Sea Kayak - Northern San Juan Islands

Sea kayak in the San Juan islands, learning about trip planning and leading.

  • Fri, May 26, 2017 — Tue, May 30, 2017
  • Seattle Sea Kayaking
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Adults
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 48.0 nm

This is a 5 day trip through the San Juans.  Details are to be worked out by the group.  See leader's notes below.

Due to cancelations there is still one space available.  If you are interested in joining please contact Tom, the leader.  I would like to fill the remaining spot with someone interested in learning about trip leading.  Bonus if you can make it to our last planning meeting Wednesday, May 18th.  (6:30pm in Ballard.)

A 5-day trip in the San Juan islands with the intention to help participants become better trip planners and leaders.  Participants should be interested in learning more about trip planning, forming groups, coordinating, and many other skills necessary to make a trip run smoothly and safely. 

Through March, April and May you’ll be asked to participate in trip planning.  Be prepared for this to take 10 or more hours of your time through the spring.  Trips don’t plan themselves.  There are often many details to be researched and pinned down.  The reward for participating will be greater knowledge and confidence in your ability to plan trips.

Then we will do a trip to the San Juans.  Trip starts Friday morning (5/26) and runs through Tuesday (5/30).  In these five days we will try to follow one of the trip plans we created.  We will adapt and change according to conditions that we find.  We will talk about and practice on-trip skills from navigation to keeping boats safe at night.  The reward will be an enjoyable trip and greater knowledge and confidence in your ability to execute trips.

Detailed goals, expectations, and style are below.  Please read and consider if this is the right trip for you.  If it is then sign up.  I’ll contact you to confirm.  I mostly rely on participants self-selecting.

When the trip is full I’ll explain the planning exercises.  (Hint:  it is about planning a 5 day trip to the San Junas.)  We’ll communicate by e-mail, skype, and in-person meetings according to the group’s interest and availability. 


  • Participants gain confidence in leading overnight trips
  • Enjoy this trip and the company of each other
  • Do a trip in the San Juan islands
  • Paddle around one of the larger islands


  • Participants are interested in improving their multi-day trip leading capabilities
  • Participants will engage the in the planning exercises which make take 10 to 20 hours of time
  • Participants will engage in on trip logistics and decisions
  • Participants are interested in leading some sections of the trip
  • Self-responsible and able to state one’s own needs and limits
  • Have the paddling skills listed below


  • I’ll teach by posing exercises, discussion, example, and offering the opportunity for people take leadership
  • We will do a trip that is within the capability of participants
  • Likely move camp each day
  • Balance personal quite time with socializing and training
  • Make decisions balancing priorities of enjoying the trip, learning, and paddling an intended route


  • Able to paddle 12nm days
  • Able to paddle in 15kt winds and 2ft waves
  • Able to paddle in 3kt currents and eddy lines.
  • Able to perform buddy rescues
  • Comfortable camping in wet conditions for 5 days
  • General understanding of kayak navigation
  • General understanding of tides and tidal currents


Northern San Juan Islands

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

These seven essentials plus The Ten Essentials are required on all sea kayaking trips.  All but the whistle and clothing should be provided with any kayak rental.

  1. Floatation in both ends of the kayak
  2. U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  3. Paddle
  4. Spray skirt
  5. Bilge pump with floatation
  6. Self-rescue paddle float
  7. Waterproof whistle
  8. Appropriate clothing for the conditions encountered seasonally
Trip Reports