Images from Summer 2003

Andree and whitewater kayaking class

First day on the river!
Kayak Instruction Excellence


Instructor Development Movies - Highlights

Spring Whitewater Class Movie

Both movies are over 20 megs - so start downloading, go have some fun and watch them when you get back. These are in Quicktime format...

Spring 03 images

San Juan Island Four Day Tour

Images of orcas, river otters, sunsets and kayakers to come!

As I had mentioned to two out of three people in the group, this was a "pilot" trip for me - an exploratory to see how it is to take the whale watch boat (The Port Townsend (or PT) Express) from Port Townsend to Friday Harbor with kayaks, gear and paddlers aboard.

Not getting good direction from the office, some of us had some gear in our kayaks and some didn't - the latter is preferable as the boats are loaded on the roof. It didn't seem to be that much of a problem as they were loaded, tied down, and off we went into bumpy seas. I even got a bit queezy. The boat held 65 people and our group of four was spread out between two tables.

Eventually we heard tell of orcas near Victoria, Canada, and found at least two pods playing off the coast. Spy hopping, leaping, going under the boat, you name it, they did it!

We arrived in Friday Harbor (San Juan Island) to find that the dock was too high to launch from. One of the three other paddlers suggested we use the swim platform on the back of the boat. This had advantages and disadvantages - we put the kayaks in the water and loaded them, rafted them and then got in them. We discovered later there is are kayak slips adjacent to the dingy dock but we would have to carry all the gear up and over a high ramp to get there.

We set out for Jones Island as the charts read one hour left of flood before slack - but ran into an ebb.

We were rewarded for our efforts, however, as we got the best campsite (the Washington Water trails site on the west side of Jones) and had a great dinner and spectacular sunset.

People opted to layover, read and hike for the day. We had a nice circumnavigation of the island that evening with another spectacular sunset.

I can't remember which sunset was so spectacular, but it was such a light show with the clouds moving over and the sun moving through them. It was like the reds were just hanging over the water framing Spieden and the Stuart Island group. (Spieden is an unusual island as it has a prairie ecosytem. At one time someone imported African animals and had a hunting thing going on).

Harbor seals peaked up periodically and a family of river otters (one mom and three babies) amused us from time to time as mom taught them to fish and play.

The group wanted to leave early the next day so we were up at six or so and on the water by eight. However the winds were eight to ten knots so I suggested going behind the island first, into the lee, and then coming back into the wind after we had warmed up. People couldn't paddle comfortably so we retreated into the bay with the sailboats.

We ran into a friend and he offered to take people back that hour to Friday Harbor and two accepted. The other person wanted to try paddling against the wind.

We tried paddling and as she had never been in this weather she made it to the windward side with valiant effort and we decided to base camp. Of course as soon as we had our camp up the wind died and it became a beautiful evening. Many paddlers came in as it was Saturday night and it was just a community camp. One guy came in solo in a stealthy black greenland style kayak - it turns out he is a guide from Maine exploring the west.

I tried fishing again - I had caught one rockfish the day before - but ended up just sitting on some rocks and watching the current move through the kelp. I was at a wee spring so a bitty bird came in to drink off the moss.

That night I tried sleeping in my Hennessy Hammock but froze, so moved to my Thermarest pad. My new down sleeping bag worked much better on the ground!

We were suprised to wake to a thick fog at five fifteen, but decided to go for it. I was excited to navigate in the fog and figured if we left before the boat traffic started we would be safer.

We did see one lone harbor porpoise at the edge of the fog early in the morning.

I dropped off my paddler at the dock in Friday Harbor and went to Turn Island to find the other two. They were relaxed and starting to pack so I helped them carry stuff and kayaks to the water. We got back with a bit of time to get organized before the boat came in, loaded our stuff aboard and went to the ale house for a beer, lunch and wrap-up.

The trip back was uneventfull - they saw no whales that day! So we were really lucky!

More Beginning Whitewater

Whitewater paddlers in beginning whitewater class

Our group...



Kayak polo

Another fun game of kayak polo - great for warming up and tuning up!

Learn to edge and low brace in the whitewater kayak

Learning to edge and brace - a few more people and it would look really funny.

Apply edging and j-leaning to entering current from and eddy

Finding out how the j-lean/hip snap drills apply to entering current from an eddy...

Finally real whitewater kayaking

Finally real whitewater kayaking!


Victoria, Canada and Current Designs Sirocco kayaks

Why not take the ferry to Victoria to pick up two new sea kayaks for the "fleet"?
Current Designs delivered the Siroccos to the ferry terminal!



Current Designs Siroccos home in Port Townsend

Bringing the kayaks home.




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Sign-up sheet. (PDF)
Deposits are required for each course. If an attendee cancels within two weeks prior to the course, we will refund all but $50.00 kept for processing. After two weeks no refund will occur due to scheduling of instructors, rooms and other costs associated with logistics.
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Map to Port Townsend
The green area to the northeast is the area Fort Worden is in. You can use your mouse to make the map larger.
Once you get to Port Townsend, you will see signs to Fort Worden.

Directions to Oak Bay Park

*Note: If you are flying in and need kayak rental, we can arrange that for you in Port Townsend. Please let us know in advance. You can also check Kayak Port Townsend

Lodging: As many are on a budget, recommended lodging is the hostel, ((360) 385-0655), which is adjacent to the building we like to use. The hostel is $17.00 per night, add on $8.00 if you get a private room (reserved for couples except during a slow season.
We have also recently recommended the Quimper Inn Bed and Breakfast. The phone number is 800-557-1060.

Post the to guestbook!

Kayak Instruction Excellence (KIX)

Location: 211 Taylor Street, Port Townsend, WA, 98368
Phone: (360) 379-4182

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