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Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation

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2017 December Newsletter

Published on 12/16/2017


December2017 Join Our Club
Check out our Facebook Page for additional news, trips, training, and events!

From the Prez

By Mike Germani
Hey all,

We had a great year in WKC and I’d like to thank all those who helped to bring such an excellent program of events and activities to our club all year long. Your hard work is appreciated by all and I’m proud to belong to such a great family of fellow paddlers.

Please join us as we make kayaking plans for 2018. The Trip Planning Parties are coming up in January - check calendar for dates.  If you can't make it to a party, send an email to let us know what you would like to see on the 2018 Event Calendar -

We are also looking for more trip leaders, so let us know if you are interested in leading any kayaking adventures next year.  Make sure your CPR/First Aid Certification is up to date.  We are offering a custom course in January, tailored to water and wilderness setting scenarios. Limited space. Register early!

Registration for the annual WKC Beginner Whitewater Course opens Jan 1.This course fills every year, so don't miss your chance to learn the basics of running rivers from certified instructors. If you are already a whitewater paddler, join us Jan 1 for Opening Day of Boating on Cispus River.

Or decorate your kayak in lights and join the Argosy Lighted Boat Parade on Lake Union. Bundle-up and paddle around Portage Bay, then enjoy the grand performance at Gas Works Park.
WKC Pool Sessions have started.  We are trialing an online registration/payment option at the Shoreline Pool to make participation easier beginning Dec 17. January/February sessions will soon follow.  Or join Chris Brubaker in Tukwila for Kayak Polo games - check the calendar for dates.

We are beginning a WKC Speaker Series in January and have four events lined-up.The first is with Karl Kohagen from Kokatat on Jan 24.  Keep an eye out for additional dates.And let us know if you have ideas or wishes for more speakers.

Happy holidays and see you next year!

Featured Trip

Opening Day of Boating Season on Cispus River (II-III): Jan 1

Celebrate Opening Day of Boating Season - and New Year's Day - on the Cispus River, with snow gently falling on cedars, icicles decorating the seeps along the river, beautiful crystal clear blue-green waters swirling among snow-capped boulders and play-spots for all to enjoy.

When: January 1
Where: Cispus River
Organizer: Michael Deckert

Details and Registration

See our Events Calendar for more upcoming trips!


Adult CPR & Basic First Aid: Jan 27 & Feb 11

WKC is excited to offer its members a custom CPR/FA course this year!Our course will offer a blended method of delivery consisting of:

- On-line learning and exams done at the student's own pace.

- In-person skill session will be approx. 2 hours

- Also, while AED testing is required for certification, our instructor, Jan Barara, will modify her CPR/FA class to consider our wilderness setting scenarios, along river banks or on shore at sea.

Details & Registration

WKC Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Course: April 7-28

If you have been wanting to learn how to Whitewater Kayak, this course is for you!

The 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 kayak instructors.

We teach this course only annually in March, before the spring rains and the snow melts.

Registration opens JAN 1. This class fills up every year, don't wait till the last minute to register!

Register Here

WKC Basic Sea Kayaking Course: June 1-3

Join us for a weekend of FUN and ADVENTURE as you develop your techniques and skills on the water!

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

Register Here

WKC Pool Sessions: Tukwila, Shoreline, and Tacoma

Continue to build your skills at weekly pool sessions offered by WKC in Tukwila, Shoreline, and Tacoma.
The fee for weekly pool sessions is $10 for WKC members and $15 for non-members.

The pool sessions are typically available on alternating mornings and weekdays.Be sure to check the schedule - and thank your pool coordinator forvolunteeringtheir time to make the pools available!

If you have any questions about pool sessions:

News and Events

Lake Union Argosy Lighted Boat Parade: Dec 23

Come join us for the Annual Lake Union Argosy Lighted Boat Parade! If you have not experienced this yet it is a MUST! Dress warm with many layers and immersion protection and don't forget to decorate your boat!

Saturday timeline:
6-7 PM - We depart with your kayak decorated with lights or at least a rear nite safety light and many other kayakers. Come early if you need to decorate your kayak.And make sure to check your lights, you may need new batteries.

We will paddle to at least Portage Bay, meander around until the Argosy vessel arrives at Portage Bay, which has left from Kirkland. Many other kayaks, small boats, and paddle boards will also be there, all decorated.

Argosy Ship leaves Kirkland at 7 PM.
Around 8ish PM, the Argosy vessel should arrive for awhile then head to Lake Union.
Viewing Party at Gas Works Park, performance starting at 8:45 PM.

Launch fromSunnyside Street on Lake Union-
(*NOTE: thisis whereDuck Boats launch, not Waterway 18-19 as in prior years)

Contact Mark Greengo with questions.

WKC 2018 Trip Planning Parties

WW Trip Planning Party - Jan 13

We will run the South Fork of the Snoqualmie, class II+, and then rally at David and Toria's for the 2018 White Water Trip Planning Party. It should be an amazing year this year, with you all leading trips, changing lives.

The club will be providing pizza, desert, and non-alcoholic beverages. Not necessary, but if you would like, please bring a side dish to share (dessert works too). BYOB if desired.

Please bring your calendars, ideas for this years clinics, and ready to plan a super fun year of kayaking!!!

Register Here

SK Trip Planning Party - Date TBA

Check back for date & location!

WKC Speaker Series 1: Jan 24

WKC has scheduled a series of four speaker presentations this winter.Check back for remaining dates and locations:

Series 1
Karl Kohagen from Kokatat will show us what's new in the Kokatat product line, talk about what's new in the water gear industry. A good presentation for all paddlers who venture out to our chilly waters to play!

Date: Wednesday January 24th, 2018
Location: Mercer Island Library
Time: 7 pm to 8:30 pm

Series 2
Rob Avery will join us for an informative presentation on the topic of weather. Clouds, wind direction, topographical coastline features, mountains, rivers are impacts to our local weather. This will be a very helpful session for those who make the "go no-go" decisions.

Series 3
Shawna Franklin and Leon Somme from Body Boat Blade will join us for a talk entitled "Creating a life your brain wants to Live". Shawna and Leon will share a group of short stories about memorable moments in their students, friends and their lives related to paddle sports.

Series 4

John LaMunyon joins us for a talk that no doubt will help all of us who venture out on our local waters, John's talk entitled "From Fear to Freedom: Eliminating unneeded anxiety in the boat, on the water, throughout life". JOHN is a UKCC Paddlesports Coach, avid sea kayaker and canoeist, WKC member, and the Director of Headwaters Coaching.

Kayaking the World with Justine Curgenven: Jan 22

From Russia to the Canadian Arctic, Tasmania to Patagonia, Justine Curgenven shares highlights of 15 years of sea kayaking trips on 6 continents. The award-winning filmmaker tells tales of adventure, lessons learned, wildlife encounters and the kindness of strangers, traveling without leaving footprints, and silently engaging with nature.

This program will also be a fundraiser for Washington Water Trails Association - an organization working for access for kayakers and other human-powered craft.

Details & Registration

Come out to support Justine's kayaking adventures and help support WWTA!

Kayak Polo is Back!

Kayak Polo is starting again at the Tukwila pool!

WKC's NEW kayak polo chair, Chris Brubaker, has been kind enough to organize dates and invite people to come down and try it out - every other Sunday!  Check event calendar for dates:

Tukwila Pool
4414 S 144th St
Tukwila, WA 98168
8:45-10:45 am

Cost: $10 for WKC members, $15 for non-members.

Looking for members to join theteam in a tournament in San Leandro in April!

Deception Pass Dash Report & Race Results

By Chris Brubaker

Bill McKenzie, Rob Freelove, George Gronseth, a few other people, and I entered the Deception Pass Dash last weekend. Usually the race starts a half hour or so before the ebb begins, but this year they started it right as the ebb was starting, which made for a very challenging race! Paddling from Pass island straight up to Strawberry island was impossible because of the strong current (aided by the “Supermoon” of that weekend), and we had to ferry over from the top of Pass Island to the Whidby island side and work our way up in the slower current by the bank, then ferry back over to get around Strawberry and then start heading back. Most sea kayakers didn’t finish due to the strong currents, and there were several capsizes in the strong currents. The scene at Pass Island looked like a salmon run - lots of paddlers working very hard and not making any forward progress. Very exciting and tough!

2017 Race Results

Paddle Golden Gate: Jan 27 - 28

Sea kayak symposiums are designed for those wanting to take their skills to another level, in challenging ocean conditions.

The mission of Paddle Golden Gate is simple; to offer high-end professional paddlesports instruction and a quality event experience in a truly unique location. This remarkable venue provides a challenging coastal environment with strong currents and powerful swells for advanced skills training alongside protected water appropriate for novice and intermediate paddlers to develop their skills. With a focus on skills training, this unique event offers participants the opportunity to paddle with some of the world’s best instructors and athletes, in one of the finest teaching locations in the world.

Details & Registration

Other fantastic regional Kayak Symposiums

Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium
Baja Kayak Fest
Storm Gathering

UPCOMING EVENT: Winter Tutorials with Nigel Foster


As the days get dark and dreary, it's a great time to build skills and get ready for next season's Sea Kayaking adventures!Do you have the skills you need to take you to the places you want to go?

World-renowned kayaker and accomplished author, Nigel Foster, who is considered one of the most charismatic and talented instructors on the planet, has offered to present a series of classroom navigation tutorials from his new book,The Art of Kayaking,which is suitable to sea kayakers of all levels.

Topics covered include:
- Charts explained
- Basic navigation
- Tides
- Weather
- Buoys
- Transits

Course Sample

The Art of Kayaking

Check back for dates!

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 areSan 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:
February 10 - 12: Orcas Island

Contact Steven Exe for more information.

San Juan Seven Challenge

WKC Seven Rivers Challenge: 2017 End of Year Update

By Kanako Iwata-Eng, 7RC Cheerleader

We launched the Seven Rivers Challenge in 2015 to encourage our members to venture out to run rivers other than our routine runs – Snoqualmie, Skykomish and Green.

In 2017, first two members completed all 7 rivers – Nisqually, Nooksack, Sauk, Sol Duc, Stillaguamish, Wenatchee and White Salmon. Here are some stats:

- Doug Knapp and I completed all 7 rivers
- Bill Petty completed 6 rivers; Jeremy Wells and Ken Stallman follow with 5.
- 96 members earned 185 stickers.
River Member
White Salmon 34
Sol Duc 32
Nisqually 31
Sauk 29
Wenatchee 25
Stillaguamish 25
Nooksack 9

The program will go on next year. You don’t see enough 7RC trips? Organize one! The Whitewater Trip Planning party will be on Jan 13, 2018. The Trip Leader training will be on Apr 8, 2018.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the Seven Rivers Challenge program, contact me.
Kanako Iwata-Eng

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.

Team Petty Adventure: Humptulips

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

The Olympic Peninsula is known for its rain, but whenever I go to the Humptulips Narrows (Class 3), it is sunny, and my fourth visit to this river on November 18, 2017 was no exception. Captain Bill Petty, Bob Metzger from Olympia, and I launched around 12:30 p.m. under the bright sun.

Read More

Team Petty Adventure: British Columbia 2017

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

This is our fearless leader Bill Petty’s 40th year of paddling. He has been leading annual whitewater road trips to British Columbia almost every year for the past 28 years, and BC continues offering endless rivers he has never run. To paddle unknown rivers again this year, the Team headed to the northern capital of Prince George this time.

Read More

Three Sport Loop: Lake Chelan

By Rich Feffer

Rich and his wife recently completed a loop trip in the east and north Cascades -kayaking from Manson (near Chelan) to Stehekin, hiking through to Highway 20, and then cycling back to the start. Mileages were 46, 21, and 105 respectively, totaling 172 over 8 days. They enthusiastically recommend this trip if you like to combine multiple sports and get a good weather window (especially for the paddling portion).Beautiful scenery as you watch the landscape change from desert to mountains and back.

Read More

Fall in the Wall for First Timers

By Shanna Gachen

Shout-out to one of our lifetime members, Jon Almquist, who never stops volunteering his time to help others adventure and experience our beautiful rivers. Whether it's helping out with the whitewater class, heading up skill builder trips right after class, leading adventure trips to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula or pushing any level paddler to their next level - he's always game!
Thanks Jon for all your guidance!

Read More

See more trips on the Washington Kayak Club Facebook Page!

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Copyright 2014 Washington Kayak Club

President: Mike Germani
Secretary: Bill Porter
Treasurer: Jackie Brown
Editor: Brenna McVety

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