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

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February 2018 Newsletter

Published on 2/17/2018


February 2018 Join Our Club
Check out our Facebook Page for additional news, trips,training, and events!

From the Prez

By Mike Germani
This is the best time of year to work on your skills for the upcoming paddling season, so we have filled the calendar withtraining events!

There are three American Canoe Association (ACA) assessment & development events planned. Through the ACA certification process you will learn a specific and proven set of paddlesports best practices, generally considered the "gold standard" amongst paddlers.

Or spend a day with Kayak Academy to Transition to a Greenland Paddle. Karl has loaners available if you are interested in trying before buying.

WKC Beginner Whitewater Course is FULL again this year - but there is a wait list for those interested.

Casey Garland returns to present a course on River Safety, rope utilization, and rescue techniques. Team leadership and rescue planning will also be covered to achieve the best results in a rescue effort.

And there is still space left in the WKC Basic Course - register early toreserve your spot!

The annual LaPush Kayak Surf Pummel is the weekend after President's Day, Feb. 24-25. As always, we are expecting sunny skies, warm gentle offshore winds blowing the tops off beautiful glassy 6 foot waves.

And don't miss the next WKC Speaker Series - March 6Tall Tales & Ales: WKC members share stories of Snowbird paddling in the Bahamas followed by a British Columbia coastal paddle to Bella Bella - at Odin Brewing Company.

We also want to acknowledge the loss of a young member of the kayaking community, Sam Grafton, who died tragically on the Snoqualmie River this month.Details for his memorial are included below.  Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Featured Trip

Washington Park / Burrows Island- March 3

We will meet at Washington Park at 10am, launch at 11, then circumnavigate Burrows Island, having lunch at Burrows Lighthouse, returning to Washington Park by 4pm.

Date/Time: March 3 at 10am
Location: Washington Park, Anacortes, WA
Trip Lead:Aaron Shaw

Details & Registration
See our Events Calendar for more upcoming trips!


ACA Level 2 / Level 3 Assessment, and Coastal Kayak Instructor Development

For almost 40 years, the American Canoe Association (ACA) has been the leader in paddlesports education. The ACA's National Paddlesports Instruction Program is widely considered the "Gold Standard" in the U.S. and abroad. Through the certification process you will learn a specific and proven set of paddlesports best practices.

Mike Germani has organized three events providing you with the opportunity to receive your ACA assessment for two levels of kayaking, then learn coastal kayak leadership skills through an instructor development course:

ACA Level 2 Assessment: Feb 24
Register Here

ACA Level 3 Assessment: Feb 25
Register Here

Coastal Kayak Instructor Devel L2/L3: April 6-8
Register Here

Transition to the Greenland Paddle: March 10

This course by Karl Guntheroth from Kayak Academy is for experienced kayakers who are thinking about switching to a Greenland paddle (GP). It is great if you own a GP, but loaner paddles are available. This is a broad survey of technique, and not expected to reach perfection in any particular skill. Karl will cover paddle selection, bracing, forward strokes, maneuvering, rescues and stupid kayak tricks. This is not a course for beginners. You should know basic safety, maneuvering and forward strokes.

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.


Register Here

River Safety & Rescue with Casey Garland: April 14 - 15

Casey Garland will again present a course on river safety, rope utilization and rescue techniques. Team leadership and rescue planning will also be covered to achieve the best results in a rescue effort.

This class is great for a beginning whitewater kayaker or even a kayaker looking to tune up their rescue skills.

2-day class (Sat/Sun); Max 12 participants

4/14 (Sa) 9am - 5pm
4/15 (Su) 9am - 5pm

Lectures will be held at Mike Grijalva's house Saturday morning before heading to the river. River work will likely be on the Cedar River, Landsburg site.

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

La Push Pummel: Feb 25 - 26

The annual LaPush Kayak Surf Pummel is the weekend after President's Day, Feb. 24-25, 2018. As always, we are expecting sunny skies, warm gentle offshore winds blowing the tops off beautiful glassy 6 foot waves.

The Surf Pummel is a non-competitive gathering of kayakers and friends at LaPush, WA. Winter surf tends to be big and often more kayakers become spectators than paddlers, but it's all good. LaPush is literally a picture postcard kind of place (featured in the "Twilight" movies) with beautiful day hikes and whitewater rivers nearby for those who don't go out in the surf.

Event Details

Memorial Service for Sam Grafton: March 3

Sam Grafton was a kayaker and volunteer firefighter/EMT who tragically drowned while kayaking with friends on Snoqualmie River in North Bend on Feb 11.Our condolences for this sad loss of a young life.

A memorial will be held on Saturday, March 3 from 1pm to 10pm in Skykomish/Monroe - Location TBD.

There will be a space for prepared speeches. Please feel free to submit videos, pictures and stories to be shared.

~A Sky paddle will take place after the service
~An intimate gathering will follow at the River House in Index.

Memorial Page

WKC Speaker Series 2: Tall Tales & Ales - March 6

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

Series 2
Tall tales about snowbird paddling in the Bahamas followed by a British Columbia coastal paddle to Bella Bella. Enjoy a beer with the presentations!

Date: March 6 from7 pm to 10 pm
Odin Brewing Company
Westfield Southcenter Mall
402 Baker Blvd
Tukwila, WA 98188

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.

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!

Baja Kayak Fest: April 13- 19

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

This is a rough water event for experienced sea kayakers. You don't have to be a super star, but you should be comfortable paddling 10-15 miles in a day and are well-practiced at capsize recovery techniques. You should be comfortable in small surf and bumpy water. Our location is a rocky peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean and provides the perfect playground for kayakers! We will offer day trips for pure fun and rock-garden play, as well as skills development courses. Top coaches from the Pacific coast will mentor groups of 4-6 paddlers at a time!

Details & Registration

Other fantastic regional Kayak Symposiums

Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium
Storm Gathering

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:
February 10 - 12: Orcas Island

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:
Mar 3 - Middle SF Stillaguamish III+
Check Events Calendar for more dates
If you have any questions or suggestions about the Seven Rivers Challenge program, contact:
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.

Lake Union Argosy Lighted Boat Parade: Dec 23

By Mike Greengo

Twas the eve of the eve of Christmas in 2017, when the Argosy Cruises of Seattle, Washington were featuring their finale event, the 68th Annual Christmas Ship Festival, leaving Kirkland at 7 PM and arriving at Gas Works Park at 8:45 PM. The Argosy boats would embark from Kirkland, up north on Lake Washington, and then head west through the Montlake Cut, taking a half hour break in Portage Bay, before continuing onto Lake Union, the finale point with stopping at Gas Works Park, before heading back to Kirkland.

Read More

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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