Frequently Asked Questions


How old do I have to be to attend Guardians of the Sea?

10-12 years old for Guardians of the Sea Jr. 13-17 years old for Guardians of the Sea Sr. Adult sessions coming soon.

Who will be aboard?

Captain Amy, a maximum of 5 students, and an additional deckhand (college intern, guest speaker, guest researcher, etc.) All will have completed appropriate background checks and are first-aid/CPR certified.

Where do the trips depart from and return to?

Guardians of the Sea departs promptly from Cap Sante Marina (2915 W Ave, Anacortes, WA 98221) at 9AM and returns at 5 PM.

What does a typical day look like?

Read about a sample daily schedule here.

What should I wear?

We recommend wearing comfortable clothes with plenty of layers! A short sleeve shirt, wool sweater/fleece, long pants, long underwear (not required but sometimes helpful), baseball cap, warm hat, warm gloves, closed toe shoes (no flip flops please, we will be hiking!), water proof jacket.

What do I bring with me?

Space is limited! You shouldn't need much except an excited and curious spirit. Other than that a SMALL bag with your extra layers, sunscreen, sunglasses, snack, and re-usable water bottle.

Can I bring a camera?

Yes! We work hard to bring the participant into the moment and totally immersed in his/her surroundings by unplugging, but cameras are allowed. Water-proof camera cases or covers are recommended!

Does the boat have a cabin?

There is an enclosed, hard-top cabin with comfortable seats.

Is there a bathroom on the boat?

Yes. You will be encouraged to use the marina facilities prior to embarking but there will be a very basic marine head on the boat with a curtain for privacy. We will be stopping at nearby islands with port-a-potty's every few hours.

What if I get seasick?

Sea sickness is generally not an issue because the waters in the Salish Sea are inland and protected from the ocean swells of the open Pacific. If you are prone to motion sickness, it is recommended to take your preferred remedy in the morning. A little extra support is provided on the boat in the event it is needed to include ginger candy, gingerale, and sea-band acupressure bracelets.

Is it safe?

When weather conditions don't allow boat-based activity, we will experience all of the incredible beauty and wonder of Fidalgo Island.

Furthermore, the vessel meets strict requirements by the US Coast Guard. The captain has over 15 years of power boating experience and holds a USCG captain's license. ​​

What if I have a special dietary need?

We will accommodate any special dietary needs for lunch and snacks. There will be a form to fill out during enrollment to notate special medical/dietary needs.

Do you accomodate participants with special needs?

Please contact us prior to enrollment to see if Guardians would be a good fit and/or how to best serve you and the participant.

What if it rains?

Guardians will continue in the rain. We do not go out in excessively heavy rain, big seas or thick fog.

What's the weather like?

Being on the water is typically 10-15 degrees cooler than the land and the weather can change throughout the day. It is best to be prepared for a range of conditions by dressing in layers.

May I bring snacks?

Yes, you are most welcome to bring snacks! We recommend purchasing bulk snacks and packing them in resusable tupperware/containers to reduce packaging/waste and using a reusable water bottle for drinks :)

We will be coming from far away, where do you recommend we stay overnight?

There are many wonderful places to stay in or near Anacortes. Check out our places to stay page for a variety of recommendations!

Will we see whales?

There is never a guarantee to see whales. Come only with the the expectation to have fun, be present in the moment, and become a leader in marine conservation ecology to help the environment in which all of the incredible marine life, including whales, depends!

What exactly is The Salish Sea School?

The Salish Sea School is a registerd 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to creating programs that empower leaders to transform and protect our oceans. The flag-ship program is Guardians of the Sea for high-schoolers, with other programs on the way.

Will there be adult programs?

Yes! Future adult programs will be announced after the launch of Guardians of the Sea!

What is Marine Conservation Ecology?

Marine Conservation Ecology focuses on marine organisms and ocean ecosystems and aims to prevent/limit their degradation from human impact.

I'd love to attend Guardians of the Sea but can't afford it. Can you help?

Absolutely! With the help of incredible local and state programs that have provided grants to The Salish Sea School, there are scholarships available. Please email to inquire about a scholarship application.

Do you offer a military discount?

Yes! Our family was prior military (Air Force!) so we gladly offer a 10% discount for immediate family members are active duty and veterans. We thank you for your service! Please contact us for more information.

Don't see what you are looking for?

Contact us!

How do I enroll?

Book online!

Can program fees be pro-rated?

The Salish Sea School will not pro-rate the cost of a program if a student is absent one or more days.

Can you cater to special diets?

Yes we can. You will be asked about food allergies and special diets in the program forms.

What sort of payment do you accept?

We accept checks, money orders, or credit cards. All credit card payments are processed online using a secure server. There is a $50 service charge for all returned checks. Please review our cancellation policy.

Is this an overnight program?

Guardians of the Sea 2020 will not include any overnight sessions at this time. Each session requires DAILY transportation for student participants to and from Skyline Marina in Anacortes, WA.

The Skagit Transist buses do have a drop-off location that is a 2-minute walk to the marina!

What places will be visited while aboard?

The daily schedule and route will be dependent on weather conditions. However, some of the places we intend to visit when timing and weather align include: Sucia Island, Matia Island, Waldron Island, Lopez Island, Vendovi Island, Bowman Bay, Coronet Bay, Deception Pass State Park, Cypress Island, Yellow Island, San Juan Island (The Whale Museum and Orca Survey and Outreach Center by Center for Whale Research), harbor porpoise land-based survey from Washington Park, and much more!

Policies and Procedures

Place of meeting and return

Students will meet and depart from Skyline Marina each day. An adult must accompany the student if under the age of 16. Drop-off: 8:45–9am Pickup: 5–5:15pm Only adults listed as authorized pickups, with their photo ID, may sign out a student. You will indicate the authorized adults during the registration process. Campers 16 years or older may sign themselves in/out. For more information on public transportation, see Skagit Transit.

Medical policies

Parents/guardians of participants needing to take prescription or over-the-counter medications during camp hours must fill out the appropriate forms before the start of the program. This will provide the necessary information and authorization for designated personnel to dispense medications at specified dosages and times. Medications will be collected the first morning of the program and secured in a safe place. Students needing to self-administer medications for life-threatening conditions may hold onto their medications at the discretion of the parent/guardian. All prescriptions must be current and medication must be in original containers with the student's name, prescribing physician, dosage and instructions for administering. If the dosage is different than indicated on the package, a doctor’s note and signature are required. Non-prescription medications will be dispensed only under specific instruction from parent/guardian or physician. Please keep all students not well enough to follow the day’s activities at home. This includes students with the following symptoms: vomiting, fever, early cold, discharging eyes, stomach pain, active rash, diarrhea, sore throat and/or nausea. While attending camp, if a student exhibits signs of illness they will be kept comfortable while the parent/guardian/emergency contact is notified. If no party can be reached and symptoms persist, the child’s physician will be notified and their directions followed.

Emergency policies

To help ensure student safety, a certified adult for adult and child first aid/CPR will always be onboard. Please note that all medical treatment is at the discretion and judgment of program personnel. In case of a minor injury (skinned knee, for example), the student will be treated according to the discretion of personnel and the incident recorded. You will be notified of the injury during sign-out at the end of the day. In the case of a non-life-threatening injury (broken arm, for example), program personnel will notify the parent/guardian/emergency contacts and transport the child to a nearby medical facility. In the case of a potentially life-threatening injury or illness, program personnel will immediately contact emergency services, after which the parent/guardian/emergency contacts will be notified. Medical expenses incurred while participating in The Salish Sea School's marine summer programs are the sole responsibility of the student's parent/guardian.

Absence and/or illness

Parents/guardians are responsible for notifying program personnel when a student will not be in attendance for the day. You can call and leave a message for registration at (703).477.7432. Students that are not well enough to follow the day’s activities will not be allowed to attend camp. This includes campers with the following symptoms: vomiting, fever, early cold, discharging eyes, stomach pain, active rash, diarrhea, sore throat and/or nausea. The Salish Sea School will not pro-rate the cost of the program if a student is absent one or more days.

Behavioral guidelines

To maintain a safe and cooperative setting, The Salish Sea School has specific policies and limitations that govern our facilities, personnel, and the behavior of each participant.
Compliance with imposed limits and policies of the facility and programs is expected. Should it become necessary to correct or resolve any dangerous or disruptive behavior, personnel will follow these steps: 1. Reasoning: Verbal communication between the participant and personnel where problems and solutions are identified. 2. Time away: Removal from specific activity which could mean an early drop-off or request to stay home for the next day. 3. Parent/guardian, student and personnel conference: Discuss the situation, group concerns and solutions. 4. Dismissal from program: If the first three steps have been taken and the issue is unresolved

Participants with accomodations

The Salish Sea School is committed to providing programs and services accessible to individuals with needs for accommodations. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Amy at (703)-477-7432 or at least 60 days before program start date to discuss how we may best accommodate your student's needs

Cancellation policy

A $300 deposit is due at registration. Final payment is due 60 days before the start of the excursion, or at the time of enrollment if it is within sixty days. Cancellations between enrollment and 61 days prior to session start date are eligible for a full refund. Cancellations between 31 and 60 days prior to session start date are subject to a $150 cancellation fee. All tuition is non-refundable between 0 and 30 days prior to session start date. All cancellations must be submitted in writing and must be received in the above time frames. Participants may be able to switch between session dates providing space is available. Requests must be received 30 days prior to current session dates and will require new paperwork. Fees may apply for changes made within 30 days.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Amy at (703)-477-7432 or

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the salish sea school   |   creating student leaders in marine conservation |   anacortes, wa


501(c)(3) EIN 83-3277816