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Where To Take A Basic Sea Kayaking Class In Washington

A couple years ago, I had an awesome opportunity to take a basic sea kayaking class with Washington Kayak Club, state's largest and oldest kayaking club dedicated to all forms of paddle craft in the Pacific Northwest.

Author Paddling Under Deception Pass Bridge

The class took place at a beautiful place - Whidbey Island’s Coronet Bay Environmental Learning Center. During my two and a half day stay, I learned a lot, and had tons of fun ! Unfortunately, the event only takes place once a year...

Recently, I came a cross a post on Sea Kayaker Magazine about similar class offered by the Northwest Outdoor Center (NWOC).

They call it "Fundamentals of Sea Kayaking", and the class takes place closer to Greater Seattle Area ( Lake Union ), but, as far as I understood, they have the same "graduation ceremony" at the beautiful Deception Pass.
This 4-session class gives you three lake sessions to learn stroke and rescue techniques, a current lecture where you will learn what currents are and how they work in theory, and a daytrip where you get to practice all of the above in real-life situations. You will learn about the boats and related equipment, proper clothing, safety considerations, navigational tools, and resource material. You will learn how to rescue yourself and others, and how to prevent capsizing by using bracing strokes. During the stroke sessions you will learn how to use the paddling strokes for maximum efficiency and stability. For our saltwater outing, we will choose a location where we can practice working with, against, and across currents, in a tightly controlled situation. The emphasis of this class is to build good paddling skills along with good sea-sense. No experience necessary, but be prepared to get wet! This class will prepare you to deal with paddling inland waters in moderate current and wind conditions.
Kat Wertzler, the editorial assistant at Sea Kayaker Magazine, in this post offers you her observations as a novice, and shares her experiences of "Fundamentals of Sea Kayaking" with NWOC.

NOTE: I'd like to point out that "Basic Sea Kayaking Class" is not your typical "guided kayak tour".

The class normally takes about 2 days, and provides practical knowledge and skills necessary to feel comfortable in ( sometimes ) rough Puget Sound waters.

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