SEA Salts — Sailing, Exploration, Adventure

Our Sea Salts program launched in summer 2018 with the arrival of new director, Lauren Gray. The program emphasizes curiosity and exploration of our surrounding island and ocean environment while building confidence, knowledge, and independence on the water and in boats. The curriculum is drawn from island skills and traditions, both new and old. Daily activities integrate knots and rope work, fishing with nets, traps, and lines, aquaculture, beach art and seaside crafts, tidepool exploration and creature adaptations, and of course, sailing and boating!


Rowing (Pre-K)

These 45-minute sessions with an instructor and 1-2 students focus on creating positive early experiences on the water. A short venture out in a rowboat allows your child to build confidence and early independence as they journey away from the dock and practice taking a turn at the oars to feel how the boat moves over the waves. Students begin to learn basic knots and earn ribbons for their lifejacket as they master them! (M, Th, F — 8:30-11:30, call to schedule).

Youngers (K-3)

Our youngers class is all about having fun on the water and developing the confidence and know-how to become a beginner boater. Kids haul lobster traps, explore tide pools, check out nearby islands, practice knots, and field trip to nearby oyster and scallop farms. They even begin sailing and rowing! Instructors help students learn boating basics by sailing together in our club Mercury and encourage kids to push off from the beach with a partner in our Opti sailboats. Each class begins and ends with a beachside game. (T, Th — 9:00-11:00 a.m.)

Middles (4-6th)

Our adventurous middles sail all over the Great Harbor! First-time sailors join returning students as they explore rocky outcroppings and uninhabited islands. They begin developing navigation and boat handling skills in both sail and motorboats as they build their independence through experience. These kids advance in knot tying abilities, haul and set lobster traps, and meet ocean critters up close. They are in and out of the water collecting, fishing, foraging, and creating! (M, W, F — 8:30-11:30 a.m.)

Olders (7th and Up)

Older students really pave their way to independence on the water with practice. They handle motorboats and sailboats as they learn rowing, knot tying skills, mooring, and navigation. They look at maps and charts, lead their own expeditions to explore outer islands, and fish and forage the shore. They primarily sail in pairs in our 420 sailboats, however this year, they will have the opportunity for some big boat sailing as they race a 32-foot International One-Design with Maine Maritime Head Coach Taylor Martin in the Northeast Harbor Fleet’s July and August Series. (M, Th, F — 12:30-3:30 p.m.)

Special Classes

We had the opportunity to bring in some amazing teachers last year who provided special field trips during our regular class instruction — utilizing their local know-how and expertise!


Wild-Island Clay with Kaitlyn Duggan

Local potter Kaitlyn Duggan explored natural clay deposits with kids and taught us about working clay from start to finish—we collected it, crumbled it, sun-dried it, smashed it to pieces, and remixed it with water for a smooth, silky clay that we molded into tiny boats that she fired in her kiln!

Foraging for the Friendly and the Deadly with Jasmine Samuel

Local gardener and environmentalist Jasmine Samuel provided a tour of edible, friendly, and deadly plants for our young foragers, sharing her expert know-how on insect-plant partnerships, quirky facts, and historical uses for seaside flowers and greens.

Soapmaking with Lindsay Eysnogle

Kids donned safety googles and mixed chemicals, creating a custom island scent with essential oils mixed into a beautiful bars of homemade soap with soap making expert, Lindsay Eysnogle of Luci & Mari Soaps. They even harvested, dried, and mixed local sugar kelp into their one-of-a-kind recipe!