A welcome to the new members and a thank you to those of you that help make this group a safe and fun experience possible

From: Saul_K
Sent on: Monday, May 17, 2010 12:37 PM
It's time for another welcome to the new members. We've had about 20 of you join during the last month.

While I prefer to send individual messages to each of you, I haven't been able to keep up with that practice for about a year. So consider this message to be your welcome.

We have quite a few events, with daytime or evening paddles for newbies most weeks and kayak camping many weekends.

I have been a bit light on the newbie paddles this month and will post a few shortly.

We had 4 days of safety instruction for our newer members and for refreshing regular member skills earlier this month. One of the members got to put her new skills to the test the next day when her son capsized on a family outing.

We had put a renewed emphasis on paddler safety the last few months, with a lot of training of the organizers to help them become more skilled at managing the groups and the events. A Big thanks to the organizers that have spent many days in these sessions learning and teaching. And an especially big thanks to Bob, George and Barb over at the Kayak Academy for working with us and helping us improve our skills.

Also a big thanks to Chris Cunningham at Sea Kayaker magazine for getting involved with helping one of our members get more involved in the sport by providing some one on one instruction and other support.

How things work in our meetup group.

Gear - I have quite a lot of loaner gear, kayaks, pfd's, paddles, etc. If you need to borrow equipment to join us, just say so in your RSVP ("need to borrow") and watch the posting to see if I manage to round up enough gear to cover you. I you break or lose gear I will need you to replace it as I don't have an endless supply of money.

Wetsuits and Drysuits - these are important safety items, I require them for the experience required trips such as in the Puget Sound or in the San Juans, but consider them optional on Lake Washington or Lake Union, primarily because we have lots of quick access to warm shelters. I still prefer that you wear one, if you can bring your own, that is best as I don't have any spare drysuits and only about 5 or 6 medium sized wetsuits.

RSVP's and No Shows - since all of us are volunteers and do this because we love the sport, we need you to hold up your end and either show up or cancel (at least 2 hours before the event). Many of the events have a Maybe option, if you're not sure, then RSVP as a maybe, but don't expect me to bring a kayak for you. I don't want the headache of managing kayaks for no shows as they are very easy for someone to steal. If you no show and you borrowed, then you will have to help load the next time.

So welcome to the group, we'll see you on the water soon - Saul

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