Maine Coast sailing expeditions explore the rugged shoreline, intricate rivers and granite, spruce-covered islands of the eastern seaboard’s wildest region.
This journey is an opportunity for those seeking a new challenge in a unique marine environment and a collaborative team setting. Our 30-foot open sailboat serves as both home and learning community. In a phased teaching progression, Instructors will 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, you will practice more than seamanship. The habits learned and strengthened through this sailing expedition will serve you for whatever challenge is next.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SUMMER COURSES
With the utmost regard for the safety and well-being of our students and staff, we have made
the very difficult decision to cancel all summer Classic and Intercept courses. Please check
back for fall 2020 and 2021 courses. Read our complete update.
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from the daily grind to take on new challenges? Are you ready to conquer harder skills and remind your senses (or discover for the first time) what it’s like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon or feel the rush of white water spray on your face? Take a break from your routine, radically change your surroundings and test your tenacity. Put some “firsts” in front of you and find moments of unexpected discovery along the way. Experience Outward Bound as an adult and prepare for an injection of adventure, awareness and adaptability that sticks with you long after you unpack your backpack.
Build skills, form connections: Meet like-minded peers and make connections as you work through priorities and adventures together, learn outdoor skills at the hands of expert Instructors, and earn every good night’s sleep.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Re-discover your inner strength, renew your natural leadership abilities and practice adapting to new environments. Tap in to your trust and compassion as you tackle obstacles with a support crew standing beside you.
Demonstrate mastery: As you awaken your wilderness skills and dig deep to rise to the physical and mental challenges, the bulk of the expedition’s leadership and decision-making responsibilities transfer from the Instructor to the crew. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both individually and together.
What you’ll learn: By allowing yourself to focus beyond daily responsibilities and obligations, you’ll master more difficult skills and open up new directions and opportunities you never thought possible. You’ll find clarity in the life changes you’re facing, you’ll uncover inspiration in the wilderness and you’ll renew your sense of adventure to take on the next challenge in front of you.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness abilities, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
Traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, the group will live closely together using only wind and oars to power their way. As they rotate responsibilities during this expedition, students 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.
On this course, students:
Learn to navigate using a map or a chart and a compass to arrive accurately at the day’s destination across open water.
Adjust sails properly for sailing at different angles to the wind, and execute sailing maneuvers like tacking and jibing, which turn the boat through the wind
Move the boat under oar power, coordinating all of the rowers' movements so that the oars splash as one, precisely maneuvering in and out of secluded anchorages
Live (cook, eat, sleep, work and learn) with the group in the backcountry, contributing energy and ideas, sharing tasks and responsibilities and relying on each other.
of Amber Bolduc
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. Students 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 will present many individual challenges for the group, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly and support each other throughout the climb.
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government or social service agencies. While in the wilderness, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Leave No Trace ethics throughout the expedition.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on the Outward Bound experience. With the basics of food and equipment, and with safety a top priority, students will take some time away from the group to be alone at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of the course. Often located along beautiful lake shorelines or peaceful rivers, Solo sites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing, or just thinking and resting as they process lessons learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course. On courses longer than three weeks, Solo is up to 72 hours long.
Most adults find it hard to get away. Our lives are so busy, often filled with pressures and expectations, that it’s difficult to find time to do things for ourselves. Our one-week adult courses are the perfect opportunity to unplug, get a fresh perspective, step out of your routines and challenge yourself in new ways, discover new strengths and forge new friendships. No previous experience is necessary—all wilderness skills are taught from the beginning. You will only need to be physically fit and motivated to live, learn, and work in a team. The expedition may only last a week, but the strength of the experience will be with you for a lifetime.
As you learn sailing and seamanship techniques, you will find you are practicing the essential skills and habits that help you prepare for new challenges at work, college, home and in your community. The expedition encourages you:
to remain engaged and present, giving every challenge your best effort, even when the goal seems beyond your reach.
to form a team and focus on the team effort. It takes an entire crew to sail or row the boat well and the boat performs best when everyone is working together.
to share responsibilities, communicate and lead. In addition to the challenges of moving the boat, living together aboard this small vessel requires commitment to the support of crewmates and community as a whole. Leadership roles are shared within the group and responsibilities rotate each day.
to find reserves of tenacity and compassion. Sailing courses are designed to expand and stretch your limits so that every expedition is a true accomplishment and a memorable journey.
The coast of Maine, with its intricate and indented shoreline, is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renown among sailors for its picturesque beauty, iconic lighthouses, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands and quiet coves. The Outward Bound course 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, introductions
Sailing expedition, including skills training and practice, navigation, natural history and ecosystem exploration
Personal Challenge Event, equipment clean-up and de-issue, depart for airport.
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.