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

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May Newsletter

Published on 5/2/2016


May 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
The WKC calendar is bursting with new events!

Check out all the fun whitewater and sea kayaking adventures and new courses that we have on the calendar thanks to our volunteer trip leaders and safety boaters.Now that you are back out on the river, lake or open water, please remember to give your pool hosts a big smile and thanks when you see them "off duty" on the water. Without their willingness to commit their time and their help at the pool, we could not host the pool sessions and would miss out on a lot of winter fun.

Join us this week-end 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.

Happy paddles,

Featured Trip

7RC - Lower Peshastin - Wenatchee Combo: May 15

After a fun surfing day on the Teanaway Saturday (see calendar), we will head for the hills (or the other side of the hill anyway) for a lower Peshastin (class II+) starting at the Hwy 97 bridge that crosses over Peshastin Creek, the creek then joins the Wenatchee River (class III), and where we will continue another 6 miles to the take-out in Cashmere. If so desired, you can skip the Peshastin and also meet us where the Peshastin flows into the Wenatchee River for a fun, big water day down the "Chee" to the take-out in Cashmere.

Eligible for Seven Rivers Challenge
When: May 15
Where: Peshastin River: Hwy 97 Bridge
Trip Leader: Shanna Gachen
See our Events Calendar for more upcoming trips!


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 28 - 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

News and Events

Support WWTA and Give BIG then Support the Future of Paddling!May 3 & 5

WWTA works hard to protect our waterways.From now until May 3rd you have an opportunity to Give BIG to strengthen WWTA efforts. Give back so that all of us can continue to enjoy the beautiful paddling sites available in Washington.
And, on May 5th you're invited to an event at REI Seattle: Washington Paddles Sports: A Path to the Future. All paddlers welcome, it's an opportunity to share your vision for the future of paddlesports. Show up early and from 5:00-7:00 you'll have a chance to chat with paddling organizations and agencies and will receive an REI 20% coupon when you fill out a brief survey!

Register Here
Support more WWTA events planned for May:

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!

Kayaking Adventures to Alaska Book Launch Party: May 14

Join Susan Conrad at her book launch party at REI in Seattle on May 14: One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage.
A journey of the sea and the soul; a lesson in finding your true inside by going outside. With her world scaled to an 18-foot sea kayak and a 1,200-mile ribbon of water known as the Inside Passage, Susan set off in search of answers to questions she had never thought to ask.
In addition to answers to these questions, there will be pizza, beer, live music (by Burnt Breakfast), book signings, a slideshow presentation, and raffle drawings to benefit WWTA.
This is a FREE event but registration is encouraged via this link so they don't run out of beer and pizza!

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:
May 7: Washington Park to Friday Harbor
May 13 -15: Orcas Island Circumnavigation
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:
May 1: Middle Sauk (Class III+)
May 14: Wenatchee (Class III)
May 15: Lower Peshastin/Wenatchee Combo (Class II/III)
May 28 - 30: Sol Duc (Class II/III)
June 4: White Salmon (Class II - III)

Ski to Sea Needs Kayaking Volunteers: May 29

The annual Ski to Sea race is short kayaking volunteers this year and in need of extra safety boaters. Any help would be much appreciated!

Conditions on the bay can get quite challenging for some of the inexperienced racers depending on the wind conditions. Some years it’s quite calm for the event and no one capsizes. Other years it has been chaotic with numerous capsizes.

If you are interested in helping with this - there will be practice sessions on rescue techniques and radio communication in the up coming weeks. Contact Jeff for more info and to sign up at or phone 527-9552.

Salmon La Sac Slalom and Music Weekend: June 4 - 6

Slalom Race!! Kid’s Scavenger Hunt! Downriver Race! Music Jammin’ around the Campfire! Whitewater River Runs from class II to more! Great Hiking! Fun Camping!

Location: The event is at the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Salmon la Sac campground which is right at the slalom race site. It’s a perfect campground for kids and non-paddling family members, also. There is a camping fee. Hiking and Mountain biking opportunities are right there.

Event Details

Northwest Slalom Cup Race Dates

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!

2016 Kayaking Events

Don't miss out on these great opportunities to enjoy the water.Start planning your 2016 kayaking adventures now!
Sea Kayaking Event Links and Dates:
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:
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 for ACA 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.

Recent Trip Reports

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

Nisqually River - 7 River Challenge

By Shanna Gachen

The Nisqually River is fed from the slopes of the Nisqually Glacier on Mt Rainier. The river is regulated by the two dams upstream, the first being the Alder dam and the lower one being the La Grande dam, however, sometimes when there's too much water or not enough, the dams can control the flow allowing boating most of the year throughout this river reach.

Down River Play Clinic

By Paul Brower
There are times I don’t like being a beginner at a sport and this was one of those times. The first time I remember feeling this way was when my kids talked me into giving up skiing and taking up snowboarding. Going back to falling when I got off the chair lift and having to stay on the bunny slopes is hard when you yearn to be up on the diamond runs on your skis.

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.

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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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