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Ocean Skills Trips

Part 1: Ocean Paddling Basics
Once you have learned the basics, it's time to develop your sea kayaking skills out on the ocean. If you plan to paddle in wind and waves, you need to practice bracing, rescues, re-entries, towing, and boat handling in realistic conditions.
Paddle in realistic ocean conditions under the watchful eye of our guides during our Ocean Skills series.
This series of seven separate trips builds on the skills developed in our introductory courses and is designed to prepare paddlers for their own ocean adventures. Experience the fun and excitement of learning to handle your kayak in waves, current, wind, and surf with an expert guide alongside.
Our Ocean Skills series is a critical part of our
Recommended Progression for Aspiring Sea Kayakers.
Ocean Skills
This full-day trip is the foundation for your ocean paddling skills! We will extend what we learned in Introduction to Kayaking
Progress toward your ocean paddling goals in our Ocean Skills.
by covering more boat-maneuvering skills (especially utilizing edging to make our boats turn faster), bracing skills, and rescue skills (including self-rescues and Eskimo rescues).
Since we are venturing onto the ocean for the first time as sea kayakers, we will also discuss such ocean-specific issues as basic navigation, rules of the road, flares and signalling, and VHF radio usage. And finally, we will teach you skills to deal with the sea kayaker's biggest adversary: wind.
Oh yeah, and since we're out there to see the coast, we'll do plenty of paddling between our instructional sessions. The trip is held at a number of locations, including Gloucester,
Realistic Conditions
If you haven't practiced rescues in the conditions of the day, you shouldn't paddle in those conditions. The prudent paddler learns and improves by experiencing realistic ocean conditions with a veteran guide alongside. Our Ocean Skills Clinics provide an environment in which to test your limits.
Marblehead, and Cohasset, and the location of your trip will be decided by the guide depending on weather and tide.
This trip is designed for those who have taken our Introduction to Kayaking or an Introductory Trip, or have the equivalent experience. Paddlers should be able to perform assisted rescues and paddle five miles over the course of the day.
Ocean Skills Full-Day Trip meets at our Newton Boathouse and travels by van to Cohasset Harbor. We plan to return to Newton approximately 9 hours after the trip departs.
$139 includes full-day trip with expert guiding (max. 5:1 student:instructor ratio) using your own boat.
$155 with a composite or plastic sea kayak (model depends on availability).
Formal Introductory Instruction Required
Students who have not participated in our Introduction to Kayaking, Introductory Trip, or private lesson must have previous kayaking instruction, including a wet exit, before participating in our Ocean Skills.
If you are not comfortable performing intermediate skills like sweep strokes, boat lean, braces, assisted rescues, and self-rescues, you'll be shocked by how much your skills improve by taking our Intro. to Kayaking course or its equivalent. While the name says "Introduction," this course covers many intermediate and advanced skills and will greatly benefit anyone who has never had formal instruction. We guarantee it!
If you have had no formal training and have questions about the pre-requisites for our Ocean Skills, please contact us.
Wet Exit Practice Required
Students who have not performed a wet exit may sign up for our Ocean Skills but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills (our Quick-Start Your Kayak is not sufficient). If you have questions, please contact us.
Assisted Rescue Practice Required
Students who have not performed an assisted rescue may sign up for our Ocean Skills but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills (our Quick-Start Your Kayak is not sufficient). If you have questions, please contact us.
Paddle 5 Miles in an Outing
Students participating in our Ocean Skills must be able to paddle 5 miles in an outing. For most people, spending more time kayaking will help them increase their endurance so they can fulfill this requirement. For a quick and easy way to spend more time on the water, visit one of our rental locations! If you have questions, please contact us.
Registration & Cancellation Policies for Paddling Classes and Trips
  • Full payment is due upon registration for a class, clinic, or trip.
  • For cancellations received 7 days or more before your scheduled activity, we will issue a refund less a 10% registration fee.
  • For cancellations received fewer than 7 days before your scheduled activity, we are unable to offer any refunds.
  • Classes, clinics, and trips always run unless the weather is extreme.
  • A minimum number of registrants is required for any event to run. If we cancel an event due to low enrollment, we will provide a full refund.
  • Each participant will be required to sign a waiver of liability. To save time, you can download this waiver and bring it with you.
Pre-Requisites & Requirements. Before signing up, you must have:
  • Formal introductory instruction, like our Introduction to Kayaking, Introductory Trip, or equivalent.
  • Previous practice of a wet exit, where you flipped a kayak, removed the sprayskirt, and exited the kayak while underwater.
  • Previous practice of an assisted rescue, where you wet-exited the kayak in deep water and were rescued by another kayaker.
  • Ability to paddle 5 miles in an outing.
  • Upcoming Scheduled Dates:
    Sun, Aug. 10, 8:00 AMSun, Aug. 24, 8:00 AMSat, Sep. 27, 8:00 AM
     
    Ocean Skills: Navigation
    How do we plan our trips? What would you do if the fog rolls in while you are paddling? During this full-day trip, we travel to beautiful
    Learn how to use a chart and compass so you can plan your own trips and find your way on the ocean. Our Ocean Skills: Navigation will show you how.
    Gloucester Harbor to practice these and many other navigational skills on the water.
    The bread and butter of this trip is chart reading and compass work. We will begin with a refresher on nautical charts and using a compass. Students will then use the chart and compass on the water to determine their location, plot a course, and avoid hazards while underway. We will discuss piloting, dead reckoning, navigating in fog, and what to do if you're lost.
    In addition, we will discuss how to predict tides and currents using tide and tidal current tables, the effects of wind and waves on kayakers and how to plan your trips to decrease these effects, planning escape routes in case of emergency, and using a chart to select a landing site.
    This clinic is designed for those who have taken both our Ocean Skills and our Introduction to Navigation (or have the equivalent experience). Paddlers should be able to perform assisted rescues and paddle six miles over the course of the day.
    Ocean Skills: Navigation Full-Day Trip meets at our Newton Boathouse and travels by van to Gloucester Harbor. We plan to return to Newton approximately 9 hours after the trip departs.
    $139 includes full-day trip with expert guiding (max. 5:1 student:instructor ratio) using your own boat.
    $155 with a composite or plastic sea kayak (model depends on availability).
    Formal Ocean Paddling Instruction Required
    Students who have not participated in our Introductory Classes and Basic Ocean Skills must have previous ocean kayaking instruction, including a wet exit, self-rescue, and bracing skills, before participating in our Ocean Skills: Navigation.
    If you have had no formal instruction (even if you've been paddling for a while), we strongly recommend that you take our Introduction to Kayaking course or its equivalent. While the name says "Introduction," this course covers many intermediate and advanced skills and will greatly benefit anyone who has never had formal instruction. We guarantee it!
    If you have had no formal training and have questions about the pre-requisites for our Ocean Skills: Navigation, please contact us.
    Formal Navigation Instruction Recommended
    We recommend, but do not require, that students take our Introduction to Navigation classroom session before participating in our Ocean Skills: Navigation.
    If you are not comfortable with the basics of chart reading, use of the Small-Craft Nav-Aid, and tide predictions, you should take the classroom session. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Wet Exit Practice Required
    Students who have not performed a wet exit may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Navigation but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Navigation (our Quick-Start Your Kayak is not sufficient). If you have questions, please contact us.
    Assisted Rescue Practice Required
    Students who have not performed an assisted rescue may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Navigation but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Navigation (our Quick-Start Your Kayak is not sufficient). If you have questions, please contact us.
    Paddle 6 Miles in an Outing
    Students participating in our Ocean Skills: Navigation must be able to paddle 6 miles in an outing. For most people, spending more time kayaking will help them increase their endurance so they can fulfill this requirement. For a quick and easy way to spend more time on the water, visit one of our rental locations! If you have questions, please contact us.
    Registration & Cancellation Policies for Paddling Classes and Trips
    • Full payment is due upon registration for a class, clinic, or trip.
    • For cancellations received 7 days or more before your scheduled activity, we will issue a refund less a 10% registration fee.
    • For cancellations received fewer than 7 days before your scheduled activity, we are unable to offer any refunds.
    • Classes, clinics, and trips always run unless the weather is extreme.
    • A minimum number of registrants is required for any event to run. If we cancel an event due to low enrollment, we will provide a full refund.
    • Each participant will be required to sign a waiver of liability. To save time, you can download this waiver and bring it with you.
    Pre-Requisites & Requirements. Before signing up, you must have:
  • Formal instruction in bracing and rescue skills on the ocean, like our Basic Ocean Skills or equivalent.
  • Formal navigation instruction, like our Introduction to Navigation classroom session, is recommended but not required.
  • Previous practice of a wet exit, where you flipped a kayak, removed the sprayskirt, and exited the kayak while underwater.
  • Previous practice of an assisted rescue, where you wet-exited the kayak in deep water and were rescued by another kayaker.
  • Ability to paddle 6 miles in an outing.
  • Upcoming Scheduled Date: Sun, Aug. 17, 8:00 AM
    Ocean Skills: Current
    The New England coast, with its multitude of tidal rivers and bays, has no shortage of current. During this full-day trip,
    you'll practice handling your boat in moderate current, where waves and eddylines will force you to use your bracing and rescue skills.
    We will travel to Cohasset Harbor, where we will find ocean waves (weather permitting) and a tidal rip with moderate current (see video above), introducing you to conditions commonly encountered on the ocean. Our guides will help you test your limits while taking advantage of situations that are within your capabilities. We will cover a broad spectrum of topics including refining the forward stroke and practicing boat lean, bracing, ferrying, and re-entries.
    This trip is designed for those who have taken our Introduction to Kayaking and Ocean Skills (described at left). Paddlers should be able to perform assisted rescues and paddle 6 miles over the course of the day.
    The October 25 Ocean Skills: Current trip doubles as a Cold Water Clinic, and each participant will enjoy complimentary use of a Kokatat Gore-Tex drysuit (use coupon code COLDWATER during booking), and will receive 15% off a Kokatat drysuit or drytop purchase. Practice rescues, rolls, and other fun skills in the comfort and safety of a drysuit — you've got to wear one to believe it! Be sure to enter your height and weight for proper fitting.
    Ocean Skills: Current Full-Day Trip meets at our Newton Boathouse and travels by van to Cohasset. We plan to return to Newton approximately 9 hours after the trip departs.
    $139 includes full-day trip with expert guiding (max. 5:1 student:instructor ratio) using your own boat.
    $155 with a composite or plastic sea kayak (model depends on availability).
    Formal Ocean Paddling Instruction Required
    Students who have not participated in our Introductory Classes and Basic Ocean Skills must have previous ocean kayaking instruction, including a wet exit, self-rescue, and bracing skills, before participating in our Ocean Skills: Current.
    If you have had no formal instruction (even if you've been paddling for a while), we strongly recommend that you take our Introduction to Kayaking course or its equivalent. While the name says "Introduction," this course covers many intermediate and advanced skills and will greatly benefit anyone who has never had formal instruction. We guarantee it!
    If you have had no formal training and have questions about the pre-requisites for our Ocean Skills: Current, please contact us.
    Wet Exit Practice Required
    Students who have not performed a wet exit may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Current but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Current (our Quick-Start Your Kayak is not sufficient). If you have questions, please contact us.
    Assisted Rescue Practice Required
    Students who have not performed an assisted rescue may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Current but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Current (our Quick-Start Your Kayak is not sufficient). If you have questions, please contact us.
    Paddle 6 Miles in an Outing
    Students participating in our Ocean Skills: Current must be able to paddle 6 miles in an outing. For most people, spending more time kayaking will help them increase their endurance so they can fulfill this requirement. For a quick and easy way to spend more time on the water, visit one of our rental locations! If you have questions, please contact us.
    Registration & Cancellation Policies for Paddling Classes and Trips
    • Full payment is due upon registration for a class, clinic, or trip.
    • For cancellations received 7 days or more before your scheduled activity, we will issue a refund less a 10% registration fee.
    • For cancellations received fewer than 7 days before your scheduled activity, we are unable to offer any refunds.
    • Classes, clinics, and trips always run unless the weather is extreme.
    • A minimum number of registrants is required for any event to run. If we cancel an event due to low enrollment, we will provide a full refund.
    • Each participant will be required to sign a waiver of liability. To save time, you can download this waiver and bring it with you.
    Pre-Requisites & Requirements. Before signing up, you must have:
  • Formal instruction in bracing and rescue skills on the ocean, like our Basic Ocean Skills or equivalent.
  • Previous practice of a wet exit, where you flipped a kayak, removed the sprayskirt, and exited the kayak while underwater.
  • Previous practice of an assisted rescue, where you wet-exited the kayak in deep water and were rescued by another kayaker.
  • Ability to paddle 6 miles in an outing.
  • Upcoming Scheduled Dates:
    Sat, Aug. 9, 8:00 AMSat, Aug. 23, 8:00 AMSun, Sep. 7, 8:00 AM
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