- Person Ages 16+
One of Our Most Popular Instructional Adventures!
This unique learning adventure includes the best of the Pacific Northwest coastline and is customized for the adventurous paddler who has limited or basic kayaking experience and is eager to learn.
Together, we’ll explore the San Juan Islands’ uninhabited State Park Islands and pristine coastal environment. In addition to kayaking, there will be opportunities for hiking, beachcombing, exploring, socializing, photography, and relaxing! Spend some time this summer enjoying an exclusive island adventure while increasing your paddling and kayak “tripping” skills.
This adventure kayak trip is designed for paddlers with a basic to intermediate level of paddling skills who want to learn how to plan their own multi-day sea kayaking trips. Participants receive paddling instruction and skills practice from ACA certified guides on; packing a kayak, planning the route, reading a marine chart, assisted and self rescues, navigation, checking the tides, reading a current atlas, setting up camp, camp cooking, Leave No Trace minimal impact techniques, edible plants, and weather reading. Many paddlers use this trip to jump-start their own self-support kayaking adventures!
Participants paddle stable fiberglass double kayaks. A limited number of single options are available for those with more in-depth paddling experience. Quality paddles, life jackets, dry bags, and seat cushions are provided.
Throughout the trip, we will be assessing your paddling skills, and can provide you with an ACA Coastal Kayak Skills Assessment and/or Day Trip Leader Assessment, if desired. All paddlers will be involved in planning the day, preparing meals, campsite selection, loading the boats, and as many other aspects of trip leading as possible. This is a hands-on adventure!
We strongly encourage you to bring your own camping and paddling equipment (if appropriate) — our goal is to help you assess and then increase your level of preparedness as an overnight paddler. Having your own equipment (kayak, tent, sleeping bag, thermarest, charts, paddles, etc) helps this experience to be as beneficial as possible for you. A complete packing list will be included in your trip confirmation packet. Some items may be available for rent from OA if you do not have your own. All personal boats will need to be approved by the lead instructor prior to the start of the trip.
Location and Logistics
This 5-day adventure takes place in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State. Actual route will be determined closer to the trip date, and will take into account the trip participants, weather, tides, etc. Generally, the trip departs from Lopez Island and completes a circumnavigation of Orcas Island.
Meals and Accommodations
We provide lunch and dinner on days 1 and 5, and 3 meals per day on days 2, 3, and 4. Your group will prepare meals in our well-stocked “outfitter” kitchen! You will enjoy delicious and filling Northwest-style fare, which may include smoked salmon fettuccine, clam linguine, fresh omelets, and more!
If you have food allergies or special dietary concerns, please bring this to the attention of our staff when you register, so that we have sufficient time to alter the trip menu (when possible). For severe food restrictions it may be necessary for you to bring along some of your own meals — please call to discuss.
About the San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are a spectacular and secluded destination known for their natural beauty and relaxing pace called “island time.” Comprised of over 700 islands, the San Juans have become a popular paddling and vacation destination and are regularly included in National Geographic Magazine’s Best Places… listings.
Located less than 3 hours from Seattle, and less than 4 hours from Vancouver, BC, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, the islands provide an ideal blend of quaint harbors, artistic and historic sites, and outdoor adventure opportunities.