COURSE OVERVIEW

Course Number

NEVK-923

Date

December 16, 2019 - December 21, 2019

Location

TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS, FL

Participants will paddle through lush mangrove tunnels in a land of contrast: between tropic and semi-tropic, land and sea, and salt and fresh water as they learn to work together to read tide charts, explore unique ecosystems, cook and set-up camp on white sandy beaches under the stars and paddle to new areas each day. Participants will also learn about what makes the Ten Thousand Islands famous worldwide, the environmental value the area adds, and how we can better take care of it. <Click to learn more about this course area.>

Activities

SEA KAYAKING

You can expect to spend a good deal of time each day in kayaks. We use both single and tandem kayaks. Each student will have an opportunity to spend time in both vessels. Depending on the wind and weather, the level of difficulty will most likely vary day to day. You and your crewmates will practice:

  • marine expedition risk assessment and management.
  • marine route planning and navigation.
  • paddle strokes and techniques for kayak propulsion and steering.
  • kayak-based assisted rescues and self-rescues.
  • sea kayak expedition equipment use, care and maintenance.

It will be necessary for you and your crewmates to perform a swim assessment; as well as a flip and swim assessment as practice for paddling and self-rescue. This activity is closely monitored by your instructors. It is critical for us to determine your paddling comfort as you and your crew explore the islands. Even if you are a non-swimmer or weak swimmer, you will still participate in this safety assessment. All students will be wearing personal floatation devices (PFDs) during the assessment. Personal floatation devices (PFDs) are required apparel anytime students are on the water.

SOLO - SELF REFLECTION

Solo typically occurs more than halfway through your course and may last up to 24 hours. Your instructors will assign each participant an individual campsite within a designated area. Your instructors will teach you procedures to follow during solo and monitor you during this experience. You will know the location of your instructors’ campsite should you need to contact them; otherwise it is essential that you remain in your designated area. If your course has an overnight solo you will have your clothing, food and water.  In addition, you will have Outward Bound issued gear: including rain gear, shelter, sleeping bag, compass and whistle. Due to a decreased need for caloric intake, you will have less food available than you would have during your other course activities. Solo is a not a “survival test.” You will not be physically active during solo, as solo is a time for rest, recharge and reflection. Solo is also a good time to write in the journals we provide. If you have questions or concerns, please discuss with your Student Services Representative or your instructors.  

Physical Criteria for Sea Kayaking

If one or more of the following criteria apply to you, you may not comfortably fit in our sea kayaks. Please contact your Student Services Representative if your:

  • Height is 6 ft+
  • Weight is 275 lbs+
  • Shoe size is 12+.
Background Reading

Here are some books that we encourage you to read as you plan for your course:

  • The Outward Bound Wilderness First-Aid Handbook by Jeff Isaac
  • Leave No Trace: A Practical Guide to the New Wilderness Ethic by Annette McGivney
  • Liquid Land by Ted Levin
  • Ten Thousand Islands by Randy Wayne Wright
  • The Swamp by Michael Grunwald
  • Stolen Water by W. Hodding Carter
Sample Course Itinerary
This is only a SAMPLE itinerary only. Adjustments will be made due to weather, programming area availability and group dynamics.
DAY 1: Arrival, tone set, gear issue, water comfort assessment
DAY 2: Expedition planning, marine navigation, kayaking and rescue skills, campcraft, kayaking expedition
DAY 3: Kayaking expedition, assessing risk
DAY 4: Kayaking expedition, natural and local history and ecology, begin final challenge event
DAY 5: Complete final challenge event, gear de-issue, course end banquet
DAY 6: Debrief, departure to airport