The Outdoor Industry Jobs Marketplace

Sea Kayaking Tour Guide


Posted by Osprey's Echo Sea Kayaking on 03/14/2023

Job Basics

Industry Sector: WaterSports

Job Categories: Outfitter- Adventure Travel Staff

Company Type: Service

State: ME

City: Stonington

Country: United States

Required Experience: 1 - 3 years

Job Type: Seasonal Full Time


Required to Relocate: Yes

Required to Travel: Yes

Employee May Telecommute: No

Job Seeker Must Live Within: 25 miles

Job Description & Requirements

I. Introduction – Osprey’s Echo Sea Kayaking

Osprey’s Echo Sea Kayaking (OESK) is a small, family-run business based in Stonington, Maine.  We specialize in guided tours, leveraging the beauty and accessibility of the nearby archipelago, which is often cited as one of the best kayaking spots on the east coast.  OESK was founded in 2021, after the closure of nearby Old Quarry Oceans Adventures, and we hope we fill some of the gap left by the loss of their presence. OESK launch from a private spot on Webb Cove, rather than the town ramp in Stonington.  It affords us access to the beauty and peace of the area and the ability to provide a relaxing preparation and finish for each tour.  We also enjoy regular access to key wildlife, which provides enjoyment for our customers:  Osprey, bald eagles, herons, guillemots, seals, and porpoises, are among the many neighbors we see.

Founder and Lead Guide Will Steinharter was formerly head of waterfront activities and a kayak guide at Old Quarry, and founded OESK in 2021.  He is a licensed guide, certified (level 2) ACA instructor and Wilderness First Responder (WFR).  He is also a historian and shares with his customers key stories of interest about Stonington, Deer Isle, the lobster and granite industries, and the storied history of the island.

Following are elements considered important for the role of Kayak Guide at Osprey’s Echo Sea Kayaking. 


II. Technical Skills and accreditations

  1. State of Maine kayak guide license is required,
  2. Up to date CPR and First Aid credentials
  3. ACA instructor, WFA or WFR are an added plus
  4. Must be knowledgeable about key safety points when leading paddling groups
  5. Must be knowledgeable about kayaking gear, including boats, paddles, PFDs, skirts, including maintenance and upkeep. Full-time guides will also be expected to help by working as waterfront support at-least once per week, and on an as-needed basis.
  6. Must be capable of teaching key skills to customers – paddling technique, boat entry and exit, wet exits and safe crossings, as examples.
  7. Must be knowledgeable about the archipelago and key navigation points in the Stonington area; or willing to learn.
  8. Must have strong leadership skills, for leading large groups of people


III. Customer Experience Skills – OESK consider that we are in the customer service industry as well as the outdoor industry. To that end, building lasting relationships with our customers is of vital importance.  This begins at time of booking and answering questions, and transitions to a warm welcome when customer arrive at our unique launch site.   Time on the water is not just about paddling; it is also about getting to know our customers and being attentive to their needs.    A guide at OESK needs the following characteristics:

    1. Warm and friendly – it is critical to establish a connection with each customer at the beginning of each tour; this starts with check-in and finishes with our post-tour routines.
    2. Easy going style, accommodating to different customer needs (i.e. families with small children will have different needs from highly experienced paddlers)
    3. Prioritize both safety and providing a fun experience for customers of ALL ages and levels of experience.
    4. Patience – some customers arrive feeling tentative and wary if they have not had kayaking experience. We must be patient and help them get comfortable.
    5. Passion – demonstrate and communicate your passion for the area, for being on the water and for working with customers, sharing your love for what you do.


IV. Other

    1. Flexibility – be willing to help when needed. Customers often book with little notice and we do our best to accommodate.
    2. Dependability – show up on time and as committed. If you cannot work on a given day or hours be sure to provide notice to the company.
    3. Cultural fit – OESK has grown as a family-run company; establishing teamwork with other members of the OESK team will be a key to ongoing success. Family members and part time summer help will support our guides with customer preparation and cleanup but we do expect participation from the guides.


V. Summary

Osprey’s Echo prides itself on an exceptional customer experience.  Our track record with reviews in our first two seasons (google and TripAdvisor) are a source of pride, and we expect every customer to enjoy an experience with us that is unique, beautiful, fun, educational and safe.  We seek a guide will be motivated to enhance our reputation for wonderful customer experience and enjoy doing so!

Terms for the position are available upon request.

About Osprey's Echo Sea Kayaking

Osprey’s Echo is a new sea kayak company in the Stonington archipelago area. As a family with a long history in the Stonington area, the Steinharter family fully appreciate the beauty of the islands and are looking to share with others the unique scenery and peace from the best venue possible - the ocean. 


Will Steinharter is a fully licensed Maine Sea Kayak Guide and certified ACA instructor. He has led sea kayak tours in Acadia national park and in the Stonington Archipelago for five years now, by offering educational and immersive sea kayak experiences. Osprey's Echo is excited to expand the team this year, to look for a guide to join our team!