SOUND Program: 1-Day Expedition
About the Program
One-day and two-day (overnight) sail expeditions engage students aboard the 61’ Research Vessel Carlyn in hands-on activities that explore the Puget Sound ecosystem, water quality issues, and nautical science.
- Water Quality Analysis
- Oceanographic Equipment & Sampling Techniques
- Nautical Science & Seamanship
THERE ARE FOUR STATIONS THAT STUDENTS VISIT DURING THE DAY SAIL EXPEDITIONS.
Water Quality Monitoring
Water quality monitoring in the Salish Sea is highly variable and dynamic, changing with proximity to land, river mouths, currents, as well as many other factors. To give the best snapshot of water quality in our research areas we employ the following equipment:
- Phosphate, nitrate, copper, surfactant, turbidity and silicate test kits (LaMotte): measure the amount of important water quality parameters in the water column. While necessary to aquatic life at small levels, problems can arise when these parameters reach high levels.
- Colorimeter: used in conjunction with water quality test kits to obtain measurements from specific water samples. Results recorded in PPM (parts per million).
- Dissolved oxygen/Temperature probe: continuously measures dissolved oxygen/temperature throughout the water column to 50ft. These vertical transects give a good indication of biological activity.
- Refractometer: measures salinity of a water sample using a drop of water and light refraction.
- Niskin bottle: used to collect water samples from discrete depths, which are then chemically analyzed.
- Secchi disk: used to estimate the transparency of seawater, and can provide a relative measure of productivity or turbidity.
- pH probes: measure how acidic or basic the water is on a scale from 0-14. pH is an important water quality measurement with most organisms only tolerating a small range, typically around 6-8.5.
The biological life of the Salish Sea is dependent upon local water quality. Through collection and analysis of biological and water quality samples we are able to employ the scientific process to determine relationships at different locations. Biological sampling equipment onboard includes:
- Phytoplankton net: This 63-micrometer mesh net collects the smallest plankton, which can then be analyzed using volume measurements as well as under a compound microscope.
- Zooplankton net: This 120-micrometer mesh net collects animal plankton, allowing phytoplankton to pass through the larger mesh.
- Dissecting and Compound microscopes: used to more closely analyze plankton by species.
- Seives: can be used to sort sediments collected from shore to classify sediment composition and/or to uncover macro-invertebrates.
- Fisheye underwater camera: camera to deploy off of the side of the vessel to observe creatures when visibility allows.
Welcome teachers and group leaders!
Step 1: Questions about our programs?
Contact the Salish Sea Expeditions Education Director at (206) 780-7848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 2: Ready to register?
- SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING FORM: SALISH SEA EXPEDITIONS REGISTRATION / GROUP INFORMATION FORM
Once you have completed and submitted the Registration & Group Info Form, we will contact you to discuss details and confirm information, including fees, scholarships, dates, times and location.
Step 3: Receive your Contract & Invoice
Please review, sign and return your contract and deposit by the indicated deadlines. We will hold your requested dates, however, your SOUND Program is not confirmed until the signed contract and deposit have been received.
Step 4: Get excited and ready to explore and sail the Salish Sea!
There will most likely be questions along the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Education Directly directly should you need anything.
Expedition Paperwork & Prep
Step 1: Expedition Paperwork & Forms
- Consent & Health History Forms (see IMPORTANT information below)
- Consent & Health History Form, Parent/Guardian (necessary for student participation)
Consent & Health History Forms are now available via an online system. To have forms sent to your parents/guardians and all participating adult chaperones (including teachers), please note the following process:
- Upload all teacher/chaperone and parent/guardian names and emails to an Excel or Google Sheet document.
- EXAMPLE_Name & Email List for Health History Forms.
- Names and email addresses must be listed in different columns, though first name and last name can be in the same column/cell.
- For families who have multiple students attending, please list the parent names & emails the same number of times as the number of children they have that are attending. The instructions in the form will say, ‘Only one signature is required per form and it must be completed by the email address to which the form was sent. For families with multiple children, you will receive multiple forms to fill out; one for each child.’
- EXAMPLE_Name & Email List for Health History Forms.
- Email or share that document to the Education Director at email@example.com || 206-780-4878 x2#
- Education Director will then send out the online forms to participants directly through our DocuSign platform. Please note that the email will come from DocusSign with the school name in the subject line. i.e. SCHOOL NAME Chaperones (or Families): Salish Sea Expeditions Program Paperwork)
If this process is not possible or if you have questions, please contact the Education Director directly. Thank you!
Step 2: Expedition Preparation
- Chaperone & Group Leader Roles – a detailed explanation of Expedition guidelines and chaperone roles and responsibilities
- What To Bring (1-Day Expedition) – how to prepare and pack, including a recommended list of gear to bring on a 1-Day Expedition
- Homework Packet (optional) – a homework booklet that students can fill out prior to the Expedition to further their knowledge
Step 3: Evaluation
- Teacher Program Evaluation – To be completed at the end of your Expedition
- Student & Parent/Guardian Survey
- Cap Sante Boat Haven (Anacortes)
- Elliott Bay Marina (Seattle)
- Bell Harbor (Seattle)
- Shilshole Bay Marina (Seattle)
If you have questions at any time, please contact our Education Director at (206) 780-7848 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salish Sea Expeditions FAQs – Frequently asked questions about our program, vessel and safety practices and policies
What is Salish Sea Expeditions?
Salish Sea Expeditions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to inspire youth to connect with the marine environment through boat-based scientific inquiry and hands-on learning, instilling curiosity, confidence, and critical thinking. Salish Sea Expeditions provides opportunities for student scientists and sailors to design and conduct authentic scientific research from the decks of a 61-foot sailing vessel on the Salish Sea.
What vessel is used?
Programs occur aboard the sailing vessel Carlyn, a 61-foot yawl built in 1996, belonging to Four Winds*Westward Ho Camps. Carlyn is a US Coast Guard (USCG) inspected vessel.
We don’t have enough students. Can we pair with another group?
Yes, you can pair with another group. We can try to help you find one or you can come up with your own. We find the ideal group size to be between 18 and 24 students. Your group can be mixed age (any combination of 5-12th graders). In all cases we would need to insure that program plans meet the needs of all parties and we would arrange for the entire group to meet before going out on the boat.
How many crew members are there and what qualifications do they have?
There are a minimum of six crew members on all programs, including a Captain, Mate, Deckhand, Program Coordinator, Marine Science Educator, and Logistics & Galley Coordinator. All have experience working with youth in various settings and have first aid training. The Marine Scientists have experience both in the teaching and research fields, while our Mates and Deckhands have experience on the water. The Captain and Mate are licensed by the USCG and have extensive experience operating sailing school vessels.
What kind of plan do you have for emergencies while students are on board?
Any vessel carrying passengers for hire must meet construction and operations standards established by the USCG. Carlyn was designed and certified under the Sailing School Ship Vessel Act. As the name implies, vessels certified under the Sailing School Vessel Act are meant to be used as training vessels and operated by students. As such, the safety margin in construction standards and operational requirements are quite high.
Carlyn is required to have plans that meet or exceed response standards set by the USCG for just about any incident. These mainly address major vessel incidents such as man-overboard, fire, collision, and abandon ship. Every Captain is required by law to thoroughly train and drill their crew in the approved emergency procedures for that particular vessel. When students board the vessel, the Captain will specifically discuss with the group what to do in the event of an emergency. An emergency drill might very well be part of your program. Carlyn is also required to carry emergency supplies and equipment including radios, flares, first aid kits, life raft, life sling and Type I Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). We have established safety procedures for every activity the students participate in, both aboard the ship and while ashore. Students are informed of the procedures before engaging in the activity. Students who cannot follow the procedures do not participate.
Do students wear Personal Flotation Devices?
Yes. Any time they are working on deck while the boat is underway or in the small boats they will be required to wear Type III PFD’s (lifevests). We are also required to carry the Type I PFD’s (highest USCG buoyancy rating) for each person on board.
Is sea sickness a problem?
Sea sickness is generally caused by the motion of big ocean swells. The Salish Sea is protected from swells by the land that surrounds it. Seasickness can often act as a self-fulfilling prophesy; if you come aboard convinced you will get seasick, then you probably will! Most people that experience seasickness do so when they are below decks for long periods of time. They usually feel better just by coming up on deck, getting some fresh air, and looking at the horizon. If you know that motion sickness is a problem, consult your doctor about a motion sickness product. These products tend to make you feel drowsy and usually need to be taken several hours before going out on the water. Please, only use them if you know that motion sickness is a problem. You may want to look into alternative remedies such as ginger (tea or candied) and wrist bands that work using pressure points.
What does the SOUND Program involve?
In the classroom, students are taught scientific principles and provided with background scientific information. They then identify a suitable marine research topic and work with our staff to organize a research expedition. Students are key decision makers in every aspect of planning and conducting the program. Groups must be willing to work within the structure used by most non-pleasure marine vessels. This is a rotation that allows for equal sharing of all aspects of the expedition. Everyone will be expected to help handle sails, cook meals, launch and recover scientific gear, scrub toilets, evaluate data, plot a course, wash dishes, etc. On overnight programs, one watch (half the students) sleep ashore in tents at a marine state park and the other watch sleeps on board Carlyn. More information can be found here: SOUND Program: Multi-Day Expedition and SOUND Program: 1-Day Expedition.
How long are programs?
You can choose the length of your program aboard the ship (from 1-5 days). We also offer Pre & Post Expedition Sessions for Multi-Day Expeditions. These sessions are designed to maximize the experience by providing students with the background knowledge and skills they will need to be involved in the decision-making process. At a minimum, we recommend at least one 2 hour pre-trip session focusing on background information, becoming familiar with available research equipment, and developing a hypothesis. Post Expedition Sessions focus on creation of presentations in order to communicate the results of the student research. You decide how much time you would like to dedicate to these sessions and what additional topics you would like us to address. Sessions can be arranged before, during or after school. The entire group does not need to attend every session.
What are the sleeping arrangements?
During the Expedition, students will alternate between camping onshore and sleeping onboard the boat, depending on their assigned Watch Group and corresponding schedule. Specific sleeping arrangements are determined by the number of students and gender identity, and is teacher driven and informed. On shore, students sleep in group tents according to gender, with adults sharing same gender tents separate from students. Salish Sea Expeditions provides insulated pads for those sleeping on shore. On the boat, there are two completely separate compartments, each having its own “head” (toilet and sink) with bunk style beds that can accommodate up to 7 each. Adults will be assigned according to gender to the corresponding compartments.
Space is very limited and students will also be sharing their bunk with their personal gear. For this reason, we ask that they bring only the items on the list and pack in a soft bag. For those sleeping ashore, we provide insulated pads.
Where in the Salish Sea will we be and can parents follow our Expedition?
Parents and teachers will always be aware of the marina and city that their trip will be departing from. Due to the student-directed nature of our programs and the fact that students decide where they will be sailing and collecting samples each morning, we cannot exactly say where the boat will be. The Education Director will send periodic emails, some with updates from students directly, to parents/guardians over the course of the sail adventure. The information typically includes the location of the boat, the boat track for the day, and some journal text from the student. Our Program Coordinator will also do their best to update our Instagram account over the course of the Expedition.
How far will the boat travel each day?
As with all aspects of the trip planning, your students will be deciding exactly where to sail each day, taking into consideration what sampling needs to get done, the tides and currents and where they want to camp for the evening. In general, the greater the distance you attempt to sail, the less time you have for sampling stations. We encourage the students to make conservative plans that do not cover a lot of physical distance so that they have greater flexibility in meeting the challenges of the day.
How far will the boat be from the campers?
Ideal locations are those where the ship is in direct sight of the camp. Occasionally the campsite will not have a protected enough moorage for Carlyn, in which case the ship will moor in the closest possible safe anchorage. In general, we try to keep the campers and the boat as close together as possible. Some staff and chaperones will be sleeping with the watch ashore.
What kind of communication system is there between boat and campers?
Most of our camping locations are marine state parks. We communicate between ship and shore via our hand-held two-way radios or cell phone. We also travel with both an inflatable small boat with outboard motor and rowboat/dinghy.
Could a parent contact their child if there were an emergency at home?
Yes. During all Salish Sea Expeditions adventures, a designated Salish staff (typically the Education Director) will carry a phone during all programs in case of emergency at any time during the Expedition. On Call Education Phone Number: (206) 715-0312
What do students need to bring that is not covered in the program fees?
Students will need to bring appropriate clothing (we will supply a list) packed in a duffel or gym bag and a backpacking type (compressible) sleeping bag. We supply rain gear, tents, sleeping pads and PFD’s. Please refer to What To Bring (1-Day Expedition) or What To Bring (Multi-Day Expedition) for a more detailed, comprehensive list.
What’s the insurance coverage policy?
Participants are covered by a $1,000,000 liability policy.
If you have questions at any time, please contact our Education Director at (206) 780-7848 or email email@example.com.