Got my Last Issue (sob!) today. Excellent issue--lots of good, meaty articles on great places to paddle, safety, boat reviews, the stuff that we have come to rely on Sea Kayaker magazine supplying, while nobody else comes close. Gonna miss it! I did get a chuckle, though, at looking at the cover art, which reproduces the cover of the first issue, and which at the time triggered the first of my several letters of complaint to the mag. That first issue cover shows two paddlers in what look to be short, rec-style kayaks (this is in 1984, yet), paddling happily somewhere in the Pacific Northwest over submerged, cavorting sea lions--the two kayakers without either sprayskirts or PFDs. The artwork, deliberately chosen by then-editor John Dowd, prefigured the long darkness about open water, cold water safety that typified the Sea Kayaking Industry for so long. Thus, Dowd himself and his TASK cohorts helped prefigure the situation that Matt Broze addressed in his Reply to my Letter of the October 2011 issue (the Storm Islands rescue Safety article). Matt wrote: "The large increase in inexpensive and fishing kayaks sold like commodities (where there is little or no kayaking expertise) are far more likely to result in a huge increase in what will be reported in the media as 'kayaking fatalities' than the few sea kayakers who are out on the edge and pushing the limits of what is possible in a sea kayak". Sea Kayaker Magazine under Dowd's tutelage thus presented two contradictory and incompatible faces to the public about sea kayaking, from which we may harvest bitter fruit; the situation only began to be rectified under the increasingly intelligent and perceptive editorship of Chris Cunningham. As I said, gonna miss the mag!