The Gulf Islands courses are a unique opportunity to explore Mississippi’s Barrier Islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Your course will officially begin Saturday, 7:30am. You will meet your instructors in Gulfport, Mississippi in the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites hotel lobby for introductions and then depart on a 40-minute transport from the hotel to the water taxi that will take your group ten nautical miles out to the Gulf Islands.
You don’t need to have previous kayaking experience. We will teach you the basic skills to travel comfortably, how to pack appropriately, set up tents, paddle a kayak and navigate using a nautical chart. From the water taxi you will travel straight to your first campsite. At your first campsite, you will go through basic sea kayaking skills training to prepare you for expedition travel. You will practice capsizing and wet exits, sea kayak rescue, basic paddling skills, kayak navigation skills, and then learn how to pack all of your gear into a kayak before paddling to your first remote campsite.
Traveling by kayak is demanding. It can literally take every waking moment to get from point A to point B. After getting up early to stow your gear and cook breakfast, you will launch your boats and paddle along white-sand shorelines to find the next potential landing zone or campsite.
Course Area Description
Gulf Islands, Mississippi
Mississippi’s uninhabited Barrier Islands feature long white sandy beaches and clear water supported by diverse ecosystems, with lots of bird watching, and excellent opportunities for primitive fishing. There is primitive beach camping on beaches just about anywhere on the islands. The paddling is often contouring protected shores with long and exposed crossings between islands.
Sea Kayaking and Camping
Paddling in single and double sea kayaks, you will travel to a variety of areas where you will camp on sandy beaches. Beginner kayakers are definitely welcome, and intermediate participants will have the opportunity to hone their skills further. The overall technical emphasis of this course is to learn paddle strokes, self and assisted kayak rescue techniques, marine navigation, and weather/sea state assessment. You will also learn techniques for camping in these environments such as Leave No Trace camping practices, stove use, and backcountry cooking.
There will be daily opportunities to fish both off the islands and from your kayak. We’ll supply primitive fishing gear consisting of hand reels and casting nets. Fish common to this course area can include Speckled Sea Trout, Amberjack, Flounder, Catfish and Mullet.
Service – Service is an integral part of the Outward Bound curriculum. We encourage service to the environment in the form of leaving campsites cleaner than we find them and practicing Leave No Trace ethics throughout the course.
Outward Bound believes that an appropriate amount of independence is a powerful educational tool. Outward Bound purposefully and gradually transfers certain leadership responsibilities to the participants culminating with our “Final Expedition.” There may be the opportunity to travel without your instructors participating directly in decision-making. Many of our participants feel this phase of the course is the most rewarding, as the group learns to work as a team, problem solve, and accomplish goals independently, while utilizing all the skills acquired during the expedition.
To apply for this course click the enroll button next to the course dates that work for you. Or better yet call one of our expert Admission Advisers at 866-467-7651.