Maine Coast sailing expeditions explore the rugged shoreline, intricate rivers and granite, spruce-studded islands of the eastern seaboard’s wildest region. This journey is an opportunity for those seeking a fresh challenge in a unique marine environment and a collaborative team setting. Our 30-foot open sailboat serves as both home and learning community. In a phased teaching progression, instructors will introduce beginning, intermediate and advanced skills in chart and compass navigation, small boat seamanship, weather observation, and anchoring. Regular group discussions allow for reflection on each day’s progress, and ensure that leadership and onboard responsibilities are shared so that every crew member is integral to planning the next day. Through living and working closely together, students learn far more than seamanship. The habits learned and strengthened through this sailing expedition will serve students for life, and for whatever challenge is next.
Outward Bound Classic expeditions traverse some of the wildest, most rugged, awe-inspiring landscapes in the world. Students work for every technicolor sunset; every super-fresh morning; every breathtaking vista. And when they arrive at their destination, and pause to take it all in, they know, without a doubt, that they earned their place there. By the time they finally drift to sleep, our students have put in a full day of moving their bodies, learning, cooperating as a team, puzzling through problems, and digging deep to find what really lies within – always, inevitably, more than they know.
Although each expedition is unique, certain key components are a part of every Outward Bound Classic Expedition. The expedition begins with hands-on, progressive training in a variety of expedition and personal skills. As students learn to cook, sleep, stay warm, navigate and select routes together, crew members not only do their part; they also take turns leading and following. The idea that students are “crew, not passengers” is central to the Outward Bound learning approach. Wilderness living does not encourage students to contribute to the group; it requires it. After all, on an Outward Bound expedition, awareness of others is not optional; it is necessary for success.
Throughout the expedition, students build, practice, and reflect on skills, conduct service projects and also tackle at least one challenge element - rock climbing, a peak ascent or a big whitewater day - that pushes them to find undiscovered strength. During the expedition's final phase, students experience a rare gift and highlight of the course: time to think and reflect on the Solo. With sufficient food, equipment and skills, individuals spend three hours to three days alone at an assigned campsite – with Instructors periodically checking in on them. As the course nears the end, Instructors may gradually transfer leadership responsibilities to the students, culminating with a Final Expedition. During the Final Expedition, students work as a team and utilize the skills they have acquired to solve problems and make group decisions, while Instructors maintain overall risk-management for the group with check-ins and advanced scouting.
Our traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, students live closely together using only wind and oars as propulsion. As they rotate responsibilities during this expedition, students learn the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation, rowing and living aboard a small open boat. At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns at anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
Students will learn:
- to adjust sails properly for sailing at different angles to the wind, and to execute sailing maneuvers like tacking and gybing, which turn the boat through the wind
- to navigate using a chart and compass to arrive accurately at the day’s destination, using techniques that include taking bearings, dead reckoning, triangulation and sounding.
- to move the boat under oars, coordinating all of the rowers' movements so that the oars splash as one, and precisely maneuvering in and out of secluded anchorages
- to live (cook, eat, sleep, work and learn) as a team aboard a small open sailboat.
Most courses will spend some time on land so that students can stretch their legs, go for a run and, if the weather cooperates, spend a day rock climbing or rappelling from the sea cliffs. The climbing day includes thorough instruction in movement on rock and climbing techniques, as well as belaying and safety skills.
The coast of Maine, with its intricate and indented shoreline, is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renown among sailors for its picturesque beauty, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands, and quiet coves. Our cruising area covers nearly 200 linear miles of the Maine coast, with countless rivers, bays and islands to explore. The rocky, spruce-covered islands are the summits of a prehistoric mountain range, and generations of inhabitants have made their livelihoods here. Evidence left behind on the islands reveals the historic presence of indigenous Abenaki camps, pre-colonial fishing communities, post-colonial timber and farming operations, and early 20th century granite quarries. Cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Canadian Maritimes, and make the Gulf of Maine home to a wide range of sea birds, harbor seals, porpoises, and whales.
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. Click here to learn more about the complete enrollment process.