Blue Water Ventures School Field Trips

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To discuss a field trip or curriculum ideas for your students,  please call Kim Powell, Owner & Lead Naturalist at (831) 459-8548 or by email at:

Message to Teachers     What Teachers Say  

~ Sea Kayaking in Elkhorn Slough ~

(our most popular field trip)

                ~ Tidepooling     ~  Exploring Redwood Forests  ~       

~ Hiking Ano Nuevo or Pescadero Marsh ~ Classroom Visits ~

Build your own Science Camp or Summer Program!


Updates on Coronavirus ~COVID-19

Our Trip Protocol


Field Trip Descriptions

Pulling a seine net, a favorite activity!

 Sea Kayaking Programs

Our sea kayaking programs offer an exhilarating and educational experience

for students. Thorough instruction is provided by patient, qualified guides.

Each student and their partner work as a team in our stable tandem kayaks.

First time kayakers welcomed. 

Appropriate for fifth grade through university level.

Destinations include: Elkhorn Slough, Half Moon Bay, Monterey Bay, Tomales Bay and Cannery Row with a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Our land base activities incorporated into our sea kayaking curriculum makes our program unique. Check out students pulling a seine net and examining their catch here: Beach Seining Video





Student Bird Reports, Elkhorn Slough


Sea Kayaking in Elkhorn Slough: More Info

(our most popular field trip both land and water activities)

The abundant wildlife and protective water of Elkhorn Slough makes it our most

popular sea kayaking destination. Educational topics include: wetlands ecology,

endangered species, human history and adaptations of sea otters, birds and other slough residents.

Our hands on land based activities  are a great compliment to kayaking. Activities include examining a bone box or pulling a large seine net to study fish and invertebrates.

A plankton tow and field telescope to study the Slough's micro biomass is another option.

9:30am-2:00pm $40 per student or chaperones weekdays;  $48 weekends

A  combination of land base activities and our sea kayaking curriculum makes our full day field trips unique. Check out students pulling a seine net and examining their catch here: Beach Seining Video

Bioluminescence Night Kayaking in Elkhorn Slough More Info

Evening in the slough is always so magical and when conditions are favorable, we may witness the extraordinary light show produced by bioluminescent plankton.
During the summer and through mid October, bioluminescent algal blooms may light up
the dark night water with every stoke of our paddle blade.
Leaving from Moss Landing, we'll have a leisurely paddle through Elkhorn Slough

before full darkness is upon us.
Our trip will begin with a quiet observation of harbor seals and sea otters that reside in Moss Landing Harbor. Full Moon tours of Elkhorn Slough are also an option for your school.

 4 1/2 hours around sunset $48 per student weekdays or $50 weekends

Sea Kayaking & Tidepooling: Pillar Point/Half Moon Bay More Info

Pillar Point Harbor just north of Half Moon Bay is a wonderful coastal resource especially for San Francisco and East Bay Schools. Our field trip will include kayaking among an array of migratory birds, Fishing fleets and harbor seals. We will kayak across the protected harbor and explore the tidepools adjacent to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

Activities may include examining a bone box, pulling a large seine net and a tidepool study.

10:00am-2:30pm $50 per student weekdays or $52 weekends

Adventure Paddle and Exploration of the Kelp Forest More info

Join our naturalist for an an eye level experience with Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary!

Using sit on top kayaks slide into our amazing bay and take a look at the kelp forest

using goggles or a mask and snorkel.

If you prefer to stay dry simply glide above the forest canopy on the

maneuverable sit on top kayaks searching for sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions and sea birds.

Destination: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary via Santa Cruz Harbor.

During April-May, we'll launch our fleet of closed deck doubles and go in search of migrating Gray Whales with their babies in tow. Details below.

9:30am-1:30pm $48 per student weekdays, $50 weekends

Watch a short video of our Kelp Forest Field Trip Here: Exploring the Kelp Forest

Whales and Wildlife Kayak Monterey Bay More Info

Join us for a morning paddle in search of mama Gray whales with their plump babies in tow. During their spring migration to Alaska, mother and calf pairs travel close to shore through our coastal waters. Leaving from Santa Cruz Harbor we'll search for whales and other marine mammals.

9:00am-12:30pm $48 per student weekdays during April and May

Departing from Moss Landing in Search of Humpback Whales and other Marine Wildlife, 9:00am- 1:30pm Summer-Late Fall weekdays $50  More Info


Seals, Sea Birds & Shell Middens: Ano Nuevo  More Info

Ano Nuevo is rich in cultural and natural history. Students learn about the behavior of elephant seals and other marine animals. This area was once a large settlement site for the Ohlone Indians. Our day will include examining a  shell midden left by the Ohlone Indians.  Several hands on learning activities and environmental games will be offered along the way.

April-May is an excellent time to visit Ano Nuevo!

9:00am - 2:30pm

$300 for 20 students or less; $450 for 21-40 students

add $25 to include a stop for a tidepool study


Tidepools of Coastal California More Info

Learn about the ecology of tidepools and ocean awareness. Discover how tides

work, beaches form and about the survival strategies of intertidal inhabitants.

Activities may include collecting data from designated study sites, line transects and a beach discovery walk.  We gear activities to appropriate age level. 

$275 for 4 hour program in Santa Cruz County for 20 students or less

$425 for 21-40 students

Time varies with tide; for other locations please email us for fees to cover our travel cost.


Pillar Point Harbor, adjacent to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve offers a great location for tidepooling, beach exploration and beach seining! Please add $50 to the above fees to cover our travel costs


For a real adventure, consider taking your students Extreme Tidepooling!

Watch our Extreme Video   then email us for more details


         Pre Hike Activity: Building a Model of the Marsh

Hiking Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve More Info

Pescadero Marsh is a wonderful resource for students. Fronted by Pescadero Beach, our day will include studying a variety of habitats including the sandy shore, riparian and marsh. Excellent tidepools are near by if teachers would like to include an intertidal study.

10:00am - 2:00pm $275 for 20 students or less

$435 for  21-40 students

add $25 to include a stop for a tidepool study

Marine Education in the Classroom

Let us bring the field trip into your classroom. Your students will learn about the intricate adaptations of tidepool animals by carefully examining live specimens in

touch tanks. Information on migrating whales, sea turtles, the deep sea and kelp forests will be included as we review the biologically diverse

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

This curriculum is a great compliment to a day in the field tidepooling or a visit with

the elephant seals of Ano Nuevo.

$275 for one classroom; $300 split between two or more classrooms

         ( available to schools in Santa Cruz County only )



Medicine Wheel and Stream Study Site

Temperate and Tropical Rain Forests

Learn about the ecology of our temperate rain forests by joining a naturalist at Fall Creek, Nisene Mark or Henry Cowell State Park.  Students learn about the natural and cultural history of redwoods and may participate in a stream study.

10:00am - 2:00pm $275 for 28 students or less

$425 for  29-40 students

Compliment your field study with a Tropical Rain Forest Program

brought to the classroom.

$200 for 2 hour program.     

( available to schools in Santa Cruz County only )



Most field trips are taught by Kim Powell, Owner of Blue Water Ventures.

With a Masters Degree in Environmental Interpretation,

Kim has taught marine education from the elementary to

university level. Additionally, she is an ACA certified sea kayaking

instructor with 35 years experience on the water. Kim brings to

the program a great deal of knowledge, enthusiasm

and safety awareness.


International field trips to tropical destinations are also available.

Waivers are required to be completed by parents.

Kayak tours available to groups of families, friends, scouts and corporations.