Introductory Navigation and Marine Weather Course


Planning for a safe kayaking trip and navigating during a trip are both very necessary skills. What you didn’t know is these skills are also interesting and enjoyable to learn and practice. In this classroom-based clinic, we’ll teach you how to safely and confidently interpret marine weather forecasts, predict tides and currents, read nautical charts (maps), and plan routes on the ocean. You’ll learn when and where to paddle as well as how to avoid dangerous water conditions—important skills for a sea kayaker!


Meet your instructor(s) and other participants at 6:00 pm at Ocean River Sports. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early for your program and check in at the Adventure Centre at the rear of the store. If you are driving, there is free street parking available after 6 pm. If you are parking a vehicle, we cannot be responsible for damage to or loss of your personal items, so please ensure valuables are stored securely.

Course content:
• Interpreting marine weather forecasts
• Selecting and reading marine charts
• Predicting tides and currents
• Using a compass
• Trip planning

Full Itinerary – PDF: Itinerary for Introductory Navigation & Marine Weather

Equipment List

Ocean River Sports provides the following equipment and supplies for your program:
• VHF Marine Radio.
• Shared charts of the paddling areas.
• Chart 1: Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms.
• Tide and Current Tables Volume 5: Juan de Fuca Strait & Strait of Georgia.
• Orienteering Compass.

Please bring the following items (*indicates optional item):
• 2 pens for writing notes.
• 2 pencils for drawing on charts.
• Notebook for taking general notes
• Water bottle (filled): large enough to hold about 1 liter or 1 quart of water so you can keep yourself well-hydrated.
• *Snack(s).
• *Thermos with a warm drink

To read all of our reviews, click on the Trip Advisor logo below! TA_550x370

 Just finished the Intro Navigation course with Gary and found it very useful. Gary is methodical, respectful and with loads of experience and practical advice. For a neophyte like myself, this was an essential evening for learning how to be safe out on the water.

Thank you, Ocean River, for a great educational opportunity. Janette was a fantastic instructor in terms of the training and material to be covered, as well as very inspirational. She was very patient with our many questions. The course was more like an extended conversation than a lecture. Thanks!

Gary is a gifted instructor. Not only was he able to explain the theory behind weather and navigation he consistently made the connections between the theoretical and the practical. This made it easy to understand and to apply. Thanks!

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We're located in Downtown Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saturna Island.
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Paddling Magazine Article – Kayaking in Victoria BC


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