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Welcome to the New Members and a bit about how things work

From: Saul_K
Sent on: Monday, April 1, 2013 11:16 PM
Hello from Malaysia,

With spring coming 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
every month.

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 coming up on 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 as well aas many other great places.
Additionally we do some really basic skills sessions on some of the
weekends in the April through June time frame, those sessions are
ttypically 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
gear available.

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.

Where do we paddle?
A bit of everywhere.

Paddles for beginners:
Lake Union and Lake Washington, we generally host more than 50 of these
each year.

Overnight trips for begginers:
This si 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
"expperience required" or "Safety Skills required" in the event.

Looking forward to paddling with all of you soon.

I hope this answers your questions - Saul

Saul Kinderis
[address removed] cell[masked]


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