• Two paddlers in powder blue water

Sea Kayak Primer

Live the Freedom!

The Primer is the perfect kayak vacation if you like a relaxed pace, or if you are relatively new to kayaking. Primers are our most accessible self-supported, multi-day trips.

The classic Primer is the Loreto Islands Primer, a self-supported journey right here out our front door in the Loreto National Marine Park. Special variations of the Loreto Island Primer include Learn in Paradise, a course and trip rolled into one. Loreto Islands Womens Adventure is a special treat for gals only!

The Islands and Coast Primer explores a little further from Loreto. A treat for the curious, the Natural History of Baja focuses on wildlife, plants, and the natural world in general. Breathe in the experience of sea and islands, and personal rejuvenation with the Loreto Islands Meditation Retreat. The combo trip Islands by Kayak; Cave Paintings by Mule takes a Loreto Islands Primer and adds a mountain adventure deep into history with mules, cave art, and unique ranchero culture for a double World-Heritage lifetime experience.

Custom and shorter Primers are available as well. Check out the 3-day Island Getaway.

Join us on a Primer if you’d like to learn how to camp out of a kayak, or if you’d like to learn from our guide/coaches how to improve your control of the kayak. Join us if you want to explore the edge of the sea and the life it holds. Join us if it just fits your schedule, or your partner’s skill set.

We travel almost daily on a Primer, but do plan for a layover day. The pace and distances are gentle (avg. 4-8nm/day). However, if you want more excitement, there are always opportunities to go back onto the water once camp is set up.

Single kayaks with skegs (not foot-operated rudders) are the standard on all our trips. If you would like to paddle a double with your partner, just let us know! We are happy to provide them.

Basic kayaking experience is required, including a calm capsize, wet exit, and assisted re-entry. We can recommend an instructor near you if you’d like to use this trip as a goal and start your kayak training now. We also invite you to arrive a day early and take an Immersion class with us the day before your trip. This class will cover your prerequisites and build confidence.

Although you can learn a lot about kayaking here, a Primer is about much more than just paddling. Peek into tide pools for the amazing tiny life that survives tremendous changes in temperature, salinity, and humidity, and the occasional pounding surf. Comb beaches for whimsical and mysterious creatures. The shell of the paper nautilus. The prickly skeleton of a pufferfish. Hike inland to discover geological treasures and rewarding views.

Snorkel in the world’s youngest and richest ocean. Colorful angelfish reward your efforts, as well as graceful triggerfish, neon juvenile damsel fish, and camoflauged scorpionfish. Find pencil urchins wedged into rocky crevices, and the tiny goby fish hiding between their spines.

Don’t forget the nighttime stars, planets, nebulae, and satelites cruising through it all. Since there is zero light pollution, the nighttime views are out of this world. Literally!

Form new friendships, deepen lifelong bonds, and tickle your imagination with different perspectives. Return to the “other” reality refreshed, energized, and inspired. Expeditions are about paddling, but more deeply they are about life!

Primer Conditions

Average Daily Distance: 4-8nm (2-4 hours of paddling)
Max Daily Distance: 12nm
Wind: calm to 12kts; force 3; beginning whitecaps
Seas: up to 2′
Crossings: up to 4nm
Surf Landings: up to 1′
Rescue Skills: comfortable wet exit and assisted re-entry
British Canoeing standard: 1-2 star beginner to intermediate

Please ask us if you have questions about the conditions and how you can prepare if you’d like to train up for the trip.

The helicopter stroke

The helicopter stroke

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