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Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation


April 2015   
Check out our new Kayaking Resources tab: One stop for all the information you need to go paddling! 

 From the Prez

By Sybille Fleischmann 
Dear WKC members,
Get out and paddle!
With so many WKC paddle trips scheduled for the next weeks, it's sometimes difficult to choose a trip or squeeze in time with non-paddling friends. Join us for the upcoming Northwest Paddling Festival at Lake Sammamish State Park to introduce these non-paddling friends to kayaking, while attending some seminars and trying out the latest gear.

On May 9th, during the festival, WKC members will be leading complimentary kayak tours on Lake Sammamish and host a used gear sale. Starting at 5 pm we are inviting members to get together for a barbecue in the Rotunda at the park. If you want to help us with the events send us an e-mail.

See you on and around the water!

 Featured Trip

Lummi Island Campout: April 25 - 26

If you have not been to Lummi Rocks, it is a "hidden treasure" of the San Juan Islands. If weather conditions, time, and skills permit we will paddle to Lummi Rocks for lunch and possibly make a circumnavigation of Lummi Island over the two days. 

Bring your favorite dinner dish and we'll have a (spam free) potluck dinner. There will be a prize for best dish as judged by all in attendance (you can’t vote for yourself).
When:  April 25 - 26
Where:  Meet at Lummi Island Ferry
Trip Leader: Aragorn Mallory



 Get Fit Go Faster Paddling Clinic: March 21 - April 25

This clinic series is for everyone! In six weekly paddling sessions, build power and efficiency in your forward stroke with a progression that will get you to a race, help you shed a few pounds or prepare you for an upcoming trips. Clinics begin Saturday March 21st and continues for the next five Saturdays. 
When: Saturdays, March 21 - April 25
Where: Lake Sammamish State Park
Contact: Bill Porter

Swift Water Rescue and Safety: April 25 - 26

Instructor Casey Garland has taught this topic for decades in the U.S. and other countries.
When:  April 25 - 26
Where: Cedar River at Landsburg
Contact: Mike Grijalva
The emphasis of the program will be on assessment of the incident, and executing safe rescue scenarios, rope work, and techniques for extraction.  Participants are invited to share personal experiences and analyze incidents you have been involved in.  

 WKC Basic Sea Kayaking: June 5 - 7

Remember, what happens in class, stays in class...
Join us for a weekend of FUN and ADVENTURE as you develop your techniques and skills on the water!
When:  June 5 - 7
Where: Coronet Bay, Deception Pass
Contact: Rhonda Schwab
This course will provide beginners with a safe and fun introduction to the sport of sea kayaking. You will develop, refresh, and improve basic skills which are essential to paddling:

- Effective Paddling Skills
- Safety and Hazard Awareness
- Capsize Recovery Techniques
- Navigation, Tides and Currents
- Gear, Equipment and Clothing

 WKC Incident Management, Eddies and Currents, Rescues and Towing Clinic

What is an incident? Anything that needs urgent attention. Could be as simple as needing to take a shore break, or as major as a heart attack. What could go wrong? What can you do about it?
When: June 6 - 7
Where: Bowman Bay and Coronet Bay
The most common incidents are the ones you want to have necessary training and equipment for: Examples include; hypothermia, cuts, dry suit tears, broken paddles, capsizes, sea sickness, broken boats, bad weather, and so forth …

 Pool Sessions: Tukwila, Shoreline & Tacoma

Don’t delay as there are only a few more WKC Pool sponsored sessions left to hone those rolling and bracing skills before the summer break.  As Steve says, “it’s always better to perfect you roll in the pool than perfect your swimming in the river."
The fee for weekly pool sessions is $10 for WKC members and $15 for non-members.  
After April you’ll need to work on those skills in the river, lake or sound or wait till October for the next WKC sponsored pool. Check the Event Calendar for upcoming dates:
Remember to give your pool coordinators a BIG THANK YOU for donating their time and effort.

 News and Events


San Juan Preservation Trust is Requesting Support


SJPT is asking all those who have enjoyed access to the Vendovi Island Preserve - boaters, kayakers, hikers, birders, native plant enthusiasts, tidepoolers, beach loungers - to participate in this final fundraising push.

SJPT needs help to raise $350,000. Make a gift by June 1, 2015 and your gift will be tripled.
Bella French is looking for volunteers to assist with spring activities for the SJPT.  
April 18: Beach Clean Up on Lopez Island
May 3: Nursery Tour on San Juan Island
Late June: Seed Collectors' Training on San Juan Island

Build a Kayak at The Center for Wooden Boats

The Aleut Ikyak, also widely known as the Baidarka, has been used for thousands of years as the primary method of transportation in the Aleutian Islands. It is the acme of Arctic Native design. Build your own boat, designed to fit your skill level and body type. No experience required!

Session 1: April 4-12 at Cama Beach
Session 2: June 27- July 5 South Lake Union
Session 3: September 12-19 at South Lake Union

Washington Water Trails Association: Upcoming Events

WWTA 2015 Dinner and Live Auction
Take a trip on the wild side and join WWTA for an entertaining evening playing for a wide selection of treasures, delicious food & drink, with lots of good company. This year’s dinner will be held at the Elks in Ballard, with a water view. Register today! 

When: Saturday, April 18 from 5:30 to 10 p.m.
WWTA 2015 Rendevous Program
Stimulate your child-like curiosity with study groups about the current state of salmon and rivers in Western Washington, then go paddling on these special waterways!  First two of six classes/trips scheduled between April and September:  
April 21:  David Montgomery, Author of King of Fish
April 25:  Paddle the Deschutes River/Budd Inlet
May 12:  David Butterworth, Olympic National Park
May 16:  Paddle the Elwha River

Will YOU Accept the San Juan Seven Challenge?

Picture seven unique and beautiful islands nestled in the Salish Sea. While the first rays of the sun rising in the east strike the golden seas and the snows on Mt. Baker glisten, the paddle blade rhythmically glides through the water. These islands could be your next paddling destination if you decide to accept the San Juan Seven challenge.

WKC is offering recognition to paddlers who complete the circumnavigation of seven islands located in the greater San Juan archipelago. To receive this highly coveted and much rumored San Juan Seven award, each island must be circumnavigated while on a WKC sponsored trip.

 Volunteer to Clean-up Washington's Coast: April 25

Online registration is now open for 2015’s Washington Coast Cleanup. Get your friends and family together, make it a weekend and help clean one of over fifty beaches along the coast and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Make 2015’s WCC the most successful beach cleanup in the state’s history!

When: Saturday April 25th
Where: 50 Beaches across WA Coast and Strait of Juan de Fuca

 Alki Kayak Tours Hiring New Sea Kayak and SUP Guides

  Ali Kayak Tours is hiring new Sea Kayak and SUP guides for the 2015 season. You must be available April thru October and complete a mandatory training program.

Employment Details

 Kayak Polo Players Wanted in Kirkland

There is a group of intrepid folks who play kayak polo every Wednesday at 6 pm in Kirkland, and we need more players. Location is Marsh park at NE 67th and Lake Washington Blvd. We communicate thru a Yahoo Group creatively called "Kirkland Kayak Polo" to determine if we have enough players each week. You just show up on time with whatever you want to wear and a suspicious guy in a van provides paddles and sit on top kayaks. It is free and there are no waivers to sign. We don't keep score.
Photo credit to Ashley Landis

 Port Angeles Kayak and Film Festival: April 18 - 19

This is the only event like it in the country, highlighting and promoting ALL categories of paddling, from sea and lake to river and surf. Only at the Port Angeles Kayak & Film Festival can you learn about kayak fishing, take an Eskimo rolling class, get educated on tides and currents, learn how to land your craft in surf, watch remarkable films of folks doing amazing feats.

 Northwest Paddling Festival: May 8 - 9

The largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, the festival brings paddle sports retailers, manufacturers and athletes together in one location!

Featuring more than 60 paddle sports businesses offering canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddling equipment, accessories and gear, the Northwest Paddling Festival is a can’t-miss event for any paddling enthusiast. Attendance is free to the public. If you’d like to demo canoes, kayaks and SUPs at the event from the beach, there is a nominal $7 demo fee for the day.

SSTIKS Registration Now Open: June 12 - 14

South Sound Traditional Inuit Kayak Symposium (SSTIKS) is a family friendly weekend event featuring some of the best instructors and competitors in Greenland-style kayaking.  
Note: The registration policy has changed. Pre-registration only. No "at event" registrations will be accepted.
Photo credit to C. Reedy

Looking to Buy/Sell Used Paddling Gear?

Maybe kayaking isn't your sport.  Need to sell some gently used gear?  Looking to purchase some paddling treasure?  Check out the new WKC Classifieds Forum to list your items or to purchase kayaking gear from fellow paddlers.  Easy to follow instructions for posting items included below:

Washington State Ferries Now Accepting Reservations

The WSDOT is now accepting reservations for the following ferry routes:
- Port Townsend/Coupeville
- Anacortes/Sidney B.C.
- Anacortes / San Juan Islands (beginning Jan. 5, 2015)
Reservation holders are prioritized.  Up to 80 percent of sailing capacity can be allocated to reservations, which means drive-up passengers may wait through multiple sailings for space, if they did not make reservations ahead of time.  Keep this in mind for upcoming kayaking trips and plan ahead.

 Paddlesports North America: BCU Assessment Calendar

Thinking of earning a BCU paddling award this year?  Paddlesports North America (PNA) was formed in 2013 to provide access to British Canoeing (formerly known as the British Canoe Union or BCU) paddler awards and coaching certifications in North America. PNA emphasizes paddler proficiency and safety as well as environmental awareness while promoting broader participation in paddlesports, including canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard.

R2AK - Do You Have What It Takes?:  June 4

Race to Alaska.  Sail, row, paddle 750 cold water miles from Port Townsend to Ketchikan.  First place prize is $10,000.  Do you have what it takes?
Strategize with fellow WKC members, then register if you dare...

Paddle Oregon: August 17 - 21

Registration for Willamette Riverkeeper's 15th annual Paddle Oregon adventure is now OPEN!

Recognized as the premier paddling event on the Willamette River, Oregon's only National Water Trail, Paddle Oregon is one of the most fun, educational, and affordable multi-day supported river trips available.

For Inspiration, Trip Details, Equipment Lists, and more, visit today!

 Safety Corner

Steve Exe and Mike Grijalva are the Safety Co-chairs for the WKC. Contact them if you have safety concerns for our rivers. Please read and use the River Hazards Forum on WKC Forums page.  
Klickitat River Safety Concerns

The Klickitat River is a wonderful resource that you may want to explore. It requires a drive of about 4+ hours, but you are then in a lovely valley on the sunny side of the mountains. The access road likely won’t be covered by snow this year, so the season may start in April, instead of Memorial Day. 

 Recent Trip Reports

 Check out the new Trip Reports  tab to see more WKC kayaking adventures.  

 Swiftwater Rescue with Casey Garland

By Mike Grijalva

Fourteen paddlers attended the first Swiftwater Course of the season, taught by Casey Garland. The in-the-river portion of the class was taught at the Cedar River at Landsburg, and we spent lots of time in the water.

 Easter BC WW Trip

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

Led by Bill Petty, Doug Knapp, Jennie Goldberg, Andy Meyers, Chris Knorr and I paddled Statlu Creek (Class 3+) and Chehilis River (Class 3+) on Saturday and Coquihalla River (Class 3) on Sunday.

 Guemes Island Circumnavigation

By David Ortland

Seven WKC paddlers spent a beautiful day circumnavigating Guemes Island on Feb 22. The goal of the trip was to learn how to navigate San Jaun currents. This was a day with a southward strong ebb of 3.5 knots through Bellingham Channel, producing moderate eddies and rips to play around in. 

 Discovery Bay: Winter Paddle

By Brenna McVety

After spending some time recently in Sequim and Port Townsend, I realized I had never paddled Discovery Bay. This is a beautiful, protected body of water with few public places to launch boats - which means no boat traffic. It is a perfect spot for a winter paddle.

 Winter Break Paddle: Orcas Island

By Bill Porter
Very convenient to rent cabins at West Beach Resort which was our salt water launch spot for Saturday's trip along the west side of Orcas Island. Launching at 9:30 we paddled up to and around Pt. Doughty on our journey to Orcas Island International Airport. Magnificent views of Patos, Sucia, Matia and Clark islands and in the distance the Canadian islands with their snow peaked mountains.

 Improving Combat Rolls

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

I am not a certified kayak instructor. As a graduate of the WKC Beginner Class in 2012, I don’t have a lot of experience, either. My paddle strokes, boat control, and river reading skills need improvement, and I flip a lot. But I have one skill that often wows my fellow boaters – my combat rolls.

 God's Pocket

By Dave Ortland

Five paddle pals and I explored the north end of Vancouver Island for seven days last August. We traveled from Port Hardy to Cape Sutil and back while circumnavigating Nigei Island. This area is becoming a very popular place to paddle, and for good reason. It is easily accessible, the scenery is magnificent, and the paddling is fairly protected from the large swell of the outer coast. One must be prepared for windy and rainy conditions. Fortunately we did not encounter much wind or rain. Hopefully this trip report will help you plan your own excursion.


 Lake Crescent: Winter Paddle

By Brenna McVety

Lake Crescent is a deep, glacially created lake known for its brilliant blue, clear water. It is located in the Olympic National Park, approximately 17 miles west of Port Angeles. It is about a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive from Seattle, including a scenic ride on the Bainbridge ferry. This is a great winter paddle to consider, when conditions at the coast become too rough.

 Hood Canal Salmon and Winter Bird Watching Paddle

By Linda Cooley
The winter birds have returned, the salmon have begun their migration upstream, and power boats are tethered and dry-docked for the winter. Grab your camera and binoculars and join us on the quieter side of the Salish Sea to enjoy nature’s bounty.


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Copyright 2014 Washington Kayak Club

President: Sybille Fleischmann
Secretary: Bill Porter
Treasurer: Jackie Brown
Editor: Brenna McVety,


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