What we're about

WELCOME TO CASUAL KAYAKING

We love to kayak on the calm waters around this area, and we like to share our passion. No dues, no technical stuff, no racing speeds, no overnight camping, just a few easy hours on the water with others who share our passion.

Want to know a little more about us? Keep reading! There is even a page of videos of our past paddles, under the PAGES tab. There is also a FAQ page under the PAGES tab.

REQUIRED GEAR
You must have a kayak, a paddle and a PFD (Personal Flotation Device, aka Life Jacket). You can have anything else you want, such as a drysuit, bilge pump, paddle float, whitewater helmet, extra paddle, drybag or compass for your boat, but none of that is required by us. Sometimes we arrange an event nearby to a place that rents kayaks, and sometimes, other members have an extra boat to loan out for the event. Just ask.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
We are not paid tour guides, and we take no responsibility for your safety. You are an adult and are expected to take care of yourself. At the same time, everyone is safer in a group. Rescues are easier, and the more experienced paddlers are always glad to offer tips and informal instruction. Just ask. At the same time, we plan our trips with a high regard to safety in terms of things like weather, currents, tides and location. In a river, we are never far from the bank, and in many of the lakes, there are homes along the shore or many other boats on the water.

SIGNED WAIVER

Meetup.com recommends that each Meetup group set up its own release of liability to protect its organizers and members. We will have each member sign a waiver before the first time they paddle with us which we will keep in our files. If you ever bring a guest, they will also need to sign the waiver. Every kayak rental, lesson or boating excursion requires similar forms so we are only asking the same.

NO DUES
For us, this Meetup is about passion, not profit. We will never charge dues to the members, but the organizers pay the standard $180 per year to Meetup. Anyone who wants to donate a little to help defray that cost is welcome, of course. Just talk to us when we meet face to face.

FLAT WATER
We aren't interested in whitewater kayaking, plunging down raging rivers with big rapids. We also don't head out into the open ocean, to face large swells and potential storms. We stay home when the weather forecast is for lots of wind or wave action, and we tend to paddle in the sheltered waters of lakes, rivers and estuaries. For examples of the beauty of the local flat water, check out the Joys of Casual Kayaking picture album in the Photos section.

NO RACING
We enjoy slower paddling, which gives us a chance to enjoy the scenery or hold conversations. We are not in a hurry to get somewhere, so we tend to take our time on the water. Of course, sometimes, we can sprint to catch up, if we were taking photos and got left behind, but we aren't interested in breaking any speed records.

ALL YEAR KAYAKING
Not all of us paddle during the cold months, but those that do venture out during the winter months get a special reward. Rare bird sightings happen during the migration times, Less people are out to frighten the wildlife, which is often more visible. There is a very definite feeling of magic if you are on the water when it is snowing or raining or even foggy. If you dress warm, you won't be cold at all during the event. Of course, everyone loves to kayak in the warmer months, and the events will often have a lot of people signed up. If the group gets too large, we will just break it up into smaller groups and still head out on the adventure.

JOIN US
If this sounds like what you have been looking for in a kayak group, please come join us. The more the merrier. Bring your ideas for places to go, things to see, or just show up with a keen sense of anticipation for a fun time on the water. Want to lead an event? Just ask.

VIDEO TREAT

You can watch us having fun as a kayak group under the PAGES tab at the top of the Home Page. Check it out!

Upcoming events (5+)

Seahurst Park (Burien) to Winghaven Park (Vashon Island)

Seahurst Park (Burien) to Winghaven Park (Vashon Island) When: Sunday, June 23, 2018 Where: Seahurst Park, 1600 SW Seahurst Park Rd, Burien, WA 98166 Difficulty: Level 2 (with a Level 3 potential, wind and weather pending) Arrival: 9:00am Launch: 9:30 am Trip Distance: Approximately 9 nm (10.5 miles) Trip Time: Approximately 5 hours from time of launch Trip Description: We will paddle from Seahurst Park in Burien to Winghaven Park on Vashon Island where we can rest, socialize, lunch, and explore the park, beach, and resort ruins. Or pack a camping chair and a good book! A great option as well. This paddle will include a[masked] nm crossing through the East Passage, a major shipping channel. The trip may include wind and wave considerations. I have made this crossing many times in calm, smooth, slack conditions with no ships anywhere in sight. I have also made this crossing in rougher conditions while sharing the water with large ships of all kinds. Please only signup if you have the skill and confidence to handle such challenges if they present themselves. The crossing may take upwards of 60-90 minutes. The reward is worth it if you have never been to Winghaven. The park has a fascinating history, linked below for your reading pleasure: Winghaven History Link: http://vashonhistory.com/Publications/Commentaries/karen_borell_wingehavenfinal2.pdf Facilities: Seahurst Park contains ample parking and restrooms. Please note, Winghaven Park on Vashon Island does not contain restroom facilities of any kind. It is however a heavily wooded park if nature calls. It also contains picnic tables, benches, hiking paths, and a spectacular view of Puget Sound. If this is your first time paddling with us, please bring a signed waiver https://www.meetup.com/Casual-Kayaking-Meetup/pages/21450893/WAIVER_FORM/ Recommendations For This Paddle: 1. Immersion Gear (Required) 2. Marine Radio (Optional) - Bring one if you have one. 3. Skill Qualifications (Intermediate to Advanced) - Paddlers able to handle Level 2-Level 3 conditions or better. Please review the charts below. Experience in self-rescue highly recommended.

Kayaking Essentials 4-Day Complete Skills Class

Deception Pass State Park, Bowman Bay

The following Kayaking Essentials class has been posted on the Seattle Area Sea Kayaking Meetup Group page. There are still spots available for those interested! To sign up or register, please visit the Seattle Sea Kayaking Meetup page, or visit the Shearwater University website at https://shearwateruniversity.com/schools/kayaking/ >>>> Details Build the full set of kayaking skills you need to enjoy paddling effectively and safely in the Salish Sea. Prepares you for day and multi-day club paddles, as well as planning and exploring on your own. Valuable skill development for new beginners as well those with some experience. SCHEDULE: June 27-30, 9:00-5:00 daily VENUE: The perfect and spectacular training location: Bowman Bay on Fidalgo Island near Anacortes - at the edge of the San Juan Islands, yet an easy drive from anywhere in the Salish Sea region (no ferry required). Bowman Bay is part of Deception Pass State Park, providing a calm bay for paddle stroke & rescue development, plus controlled opportunities to gain skills paddling in waves and currents. CLASS FORMAT: A daily balance of shore school and active on-water skills development. We meet each day in Bowman Bay. Nights are on your own, with many nearby options for hotels, Air B&Bs, and campgrounds. TUITION: The class is $450 for four full days of instruction. REGISTRATION: Required, on the Shearwater University website: https://shearwateruniversity.com/schools/kayaking/ INSTRUCTOR: Phyllis Woolwine is a US Coast Guard Licensed Captain, Master Mariner, and American Canoe Association Certified Coastal Kayaking Instructor. She is a professional educator (National Board Certified) with over 30 years teaching adults & young adults. Phyllis is a lifelong boater of the Salish Sea and the Inside Passage, including over 30 years of expedition sea kayaking experience from south Puget Sound to Juneau Alaska. She has been a Seattle Sea Kayaking Meetup Group member and leader since 2011. SKILLS & TOPICS INCLUDE: • Personal Preparation, kayaks and gear • Getting in and out without getting soaked - from the beach, a dock, and a rocky shore • Paddle Stokes & Maneuverers to control your boat • Multiple bracing methods to keep you upright • Wet Exit skills for when you don't • Group rescue techniques for different situations and Self Rescues • Paddling judgment - staying alive • Trip Planning to match the skills of you and your friends • Tides & currents • Marine weather • Navigating with charts & compass • Group paddling strategies, leadership styles, and safety • Hazards, emergency preparedness & management, safety devices Instruction is individualized to the background, skills and goals of the students in this small class. Personalization is high, with a maximum of 8 students, the instructor, and a skilled assistant. QUESTIONS & CONTACT INFORMATION: The instructor email and phone number are on the Shearwater University website, or you can message me through the Seattle Area Sea Kayaking Meetup Group. https://shearwateruniversity.com/schools/kayaking/

Not An Event: The Five Golden Rules of Boat Safety

Needs a location

• What we'll do PLEASE READ THIS, BUT ALSO PLEASE DO NOT SHOW UP. THIS IS NOT AN EVENT. Boating Safety's Five Golden Rules Recreational boating is about having an enjoyable time while you’re on the water. And it’s always fun and games until someone gets hurt or has a bad experience. No matter what kind of boating activity you participate in, these five “golden rules” will go a long way toward ensuring that your trips on the water end safely. 1. Always wear your life jacket. MU Paddle trips require PFD to be worn. 70% of all boating deaths are drownings, and over 80% of all drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. Wearing your jacket all the time you’re on the water is the most important thing you can do to ensure your safety. So why doesn’t everyone do it? Some say, “They’re uncomfortable.” Not so—modern jacket designs ensure there’s a comfortable fit for every body type. “I’m a good swimmer, I don’t need one.” That’s like saying you’re a good driver so you don’t need to wear a seatbelt. Bottom line: there’s no good excuse. 2. Know your limits. All too often, accidents occur when we boat in conditions that exceed our skill level. With any type of boating you undertake, start slow. Get some training, go with experienced boaters, visit your local boating equipment dealer, ask questions, practice self rescue. By all means, be honest with yourself. If the worst happens, can you handle it? Are you being urged by others to do something you know you shouldn’t attempt? Live to boat another day. 3. Dress for a swim. Water conducts heat 25 times more efficiently than air. Wear apparel that will minimize heat loss when you go in the drink. And yes, if you boat long enough you will go for an unplanned swim. The temperature doesn’t have to be freezing to be dangerous; spend very long unprotected in 60-degree water and you’ll be in trouble. And there are many areas where the water never gets above that temperature. 4. Don’t boat alone. There’s safety in numbers. If you get into trouble when you’re by yourself, you’re totally dependent on your own resources to get you out of it. If you’re with others, you’ve got their resources to call on. Even if they can’t totally rescue you, they can assist you. At the very least, go for help. 5. Bring backup. If you’re boating where there’s cell service, bring your phone, waterproofed of course. Purchase, and practice with, the safety gear designed for your type of water sport. Create a “boater’s ditch kit,” with enough essentials to help you survive an unplanned night out. With some careful planning, you can make the basic kit small enough to carry in a belt pouch or in your life jacket. It should include some basic first aid supplies, a fire steel or waterproof matches, some fire starters (cotton balls saturated with Vaseline work great), a space blanket or bivvy and a collapsible water container with some water purification tablets. And you should always have a knife and whistle on you. You can also pack a small dry bag in the boat with things like some warm clothes, high-energy snacks, headlamp and some lightweight rope. Follow the Five Golden Rules, and you’ll go a long way toward the goal of having fun on the water, while doing it safely. Boat Often, Boat Safe! • What to bring As you read this, take a moment and see if you can spot a few areas that might not apply so much to us, or things that might have been left out in terms of our northwest environment. Mostly, those 5 rules are SOLID GOLD! • Important to know Thank you to Jim Rankin of the Austin, Texas kayak meetup group for letting me cut and paste this article, and for the idea of posting it as a non-event. You can learn more about Jim and his group (including photos of his kayak partner, a beautiful dog) at www.meetup.com/AustinAreaPaddlers

Not An Event: The Five Golden Rules of Boat Safety

Needs a location

• What we'll do PLEASE READ THIS, BUT ALSO PLEASE DO NOT SHOW UP. THIS IS NOT AN EVENT. Boating Safety's Five Golden Rules Recreational boating is about having an enjoyable time while you’re on the water. And it’s always fun and games until someone gets hurt or has a bad experience. No matter what kind of boating activity you participate in, these five “golden rules” will go a long way toward ensuring that your trips on the water end safely. 1. Always wear your life jacket. MU Paddle trips require PFD to be worn. 70% of all boating deaths are drownings, and over 80% of all drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. Wearing your jacket all the time you’re on the water is the most important thing you can do to ensure your safety. So why doesn’t everyone do it? Some say, “They’re uncomfortable.” Not so—modern jacket designs ensure there’s a comfortable fit for every body type. “I’m a good swimmer, I don’t need one.” That’s like saying you’re a good driver so you don’t need to wear a seatbelt. Bottom line: there’s no good excuse. 2. Know your limits. All too often, accidents occur when we boat in conditions that exceed our skill level. With any type of boating you undertake, start slow. Get some training, go with experienced boaters, visit your local boating equipment dealer, ask questions, practice self rescue. By all means, be honest with yourself. If the worst happens, can you handle it? Are you being urged by others to do something you know you shouldn’t attempt? Live to boat another day. 3. Dress for a swim. Water conducts heat 25 times more efficiently than air. Wear apparel that will minimize heat loss when you go in the drink. And yes, if you boat long enough you will go for an unplanned swim. The temperature doesn’t have to be freezing to be dangerous; spend very long unprotected in 60-degree water and you’ll be in trouble. And there are many areas where the water never gets above that temperature. 4. Don’t boat alone. There’s safety in numbers. If you get into trouble when you’re by yourself, you’re totally dependent on your own resources to get you out of it. If you’re with others, you’ve got their resources to call on. Even if they can’t totally rescue you, they can assist you. At the very least, go for help. 5. Bring backup. If you’re boating where there’s cell service, bring your phone, waterproofed of course. Purchase, and practice with, the safety gear designed for your type of water sport. Create a “boater’s ditch kit,” with enough essentials to help you survive an unplanned night out. With some careful planning, you can make the basic kit small enough to carry in a belt pouch or in your life jacket. It should include some basic first aid supplies, a fire steel or waterproof matches, some fire starters (cotton balls saturated with Vaseline work great), a space blanket or bivvy and a collapsible water container with some water purification tablets. And you should always have a knife and whistle on you. You can also pack a small dry bag in the boat with things like some warm clothes, high-energy snacks, headlamp and some lightweight rope. Follow the Five Golden Rules, and you’ll go a long way toward the goal of having fun on the water, while doing it safely. Boat Often, Boat Safe! • What to bring As you read this, take a moment and see if you can spot a few areas that might not apply so much to us, or things that might have been left out in terms of our northwest environment. Mostly, those 5 rules are SOLID GOLD! • Important to know Thank you to Jim Rankin of the Austin, Texas kayak meetup group for letting me cut and paste this article, and for the idea of posting it as a non-event. You can learn more about Jim and his group (including photos of his kayak partner, a beautiful dog) at www.meetup.com/AustinAreaPaddlers

Past events (256)

Not An Event: The Five Golden Rules of Boat Safety

Needs a location

Photos (5,560)