Navigation and Trip Planning Field Day

Field trip: Sea Kayak Navigation

Navigation and Trip Planning Field Day - Quartermaster Harbor

On the water field day for the Tacoma Kayak Navigation Course

  • Sea Kayak III+
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 8.0 nm
  • Maximum Wind: 10 kts
  • Maximum Waves: 2 ft
  • Maximum Currents: 2 kts
  • Pace: slow to moderate

Owen Beach, Point Defiance Park, Tacoma; ready to paddle at 9 AM.

This is the on-water day for the Tacoma Sea Kayak Navigation class.  We will bring everything we would commonly take on a day-trip.  See required equipment for a list of what to bring.  Ask the instructor before buying anything.  We will be practicing concepts learned in the lecture session. We will not be practicing rescues, but capsizes have occurred in the past with new paddlers. We should get back to the beach by 4 PM.


Quartermaster Harbor

  • MapTech Oak Bay to Commencement Bay No. 102

    MapTech Puget Sound Chart No. 100

    NOAA Puget Sound: Shilshole Bay to Commencement Bay No. 18474

    NOAA Puget Sound: Southern Part No. 18448
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The mountaineers essentials for sea kayakers. I recommend asking the instructor about equipment before you buy anything.

Kayak with flotation in both ends (sealed hatches).

Immersion wear with appropriate undergarments (dry suit with wool or fleece).

Paddle that floats.

Properly fitting spray-skirt.

Properly fitting PFD.

Paddle float, bilge pump with flotation, spare clothes in drybag, personal first aid kit (owee kit),  Sun protection. (polarized sunglasses are recommended).

You will need a long-billed (baseball style) cap to practice dead reckoning.

A waterproof chart, such as Maptach 100, or a chart in a waterproof case (much harder to work with).  We have a few to loan out. A short piece of string to measure distance.

An oil-filled baseplate compass ($10-20), or a deck mounted compass.  I recommend having both.

Lunch and something to drink.

Recommend some form of a personal shelter if windy at lunch (5x7 plastic tarp, poncho, or better yet a storm cag). I also recommend  neoprene gloves and a warm hat, Vhf marine handheld radio if you have one, but don't buy for the class. If you have a gps in a dry see-through case you may wish to bring it.

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