Sea Kayaking 113, Open Water Training Camp

$ 498.00 USD


Open Water Training Camp

Chartreading grandeTake the guesswork out of kayak navigation and the fear out of paddling through waves and tideraces. This course is like two kayak lessons combined into one spectacular trip in the beautiful San Juan Islands, WA.

Our Open Water Training Camp bridges the gaps between theory and practical experience for both your kayak paddling technique and kayak trip planning/leadership skills. Many students find this course so interesting and valuable they take it twice! No-one is too experienced to benefit from this course -- even if you've done lot of trips in the San Juan Islands before (instructors, guides, and kayakers with ten or more years of experience are consistently blown away by how much they learned from George on this over night kayak camping trip).

If you own a sea kayak or are about to buy one, you owe it to yourself to take this course.

Detailed Description

For both the mental and physical skills, this is a hands-on, learn-by-doing kayak course with the water as your classroom. Each student is provided with their own chart, compass, and tide tables.* With these tools in hand and the water in front of you, you'll not only learn to predict tides and currents - you'll learn to: check your predictions by observing the rise or fall of the tide, read the water so as to see the current and eddies with your own eyes, interpret marine weather forecasts and observe the weather and understand the significance of it's trends, take compass bearings to fix your position and determine ferry angles, read charts to avoid miss adventures hazards, decide when to go ahead and when to wait for ships to pass, and that's just the beginning! Even at camp the learning continues as you'll practice techniques for night navigation, vessel and light identification and more ... it's non-stop learning.

On the water, each student takes turns navigating and leading the group during island crossings in current and taking part in the decision making along the way. You'll also be given opportunities to test your paddling skills in rough water conditions with George Gronseth there to coach and watch over you. Paddle through waves, surf a tiderace, cross eddy lines ... take advantage of this opportunity to push your limits with George by your side coaching you. This course puts it all together on a fun adventure filled trip with self-selected physical challenges.

Even if leading trips isn't your main goal, this course will give you the ability to anticipate, evaluate, and avoid misadventures with waves - all of which will lower your anxiety while paddling with others and make you a safer more self-sufficient member of any group.

Although whale and bird watching aren't the focus of these trips, it's not uncommon to see porpoise, seals, bald eagles, oyster catchers, and sometimes orca and other whales on this trip. There are hundreds of islands in the San Juan archipelago, and they are well-known for their natural beauty and wildlife. Few people know these islands and the winds and tidal currents around them as well as George. Most of the challenges sea kayakers face are found in the San Juan Islands. This is bad news for the clueless paddlers, but it's great for those prepared to test and advance their skills -- let George show you how.

We guarantee that you will find this course worthwhile or your money back.

Open Water Training Camps are offered as kayak camping trips in conjunction with the Thurs. - Fri. part of our 5-Day Training Camps and occasionally we offer separate "Open Water Training Camps" on weekends.

*Handouts include the Kayak Academy's exclusive 66 page, "Trip Planning & Leadership Guide", by George Gronseth. You also get to keep a set of Washington Tide and Current Tables, and the Kayak Academy's waterproof log book.

Student Feedback:

"I thought I knew how to navigate, but compared to what you taught us my former navigation skill was the technical equivalent of rubbing sticks together to make a fire." K.K. Edmonds, WA

"We were talking on the way home about how you pushed our envelope but not anyone's safety. It really built my confidence." M.H. Mercer I., WA

"Eddy lines and tideraces used to terrify me, and I avoided them as much as possible. Thanks to your "Open Water Training Camp" I now know I can handle them." J.A. Seattle, WA

"As beginners, we were a little nervous at first, but by the end of the weekend we had confidence and were able to relax and enjoy being out there in our kayaks." M. & D. W. Seattle, WA


Prerequisite: Paddle Strokes and Rescue Techniques (Course 111) or check with us about Equivalency.

Instructor: George Gronseth
Location: Launch near Anacortes, Washington. We'll camp on an island and return on last day (destination depends on conditions and time of year)
Duration: 2 days and 1 night
Class Size: Typically 5 (If more than 5 students, we will add a second instructor and then 9 students is maximum)
Tuition: $446 (includes handouts and free use of dry suit, booties, and scull cap)
Dry Suit Rental: No Charge - Included with tuition
Kayak Rental: $45.00/day plus tax, delivered to the lesson. Make Kayak Rental Reservation (Includes: Brit style sea kayak w/skeg, paddle, spray-skirt, PFD, bilge pump, and paddle-float)
Tent Rental: $15 trip
Sleeping Bag Rental: $15 trip (includes a liner sheet which is washed each time and an air mattress)

Parking Fee: Depends on location $7-10 (please bring cash)
Camping Fee: Included with tuition

Please print out our Liability Release Form and bring it to the class.

Please read our Cancellation/Reschedule Policy

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