41° North's Instructors and Guides
41° North instructors and guides are professionally trained and certified by the American Canoe Association (ACA), the British Canoe Union (BCU) or both.
Lead instructors and guides...
Co-Owner of 41° North, Mark Pecot has been involved in leading and teaching outdoor education programs for the past 10 years. An accomplished paddler and natural teacher, Mark's wilderness experiences include travels throughout Wisconsin, Maine, the Chesapeake, the Carolinas, Georgia, the Florida Keys, and Nova Scotia.
Mark is an ACA-certified Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Trainer, a Level 5 Advanced Open Water Sea Kayak Instructor, a certified Wilderness First Responder, and a trained Wilderness Ethics instructor with the outdoor organization Leave No Trace. Mark is a BCU 4-Star paddler, and has completed BCU 5-Star Training. Mark also serves as the Chair of the ACA Ohio-Penn Division's Coastal Kayak Committee, and is a voting member of the ACA National Coastal Kayak Committee.
Jason's love of sea kayaking is a natural extension of his other favorite outdoor activities: downhill skiing, scuba diving, and backpacking. Jason is a PADI certified scuba diver, and has explored multiple destinations throughout the waters of the Netherlands Antilles and the British West Indies. In addition to paddling and diving, Jason is a seasoned backpacker who has hiked multiple sections of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and North Carolina, as well as extended trips throughout England, Scotland, France, Spain, and Italy.
Jason Bristol co-founded 41° North with Mark Pecot in January 2002. He is an ACA certified Level 3 Sea Kayaking instructor whose easy-going style ensures that his students learn a lot and have fun doing it.
Since his initial voyage in a kayak; Nick has been hooked on the beauty of the sport and especially enjoys the graceful marriage of balance, strength and efficiency it affords. Kayaking has taken him to the Carolina coast, the waters of Canada and literally all across Lake Erie. Hopeful future trips include Maine, the Pacific Northwest and if dreams really do come true, Wales. Beyond the cockpit of his “ship”, you can find Nick tinkering with any thing he can get his hands on; from construction methods to tying knots, he is always trying to find a way to improve function and/or form. Other interests include youth ministry, cooking, hiking, backcountry skiing, and enjoying marital bliss as a newlywed.
Nick is an ACA certified Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor as well as a BCU 4-Star paddler.
John's enthusiasm for kayaking is just another facet of his love of the outdoors. A native of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, John grew up surrounded by water and took to it at an early age. He started with multi-day & whitewater canoe trips, and raced in both solo and tandem events. John also enjoys backpacking, and has hiked Isle Royle, parts of the Appalachian trail, and the North Country Trail. When on quiet back country rivers he can be found fly fishing and relaxing around a campsite. John is a self-diagnosed paddling addict and gear hound, and his love of the outdoors and kayaking is contagious. John especially enjoys paddling in open water and surf.
John is a certified ACA-certified Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor and a BCU 4-Star paddler.
Wendy Atkinson brings extensive experience to the 41 North staff. A native of New Brunswick, Canada, Wendy has paddled extensively in Atlantic Canada, Maine, and the Great Lakes. Her most recent expedition was a 1200 mile (that's right!) solo paddle on the MacKenzie River from Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean.
In addition to paddling, Wendy is a flight nurse, an avid climber, and a motorcycle enthusiast. Wendy brings her experience and skills to bear in guiding backcountry trips, where her patience, good humor, and attentitiveness to the needs of the group make combine to make everything run smoothly. Wendy holds an ACA Level 4 Sea Kayak instructor's certificate.
Marius tried sailing in his younger days, but after discovering that sailboats don't roll up quite so easily (the sails get in the way and all those bits of rigging are really confusing) he decided to turn to a more sea-worthy vessel. Like most of us, Marius began kayaking by venturing out for a glorious sunset on Lake Erie to the chorus of crashing waves and was instantly hooked. His real love is paddling in surf and big seas. Marius currently holds BCU 4-Star Sea award and is an ACA certified Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor.
You wouldn't know it by looking at him today, but Josh Tatro first hopped in a kayak four years ago as a participant in a Level 1 course. By far, his favorite aspect of the sport is rolling and he enjoys the challenge of finding new and creative ways to roll his boat. His easy going manner and teaching style belies his young age. Josh has been on extended trips in Georgian Bay, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Isle Royale, and in addition to kayaking enjoys backpacking, mountain biking, and rock-climbing. Josh is an ACA Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor, and is a BCU 4-Star paddler.
The rest of the crew...
Fiona Clark (Security; Customer Relations)
You'll catch Fiona working light guard duty down at the boathouse, greeting clients at the rental barn, and keeping the local squirrel population in check. While "Noni" doesn't get on the water as much as she'd like, her favorite trip is the fall Erie Islands Weekend. Fiona is an AKC certified mongrel with no formal kayak training whatsoever...but we like her all the more for it!