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

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January 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 and David Ortland
Dear WKC members,
We wish you all the best for the New Year with many kayaking adventures and good times with your paddle friends!  As we start to plan our trips for this year, we want to remind you about our insurance requirements. They are simple:
1) Everyone on a trip needs to read and sign a waiver - including the trip leader and safety boaters. The waiver signing process is part of trip registration using our event calendar. All you have to do is click a box. Please take a few minutes to read "Responsibilities of Trip Participants" (under Events tab).
2) One person on each trip must be CPR/FA certified. To meet this second obligation, it is easiest if we require a trip leader or co-leader to have the certification. WKC will work to help trip leaders achieve CPR and First Aid (FA) certification. Let your Trips Chair know if you are interested in becoming CPR and First Aid certified.
We have set up a database to keep track of who in the club has CPR/FA certification. If you do have certification, please log into the web site, go to your member profile page (link by moving cursor over your name at upper right), click on 'Additional Member Data' and enter the certification you have and the date it expires. Also, as a courtesy, contact the WW Trip Chair (Aamie Benson <>) or SK Trip Chair (David Ortland <>) and let them know you are certified.

We are looking forward to paddling with you in 2015!

 Featured Trip

2015 WKC Trip Planning Parties: January 24 and January 25*

We need your help dreaming up trips and providing a full calendar of trips for 2015. Please consider joining your paddle pals at a trip planning party this month! These planning parties are always fun and also a great opportunity for paddlers new to our community to meet WKC trips leaders and fellow kayakers. Make sure your dream paddle is included on the roster in 2015.  If you are unable to attend, please contact Aamie or David and share your ideas.  
WW Trip Planning Party
When:  January 24
Where:  TBD
Contact: Aamie Benson
  SK Trip Planning Party
When:  January 25*  
Where:  Bellevue, WA
Contact: David Ortland

 *Note: Date Change


ACA Whitewater Certification Course: Jan 29, 30, 31 and Feb 7, 8

Have you ever considered becoming an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified kayak instructor or want to take your paddling to a higher level? If you love kayaking and are passionate about helping others experience the magic of this sport, then you should give this course some serious thought. 
We have invited:
J.R. Weir
Owner of Sundance Kayak School
to teach the
ACA Instructor Certification Course! 

January 29, 30, 31st and February 7th & 8th.

 WKC Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Course: Feb 28 to March 21 

If you have been thinking about learning to Whitewater Kayak - Now is the time! This course is designed for the person with no prior boating experience. You will learn basic paddle and bracing strokes, how to roll a kayak, river hydrology, and safety, all in a relaxed and friendly environment from certified instructors.
2015 Schedule:
The class combines 7 sessions of classroom, pool, and lake/river instruction, held in the South Seattle area and on nearby rivers on weekends from Feb 28 to Mar 21.

 Pool Sessions: Tukwila, Shoreline & Tacoma

Continue to build your skills at weekly pool sessions offered in Tukwilla, Shoreline, and Tacoma.  
The fee for weekly pool sessions is $10 for WKC members and $15 for non-members.  
Check the Event Calendar for upcoming dates:
If you have any questions about pool sessions:

 News and Events

 Need Some Paddling Inspiration for 2015?

Review Canoe & Kayak's Top 10 Stories of 2014 and think about where you would like to take your paddling this year.
What trips, programs, training, or other initiatives can WKC offer to help you meet your paddling goals in 2015?  Please take a moment and share your thoughts with the club.  We appreciate your input as we plan for 2015.

 Race Results for the 9th Annual Deception Pass Dash

Photo credit to Drea Park
The PNW's most adventurous winter race took paddlers through the swirling waters of Deception Pass this December 13th and 14th.  The event was a great success.  A special thank you to organizers of "The Dash", Bill and Karen Corson from Outdoor Adventure Center of Index, WA, who have been hosting the race since 2008.  Read more about the day's thrilling victories and agonizing defeats as featured in this recent Canoe and Kayak article:

 WWTA Announces Two New Initiatives for 2015

Since 2002, when WWTA first added detailed site information to their website, access to that information has been restricted to WWTA members. 
WWTA is excited to announce that all detailed online water trail site information will be OPEN TO ALL-COMERS as of January 2015!

The Education Series will be held each month through to the fall of 2015 as an ongoing fundraiser for WWTA. All classes will take place one evening on a weeknight at the Good Shepherd Center.

Karl Kohagen will be the first instructor with Cold Water Immersion on Thursday, January 22nd. Class will start at 7:00pm.

 Vote for 2014 World Paddle Award Recipients

The World Paddle Awards (WPA) is held annually, celebrating the most remarkable men and women from the world of paddlesports along with their achievements from the previous calendar year. The awards recognise the diversity of people and organisations in our community and honour the hard work they put into our sport. Vote now and choose which paddler you want to receive The Golden Paddle for dedication to the sport in 2014.

 Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer to Circumnavigate Jamaica by Kayak

On December 30, 2014, acclaimed sea kayakers Mark Tozer and Helen Wilson will team with Jamaican resident Wes Moses to begin a 635-mile circumnavigation of Jamaica, the largest island of the Commonwealth Caribbean. To their knowledge, they will be the first people to attempt this circumnavigation. They will start and finish in the historic Port Royal, and paddle counter-clockwise. Their plan is to finish by the end of January.
Read more about their adventure:
 Photo credit to Loren Sztajer

 Changes to Posey Island State Park Campsite Reservations

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission would like the boating public to know about changes to campground reservations for Posey Island State Park, a small one-acre marine camping park near Roche Harbor on San Juan Island.
The changes go into effect in January and include limits to length of stay and number of visitors allowed:  

 Storm Gathering USA - Trinidad, CA: March 6 - 8

Storm Gathering USA events are sea kayak symposiums designed for those wanting to take their skills to the next level. Organized by Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer, the symposium aims to bring together sea kayakers from all over the globe to celebrate the ocean that we love so much. Classes will emphasize skills development for paddling in challenging conditions, which may include surf, rock gardens and open crossings. Coaches this year include; Nigel Foster, Rob Avery, Bryant Burkhardt, Cate Hawthorne, Pat Kuthe, Ben Lawry, and many more...

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:

 Camping Recipe: Thai Curry with SPAM and Tofu

Please submit your favorite camping recipe to and we will add to our recipe collection (located under Camping Tips on the Kayaking Resources tab).  We will select the best recipes and share in an upcoming campsite cooking class to inspire better cooking while paddling.  
By David Ortland
Thai Curry with Spam and Tofu
1-2 Tbs Mae Ploy curry paste (red, green or panang)
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs sugar
chunk of ginger
a few cloves garlic
Veggies of your choice (sweet peppers, bamboo shoots, broccoli, peas or pea pods, etc. etc)
1 Tub tofu
1 can Spam (teriyaki is an excellent choice)

San Juan Preservation Trust: 2014 Annual Update

Thank you for your volunteering your time in 2014. Last year, the SJPT permanently protected an additional seven properties, including 230 acres and 7,146 feet of shoreline on four islands. These include 95 acres of working farmland (on Lopez and San Juan); 60 acres of shoreline salmon and forage fish habitat (on Stuart Island); and 75 acres in three forested parcels that connect and expand previously-protected Preservation Trust lands (on Orcas, San Juan and Lopez).  Future acquisition projects include land on Waldron, Orcas, Blakely, Sinclair, San Juan, Shaw and Henry Island (among others).


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...

 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. Latest post is on log dangers on the Headworks section of the Green.
Welcome to the 2015 Paddling season! The continued mild temperatures and ample precipitation in the Pacific Northwest mean plenty of paddling opportunities to start the New Year. On a more solemn note, the two recent paddling fatalities, an expert paddler with a strong team on Robe Canyon and a solo sea kayaker paddling in calm condition near Bainbridge Island, give ample reason to pause and consider the risks associated with paddling.
On November 30, 2014, renowned kayaker and third year UW medical student Xavier Engle was killed in a tragic kayaking accident in the Robe Canyon of the Stillaguamish River. Engle was known for not only his world class kayaking skills, but also for his varied academic and medical pursuits, his humility and care for the less fortunate, and his intense zest for life. Engle touched deeply the lives of many who knew him.

 Recent Trip Reports

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

 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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