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Meetings are held the last Tuesday of the month
(except June, July, August, and December)
7:00 p.m. at the Seattle R.E.I. flagship store.

2011-2012 Meeting Schedule
If you have any ideas for programs please contact
Garrett Filemyr or Linda Roubik

September 27th, 2011 - Forward Stroke for Sea Kayakers

Once again, the Seattle Sea Kayak Club will offer a kayak skills lecture open to all, followed by on-water classes for our members -- by none other than local legendary instructor George Gronseth of the Kayak Academy in Issaquah.

Always one of our favorite presenters, George will discuss the theory of forward stroke, which we use at least 95% of the time we paddle. He will focus on the many different paddling styles and equipment, including Greenland-style "sticks". Attendance at the lecture is mandatory for the on-water classes to follow.

We'll have sign-up sheets at the meeting for the on-water classes to be offered on Saturday and Sunday October 8 and 9, at George's kayak facility at Lake Sammamish State Park. There will be about 40 slots available, as we are aiming to have 2-hour classes, at 4 class times each day, for 5 students per class. Cost to each member will be $20, and the club will subsidize the rest. You'll get to try a number of different paddle styles and lengths.


Join us for a full evening of trip reports on "where I kayaked last summer". Often the favorite part of our meetings, members share information about their trips large and small, far and near.


We'll gather in a circle and tell stories -- no visuals expected, but feel free to bring along your charts or guidebooks or photo prints, to share with those who may be interested in more details.

(And if you do have digital slides, for a whole hour-long program, or even a half-program . . . the co-chairs of Programs will be all ears, and will talk to you about doing a regular club program at another meeting!)

Just like in the old days, there also might be a "tall tale" or two! Were you the kayaker in the mouth of the whale, in that oft-circulated internet photo?!

Now is also the time to share a tip about gear that worked great, or that flubbed. Tell us about that great camp recipe you discovered, too.

New folks are welcome . . . you can just listen, or tell us a story about where you kayaked on the East coast, or on a lake in Montana!

November 29th, 2011 - Sea Kayaking at Spring Island, B.C. (Kyoquot Sound)

Fun with crabs and kelp, sea stars galore... and getting the evil eye from an ornery octopus! This was all part of a sea kayak vacation at Spring Island, in Kyuquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, enjoyed by Jeff Larsson and his family.

They stayed at an ecotourism base camp, where guests of all ages had experienced guides, for sea kayaking trips both in the protected waters, and testing the outer-coast swells. The accommodations were walk-in tents, with beds! Adventures on land included tidepooling, hiking around huge cedar trees, and watching glorious sunsets after salmon dinners. They accessed Spring Island by water taxi from Fair Harbour, near Zeballos B.C.

Independent travelers can have similar experiences while camping at other parts of this same large island, which features extensive sandy beaches. They may likely combine a stay at Spring Island with trips north to the Bunsby Islands or to the Brooks Peninsula, or trips south to Rugged Point. Kyuquot Sound can also be accessed by the passenger and freight vessel MV Uchuck III, departing from the town of Gold River B.C.

Jeff especially invites other paddlers with children to attend this meeting, and then possibly help plan some family outings for next year through the club. He's got a third-grader, but the club also includes some families with teens. And if your children are all grown up, but you know of some great places for family trips, or would like to be involved in such trips, come and share your tips!

January 31st, 2012 - Kayaking at 78° North - The Svalbard Archipelago

Svalbard, a territory of Norway located some 400 miles north of the mainland, has the most northerly regular airline service in the world. After a visit to Longyearben, its largest town, SSKC members Gerry Bashein and Diane Reeves paddled for 5 days and camped 4 nights in this arctic desert. Trip highlights included a visit to an abandoned Russian mining town, staying in an established camp with research scientists, visiting 3 remote trapper cabins, paddling along a huge tidewater glacier, and standing 2-hour polar bear watches while the sun shone all night.

February 28th, 2012 - The 'How-To' Month: Kayak Fishing and Kayak Photography

Join talented locals Joe Kaftan and Carole Trout this month for a "How-To" program on activities to do from your kayak.

Joe is going to tell fish stories . . . really. He says he has caught "dozens of 15 pound plus salmon and trout", starting in Lake Michigan, and then expanding his repertoire to include the bottom fish of Puget Sound after moving here in 1996. He has also been sea kayak fishing in southeast Alaska and off Vancouver Island, and in many other interesting locations around the world including Croatia and Baja. See the April 2006 issue of Sea Kayaker magazine for a great story -- with a picture to prove it! -- about the 22 pound king salmon he caught the first time he took a fishing rod aboard his kayak. You'll learn tips on when, where, and how to fish from a closed-cockpit kayak. In addition, we'll hear how Joe uses his sea kayak to go crabbing and squiding, to dive for sea urchin, and to get to the best digs on clamming beaches. When not out foraging, Joe can be found racing his surfski, and teaching kayaking through George Gronseth's Kayak Academy.

Carole Trout almost needs no introduction to this group. We have all enjoyed seeing many programs about her various trips, featuring her photos. Over time, she has learned the hard way a number of rules about taking photos from a kayak on the water. For example -- only take photos of paddlers when they are actively paddling. Look for certain themes -- reflections, artistic formations of boats, billowing clouds, turning a corner around a headland. Carole will focus on the practicalities of sea kayak photography. As she says, you have to be strategic, because every time the camera comes out, you will need to paddle harder, either to get ahead of the group, or to catch up!

March 27, 2012 - Bowron Lakes -- A Liquid Parallelogram

What a romantic description ... the liquid parallelogram that is Bowron Lakes in northern B. C. And it can be a romantic place: calm, quiet and gorgeous ... unless you get 6 straight days of rain, or a troop of boy scouts, or you're feeling like an ox in yoke pulling your boat along a dirt trail full of roots. Well, it can be all these experiences, on different trips or at different times. That's one of the reasons people keep coming back to do the circuit, and why we love to see their shows.

In summer 2011, Al and Linda Hayden and their son made the journey, and had just about a perfect trip. Yes, they even survived paddling down "the chute"! They will bring a number of show-and-tell items, in addition to their program of photos.

This 116 km chain of lakes, rivers and connecting portages is located a 12-hour drive straight north from Seattle. It's called the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit, but kayaks work just fine too. You need wheels -- big, sturdy wheels -- for the portages, which total to around 11 km, with the longest portage being around 3 km. Most groups take from 6 to 10 days to complete the circuit. Each night you choose among the 54 different campsites scattered all along the route. There are gentle green hills close by, and snowy mountains in the distance, and plenty of waterfalls. Wildlife includes bears, moose, and the loons whose eerie wails are the signature sound of this magical place.

April 24, 2012 - Tribal Canoe Journey annual event

Missed "Paddle to Swinomish", last July 25 - 31?  More than 100 canoe families paddled (some for three weeks) from places all over Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, arriving in a downpour at Swinomish (across from La Conner) to share their traditional songs and dances over the next six days and nights.  This was the 22nd annual "Paddle to" event -- the first, "Paddle to Seattle," was in 1989 with only 9 canoes.  

Join Tom Steinburn and Gail Hermanson as they share their images and stories about this fantastic week.

May 29, 2012 - San Blas Islands, Panama: Kuna Yala is a paradise

Join us as we paddle between coconut palm covered uninhabited Caribbean Islands, snorkel in warm water viewing spectacular coral reefs, stroll shell covered beaches, paddle the Chagres River, and tour the Panama Canal on this 10 day excursion.

Only 49 of the 365 San Blas islands are inhabited. Ruling from hammocks, the Kuna Congress has been successful in balancing western influence and maintaining traditional culture by limiting tourism and saying no to development in their autonomous territory.

June 26, 2012 - OUR ANNUAL PICNIC

The Social Event of the season is on Tuesday, June 26. We gather between 5:00 and 6:00 P.M. and the pizza arrives at 6:30 P.M. (Hint: don't be too late or it will be all gone). Come to Magnuson Park on Lake Washington and look for shelter #1. Some of us will be coming early to hold the table.

 Jul-Aug, 2012 - Gone Paddling!!!! See you in September.

Previous Years' Programs

2010 - 2011
2009 - 2010
2008 - 2009
2007 - 2008
2006 - 2007
2005 - 2006
2004 - 2005
2003 - 2004
2001 - 2002
2000 - 2001
1999 - 2000
1998 - 1999
1997 - 1998