The San Juan Islands Sailing course explores the San Juan Islands of Washington State and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. The longboats used are replicas of the boats used by the European and American explorers of the Pacific Northwest during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands are located between the Olympic Coast Range, Vancouver Island and the North Cascades. The combination of the surrounding glaciated peaks, sparkling waters, forested islands, and wildlife attract boaters from around the world. Sightings of Orca whales, seals, porpoises, and eagles are common. There are hundreds of islands in the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands Archipelago that offer a wealth of opportunities to learn and explore.
The Outward Bound curriculum is designed to give you greater responsibility as your skills and experience increase. Early in the course, you will learn how to sail and row the longboat as well as plan routes and navigate on the water. You will learn knots and their uses aboard and how and where to anchor the longboat. You will set up camp, and plan and cook meals. The daily rotation through all of roles will allow each participant to learn and contribute to the function of the crew.
Many of the islands are parks and offer hiking and exploration through the forests, the open spaces, along the shore. The intertidal zone between land and sea is rich with marine plants and animal life that is fascinating to explore. In addition to the natural history there is the rich human history to explore such the coastal indigenous cultures that remain a part of the region, the early European explorers and settlers, and the diverse current residents of the islands.
In addition to technical skills, your Outward Bound instructors will teach and facilitate the interpersonal skills that will allow the group to function effectively as a team to accomplish your goals. Outward Bound courses are team environments where you and your group work closely together to travel, navigate and camp together every day. Throughout Outward Bound’s 60-year history, we strive to deliver new perspective on compassion and being of service to others.
As you near the last days of course, you and your teammates will be able to maximize your independence and decision making as your instructors empower you to use your newly acquired confidence and skills to make the decisions that will see you through the final days of your adventure.
Each Outward Bound course in Washington includes a solo experience. Your instructors thoughtfully manage solo so that it is a time where you can relax from the physical and mental rigors of course and spend some time reflecting upon the experience. While you will be largely alone during this time, you will be camping close to the instructor basecamp and your instructors will check on you regularly. Our courses also include a service component. Service projects range widely depending on the course, but may include projects such as trail repair, removal of invasive species, assisting at our local food bank farm or engaging with organizations in the island communities we visit.
Successful completion of your course demands mastery of skills, trust, fitness, confidence, tenacity, leadership, initiative and compassion. The promotion of these qualities and the discovery of what strength is in you is the purpose of Outward Bound.
To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. For full fee schedule and process, click here. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.