Rejuvenate and expand your wilderness skills paddling the chilly waters of San Juan Islands.
The Northwest Sea Kayaking course explores the 400 islands and outcrops of the beautiful San Juan Islands. Here you will have the opportunity to escape your usual routine, explore stunning wilderness areas, and enjoy yourself to the fullest. You might bring a friend you enjoy spending time with to make the trip even more memorable. You don't need to have previous sea kayaking experience. We will teach you skills for wilderness travel—how to pack appropriately, paddle kayaks, set up tarps, cook, and navigate on the sea. Your patrol will paddle through the inland waterways, moving your camp from island to island and navigating the changing currents of the Salish Sea. The course also includes an emphasis on leadership, character development, and an ethic of service. Wilderness travel can be challenging, but with appropriate pre-course preparation – using tools we provide – adults of various ages and body types can be successful. Arriving as physically fit as possible and excited for the opportunity for personal development will enhance your experience and allow you to take full advantage of the expedition.
NOTE: For the health and safety of students and staff in the COVID-19 pandemic, students may be asked to use private modes of travel (non-commercial transportation) to and from course. All students and staff must provide a current negative COVID-19 viral test result before arrival to course and/or consent to having a COVID-19 test administered at course start. Outward Bound requires students and staff to follow COVID-19 protocols for 14 days prior to course start and while traveling including physical distancing, wearing a mask in public, and frequent and thorough handwashing. We are continually monitoring guidance from public health authorities, and we will update these protocols as the fall season approaches. Should you have questions, please call one of our Admissions Advisors at 866-467-7651.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
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: Watch, try and share more difficult outdoor skills that you’ll master on your expedition. Discover and then remind yourself that there’s more in you than you know. Having taken the risks, learned from and adapted to all sorts of new situations and environments, you’re ready for whatever life hands you going forward.
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.
of Radha Vyas
of Radha Vyas
of Luke O'Neill
of Luke O'Neill
of Luke O'Neill
of Radha Vyas
of Anna Sand
of Radha Vyas
Students will paddle from island to island and get acquainted with the fascinating natural and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest coast. Instructors will teach students the technical skills, teamwork, and communication skills necessary to travel as a group in a working waterway. Students may also have the opportunity to do a service project with a local land agency, hike to an island vista, or just comb the beach.
Service to others and to our environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Groups follow Leave No Trace ethics as they engage in acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Students see the impact of their actions firsthand, and may develop a desire to continue service in their home communities.
In order for profound learning to take place, students spend time reflecting on their experience, and Solo is that opportunity. The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. With sufficient food and equipment, students will set up camp at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first portions of the course. The amount of time students spend on Solo is based on course length, weather, student condition, age, and Instructor preference. Solo campsites 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, reflecting, thinking and resting as they process lessons of the course to focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals, as safety is always a top priority.
Outward Bound promotes character development, leadership, and service in the most engaging classroom possible … the wilderness. In real time, students experience the effects of their decisions on themselves and the other members of their group as they work to complete difficult tasks necessary for wilderness travel. Instructors challenge students to try new things and step outside their comfort zones. They also provide feedback that students implement on course and when they return to their communities. Adult courses offer a unique opportunity to disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with one’s self and others. Regardless of age or life stage, Outward Bound believes that everyone can benefit from opportunities to experience challenge, adventure, and to work within a supportive environment to gain a greater sense of self.
San Juan Islands, Washington
Nestled between Vancouver Island and the North Cascades, the San Juan Islands are a unique coastal cruising ground of sparkling water and mountain scenery. You will encounter sandy and rocky beaches, shallow and deep harbors, placid and reef-studded bays. Sightings of harbor seals, porpoise and eagles are common as well as the rare glimpse of an Orca whale. The islands get less average rainfall than the surrounding area due to the rain-shadow effect of the Olympic Mountains. Summertime high temperatures are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit while lows could be in the 40s.
Intro to sea kayak skills such as wet exits, rescue, and basic paddling
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.