Marine Navigation

Marine Navigation

Marine Navigation will teach you how to use a marine chart and simple found tools to plot a course for planning your next paddling trip.

Learn to read a marine chart, take bearings, use navigational vectoring and use a VHF radio to assist in your expedition planning.

Class Schedule 2023 – TBA or Private Class

Your Instructor – Scott Dahlquist or Robert Nissenbaum

Core Skills You’ll Gain

  • How to read nautical chart NOAA chart 1 – Chart of the San Juan Islands
  • Learn how to plot your course by shooting a bearing
  • Find how to use navigational vectoring
  • Shoot a bearing to plot Heading or Ferry Angle
  • Calculate speed made good
  • How to use basic found tools for use in marine navigation
  • Which apps to use for marine navigation
  • How to print and laminate your own charts
  • How to use a VHF radio for personal and emergency communication plus marine weather


Student Benefits

  • Instructor Follow-up After Class – We’ll send you a summary of skills you learned in your lesson as well as our favorite marine weather and tides apps.
  • You’ll able to join our Facebook Alumni Group to continue learning and for connecting with other paddlers.
  • SBP owner Rob Casey is always available to help you find paddling gear, find places to paddle and help you get to your next level.
  • Receive a Salmon Bay Paddle sticker!



Group Class Schedule:

  • This is a land based lecture format class, no paddling involved.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: Ballard Elks Club, Seattle, 10am start or Olympic Peninsula
  • Who Should Take This Class? Kayakers, rowers and paddle boarders and/or other watercraft folks!  Any skill level. Great for Seventy48 training.
  • Capacity: 10 people
  • Requirements: Must speak and/or understand English



259 per person for 4-8 people.

Contact me for a schedule or to plan a private session.

“Today was awesome. I stepped way out of my comfort zone. That’s what took me so long to decide if I was driving or paddling. Once again, I thank the skills and confidence Robert gave me. I still don’t feel I could easily self rescue but where we paddled today I felt that even if I went in, I’d be okay.

6 months ago that wouldn’t have been the case. And I really appreciate your tip on my bent arms. It felt awkward to me, but I definitely felt the difference in power. I will use that next weekend when we paddle our 26 miles of Lake Cushman, so thank you!”

- Dnitra Ayers

“Salmon Bay Paddle is a great place to take kayak class.  I learned from Robert in a private class
He helped me to advance a lot, especially in recovery techniques, strokers and many other things

He is a very devoted coach giving very helpful individualized instructions. Also he helped me a lot with selecting gear
I highly recommend Salmon Bay Paddle”

- Andrei L

“I had a bit of time in Seattle and signed up for this class having never done a class before. I was able to set my own time with Rob, the owner. In short, Rob is an excellent teacher. He was extraordinarily thorough and responsible about going over all the basics about skills and safety before we ever got out on the water.”

- Leah P

I took the SUP 2 basics class with Rob and I’m certainly glad I did. Rob has significant experience paddling our local waterways so I also learned about wind, tides/currents, etiquette, gear/apparel, motor boat behavior, and safety. Rob’s style is friendly but serious, patient, and fun. In addition to SUP 2 basics, Rob even included some freighter wave surfing! I recommend taking this course whether you’re new to paddling like me or already great at it, you’ll definitely expand your knowledge, skills, and confidence.
Andy Delano

I wish everyone could take a class or two with Rob so that we could have more safe and prepared paddlers. Very fun and interesting experience. I learned about local water conditions, equipment, technique, safety and local places to go paddle. Great investment overall. I’m planning on signing up for more classes with Rob and his team.  (May 2021)
Yamil M

Rob presented an excellent class to me. He tailored it to my level and gave me lots to think about and practice. Since I primarily want to explore the local Puget Sound, the class helped me to feel comfortable interpreting the wind, currents, and tides. I am now able to use the tide table and wind charts and know what to expect and what I can handle safely. Rob was all about safety and I appreciated his caring and professional attitude. Game changer class. A must-do for anyone wanting to be safe and be good. Thank you Rob!  (May 2021)
Rachel O

I conquered several fears paddling in currents and surfing waves and owe it to Rob, where safety and professional instructions are Salmon Bay Paddle’s top priorities!

- Margrit Ralph

I’ve been paddling on flat water for about a year and thought I was pretty good.  Then Rob patiently explained how to make my paddling more efficient, how to deal with swells and choppy water and how to be more comfortable and safe on the board.  In one hour, I became a much better paddler.  If SUP is new to you or if you’ve been at it for a while, Rob will help you have more fun on a paddle board.

- Karsten Hagen, Bend

“I wanted to pull two visiting teenage girls out of their comfort zone of shopping, make-up and Netflix. Having personally taken lessons with Rob a couple years ago, I contacted him to see if we could arrange something. Instructor Joe McColskey, a former high school teacher and personal trainer was up to the challenge. The girls really enjoyed their SUP Basics session.”

- Lynn P

“Rob is a fantastic stand up paddle board instructor. His knowledge of the sport and the local waters is remarkable. I’ve been out for a couple of lessons with him now and I’ve learned a lot and become a better paddler each time. I especially appreciate his commitment to safety and doing things the right way. He’s also just a good dude and I highly recommend him to anyone interested in SUP.”

- Shanon Dell, Sequim