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


June 2020  Join Our Club
Check out our Facebook Page for additional news, trips, training, and events!

 From the Board - WKC Trips Are Operating in Phase 2.0. 

June 29, 2020 

WKC trips possible. Max 12 people, max 8 households. In most cases, this will mean a practical limit of 8 participants including leader per trip. No cars shared between different households. Overnight trips OK.

On June 19th, King County moved into Phase 2. WKC  has also moved to Phase 2 in the last few days.   

All members participating in WKC events will be required to electronically sign a Covid-19 waiver acknowledging additional risks inherently assumed during this pandemic.  Trip leaders and participants will need to follow a protocol that we hope minimizes those risks.  Many trips will be limited to 5 people or less, depending on the trip leader's comfort level. 

Links to both the Covid-19 waiver and proposed policy the board approved can be found in the Documents section of this web site. 

If you have feedback on a recent trip experience, please do not hesitate to mail or the trip chair as listed on the Contact Us web page. 

Check the  Events Calendar for the latest updates on  trips, training and events.  

Stay healthy. Stay safe.  

The Washington Kayak Club Board of Directors (aka “Paddleboard”)



Please contact your trip leader or instructor if you have questions.  

As you think about how and whether to participate in any activity, please consider the idea of "universal precautions."  

"Universal precautions" is the idea that we need to assume that everyone is infected. We do this for HIV.  It worked and we don't think much about it now.   We need to think about COVID-19 the same way right now.   Please consider what it would be like if you knew that everyone on your trip had COVID-19, including you.  This is a disease that is very contagious, sometimes for weeks before people look or feel sick.  There is a real risk that even if you are symptom free, you may pass the virus to someone who then gets sick or worse.   


Before you decide to paddle with a group:

  • Have you been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past two weeks?
  • Are you or any of your household experiencing any of the following symptoms? 
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Any other cold- or flu-like symptoms
  • Are you immunodeficient or do you have any underlying medical conditions that place you at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure?


If you answered yes to any of the any of the preceding questions, please do not register for an event and do not show up in person.  Please notify your trip leader or course instructor.  Thank you for keeping the safety of our community apriority. Thank you for your cooperation during this health advisory period.

We are including a few links for your convenience. 


Please know that participation, both on the part of leaders and participants is 100% voluntary.

From June 16, 2020: 

Many WKC members have continued to renew their memberships despite the uncertainty of these times.  We are extremely grateful for your support.   Others have taken a wait-and-see perspective which certainly makes sense.

A couple weeks ago the board voted to extend all memberships that were current as of January 1, 2020 by six months.  

·         If your membership was due to be renewed on March 17, 2020, and you did so, your membership stays active until you can opt to renew again by September 17, 2021.

·         If your membership was due to be renewed on March 17, 2020, and you did not renew, your membership has been extended until September 17, 2020 thus allowing you to still participate in club activities. Come September, we hope you will decide WKC is a cool organization to partner with.

On behalf of the entire board, we look forward to seeing you on the water when you feel it is an option for you.  We sincerely ask for your patience and flexibility as we navigate these uncertain times.

 Featured Trip

Christmas Ship Festival Paddle on Lake Union: Dec 23

We will paddle to from Lake Union to Portage Bay to join The Spirit of Seattle, the Official Christmas Ship™, decorated with hundreds of shimmery white lights. Choirs on board the Christmas Ship™ perform to guests aboard, to follow boats (paddlers and other power boaters) and to communities gathered on shore. This is their last night performing and once finished in Portage bay the whole flotilla moves to Lake Union off Gasworks park for the grand finale show.

Register Here
You are highly encouraged to decorate your kayak to show your holiday cheer! This is a late-night paddle launching at 7pm and returning to the cars around 9pm. We will be paddling alongside a hundred or so other power boaters at night and the waterway while fairly protected can get a little choppy and I will guarantee it will be COLD but FUN!

When: December 23 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Where: Waterway 18
2199 N Northlake Way Seattle, WA 98103
Contact(s):Jason Learned


 WKC Pool Sessions: Shoreline, Tacoma, Tukwila

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.

**Please use the ONLINE REGISTRATION to sign-up and pay.**

Check the Events Calendar for upcoming dates:

If you have any questions about pool sessions:

 WKC Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Course: March 7th – 29th

If you have been wanting to learn how to Whitewater Kayak, now is your chance! The annual WKC Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Course opens for registration Jan 1st!

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.

Last year this class filled in less than two days! In order to expedite the sign-up process, you can register to be a member of the club beforehand and then register for the course on Jan 1st.

Register Here Starting Jan 1 

News and Events

 WKC 2020 Trip Planning Parties

'Tis the season to start thinking about 2020 kayaking trips.  What would you like to see on the calendar next season for sea and whitewater kayaking trips?  Do you have a favorite trip you would like to see included, or lead, or imagine would be cool to join if someone else led?  We are looking for ideas for the upcoming trip planning parties.  Send along suggestions to and we will get the 2020 list started.

Whitewater Trip Planning Party

When:Saturday, January 18, 2020, 10:00 AM
Where:Paddle will be at a class 2/2+ which is TBD for conditions & party afterwards will be at Jenefer and Bram's in Preston

Register Here
Sea Kayak Trip Planning Party

Jan date TBA! 
Check back for registration details.

Come Play Kayak Polo!

Come play kayak polo Sundays at the WKC pool session in Tukwila!

This a great time to try out a fun activity that is as challenging (or not!) as you want it to be, and we're open to people of all ages and abilities.

We'll try out a couple drills, work on some fundamentals, then play a couple games - should be a LOT of fun.

We'll have polo helmets and a couple polo boats and paddles to use.

Bring swim stuff, dry clothes, a PFD. WW boats are fine; sea kayaks are unfortunately too big.

Hope to see you there!

Oh, and here's a video of some fundamentals

Check events calendar for upcoming Polo dates in Tukwila and register: 

Register Here

"Surfing Puget Sound" Presentation with Rob Casey and WWTA: December 12

Join Rob Casey of Salmon Bay Paddle for an evening presentation to benefit WWTA: 
How and where to catch waves from ships, boats, wind and tidal currents on kayak, surf ski and stand-up paddleboard.

Evening Details:
5:30pm - Holiday potluck with pizza, potluck appetizers and beverages.
6:00 - 9:00 presentation with time for questions or mingling afterwards.

Handout included.

Address: 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Room 202, Seattle/Wallingford.

Event Details

 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:

Contact Steven Exe for more information.

San Juan Seven Challenge

WKC Seven Rivers Challenge (7RC)

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:

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:

Recent Trip Reports

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

 Sea Kayak Instructors Hit the Water

Shown Left to Right: Chris (Sea), Ross, Barry (Sea), Jose (Sea), Matt, Mike (Sea), Arieal, Jon, John (blue), and Rick (behind John). Nicole behind the camera!
By Rick Schoen

Some of the sea kayakers had a bit of river experience and some none. We brought boats and some gear for the sea kayakers. Even getting them outfitted was fun! Since they were instructors their strokes were good and they were pretty excited to do the river! We didn't spend a lot of time instructing but working on river skills like ferry and eddy turns, river features, dangers, and the differences in strokes and how they are used. Then we started working the river.

 Read More

 Blake Island Weekend

   By Julia Otani

The October 4th – 6th Blake Island weekend trip began with partly sunny skies and variable winds. Tina, Julia, Jim and Gail met at the Southworth Ferry launch site at 9:30am, packed our kayaks, and by 11am began our 1 NM crossing to Blake Island. Adding excitement to the beginning of our trip, we unintentionally launched our kayaks while a series of wakes approached the shoreline. Water poured over the sterns of our kayaks filling our cockpits with water. Emptying the water out, we quickly got into our boats paddling away from the shoreline. The wind kicked up creating a bumpy paddle to the campsite.

Read More


 By Kanako Iwata-Eng

In the late August, while Washington rivers are trickling, thumping glacier rivers in British Columbia start to calm down. I drove for 10 hours to join the Vancouver Whitewater Club’s Chilko River trip over the Labor (or Labour, as Canadians spell) Day weekend.

We camped at the Chilko-Taseko Junction Recreation Site, our take-out and camp site. It is where the Taseko River pours bluish white water into the green water of the Chilko. Even in the Google Maps, you can see the magnificent view. (52°00'29.7"N 123°40'42.7"W)

Read More

 Deschutes Self Support

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

On August 20, Bill P, Bob S, Mary K, Larry G, Scott S and I launched on the Deschutes River from the Trout Creek Campground, near Maupin, Oregon. We were to boat 42 miles over 3 days. As any other multi-day trips, it took us longer to pack and leave in the first morning. We left the camp around 10 am, and the sun was already high and hot. The river was mostly flat at the beginning but moving pretty fast. We soon started noticing squeaking ospreys and their nests on top of the man-made platforms. Some made a minimal nest on the platform, while some built a gigantic mansion using colorful plastic materials.

Read More 

 Turn and Shaw Island

 By Tina Marie

Mark, Amy and I all camped out at Washington Park Thursday preceding the trip where we watched an amazing sun setting over the San Juan Islands. Friday we launched near the Lopez Village on the end of the ebb. We crossed over San Juan channel to Turn Island were we camped at site 4.

Read More

 Cispus River: Kayak Camping Adventure, Self-Support Primer Trip

  By Erika Baxter and Michael Deckert

Rain poured down. Darkening skies beat back against an optimistic forecast for a sunny day and a drying trend in the weather. The steady drumbeat of rain on the windshieldsounded like a winter rain settling in for a prolonged period of liquid sunshine.

Read More


 By Kanako Iwata-Eng

On the misty morning of Sunday, May 26, 2019, Jim H and I started scouting the Chiwaukum Creek, near Leavenworth. Camping at the Chiwaukum Creek Trailhead the night before, we were tempted to run the small creek not listed in the Bennett book or the American Whitewater website. Walking up a little, there was a log jam...

Read More


By Kanako Iwata-Eng

The Jarbidge (a Shoshone word meaning “monster” or “devil”) is a privilege, primarily for self-supporting kayakers with solid paddling skills and willingness to portage fully loaded boats through the land of poison ivy and rattlesnakes. The stunning deep narrow canyon through the Southwestern Idaho desert, combined with the exciting whitewater, made the four-day Jarbidge/Bruneau trip priceless.

Read More 

 Team Petty Adventure – Statlu Creek & Chehalis River

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

On March 30, 2019, twenty-eight boaters gathered at the Chehalis River Campground in British Columbia. One third of the group was the WKC crew, and the rest were the Vancouver Whitewater Club (VWC), to which I also belong.

Read More

See more trips on the Washington Kayak Club Facebook Page!

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Copyright 2014 Washington Kayak Club

President: Lynn Paquette
Vice President: Open
Secretary: Karl Guntheroth
Treasurer: Kanako Iwata-Eng
Editor: Brenna McVety

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