On this six-day sailing expedition designed specifically for veterans, our 30-foot open sailboat serves as both home and learning community.
Ideal for those seeking a fresh challenge in a unique marine environment and a collaborative team setting, this expedition offers participants the chance to explore the rugged shoreline, intricate rivers and granite, spruce-covered islands of the eastern seaboard’s wildest region. In a phased teaching progression, instructors introduce beginning, intermediate and advanced skills in chart and compass navigation, small boat seamanship, weather observation and anchoring. Regular group discussions allow for reflection on each day’s progress, and ensure that leadership and onboard responsibilities are shared so that every crew member is integral to planning the next day. Through living and working closely together, students practice more than seamanship. The habits learned and strengthened through this sailing expedition help veterans with a successful transition back to their families, communities and careers.
This course is not currently accepting enrollments. Please check back.
Outward Bound Veterans expeditions build on camaraderie and the challenge of the natural world as a pathway to healing. These expeditions encourage participants to connect with existing strengths and bond with fellow veterans in a safe, positive, mission-driven environment. As they harness the power of wartime experiences like carrying heavy packs, moving fatigued muscles and sleeping outside, these courses help build the self-confidence and sense of purpose veterans need to continue serving as leaders in their families, communities and the nation.
Build core skills: Veterans receive hands-on training on expedition and personal skills. As part of an inclusive, supportive crew, they gain communication skills, establish trust and validate experiences among other veterans.
Practice Outward Bound values: Instructors focus on Outward Bound core values like compassion, integrity, excellence, inclusion and diversity to help veterans reflect, share insights and live in the present moment.
Process and Reflect: Journaling, one-on-one and group discussions help veterans understand how Outward Bound experiences might translate to coping skills back home.
What participants learn: Veterans return home inspired, ready to tap into rediscovered strengths and eager to find new ways to contribute to society.
Traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, participants live closely together using only wind and oars as propulsion. As they rotate responsibilities during this expedition, participants learn the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation, rowing and living aboard a small open boat. At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns at anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
Students learn to:
Adjust sails properly for sailing at different angles to the wind, and to execute sailing maneuvers like tacking and gybing, which turn the boat through the wind.
Navigate using a chart and compass to arrive accurately at the day’s destination, using techniques that include taking bearings, dead reckoning, triangulation and sounding.
Move the boat under oars, coordinating all of the rowers' movements so that the oars splash as one, and precisely maneuvering in and out of secluded anchorages.
Live (cook, eat, sleep, work and learn) as a team aboard a small open sailboat.
The granite that made the Maine Coast famous as a source of building material a century ago now provides the setting for some outstanding rock climbing or rappelling from the sea cliffs. Participants learn to use climbing equipment, tie knots, climb and belay each other, while instructors provide overall supervision of the site. Climbing hones and develops balance, coordination, flexibility, and grace on the rock. Climbing presents many individual challenges for individuals, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly, and support each other throughout the climb.
The coast of Maine, with its intricate and indented shoreline, is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renowned among sailors for its picturesque beauty, iconic lighthouses, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands, and quiet coves. Our cruising area covers nearly 200 miles of the Maine coast, with countless rivers, bays and islands to explore. The rocky, spruce-covered islands are the summits of a prehistoric mountain range, and generations of inhabitants have made their livelihoods here. Evidence left behind on the islands reveals the historic presence of indigenous Abenaki camps, pre-colonial fishing communities, post-colonial timber and farming operations and early 20th century granite quarries. Cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Canadian Maritimes, and make the Gulf of Maine home to a wide range of sea birds, seals, porpoises and whales.
Travel to course, welcome, equipment issue and check, begin sailing expedition.
Return to basecamp, personal challenge event, equipment clean-up and deissue, depart for airport