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Kayaking Essentials
A Step up from the Basics

Our Kayaking essentials program is designed to build upon the foundations taught in the “Intro to Kayaking” program. Expected to already know the basics, this week will focus on developing skills for more challenging trips, more detailed conversations about navigation, safety equipment, as well as the nature & cultural history of our environment.

What to Expect
Day 1 - Todd Inlet

The first day will be a refresher to get back into the swing of things. After a brief overview of the equipment and expectations we will go for a beautiful paddle from Brentwood Bay to Todd Inlet where we will practice both bow rescues & paddle float rescues.

Day 2 - Kayak & Paddleboarding

A camper favorite from the “Intro to Kayaking” program, we will be going down to Ocean River to take over their dock and use paddleboards & kayaks again. Exploring the stunning Gorge waterway we will take time to hone our skills and allow anybody who didn't get the chance to do a self rescue the day before time to do one. The group will also learn more about edging for control and different strokes with the paddle, not to mention some great paddle boarding tricks.

Day 3 - Albert Head

Near Wittys Lagoon, Albert Head offers a classic West Coast experience as it is open to the strait of Juan de Fuca. Backdropped by the Olympic Mountains Albert Head will provide the opportunity to learn more about tidal forces & currents as well as start learning the basics of chart work and navigation. 

Day 4 - Oak Bay & Chain Islands

Oak Bay is  a familiar destination from the “Intro to Kayaking” program. However, to make it new and exciting we aim to get to the Chain Islands between Oak Bay & Discovery Island. The islands are a nature preserve full of birds and seals. Seals have regularly come close enough to touch (but we don’t!). Due to the shallow nature of this area it is a great opportunity to learn about currents and water obstacles, such as standing waves, as they can be both fun but also provide a serious consideration when planning your route on the water.

Day 5 - Coal Island

Just off of the tip of the peninsula, Coal Island offers a beautiful day to show off all the skills we have learned over the past week. With the opportunity to face currents, winds, and tidal forces, this day will be the most rewarding yet as we will all have to focus on technique and form, while having a lot of fun.

Learning Outcomes for the Week
  • Bow rescue

  • Unassisted re-entry

  • Assisted re-entry

  • Towing

  • Communication/signals

  • Forward stroke

  • Brace low/high

  • Sweep

  • Draw

  • Stern rudder

  • Edge control

  • Equipment

  • Journeying and seamanship

  • Safety

  • Kayaking resources

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