Paddle Smart Identification Sticker
By Christopher Cunningham
The US Coast Guard has created new identification stickers to speed rescue efforts and return lost gear. The bright orange self-adhesive stickers give you a way to put your name and phone numbers on your kayak and other paddling gear. For kayakers, gear that goes astray without identification is simply lost. There are plenty of good Samaritans out there who would happily return gear they find if they knew to whom it belonged. For the Coast Guard, a kayak or a paddle found adrift or washed up on a beach is cause for concern. If that gear has identification information on it they have a place to start to see if there is reason to initiate a search and rescue (S&R) effort.
Several years ago I was paddling in rough conditions and lost half of a spare paddle from my aft deck. I wasn’t able to find it but I knew that the paddle would be carried across almost 20 miles of open water before washing ashore. Any boater who happened across the paddle might well wonder what had become of its owner. After I got off the water I called the Coast Guard. I identified myself to the officer and gave him a description of the paddle and the location where I’d lost it. He was glad to have the information. If the paddle was found and reported to the Coast Guard, the expense of a search and rescue effort could be saved.
There have been many cases where paddling gear had been recovered and reported following incidents where paddlers were in trouble. S&R efforts were initiated, but the lack of information hampered the operations. Without contact information rescuers did not know who they were looking for nor where they might have been traveling.
While the stickers do provide valuable information, in the event of an emergency S&R teams can do their jobs more effectively if they can get to a float plan with all the information about your particular trip. If your float-plan holder is a family member who can be reached at the phone numbers you have on your sticker the float-plan information is immediately available. If your float-plan holder has other phone numbers, consider putting that person’s phone number instructions regarding recovered paddling gear on your phone’s outgoing message for voice mail.
The marine-grade stickers are retro-reflective so they have the added benefit of making your gear more visible at night. They are available for free; contact your local Coast Guard office.
By Christopher Cunningham
Melissa Spangler has continued with the Puget Sound Challenge and has completed over 100 miles of the 150-mile 13-stage tour of the waters from Port Townsend to Allyn, WA. She also took an intensive 5-day kayaking skills class taught by George Gronseth of the Kayak Academy. During the class Melissa completed her first unassisted roll and went on to being able to roll consistently on both sides and with the kayak empty or loaded with gear. She continues to go on outings with the Seattle kayaking MeetUp group, including a 4th of July weekend cruise in the San Juan Islands. The dream of paddling the San Juans was what got Melissa interested in kayaking back in December, so she’s met that goal and is looking for new opportunities. She has come a long way in her 8 months of paddling. Check out her reports on the Sea Kayaker blog.
Do It Yourself: Foot-Powered Bilge Pump
Any time you make a wet exit from your kayak you’re going to wind up with water in your cockpit. Self rescues and assisted rescues usually begin with dumping water out of the cockpit, but during the reentry the cockpit is open and more water is likely to get back in, especially if the waves are steep and breaking. Hand pumps are quite common and they can be used effectively in assisted rescues. Since the pump itself takes two hands to operate, an extra pair of hands can tend to keeping a pair of kayaks upright. If you’re on your own or if you want to speed up assisted rescues, a hands-free option for bailing out is a great idea. A foot-operated pump installed in the cockpit can get you bailed out while you have your hands on the paddle ready to get under way. Tom Finn shows you how to install a pump in this article from our February 2003 issue.
Sea Kayaker Store
August ’10 Issue
- Greenland rolling for touring kayaks by Helen Wilson. Rolling demo video!
- Safety: A solo kayaker capsizes on an ice-covered Mississippi River. River ice video!
- Paddling Ontario’s Prince Edward County
- “Rite of Passage” A mother’s recollection of kayaking with teens at Lake Superior’s Isle Royale
- Homemade charts from online resources
- Kayak Reviews:
-The Illusion by Sterling’s Kayaks
-Solstice GTS by Current Designs
NEW – Digital Issues Now Available
Always looking to increase our fan base, we're offering digital versions of the Sea Kayaker 2010 issues. At just under 10MB our PDF version will download in under 3 minutes. You can purchase them through our online store and we'll email you the link(s) after we process your order. Check out the sample!
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One of a Kind
By Gordon Fox
This is a Nick Schade design, the Guillemot, which I lofted from his book The Strip-Built Sea Kayak. It took me 1 1/2 years to make. It is a cedar-strip kayak; the inlaid areas are walnut, curly maple, redwood and some white oak.
Click to read more
We encourage readers to send in comments and feedback. Subscriber Tony Chavez let us know how much he enjoyed the April‘10 issue of Sea Kayaker magazine with his illustrated comments, thank you Tony!
From the Advertising Department
The Northwest Paddling Festival
By Paul R. Riek
Advertising and Promotions Manager
Sea Kayaker magazine, Mountain to Sound Outfitters and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce announce a new paddlesports event in Seattle, WA.
Greg Whitaker, founder and CEO of Mountain to Sound Outfitters announced a new world-class sea kayaking and stand up-paddling (SUP) event to be held June 25- 26, 2011 at West Seattle’s Alki Beach, exact location to be announced in January 2011. The Northwest Paddling Festival will showcase on-water demonstrations, on-water instruction, races, classroom lectures and live music. The location has a stunning view of downtown Seattle and has ready access to the nightlife of Alki Beach.
Mountain to Sound Outfitters is Seattle’s newest specialty sporting goods store focused on paddlesports, snowsports and skating. With two shops in West Seattle, including an on-water rental facility, Mountain to Sound Outfitters provides tours, lessons, rentals and retail sales.
“After the demise of two major paddlesports events in as many years, the Pacific Northwest has been left with a huge void,” said Whitaker. “We have been working closely with Sea Kayaker magazine in that time on how fill the void. Sea Kayaker has been a respected fixture in the paddlesports community for over 26 years, and is the voice of authority in the sport of sea kayaking. We have recently created a partnership with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce that provides an essential link to the host community. We are extremely proud to make the announcement now that everything has finally come together to create this event.”
The West Seattle event boasts something that other previous paddlesports events in this area have not been able to provide: timing and location. The event will take place the first weekend of summer after Seattle schools have let out for the year, and at a time when most on-water paddlesports events have come to an end. Unlike many other paddlesports events, the Northwest Paddling Festival will be immediately adjacent to the resources a major metropolitan area can provide. Alki Beach is readily accessible not only by car and public transit, but also by the King County Water Taxi from downtown Seattle. Walk-by traffic along the beach during the summer is numbered in the tens of thousands per day and is a destination for active Seattle residents.
The Northwest Paddling Festival event will provide an opportunity for the industry to showcase its products and for a boat-loving population the chance to try the best in sea kayaking and stand-up paddling equipment.
For more information please contact:
Mountain to Sound Outfitters
Sea Kayaker magazine, independently owned and operated since 1984