This course for adults will take place on the stunning coastline of New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds where you’ll learn sea kayaking and leadership skills.
The Marlborough Sounds are an intricate series of ancient sunken river valleys now filled with the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Headlands and peninsulas rise steeply from the water, and the coastline includes hidden sandy beaches, deep bays, and rocky islands. The weather in February is typically fine and mild, and the water of the Sounds are relatively protected making it a perfect time to be exploring in a sea kayak. The Marlborough Sounds contains many protected islands and marine reserves and ocean teems with life; you are likely to see seals, dolphins, orca, and penguins and birds such as gannets, cormorants, and weka. Along with remote areas, the Marlborough Sounds also contains mussel and sheep farms, as well as isolated boat-access-only residences and it is often possible to interact with and learn about the unique lifestyles people lead.
You will start the course learning the foundational sea kayaking skills needed to paddle in a protected ocean environment, including an introduction to kayak equipment, paddle strokes, chart reading, and wet exits, before progressing to more complex skills such as self-rescue. Evenings will be spent enjoying delicious food cooked on camp stoves on remote beaches. Your instructors will weave leadership opportunities throughout the trip, to facilitate further development of your own leadership style.
On a NOLS sea kayaking trip in the Marlborough Sounds, you’ll not only experience an amazing landscape, but will also go home with outdoor skills, a network of adventure partners, and the leadership skills to positively impact your community.