Sea Kayaking: Healing Retreat for women Survivors of Sexual Violence in the san juan islands, Washington.

September 5 - 9, 2019


On this retreat, survivors of sexual violence will engage with the healing power of nature (in the beautiful San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest), our bodies, and community, while confronting questions of what it will take to end sexual violence in the world.

This trip is designed for ALL WOMEN survivors of sexual violence who have already confronted their trauma through traditional methods like therapy and are seeking to: go deeper on their journey through new modalities and in new settings, strengthen their connection to the natural world, connect with other survivors, and learn to wield their survivorship as a tool for social justice and collective healing. We are especially seeking survivors who are aligned with intersectional feminism, as we will be exploring the ways white supremacy and rape culture are intertwined, and what can be done to end both forms of oppression. Our intention is to have a balanced cohort of women of color and white women. People without camping, swimming and/or kayaking experience are welcome!

Join us as we explore the wildness and beauty of the Salish Sea! You will paddle past the unique and numerous islands and wildlife refuges that are part of the 172 islands of the archipelago. We’ll keep a sharp eye out for wildlife including orca whales, eagles, harbor seals and the smallest of the whale family, the harbor porpoise. When we are not on the water, there will be time for slowing down and restoration through guided meditation, yoga and forest bathing. Gain skills in kayaking and camping while nurturing yourself. Build community with other women and honor what is sacred in yourself and all beings. The interconnectedness of all life surrounds us and helps guide us on this magical journey.

You will have the opportunity to watch the sun dip below the horizon from arguably the best sunset view in the archipelago and camp under the stars at scenic waterfront campsites. There will be an abundance of delicious and nourishing cuisine throughout the adventure. You will have time to explore and hike around Turn and Jones Islands and also sit quietly by the sea or take a plunge. The night paddle with bioluminescence is a rare opportunity to circumnavigate an island under the stars.

The San Juan Islands are a magical archipelago, carved from massive tectonic events, several ice ages, and the daily weathering of wind and water. Their beauty is unsurpassed and leaves one feeling as if they have traveled to a place which exists outside the rules of the rest of the world. The San Juan Islands have a well-deserved reputation as being one of the most spectacular places in the world to sea kayak.

No experience necessary; just an open heart and willingness to connect with the sacred relationships of our deepest selves, other women, and Mother Earth. We are happy to help with travel arrangements to and from San Juan Island.

On this five day, four night kayaking and camping trip, you will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of tandem sea kayaking (beginners and non-swimmers welcome).

  • Forest bathe, paddle and stargaze on some of the most beautiful islands in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Enjoy local wildlife sightings in an area known for sea lions, seals, porpoises and orca whales.

  • Build with other women survivors who are on a journey to consciously heal from trauma.

  • Engage in daily rituals, guided meditations and in-depth workshops to help you gain a different relationship to your own survivor story, mindfully examine the legacy of trauma in your life, and activate your personal power to create change (in your life and in the world).

You’ll leave renewed by intimate connection; with yourself, with nature and with other survivors.


Amita Swadhin
Irene Bailey
Aracely Lozano

Once you register, we will be in touch to schedule a 30-minute video chat to get to know each other and answer any questions you may have.

September 5: Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal 8:30 AM
September 9: Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal 2-4 PM

•All meals
•Kayaking instruction and guiding
•Kayaking gear
•Guided yoga, meditation, forest bathing & deep conversation
•Dry bags
•Transportation to and from launch site

•Transportation to and from San Juan Island
•Sleeping bag & pad (rentals available)
•Yoga Mat
•Journal/ notebook & pen
•Small backpack
•Water bottle
•Sunglasses and/or hat
•Headlight or flashlight
•Extra layers

A detailed clothing and equipment checklist
will be provided once you register.

We will be running this as a scent-free retreat. Information on how to go scent-free will be provided.

Cost: $1,599.00

Limited to 14 Participants.

*Payment Plans Available.
*Scholarships Available.
Contact us for more info.

San Juan Island info:

Wildlife around the islands.

Island Activities.

Lodging and Dining.

We will be helping to arrange a whale watching tour for after the kayaking trip for those that are interested.

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+ Day 1

Your guides will pick you up at 8:30 AM to take you to our launch site. We’ll take some time to get to know each other, connect with our intentions for the trip, create group agreements, and share our first lunch together. After packing all camping and personal gear, we’ll have a thorough orientation covering the fitting of the boat, paddling technique, safety and boat handling. We will not get on the water until everybody feels comfortable and well prepared.

Once on the water we will start developing a deeper sense of place and learn about the natural history of the San Juan Islands. Our destination for the night is Turn Island State Park. Once we arrive, you will have time to engage in a teambuilding activity, wander around the island and explore the many beaches. Your guides will prepare dinner while you get to relax with appetizers and the company of new friends.

Wind down the evening with some guided conversation and meditation under the stars. Tonight’s discussion will focus on healing through intimate connection, honoring resilience, and boosting self-love and compassion.

+ Day 2

Awaken to the sounds of the sea and welcome the morning with a guided yoga class and then indulge in a warm breakfast cooked by your guides. There will be plenty of tea and hot coffee from our on-island roaster.

We'll paddle north past numerous unique islands and wildlife refuges that help comprise the 172 islands of the archipelago, keeping a sharp eye out for wildlife including orcas, eagles, harbor seals and the smallest of the whale family, the harbor porpoise. As you look to the east, you'll have spectacular views of Mt. Baker. We will offer some time for a silent paddle to awaken all our senses. Our destination for the night is Jones Island, one of the jewels of the San Juan Islands. Jones is entirely state park and ringed with waterfront campsites and a forest of firs, madronas, cedars and Gary oak trees. It is truly a spectacular island and we will spend 3 nights here.

In the evening, we will enjoy a three-course dinner and watch the sun dip below the horizon from arguably the best sunset view in the archipelago. We’ll close the evening by a campfire under the stars, with a 90-minute ritual and meditation on feeling grief and cultivating joy. s.

+ Day 3

Enjoy a slow morning of guided yoga followed by a delicious breakfast from the dutch oven, all from the comfort of your waterfront oasis! After breakfast, we will dive into our first workshop of the day, mapping generational and historical trauma in our lives, and locating our relationship to various forms of power and privilege.

Following the workshop, we’ll on a guided “forest bathing” walk around Jones. This is a unique opportunity to slow down and really connect with the island and the more-than-human world.

We will return to camp for lunch and then break into discussion circles addressing the history of rape culture in the United States, our personal family histories of trauma and resilience, and how our own individual survivor narratives relate. Separate circles will be held for survivors of color and white survivors, with the two circles merging back together at the end of the session. After the closing circle, you will have free time to explore, relax, journal or do whatever feels most needed until dinner.

After dinner, you are invited for a guided bioluminescence night paddle to see the “stars in the water” and circumnavigate Jones Island under the stars in the sky. This night time adventure is sure to amaze you and leave you with the magic of the islands deeply rooted.

+ Day 4

Enjoy a morning yoga session and breakfast before our final workshop, exploring the concept of survivor activism and what it will take to create a world without rape. You’ll hear excerpts of stories from Mirror Memoirs, a national archive of LGBTQ+ people of color who survived child sexual abuse, specifically focused on other survivors’ visions of how humanity can end rape culture. We will end with some time for personal reflection - don’t forget your journal!

After lunch, we will paddle to explore the shoreline of Orcas Island. We will traverse the waters of migrating salmon and keep our eyes peeled for eagles, seals, porpoises, and other wildlife that follow our keystone species of the Pacific Northwest.

Our final evening together will be spent around the campfire thinking and talking about how we integrate this retreat experience into our everyday lives.

+ Day 5

Enjoy a morning yoga session and breakfast before packing up camp and revisiting the waters of San Juan Channel. We’ll dine on one last artfully prepared lunch before completing our paddle and landing back on the eastside of San Juan Island. We’ll load our gear and our paddlers and have you back to Friday Harbor between 2-4 PM to meet your Washington State ferry or continue your time on the islands.