On Sunday, Oct 21st a group of twelve outdoor explorers participated in a sea kayaking adventure in the beautiful Tomales Bay! Environmental Traveling Companions guides led the day, most commonly known by ETC.
ETC believes that everyone, regardless of physical or financial limitations, should have the opportunity to experience the challenge and beauty of the wilderness.
Through this ETC adventure, participants were encouraged to overcome perceived limitations, attain greater personal freedom and confidence, and better understand themselves in relation to others and the environment.
The group first started by learning all about the space they were in, with the help of a map of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Students learned about the indigenous populations that live(d) in the area and how they relied on the native plants and species for survival, how the tectonic plates maneuvered around the earth to create the physical landscape, and how the salty, freshwater combo makes for a unique ecosystem.
Before heading out the water, participants were given an in-depth overview of the safety equipment and were soon ready to float on!
The group paddled about 6 miles along Tomales Bay, and saw lots of beautiful animals including not one, not two, but three seals! Students were very intrigued by all the fantastic wildlife, some of the highlights were seeing a pelican, a dead jellyfish, and a weird little bug in the water.
Throughout the day, students participated in a variety of team building activities. Including an activity where their senses were limited, and they had to work together to complete a task. It was a great day to be outdoors working together.
The group circled together to share their highlight from the day, in addition to one outdoor thing they were looking forward to or wanted to try. ETC Guides announced opportunities for students to continue kayaking through different programs they offer to high school youth.
Overall, the trip was a huge success. The weather was perfect, and attitudes were extremely positive. Check out what some of our students had to say about the day!
“The trip was very fun and eye-opening. I enjoyed learning about the animals in Tomales Bay. I also thought it was interesting that it had salt and fresh water. It was pretty tiring, but overall I had a good experience.” – Jaylin Kent, Pinole Valley High Earth Team Intern
“When I first stepped my body on the kayak and seen I was so low to the water I got a little scared. But on the way back I had more fun and enjoyed it more. It was very fun, and I would do it again.” – Fernando Almanza, Richmond High Earth Team Intern
“I really enjoyed this trip because I love water, I love how it feels, looks, etc. I feel like kayaking really got me closer to it.” – Itzel Sanchez, John F. Kennedy High Earth Team Intern
“it was fun but tiring, probably because it was my first time kayaking. all the guides were really nice, and I enjoyed getting to know people from other schools” – Nathalia Rocha, Skyline High Earth Team Intern
“I had a lot of fun, and it was good to see friends from other schools again.” – Amy White, Skyline High Earth Team Intern
“The trip was fun and engaging; I got closer with my fellow interns and the trip leader Jenna as well. I learned a lot about nature and the habitat around the area. I can’t wait to go on another trip” – Michael Chatham, Antioch High Earth Team Intern
“My experience at Tomales Bay has been a blast. Getting to know my fellow interns was wonderful, and the kayaking was an amazing ride.” – Kyle Milton, John F. Kennedy Earth Team Intern
Outdoor Explorers Program