This unique Outward Bound expedition will challenge and invigorate you as you explore the San Juan Islands. Over the first few days of the expedition, you and your crew will learn foundational sea kayaking skills which will then be put into practice paddling in and around the 400 islands and outcrops which make up the San Juan Islands. These frigid waters are teeming with wildlife including seals, sea lions, eagles, and whales, including gray whales as well as three resident Orca pods. You and your crew will be challenged with navigating and paddling through the inland water ways, moving your camp from island to island through sometimes substantial navigation challenges, currents and waves
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.
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.
Participants 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 comb the beach.
Service to others and to the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Groups follow Leave No Trace ethics as part of their service to the environment and engage in acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, students develop an ingrained appreciation of service and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
In order for profound learning to take place, students need time to reflect 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 choosing, using the wilderness skills learned during the first portions of the course. The amount of time students spend on Solo is based on length of course, weather, student condition, age, and Instructor preference. Solo campsites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet be 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 the top priority.
Most adults find it hard to get away. Adult lives are so busy, often filled with pressures and expectations, that it’s difficult to find time to do things for oneself. Our one-week courses are the perfect opportunity to unplug, get a fresh perspective, step out of routines, challenge oneself in new ways, and discover new strengths. No previous experience is necessary—all wilderness skills are taught from the beginning. Students 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 power of the experience will last a lifetime. The expedition encourages students to: remain engaged and present, giving every challenge their best effort, even when the goal seems beyond their reach; form a team and focus on the team effort; share responsibilities, communicate and lead; and find reserves of tenacity and compassion.
San Juan Islands, Washington
Nestled between Vancouver Island and the North Cascades, the San Juan Islands are a unique coastal cruising ground with large expanses of sparkling water and mountain scenery. The coastlines are a combination of sandy and rocky beaches, shallow and deep harbors, placid and reef-studded bays. Knotty, twisted Madrona trees grow along much of the shorelines while evergreen fir and pine forests cover large inland areas. 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.
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.