Leave No Trace NOLS Sea Kayak Trip San Juan Islands 2012

August 9-13 San Juan Islands NOLS Pacific Northwest Headquarters


Cypress Island West Side San Juan Islands, WA

Day 1

  • Orientation of headquarters
  • Breakfast
  • Gear check and issue
  • Lunch
  • Introduction games
  • LNT Principle 1 lesson: Plan ahead and prepare
  • 1 hour drive to Washington State park near Anacortes, WA – first launch site
  • LNT Principle 2 lesson: Travel and Camp on durable surfaces
  • Set up camp bagged dinner
  • Lights out

Launch Point Washington State Park, Anacortes, WA

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Break camp and load boats at launch site
  • Lessons on water safety and pod formation while travelling in busy boating lanes
  • Paddle 20km to Pelican Bay on Cypress Island Via Guemes Island
  • Set up camp
  • LNT Principle 3: Dispose of waste properly
  • LNT discussion on Front Country – access and use
  • Bunker down with new tent mate
  • Hear Racoons raiding green team’s camp and drag one food bag into the brush. Recovered

Sunrise from Pelican Bay on Cypress Island San Islands, WA

Day 3

  • Little slower start to the day
  • Breakfast
  • Stormproof camp prior to a chill day paddle
  • LNT Principle 4: Leave what you find
  • We leave camp and paddle around Sinclair Island
  • Cross the channel and explore the West side of Cypress Island
  • Take numerous photos and navigate between rocks at low tide
  • Landed on shore in a small bay where we have snack and LNT Principle 5: minimizing campfire impact
  • Leave camp and head back to Pelican Bay for a hot lunch
  • LNT Principle 6: Respect wildlife – COAF – Thumb size reference
  • Group hike 2.0 miles to the top of Cypress mountain where we have beautiful views of the San Juans and lots of boat traffic. We have a lesson on LNT Principle 7: Respecting other campers
  • Down to camp dinner and hot drinks
  • Play a few games – adverb games
  • Viewpoint on top of Cypress Mountain ~2 mile hike

Day 4

  • Wake up and have breakfast and break camp
  • Lesson on backpacking in bear country
  • Paddle 7.5 miles to Saddlebag Island where we camp in site 5 on the South side of the Island
  • We set up camp have some time to explore the Island
  • I lead my lesson on: LNT with special needs in mind
  • Secondary lesson on: Portable waste systems with a focus on River systems
  • Have dinner – with some down time
  • Lesson on: Assessment for leading trainer courses
  • Go for a short walk to a flat bluff where we have a instructor lesson on: wildlife ethics
  • We also talk about our Action plans and share with the group about what people are doing
  • Share some laughs about SNL skits and In living colours
  • Lights out – some people sleep on the beach and bluff

Sunrise North Side of Saddlebag Island San Juan Islands, WA

Day 5

  • Light breakfast and pack up camp and bring equipment down to staging bays on the beach
  • Lesson on: Rehabilitation of campsites
  • Paddle 2.0 miles back to our take out point in the bay of Anacortes
  • I fall in the bilge of the water
  • Get the boats and bags on to shore and seperate group gear into like groups
  • Load boats and gear onto trailers and vans
  • Back to the PNW NOLS headquarters to de issue equipment and clean off salt water
  • Have a delicious pita sandwich bar lunch – complete silence
  • Debrief with coordinators
  • Have a graduation ceremony with pin and certificates
  • Given out in a circle where you have to pant-a-mime out the certificate you have a hand out

LNT PNW crew! We NOLS’in