This is the happy face behind Kayak Instruction and Tours (KIAT)! I am Anicca Jansen and I started KIAT a few years back when I decided to create a company that would offer kayak instruction the way I felt comfortable learning... quality instruction in a safe, low key and relaxed atmosphere.
My first career was as a nurse (because my grandmother told me that as a nurse I'd always have a job!). I worked primarily in obstetrics and mental health. In 1985 I ran a mental health unit in a refugee camp in Thailand. After that I went to graduate school to learn more about economic development and earned a PhD in City and Regional Planning. I left nursing in 1989 to work full time in international development. Someday I may be a nurse again, but meanwhile I am a certified Wilderness First Responder
Feahercraft Kahuna ready to paddle Haiti's shores
I started kayaking in 1999. A couple years later I moved to Dakar Senegal for my work. I wanted to kayak on the ocean there. But, since kayaks were specifically listed by the US Government (my employer) as not allowable, (???!!) I packed up a couple of folding kayaks and labeled them "sports equipment". Taking my friends out on the ocean in these "skin on frames" was my introduction (by fire) to instruction! When I returned to the US in 2004 I decided to get formally trained as an American Canoe Association instructor and I've been teaching ever since. And, sometimes I still pack up a folding kayak for a "work trip".
As an instructor I am continuosly learning. I learn from my students and continue to take instruction from the many skilled kayakers around. I maintain my certification as a Coastal Kayak instructor and add to that with special skills endorsements. I have an endorsement in trip planning and adaptive paddling, and recently earned an endorsement in Traditional Skills. This means that I have been certified to teach individuals and groups in planning overnight trips, to adapt equipment to accomodate physical limitations, and to teach traditional paddling skills and Inuit rolls, like those in the video, "My Movie" below.
Class size is small. In fact, KIAT classes are often private classes with one or two people only. A lot of people want to learn the way I like to learn.. private or small classes tailored to what I am ready to learn at that point. Some people don't want to be in big groups, they just want to go out with their immediate family and friends. I get that.
I offer group classes in collaboration with Annapolis Canoe and Kayak. Class size is limited to six people. This is an affordable way for people to take their first kayak class. Classes are offered on Spa Creek where people can be in a protected environment while learning the basics of kayak strokes and safety. I also offer group tours at various locations in the area.
Private classes can be pretty much anywhere. Often people have just made a kayak purchase, and I meet up with them at the location where they expect to be paddling. Other times, people want to test out kayaking, so I provide the equipment and suggest a great location and really whet their appetite for kayaking!
And sometimes, kayakers want to introduce their family or co-workers to the sport or just hang out on the water for a while. For these groups we set up a low-key fun outting. With a focus on fun and relaxation, team and memory building, instruction is kept basic and playful, with a lot of time to unwind and goof off.