2023 Schoodic Sea Kayak Retreat

Event Date

Join Guillemot Kayaks and Sea Sherpa Kayak On Some Of The Finest Sea Kayaking On The Eastern Seaboard

The 2023 Retreat is almost Full. If you would like to be join us, please fill out the registrations, but DO NOT PAY. We will notify you if there is room.

Co Presented By Boat Designer/Builder/Instructor Nick Schade Of Guillemot Kayaks And Open Water Coach Gerry Polinsky Of Sea Sherpa Kayak.

The annual Schoodic Sea Kayak Retreat happens on the Schoodic Point side of Frenchman Bay, away from the bustle of Bar Harbor. A largely forgotten piece of Acadia National Park, Schoodic Point, is exposed to the open swell, with rugged rocky shorelines, steep storm racked cliffs and spectacular scenery. It is hard to imagine a finer body of water to explore by kayak.  
The primary focus is helping you improve your skills and comfort on the ocean in a beautiful location.  Whatever your level of experience, you’ll have ample time dedicated to focused instruction exploration and active water play. 

This event is unique among sea kayak symposium in a number of important ways.

  • Comfortable and Relaxed Off-The-Water Time: With your meals and rooms provided, you can spend time off the water taking it easy while getting to know the other participants in warm and relaxing surroundings. After a fun day on the water, you can swap stories over a hearty meal.
  • Non Paddler Program: We welcome the participation of friends and family that do not paddle.  The Schoodic peninsula area features fantastic hiking, road and trail biking (bike rentals available), easy access to a day ferry to Bar Harbor (shopping in town,  hiking/biking at Acadia Park) and a surprising number of local art galleries.  We supplement with a number of evening presentations, morning yoga and daytime events such as art class, ukulele instructional and formal garden tours.
  • Try Different Kayaks: For those that are so inclined, our trailer of boats is available for the entire week so experimentation, as logistically possible, is highly encouraged throughout.
  • Schoodic Institute:  The majority of kayak gatherings either have participants suffering the indignities and depravations inherent in car camping or stack paddlers in bunk houses like a pile of cord wood.  The most “retreat” aspect of this event is our access to comfy, high quality, room and board.  We are fortunate to have access to the Schoodic Institute at the heart of Schoodic section of Acadia National Park. The Institute has  been a great partner to help make this event possible.  Their historic and scenic campus is located an easy walk to Schoodic Point and has nice hiking trails right on the grounds.   The staff prepares two hot, homemade meals a day, and spacious apartments (formerly family housing for Navy personnel) with private rooms allows for full bellies, a good night sleep, dry and well sorted gear. Attendees will be responsible for supplying their own lunch.
  • Special dietary needs (gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian) are fully accommodated and the week is capped off by a celebratory meals with options including locally caught lobster, steak or vegetarian main course. If you have further dietary restrictions, please specify your needs in the registration form. Allowances will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Single occupancy of apartments and “top shelf” apartments  are available at an additional expense. 


Kayak Program: What enables us to work with a wide range of paddlers is breaking participants up into three similarly experienced pods.  Individual placement is based on a combination of your self-assessment (part of the registration form) and coach observation.  This system and a low paddler to coach ratio allows for a fairly individualized experience so we can balance your wants with your needs so you get the most out of your week on the water..  
The week will be structured as a progression starting with skills instruction to increase your level of comfort and control in open water.  As the days pass, the focus will shift to more free form adventuring splitting time between touring, exploration and active water play.

Registration & Costs: 

Registration:To sign up, simply fill in the registration form and follow the link at the end to make a payment. Slots tend to fill early.
We are still focused on appropriate Covid protocol as the pandemic continues to evolve. This is reflected in our cancellation policies (please read that policy before registering) and the operating procedures for both the event staff and Schoodic Institute.  Gory details to follow but feel free to reach out anytime if you would like to discuss further.


The price includes on the water instruction and guiding by Registered Maine Guides/access to non paddler and after hours programming,stay at Schoodic Institute, all meals provided (dinner Sunday through breakfast Saturday including bagged lunches,  and a Celebratory Dinner one night). Check in the afternoon of Sunday, September 10th, on the water daily Monday through Friday and checking out Saturday, September 16th. We can customize accommodations if desired, just ask.

Event Pricing:

Paddler: Five days of paddling plus a private room and board at the Schoodic Institute. Your room will be in an apartment with two rooms, the other room will likely be occupied. You can upgrade to a private apartment if you prefer.


Paddler in Shared Room: Same as Paddler above, but you are sharing a room with a traveling companion who is a Paddler or Non-Paddler. Please specify your "Paddler" trip companion when you register.

You can room as a couple with a queen bed or as friends in a room with two twin beds. Subject to availability.


Non-Paddler: Shared Room plus board at the Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park plus access to off-the-water programming. Please specify your "Paddler" trip companion when you register.


Note: To share a room, you must specify your travel companion when you register. We will not put you in a room with a stranger, but you may be sharing an apartment with a stranger. Upgrades to private apartments are an option, subject to availability.

The above prices cover everything most folks should need. If you need a kayak, prefer a private apartment, or would like to upgrade to a nicer apartment, the additional charges below would apply:




per Person





The Crew

We bring in experienced sea kayak coaches from across the country to help you learn, enjoy yourself and stay safe. See Our Crew List

More Information

For details about what you will need to enjoy the event, what kind of gear you will want, and more stuff about accommodations, please read our Schoodic Retreat Gear List and Other Information.

Registration & Payment:

To sign up for this event we will first need you to fill out our Registration Form. In this form we gather information to assure you have a fun, safe event. We will then ask for payment for the full cost of the event. Receipt of this payment will reserve your spot. Please fill out and submit the registration before sending your payment.

Other Questions?

If you have any questions or would like to receive more information, Contact Us.