Welcome to the Seattle Sea Kayaking Meetup,
With summer having arrived we are getting new members joining each day, so
I figured it's time for another, how does this group work email.
For those of you who are new to the group, we have a lot of volunteers
that like to get out on the water and paddle as often as they can, with my
work putting me overseas quite often, it is these other volunteers that
make the group function as well as it does.
Thank the other organizers when you see them, planning and conducting safe
and fun trips is a lot of work. We have 28 organizers, although a few have
started families and with the youngsters they are less active, others have
picked up the slack and are keeping on our track of at least 3 or 4 events
We also have been given great support from a lot of area businesses, they
are lsited on our sponsors page, the support has ranged from free
instruction (essential for our organizers and other members) to great
deals on equipment purchases and rentals.
We are in the season for trips, as well as day paddles and we
start getting into routes that require a higher level of skill to keep
things safe for everyone, to do that we encoyurage members to take classes
locally from places like the Mountaineers, Rogue Wave Adventures, The
Kayak Academy, Olympic Outdoor Center, NWOC, Alki Kayak as well as many
other great places.
Additionally we do some really basic skills sessions on some of the
weekends in the April through June and again in August/September time
frame, those sessions are typically where you demonstrate your ability to
self rescue, you need to do that to be able to do any of the San Juans
trips as well as some of the other trips.
You don't have your own kayak, so can you join us on a paddle. I own
enough kayaks and gear for about 30 people, so when I post, I usually make
To manage the gear, I usually post each event twice, once for those with
their own gear and often no headcount limit and then once with gear for
those that need to borrow and I limit those to the amount of gear I am
willing to carry. I sually go no charge on the bring your own gear events
and $5 or $10 on the ones where I provide gear to try and cover repairs.
If you see two events posted and you sign up for the bring your own gear
version, don't expect me to bring gear for you.
If an event is full, you can join the waiting list, I try to get everyone
from the waiting list on to the going list, but sometimes it takes me a
few days of calling friends to get more gear or recruit more leaders. I
don't move people from the waiting list to the going list less than 24
hours out (unless I can text them to verify that they can make it), but
until then it is your responsiblity to monitor your email for changes, if
you aren't willing to do that then don't sign up for the waiting list.
Where do we paddle?
A bit of everywhere.
Paddles for beginners:
Lake Union and Lake Washington, we generally host more than 50 of these
Overnight trips for begginers:
This is a bit more limited, generally these are base camp type trips,
where we drive to a location and camp and do day paddles. If the weather
looks especially benign, I may post a paddle to a place like Vashon or
Blake Islands in part because they both have easy bail out options that
allow the use of a ferry. If you want to kayak camp, the best thing to do
is work on your skills so you can do it safely.
Paddles for those with safety skills:
Puget Sound, places like Golden Gardens, Magnolia, Chuckanut Bay, river
trips like the lower Skykomish, the lower Snoqualmie, the Snohomish, the
Overnight trips for those with Safety skills:
San Juan Islands, Ross Lake, Gulf Islands.
Why do I push for the safety skills checkouts?
Because it's easier to teach you in advance than it is to teach you after
you screw up and need help and it's safer for everyone in the group.
But isn't this called Flatwater Kayaking? No it's called Sea Kayaking,
sometimes it's flat, some times it's not, you need the skills to be safe
in the various environments that we paddle in.
Are the trips rated? Many are, we have been using the rating system from
the University of Washington Kayak club which takes into account things
like: Fetch, length of crossings, etc. I am evaluating if we need to
change to a more commonly used system.
How do I know if the Safety Skills are required, the Organizer will post
"experience required" or "Safety Skills required" in the event.
How do you ask Saul a question, well the best way is in person at one of
our meetups, but I also respond to emails and phone calls, I don't respond
to private messages through the meetup website(wastes too much of my
time), they take too long, I get an email from someone via meetup who
selected the keep my email address private and if I reply it bounces back
and tells me the sender wanted to keep their email address private so I
need to log into the site, I'm not going to do it.
If you want an answer you need to use real email, you can set up another
account for people you want to remain hidden from or use phone/text, just
avoid wasting my time. If you set up another account in meetup, (better to
just email me directly from that account), all your meetup email will go
there and it's your resposibility to monitor that account, if you miss an
event that you are signed up because you didn't monitor the notifications
then you will be counted as a no show, see below for the problems this
My email is [address removed] my cell is 206.313.0107.
Someone asked me today about the Ballard Locks Paddle and used a hidden
email message, so I'll answer them here, please look up who posted the
event and contact them with your questions, make sure that you answered
their event questions first, I sent you a more detailed answer, but you
need to contact meetup.com or send me a real email address if you want to
get it, as it bounced back to me.
Showing up for events, we have a low tolerance for no shows, you are
keeping someone else from coming to the event and if you asked to borrow
equipment then we get stuck towing an empty kayak like we did for three
days last weekend (kayak locks don't really work). If you no show to an
event that I posted, then the next time you will have to show up to load
kayaks if you want to go. Some of the other organizers won't move you from
the waiting list, so then you can't really paddle with the group, so stay
on top of your RSVP's and everything works great.
Looking forward to paddling with all of you soon.
I hope this answers your questions - Saul
[address removed] cell[masked]