This past week I successfully passed the test to become a registered Maine sea kayak guide. It was the culmination of likely the longest testing process I’ve ever known. Let me explain.
In 2000 I took and passed the written test to become a sea kayak guide. The Maine department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife was going through a change in how they licensed guides at the time. Prior to this, you used to take the written portion first, and if you passed it, you would get scheduled to take the oral exam. After passing the written test, I waited and waited to be scheduled for the oral. After a year I called them, and they said they had lost my written test results and I’d have to start over. This was just as the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School was getting busy running semester courses, so I focused my energies on canoeing and river trips as I already had a recreation guide license. It was more in tune with the educational outcomes we were seeking.
A few years ago I got back in to sea kayaking and ocean paddling, so I decided to start the process up again. The way they test guides now allows you to take the entire test in one day (a better system in my opinion). When I passed the test on December 11, 2017, it culminated the 17-year process of me becoming a registered Maine sea kayak guide.
So when people ask me how long the testing process is to become a registered Maine guide, I can now answer 17 years with a straight face.
We’re really looking forward to guiding some paddling trips on the coast next summer and hope you’ll join us!