Nate Hanson

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Nate Hanson's enthusiasm for kayaking is hard to hide. With an encouraging teaching style, Nate enjoys helping students discover new possibilities in a sea kayak, working with each individual to attain his or her own personal paddling goals - whether that's surfing a tide race, or simply getting into a boat without tipping over. Nate is an ACA L5 Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor, ACA L3 Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer, ACA L3 River Kayak Instructor, BCU 4-Star Sea Leader, and has traveled to Scotland to train at the BCU 5-Star level.  He is also certified as a Wilderness First Responder (WMA).  He has served as an instructor at the Symposio de Kayak del Pacifico Sur, the Bay Of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium, the Western Isles Sea Kayak Symposium, and the Downeast Sea Kayak Symposium.  Nate is proud to be a Regional Ambassador for Kokatat.

Mark Schoon

Mark has an extensive expedition paddling resume, including an epic journey from Gotenburg, Sweden, all the way up along the Norwegian coast and around Nordkapp, a world heritage site and famous headland jutting into the Arctic Ocean; the last 750 nautical miles mostly above the Arctic Circle were done solo.  He has also paddled the coast of Maine from Kittery to Canada, and has paddled extensively along the Atlantic coast, in California and the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Wales, Scotland and the Gulf of Mexico. He has taught at kayaking symposiums throughout the United States and for a decade was co-owner of Carpe Diem Kayaking. A Registered Maine Guide and a former ACA Level 5 Advanced Open Water Instructor, BCU 5 Star Sea Leader and BCU Level 4 Coach, he took a brief hiatus from paddling but is excited to return to guiding and coaching.

Michael Daugherty


Michael Daugherty paddles as much for the distractions along the way as the destination. An ACA L4 instructor and registered Maine Guide, he loves the challenges of surf, rocks and currents, but he’s just as happy seeing where a winding creek leads or just finding a pretty spot for lunch. He’s documented his paddling journey in a blog, magazine articles and a guidebook: AMC’s Best Sea Kayaking in New England.

Gordo Wissinger

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Gordo grew up in the 1970′s where he was told from a young age, “It’s nice outside.  Go out and play.”  So, he did.  Whether on a bike, in a kayak, or with a pack on his back, Gordo has had outdoor adventures all over the country.  Also a skilled photographer he's photographed in dozens of National Parks.  Not a day goes by that Gordo doesn’t think about/dream of/plan for his next outdoor adventure.   In recent years Gordo has been a long-term student of Nate's, as well as working with prominent coaches in the northeast US.  Gordo is a registered Maine Guide for sea kayaking and recreation and an ACA Level III Instructor.  In addition teaching Rescues and Bracing classes and Coastal Skills classes for Pinniped Kayak, he is leading our Guided Group Paddle series this season, and he is looking forward to spending time on the water with everyone this season.