San Juan Islands Kayaking Expedition

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San Juan Islands, Washington
Entry Form Open from May 1, 2019 to May 15, 2019

All adult survivors 18 and older are invited to join TAPS on the 2019 San Juan Islands Kayaking Expedition as we find new purpose, gain radical perspective, and remember what it feels like to live with determination.

TAPS Expeditions are outdoor skills-based events that require dedication, preparation and a real sense of adventure. Professional guides will lead us through some of the country’s most spectacular ecosystems as we paddle the northernmost San Juan Islands, taking in the area’s spectacular scenery and natural wildlife. As guests of the San Juan Islands, we’ll be led to consider what we really can control as we learn to trust our guides, our gear, our team and ourselves.

TAPS Survivors at San Juan


Join us as we paddle the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state! During our Expedition, we'll pass and possibly stop to enjoy tranquil beaches, catch glimpses of marine animals, extensive species of birds and maybe event spot the occasional orca whale! When we're not kayaking through the islands, we'll have an opportunity to hike beautiful trails and enjoy our time together as we remember our heroes.

Leading up to the expedition, we'll form a team bond and gain familiarity with each other through  a team meeting to discuss training regimens, gear lists and more. Your team will be a source of encouragement as you train for this kayaking adventure and an ongoing support network long after the expedition is complete.

While each expedition is unique and rewarding, they can also be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. Each offers an opportunity to experience for the first time or hone in on a valuable outdoor experience. We hope you’ll apply to join us after you’ve taken some time to consider your current physical and emotional strength and resilience. To see what this experience looks like firsthand, view our 2017 San Juan Islands Kayaking Expedition photo album.

This expedition is being put together through a partnership with REI Adventures. For more information, visit the REI Adventures website.




There will be one team meeting via conference call or video chat that that is mandatory for participants in order to form a team bond and gain familiarity with each other. You will have access to our Facebook group, which will include participants from this expedition, as well as those who participated in previous expeditions so you can ask questions and learn from their experience.


Day 1: Our trip will begin in Friday Harbor, Washington, for a brief introduction and orientation. Our kayaking journey will start at Roche Harbor, and we'll make our way into the Speiden Channel and Haro Strait. After a stop at one of the picturesque beaches to enjoy our lunch, we'll paddle to Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island where we'll set up camp for the night. We'll explore the island with a hike and then settle in for the evening. Paddling: 7-10 miles

Day 2 and 3: Two full days of paddling will lead us through protected waters. We'll paddle around the islands and observe marine birds and other wildlife throughout the day. We'll make stops along the way to hike, rest and enjoy lunch. In the late afternoon, we'll head back to camp to rest and relax near the water. Paddling: 10-20 miles

Day 4: On our final day, we'll pack our boats and head northwest toward Turn Point. This breathtaking paddle features views of Mount Baker and the Canadian Cascades. Finally, we'll journey back to Roche Harbor and take a shuttle to Friday Harbor where we'll depart from our expedition. Paddling: 7-10 miles

Please Note: This schedule is provided by REI Adventures and is subject to change due to a number of reasons, including weather and participant skill level. For a more detailed itinerary, visit the REI Adventure website. Our itinerary is a 4 day trip, not the 3 day trip listed on the website.


We fully expect your team members to become your family and an ongoing support network long after the TAPS Expedition is complete. You'll be provided with a directory following the expedition to keep in touch with each other.



Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, TAPS will provide lodging, meals and activities for this expedition from Friday, July 26 to Monday, July 29. The only contribution required from participants is a $50 program fee which will be collected at the time of registration. Within 6 weeks of the event, if for any reason you need to cancel your registration, please reach out to Expeditions staff and you can request a refund of the program fee or you may choose to donate the fee to TAPS to support future programs. Participants will need to provide their own transportation and lodging leading up to the event start on Friday, July 26 at 8 a.m.



You will need to cover the cost of your transportation to and from Friday Harbor, Washington. This includes a ferry ride from Seattle to Friday Harbor. The closest airport is the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Your first night's lodging will be on your own, but we can assist in recommending lodging options that fit within your budget. Plan to arrive in Friday Harbor by 8 a.m. on Friday, July 26. Our expedition will conclude late afternoon on Monday, July 29. You may want to stay in a hotel that night as you will likely be tired. You will need to cover the cost of your hotel stay. If you choose to travel home that day, we suggest you book late flights.

TAPS will cover the costs for all subsequent lodging and meals. During this expedition, we will be camping on Stuart Island.



This expedition requires no kayaking experience but does necessitate that you be physically fit and healthy. This physically demanding expedition that will include kayaking between five and sixteen miles a day and some one- to two-mile hikes. Even if you don't have kayaking experience, if this adventure excites you then we encourage you to submit an entry form by Thursday, May 15!

The TAPS Expeditions team will make sure you are prepared and well informed of the nature of this trip.

To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest you engage in a regular exercise regimen leading up to the trip. Prior to the trip, we'll have a conference call and/or an online video meeting to go over training regimens, gear lists and more.



Entry forms will be open from May 1 to May 15, 2019. Entry forms will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so you can expect a call within two weeks of submitting your entry from. If more entry forms are received than we have slots available, we will do a random selection from qualified entries.

If you have any questions, please email or call 800-959-TAPS (8277).

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