SK-III Trip Planning and Leadership

Field trip: Paddler Development Weekend

SK-III Trip Planning and Leadership - Deception Pass

Learn how to combine your skills in chart reading, route selection, participant screening, logistics, navigation, group dynamics, safety, incident management, and mentorship to plan, coordinate and lead an SK-III day paddle.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sea Kayak III
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.0 nm

Meet at the Environmental Learning Center Mess Hall after breakfast at 8 am. We will do trip planning there before leaving for the launch location (TBA)

For any trip we do, whether leading or following, we should carefully consider the many factors which contribute to our route selection and timing. In this class, we will evaluate the weather forecast, predictions of tides and currents, the palette of local waterways, and the needs and wants of our paddlers, to develop several alternative trip plans for the day. We will choose among these alternatives to find the best match for our paddler's interests and abilities. Then we will conduct the trip, executing our plan, allowing each participant the opportunity lead a section of the trip, with a focus on navigation, communication, and group dynamics. As the focus will be on SK-III trips, participants must be comfortable paddling and performing rescues in SK-III conditions, which may include winds up to 15 kt, waves up to 2 ft, and currents up to 2 kt. Please bring trip planning tools, such as guide books and charts for the Anacortes and Deception Pass areas as well as a chart case and compass for your kayak.


Deception Pass

  • Sea Trails Deception Pass and Skagit Bay WA101

    NOAA Bellingham to Everett No. 18423

    NOAA Anacortes to Skagit Bay No. 18427
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Students should bring guidebooks  and charts for the area (Oak Harbor to Anacortes), compass, tide/current tables, and any additional route planning tools they might have. Students should also bring a tow belt, extra paddle, VHF radio and first aid kit if they have these additional items. A helmet is not required. Dressing for immersion is required.

Trip Reports