Picture this: Sailing on a 30-foot sailboat. With like-minded peers. And the best instructors in the business. All on postcard-perfect Bahamas water. More than just a sun-soaked ocean adventure, the Bahamas Sailing Expedition is an invaluable learning experience. You’ll master sailing skills, learn about teamwork, leadership and followership, and gain firsthand experience with how delicate the ocean ecosystem is.
For these very special sailing courses, world-class Instructors lead the expedition while teaching transformative life skills and Outward Bound’s values of integrity, compassion, excellence, inclusion and diversity. Of course, our 30 foot, twin-masted, Outward Bound sailboats serve as classroom, mode of transportation and home sweet home.
The Course Area:
The Bahamas are a network of low lying islands, shallow banks and deep blue waters just across the Gulf Stream from southern Florida. Originally inhabited by peoples moving north through the Caribbean from South America, for most of recorded history, these expansive and remote islands served as hideouts for privateers, buccaneers and pirates. These renegades were slowly brought to order by the British Crown, and the islands became a haven for fisherman, woodcutters, salt exporters and for freed slaves from the US and the Atlantic slave trade. Now a destination for sailors seeking stunning and remote cruising grounds and those researching marine ecology, the Bahamas offer a vibrant ecosystem and diverse culture.
Get ready to live, eat, work and travel on a 30 foot, twin-masted, open sail boat. Designed to sail quickly and navigate into shallow waters, your boat will be a trusty companion as you sail out across the Exuma Sound to the Exuma Land and Sea Park, the oldest marine protected area in the world.
- Arrive at Eleuthera, an island 50 miles east of the Bahamian capital of Nassau, that forms a barrier between the wide Atlantic to the east and the richness of the Great Bahama Bank to the west. Meet your crew. Get to know your Instructors – experts in their field who are also determined, compassionate teachers and amazing human beings. On day one, begin acquiring essential sea-faring skills.
- No previous sailing experience? No problem. Start at ground zero. Learn everything you’ll need for the journey. Immerse yourself in hands-on learning. You might not know much in the beginning, but by the end, you’ll have mastered chart and compass navigation, small boat seamanship, weather observation, anchoring, and much more.
- Get on the boat. Tuck in with crew of 7-8 people. Ask yourself: how can I live like this?
- Wait for it. Something magical is about to happen. There is a special kind of bonding that takes place in close quarters, on the sea, in a boat. Within days, watch as your crew transforms into a tight-knit family. Sailing is like the watchmaker’s process; every piece must fit together perfectly in order to achieve the right movements and rhythm. Hone problem-solving skills. Take advantage of the diverse skills and strengths that each crew member possesses. Work hard for unbelievable spoils – the kind of spoils that come in the form of sun on your face, glittering water and hard-earned sleep beneath the stars.
- Marvel at stunning marine landscapes and snorkel on coral reefs. These are the kind of turquoise waters you see on the covers of glossy travel magazines. There is no better way to experience the natural beauty of the Bahamas than from the hull of an open boat. Get up close and personal with the marine ecosystem. Swim with spiny lobster, moray eels, dolphins, porpoise, lion fish, conch, parrot fish and sea turtles.
- Test yourself. After learning, practicing and fine-tuning sailing skills, get ready to put them to the test. Toward the end of the expedition, Instructors put the crew in charge – your chance to show how far you’ve come – and work as a well-oiled machine to get where you need to go. At the end of the course, complete a Personal Challenge event – a final, individual physical push that challenges every crew member to do more than they thought possible.
- Return home changed. You’ve spent days carefully planning, practicing and mastering new skills, learning to work with a team, encouraging, cajoling, leading and following. You’ve been moving your body and engaging your mind. More than just developing skills for the ocean, you’ve also gained invaluable skills for life. You’ve overcome obstacles you never thought you could. You’ve discovered that you are so much stronger than you thought. You’ve gained a whole new appreciation for the marine ecosystem. And you’ve collected some unforgettable, sailor-worthy ocean tales.
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