Level 4 Skills And Assessment Manitou Island Adventure


Are you looking to start doing some open water paddling? Are you thinking about doing some Great Lakes paddling this summer and want to make sure you and your group are safe? Or are you trying to progress as an ACA instructor and need to do a Level Four Skills Assessment?  This 4 day weekend course will provide a great experience in a beautiful wilderness setting.

May 19-22nd 

L4 Skills Training/Assessment Manitou Island Journey


The description of the course is as follows:

L4 Skills Training/Assessment Manitou Island Journey

If you have always wanted to do some an expedition, or even just an overnight trip and put your skills to the test.

This level four skill training is an amazing opportunity to develop your open water skills. We will be working on developing competence in open water conditions for boat control, rescues, towing, surfing, and navigation to create competent leaders on the Great Lakes and the sea.

We will be covering:

  • Efficient forward paddling into winds up to 15 knots
  • Efficient turning in wind and waves
  • Surfing in small surf 2-3 foot waves
  • Towing
  • Rescues in deep water (under 45 seconds)
  • Self-rescues in conditions
  • Risk Assessment
  • Leadership and Group Management
  • Navigation/Chart and Compass

We will be providing feedback and learning development opportunities for every paddler as an outcome .


Helmet, Tow belt, spare paddle, sea kayak with full rescue rigging and end toggles, two bulkheads and hatches required, PFD, camping gear and food (not provided).

Meet Friday Afternoon Near Good Harbor Bay, meet and greet, plan trip based on conditions

The Journey will begin from Good Harbor Bay, rounding Pyramid Point, and then making the crossing weather dependent to North Manitou Island where we will make our base camp.

Journey to South Manitou Island to see the Francisco Morazan and the Valley of the Giants with a Return to North Manitou Island.

Journey Back to Good Harbor Bay and Debrief

This should not be the first time you have paddled a kayak. This trip is intended to provide a development opportunity for paddlers who have already developed a good set of fundamentals.
The coaches for the course will determine your eligibility and fitness through a screening and ensure you will have a great experience. This may include some questions about medical issues and fitness.

This is not a guided trip around the islands. This is a coaching and paddler development journey in a wilderness setting. The coaches will not be providing food, cooking, or guiding activities you must be prepared to
be self-sufficient. If you have questions about the gear needed, please contact Keith Wikle kjwikle@gmail.com 269.245.1526. This journey is highly dependent on having favorable weather conditions. The coaches for the journey
will make final determinations each day on conditions for students. This may require bail out plans such as taking the ferry, or not launching from the mainland at all based on the forecast.

What will be provided?
Waterproof Charts of the Islands for the purposes of planning the journey.
Coaching, Leadership, and Fun.

How do I sign up?
You may sign up for this course by registering here.

Participants will be bringing their own food.

For vetting purposes please contact kjwikle@gmail.com 269.245.1526

Please note that this trip is highly weather dependent and that actually getting to the islands is a group effort. The group may never leave sight of the mainland, so do not be disappointed if this trip does not get to Manitou. 

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.

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