks we use are noticeably more stable and easier to steer.
As the Northstars are no longer being made we are starting to phase in some Boreal Esperanto kayaks into our fleet, which are the second longest and most stable two person plastic sea kayaks we could find.


Here are some of the items your guide will be carrying with them on your tour.
A tow rope so we can tow a kayak if someone is fatigued or disabled. 
A compass, a back up compass and a chart, a paddle float and bilge pump, an air horn or other signaling device, a spare paddle,  a medical kit, a cell phone, a VHF waterproof marine radio with weather alert, a back up radio, and a
satellite personal tracker that is capable of relaying a distress signal and our location to the coast guard, harbor master, and 911 from anywhere where the sky is visible.  

We carry a lots of addition equipment on our
night tours.


I am sorry to say that we have seen on more than one occasion guides go out without even the bare essentials.  It was undoubtedly against their outfitters policies but when you have many employees, some of them very inexperienced, you can’t watch all of them all of the time.


You can help to make a safer trip in several ways.  Most importantly by always following your guides instructions when on the water,  by letting your guide know of any relevant medical conditions, injuries, present illnesses, or medications that you are taking, by paying attention to your guides pre-trip paddle and safety lesson and asking questions if there is anything you don’t understand, by not wearing heavy cotton clothing, by wearing appropriate footwear, by not horsing around and/or purposefully trying to tip your buddy over (that mostly applies to the teenagers), and by showing up for your trip on time so that everyone is relaxed and focused on the trip.  Anyone who is visibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be allowed on the trip.   Please take the time to read this paragraph again.

How we always make safety the first Priority