Prepare for the Upcoming Season – Winter 2017 Newsletter

Yes, it’s definitely winter! Only the most hardy (or, perhaps, crazy) paddlers venture out this time of year, but it’s not too early to begin planning for a new paddling season. Inspecting your boat(s) and gear with an eye on any repairs, enhancements, or replacements and then getting the necessary supplies to “get ‘er done” are good winter tasks.


Speaking of such matters, if you plan on paddling on Lakes Whatcom or Samish, it’s time to get your Aquatic Invasive Species sticker renewed. You’ll need to pass the short on-line test, get your certificate, and make arrangements to have your boat inspected and 2017 sticker issued before you put your kayak on those lakes. Go to:   for all the information and links to the course and test.  Remember that some of our classes and Fun Paddles take place on Lake Whatcom!  Don’t wait until the last minute to get this done!


Our calendar for the first several months of classes and paddle events will be posted on the website in mid-March, so look for it then. We’ll continue to be offering a “set” schedule of various classes, along with plenty of openings for private lessons and custom schedules, should our calendar not meet your needs. No price increase is anticipated.

Now for some updates:

Ted had his shoulder surgery on Dec. 5th and was in a sling for 8 weeks. The surgery was a bit more extensive than anticipated but went well. In case you’ve ever wondered, the first month or so of recovery IS quite painful and generally uncomfortable. His torn tendon in the rotator cuff was the result of several prior injuries that caused wear and tear, and the tendon finally gave up the ghost at the end of September.  He’s now out of the sling and into physical therapy, with an excellent prognosis. He’s hoping to do some light paddling by the end of March and be ready for more extensive kayaking by May.

Kelly is in the midst of a very heavy class load and clinicals for her Physical Therapy Asst. program, and she is continuing to do very well. She’s looking forward to having some time to resume paddling, rolling, and teaching, once we get underway.


After a quick review of Craig’s List ads for boats and gear, there isn’t a wide selection of kayaks for those wanting to upgrade or add, or for friends you may have seduced into wanting to go paddling with you; but there are a few. There were, however, a good number of listings for accessories, including carts for rolling your boat from the car to the beach. If you’ve been thinking of getting one, this might be a good time.


Finally, we’ve heard of a Ski-to-Sea, recreational division, team looking for a kayaker. If interested, contact Liz Vennos at or 360-303-6665.




Women in Sea Kayaking – 6 Reasons to Take the Plunge and Learn to Paddle

sea kayaking for women

Kelly Paddling on New Year’s Day

In the second grade, my PE teacher told me I didn’t have to try to do a pull up or push up in class.  “It’s ok,” he said, “girls can’t do that.  They’re not strong enough.”  Needless to say, I’ve spent a good part of my life since then proving I can “hang with the boys.” Guys are strong and athletic, and I’m in no way discrediting their achievements.  Rather, I want to address all the women out there who have thought “I can’t do that,” or even “I’m not strong enough.”

Shortly after entering the sport of sea kayaking, I learned that not only can women paddle, they can be kickass paddlers.  Some of the most talented, accomplished paddlers I’ve met have been women – including one who’s solo paddled Alaska’s Inside Passage from Anacortes, WA to Juneau, AK.  Learning to sea kayak has been one of the most amazing and empowering  experiences of my life, and teaching sea kayaking has only made it better.

There are few things better than watching a self-doubting student grow.  I’ve had students who, on the first day of class, told me “I’m too heavy to paddle, really.  I probably won’t fit in the boat, and besides, I’m scared of the water.”  Some of those women have become so strong in their paddling skills that they learned to enjoy whooping it up while surfing waves in Deception Pass.  In other classes, I’ve worked with students who were so afraid to do their first wet exit from a boat, they cried.  After a couple of days, they were teaching their husbands how to do a proper wet exit and self rescue!

So, in the interest of supporting all women out there who are interested in entering the “intimidating” sport of sea kayaking, I’ve written a list for you to dispel what may be your reasons for not jumping in (pun intended) and giving it a shot: Continue reading