In this NOLS course, the Sea of Cortez will be your home. You’ll explore its coasts and coves by sea kayak, starting with the basics like paddle technique and progressing to more advanced skills, like self-rescue. As you travel, you’ll work on leadership skills like communication and decision making.
The Baja California Peninsula and the Sea of Cortez are beautiful, dramatic environments. The land is rugged, dry, and mountainous, while the sea teems with marine life. You’ll explore these varied worlds in a sea kayak, with a snorkel, or on foot.
You’ll begin with the basics of sea kayaking, including on-water skills like paddling and rescue techniques, wind and wave theory, and meteorology. As you become more proficient, you will have opportunities to lead the day’s paddle. You’ll also learn about and explore Baja California’s desert and coast and gain plenty of practical experience in Leave No Trace camping techniques, including cooking, sanitation, shelter set up, and stove use.
Snorkeling, fishing from shore, day hikes, skills practice, planning for the next travel day, or time for personal reflection are frequent afternoon and evening activities. There are often opportunities to visit with the fishermen and ranchers who live along the coast. Such opportunities give you a chance to practice Spanish and perhaps share a meal of home-cooked Mexican food.
This course emphasizes leadership and teamwork development. Learning to be a contributing member of an expedition can be a challenge with immense personal rewards, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities for leadership throughout the course. By the time you leave Baja, you’ll have the leadership skills and outdoor experience to pursue your own sea kayaking expeditions.