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

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April WKC Newsletter

Published on 4/12/2016


April 2016 Join Our Club
Check out our Kayaking Resources tab: One stop for all the information you need to go paddling!

From the Prez

By Sybille Fleischmann
We challenge you!

This month we are launching a new challenge. The WKC seven river challenge is challenging whitewater kayakers to dust of their kayaks and explore Nisqually, Nooksack, Sauk, Sol Duc, Stillaquamish, Wenatchee and White Salmon on upcoming WKC Trips.

For sea kayakers this is the time to get started or advance towards the San Juan Seven Challenge. There are several circumnavigations in the San Juan Islands posted in April and May at different skill levels. I am looking forward to crown the first San Juan Seven Circumnavigators.

Not yet ready for the challenge? Need new equipment or flatwater practice before you are up for the challenge. Join us at the Northwest Paddling Festival May 6 and 7. WKC volunteers are needed to help with kayak trips and other activities at the festival. Details here. Your assistance is appreciated!

Happy paddles,

Featured Trip

SJ7 - Flower Show Grand Adventure: April 23 - 24

We will ride the big currents this weekend. On Saturday, we will ride the flood up Bellingham Channel to Vendovi Island and visit the flower meadows on the S side. Then onward to the DNR campground near the S tip of Lummi where we will spend the night. On Sunday we will ride the ebb down the W side of Cypress, visit Strawberry Island where there yet another spectacular flower meadow, the return to our cars.

This trip could qualify as a Cypress + Sinclair circumnavigation - a twofer!

When: April 23 - 24
Where: Launch from Washington Park
             Anacortes, WA
Trip Leader: David Ortland
See our Events Calendar for more upcoming trips!


WKC Spring Skills Clinics

Are you ready to paddle this season? Dust off your kayak and brush up on your SK and WW skills this spring in one of these FREE clinics offered by WKC.
Don't let this be you:Watch Video
SK - Spring Warm Up Paddle #2: April 30
Ease into the paddling season with a 5-7 mile paddle along Lake Sammamish shoreline.This is the first in a series of several fitness paddles to be offered this spring.
SK - Rescue Rodeo: April 9
Dress for cold water immersion, bring lunch, warm drink, boat, paddle, PFD, paddle float, tow belt etc.We will practice on five solo rescues and five partnered rescues on Lake Goodwin.
WW - Class II Skills Refresher: April 20
Let's do some class II+ skills practice. Are you comfortable with the basic river skills (peel-outs, eddy turns, ferries, etc.) on class II, but want to step it up, practice in a more challenging environment, or learn a few more tricks? If so, sign up here.
WW - Down River Play Day Clinic: April 16
The first session will be considered an intro day, where we will work on having fun in rapids instead of just getting through them. The day will consist of possibly multiple laps on a single rapid or lapping the entire section of river we decide to use.

WKC River Rescue Course: May 28 - 29

Dr. Whitewater, Casey Garland, will again present a river rescue course for WKC members. The emphasis of the program will be on the assessment of an 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.
When: May 20 - 29
Where: Mike's House & Cedar River, Issaquah
Contact: Mike Grijalva

WKC Basic Sea Kayaking Class 2016: June 3 - 6

This course will provide beginners with a safe and fun introduction to the sport of sea kayaking.
When: June 3 - 6
Where: Coronet Bay Environmental Learning Center                    Deception Pass State Park
Contact: Rhonda Schwab
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 Advanced Skill's Development & Wilderness Camping Class: June 24 - 26

Develop and expand your current Sea Kayaking skills and judgment. In this class, you will learn efficient paddling and boat handling technique, effective capsize recovery skills and correct bracing techniques, which includes a new section; Wilderness Camping!

· Thursday, June 24- Washington Park, Anacortes
· Friday, June 24- Pelican Beach campsite
· Saturday, June 25- Deception Pass campground
· Sunday, June 26- Bowman Bay
Contact: Rhonda Schwab

Surf Zone Clinics For Surf / WW / SOT And Sea Kayaks: Aug 13 - 14

Photo credit to Sean Watson
The surf zone is an amazing environment for developing many kayaking skills at once and it can be a fun place to learn! Improve bracing, balance and edging skills and progress in stroke proficiency. You will learn new techniques for reading moving water and have opportunities to practice the skills in a supportive environment. For more advanced paddlers, begin to learn, improve or refine surfing maneuvers and skills.
When: August 13 - 14
Where: Neah Bay / Hobuck Beach
Contact: Hamp All

Intro to Surf and Rock Gardens: August 14

Photo credit to Gary Luhm
Introduction to kayak handling skills and strokes in moving water along a coastal environment - where the sea meets the shore. Learn how to read the water, develop skills to maneuver your kayak through some surf, and in moving water in rocky environments. Learn to identify safe zones, play zones, transition zones, and hazard zones.
When: August 14
Where: Neah Bay / Hobuck Beach
Contact: Deb Volturno

Pool Sessions: Tukwila, Shoreline, and Helene Madison

The fee for weekly pool sessions is $10 for WKC members and $15 for non-members.
Tukwila Pool will be open every Sunday in February, March and April.We are looking for volunteers to help out with this additional opening.If you are willing to volunteer please contact Steve Exe at

Helene Madison Pool starting Thursday, February 25th, will be open evenings 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. every other Thursday. Look on the schedule on WKC website for upcoming dates.

Shoreline Pool will reopen in October 2016. It is closed due to maintenance.

Check the Event Calendar for upcoming dates:

News and Events

Congratulations 2016 WW Class Graduates!

By Shanna Gachen
What a fantastic group of enthusiastic beginner whitewater students we had this year. We had a class of 17 students ranging in age from 16 to ? (a wide variety of ages none-the-less) which always makes the course fun, especially when we're trying to explain "High-five" paddling while referencing the movie "Borat" and his unforgettable sayings "Very nice", "High-five" ..ha!

WKC Cedar River Race Results & Northwest Slalom Cup Race Dates

Over 20 paddlers enjoyed paddling and improving their paddling skills practicing on the slalom gates on the Cedar River on March 19. A great crew of volunteers fixed up our permanent course the weekend before including whacking a ton of blackberries out of the way. Temperatures were in the 70's! It was a delightful day. The flow was perfect, too - about 830 cfs.
The Northwest Slalom Cup continues in 2016. Highly valuable points are awarded at each race. The best 6 out of 8 race results are totaled for fabulous awards. Come out and compete or just learn some whitewater slalom moves and have some fun!

Port Angeles Kayak and Film Festival: April 22 - 24

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 a Kayak rolling class, get educated on tides and currents, learn how to land your craft in surf, watch remarkable films of folks doing amazing feats, and enjoy Saturday evening’s keynote presentation by award winning adventure and filmmaker Justine Curgenven!

Reel Paddling Film Festival: April 22

Join Mountain to Sound Outfitters & Alki Kayak Tours on April 22nd/ Earth Day to celebrate the beginning of Spring at the 2016 Reel Paddling Film Festival,Seattle Screening! It's going to be a great evening of short paddle films, food, drink, gear raffles and not to mention a community event for paddlers from all over Seattle to meet!
The Film Festival will showcase films that highlight sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and water safety with a variety of gear raffles between each film from Smith Optics, Aquaglide, Stohlquist, MTI, Aquabound & more.
When: Friday April 22nd, 2016 | 7:15pm-10pm
Where: Pershing Hall | 3618 SW Alaska St, Seattle, WA 98126
What: A Series of short films | Cash bar | Gear Raffles
Tickets: Advance $12 | At the door $15 ( all ages welcome!)
Buy Tickets and View Trailer

Alder Creek Spring Paddle Festival: April 23 - 24

Warm-up for the coming paddling season with Alder Creek Kayak at the 24th Annual Spring Paddle Festival at Vancouver Lake Park. FREE demos and classes. Try before you buy. Take advantage of special deals during the Spring Sale. Enjoy the annual Jantzen Beach Jamboree featuring live music, BBQ, and beverages!
All events are free and open to the public

Northwest Paddling Festival: May 6 - 7

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.
Volunteers are needed! Represent the club and offer a hand at the event to fellow paddlers.Your time is greatly appreciated!

20K Race Redmond to Kenmore: May 21

Come participate in the Kenmore Waterfront Activities Center (KWAC) race from Redmond to Kenmore on Saturday, May 21st.
This year marks the second year of competition for all human powered boats along the Sammamish River, (a.k.a. the slough). The distance is approximately 20k.
Open to all hand powered watercraft: canoe, kayak, SUP, outrigger, dragonboat.
PRIZE MONEY for top place in each category!

For further information, you may contact Sheri Baker at 206-353-9256 or email

Come to win or come for fun!

WKC San Juan Seven Challenge

We love circumnavigating islands and want to encourage more paddlers to join the fun, so we have launched the San Juan Seven Challenge.
The seven islands selected for the San Juan Seven challenge are San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, Cypress, Guemes, Lummi, and Stuart.

You can circumnavigate the islands in any order that you like and can take as much time as you need or want to circumnavigate each island. To qualify for badges you need to circumnavigate the island during a WKC trip that has been announced on the WKC website.
Upcoming WKC Trips:
April 23:Lummi Island
April 23:Flower Show Grand Adventure
May 7:Washington Park to Friday Harbor
Contact Steven Exe for more information.

San Juan Seven Challenge

WKC Seven Rivers Challenge

WKC members who participate in club trips to the seven designated rivers will receive collective paddle/boat stickers designed by a whitewater kayaker and artist Zeus Rudner.
Challenge yourself to get all seven stickers! When a member completes all seven rivers, he/she will receive a finisher’s sticker. To make it easy to keep track, participants must register for the club trip online.

The designated rivers and in Seven Rivers challenge are: Nisqually, Nooksack, Sauk, Sol Duc, Stillaguamish, Wenatchee, and White Salmon
Upcoming WKC Trips:
April 23:Nisqually (Class II/III)
May 1: Middle Sauk (Class III+)
May 15:Lower Peshastin/Wenatchee Combo (Class II/III)

2016 Kayaking Events

Don't miss out on these great opportunities to enjoy the water.Start planning your2016 kayakingadventures now!
Sea Kayaking Event Links and Dates:
Baja Kayak Fest April 15 - 18
Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium May 2 - 8
SSTIKS (S.Sound Trad. Inuit Kayak Symposium) June 10 - 12
Hobuck Hoedown October 1 - 2
Gales Storm Gathering - Michigan October 6 - 9
Lumpy Waters - Oregon October 7 - 9
WW Kayaking Event Links and Dates:
Northwest Creeking Competition April 9 - 10
Alder Creek Kayak Festival April 23 - 24
Green River Clean-up April 30
Bend Paddle Festival April 30
Chilliwack River Festival May 6
Little White Salmon Race May 7
Lochsa River Madness May 27 - 30
North Fork Championships
June 16 - 18
Payette River Games June 17 - 19
Wausau Jackson Freestyle Clinic & Midwest Freestyle Championships August 18 - 21
Hobuck Hoedown October 1 - 2

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 WKC Classifieds Forum to list your items or to purchase kayaking gear from fellow paddlers.Easy to follow instructions for posting items included below:

Schedule forACA and PNA (formerly BCU) Paddler Certifications

Thinking of taking your paddling skills to the next level?Become ACA or PNA (formerly BCU) certified this season. Special awards signify specific paddling, safety and leadership skills at different levels and in various craft. These awards provide a way to track your own progress as a paddler, and give others a reliable indication of your preparedness for trips and further trainings. Improve your skills or become a certified coach and lead others on the water:
ACA Certification
Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling.River, coastal, and surf kayaking certifications offered.
PNA Certification
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, including canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard.

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.

Remembering Wolf Bauer

By Mike Grijalva

The best boating trips I have ever been on, involved a group of experienced people who looked out for each other's safety. Many of the people I would consider in this category I have met thru clubs that promote training and leadership in the sport. The man who started the first boating club in the Seattle area, which is now known as the Washington Kayak Club, was Wolf Bauer. This man who recently passed away, was a leader in many areas of sport, and his life story is inspiring. I think you would like this book.

Recent Trip Reports

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

Possession Sound Whale Hunt: March 19

By David Ortland
On March 19, the Vernal Equinox this year, I led my annual whale hunting trip out of Mukilteo On this occasion the famous grey whale Patch hunted us instead. Fifteen paddlers set out on a lovely calm day from the new park next to the Boeing pier in Mukilteo. I like to take a lot of paddlers because some are needed for whale bait. It works.

SJ7 - Cypress Island Circumnavigation: March 18

By Bill Porter
We launch at 8:05 am on a beautiful 37degree morning under bright sunny skies from Young's Park on the north end of Guemes Island. Headed west then south paddling down Bellingham Channel towards the south end of Cypress Island.

Outdoor Adventures First Aid/CPR Training for Kayakers

By Tomas Tabisola
If you've never been to Index, a little town on the Skykomish River, you'll have to visit it next time you want or need to take a short road trip, put in for a WW adventure, go fishing for salmon and/or steelhead, spend the night in a haunted hotel, or just have lunch at a rustic cafe on the river run by Bill and Karen Corson.

Team Petty Adventure - Lower Dosewallips

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

On Friday, February 12, 2016, Captain Bill Petty, Pete, Doug, and I headed to the Dosewallips. Our original plan of running the Hamma Hamma was postponed due to the high water combined with our unfamiliarity with the river. Because three of us had just run the Lower Dosewallips on last New Year’s Eve, we thought it wouldn’t be too bad. A Port Angeles boater Colin joined us at the take-out, Dosewallips State Park.

River Helper Training Day

By Shanna Gachen
What a fun day at the pool, followed by a session on the Snoqualmie River Powerhouse section. The goal for the day was to train the helpers who have volunteered to assist with the 2016 WKC Whitewater Kayaking Course. It also gave the instructors the opportunity to refresh our memories and try out new teaching techniques.

Team Petty Adventure - New Year's OP

By Renee Paradis
I had the best time bringing in the New Year in 2016 – I joined Bill Petty, Kanako, and crew for a class II/II+ adventure weekend on the north Olympic Peninsula.A perfect level of difficulty for me, since I haven’t really kayaked in over two years.

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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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