Posts Tagged ‘Paddle the Willapa’

Monday, 7 September 2015

Allan attends the Poker Paddle in South Bend

Last year I attended this event to check out the kayak crowd. I had been sailing during the summer and was reaching some sort of decision point. I could sail my little skiffs downwind and back and forth very well at my skill level. Upwind travel often resulted in folding up the sail and rowing to finally get back to the launch where I’d drag the 145 lb. boat out into our disassembled garden trailer. I wanted to see how people loaded heavier kayaks (like a 63 lb. Hobie I had my eye on).

 Last year by the time I got there, I had only had time for a quick trot along the shore.  This year I had a boat with which to participate,and take pictures.



boats and signs marked the spot


lots of colorful boats


Here’s the check-in with rules, directions and a number. “PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOUR CARDS ARE SOAKED YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO DRAW NEW CARDS!!!” I’m covered.


some people show up on time and don’t dawdle


Off they went. Suppose I should stop looking around but this wasn’t a hurry up event.


All the stations would be on the right.


picking up their first playing card


lots of chatting and fun




I once had one of these sturdy 80 lb. Coleman canoes and finally sold it to a rental group that loved them.


a stick, a clothespin, and a dry volunteer handing out another card


It’s the Laymans from Raymond who also help promote our local kayaking. Their daughter was just in the local paper regarding her new kayak rental shop.


back we go


Vern and Janet took their graceful craft up the river a ways after gathering their cards


cueing up to the small craft dock


extra hands were available for this 22 foot outriggered boat coming out now


just over two miles and a relaxed fun time.


two more cards to come but a pair of sixes was it for me. However a pair of jacks or higher won money ranging from $25 to a $100.

Baylee Laymann of Raymond’s Willapa Paddle Adventures   brought her rental kayaks.  Some were reserved but many were available to take out. With all the assistance available, a short paddle was possible for nearly anyone.



Karaoke with Doug was back again. One of the kids did an early set of Christmas carols. Doug has got a thick book full of songs and, if you want to try a song, what happens in Raymond-stays in Raymond.

The pole walk was the next dock event.


just walk out to the line and back (the further line is for adults)


shortest time determines winners…


…if you come back dry.

I meanwhile walked back to the car and trotted the sail kit past the tempting rides, and past the swimmers making good use of the low dock.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 12.46.46 AM

I had help pushing off the taller dock. It was 1:45  as I tried to discreetly leave the South Bend party and head down river for a nine mile trip to the entrance of Willapa Bay.


Pelicans! This was at the entrance to a branch of the Willapa River that was too shallow to enter at the outgoing 3.0 foot tide.


The 16x zoom of the fragile land camera helped keep me from bothering the birds. Waterproof cameras don’t zoom in as close.


what a beak stretch on the left.


more birds coming and going


who’s the pretty bird?


Back at shore I heard; ‘Where there are pelicans, there are fish…but not for long’. We saw a few seal heads pop up during the poker paddle but they wouldn’t come back up for a proper picture.


Everything got wet and I had left my coat behind. Fortunately there still was enough summer around not to get cold.

The wind picked up. I covered the distance at an average speed of about 7 mph topping out at about 9. Here’s a 18 sec. video of my camera being splashed with salt water as we bump through the waves. Camera still works but I shouldn’t do it again.


blue lights flashing, must be getting back to South Bend


3:45, the dock is empty, and the party has moved elsewhere.

Last year I attended wondering how I could get a heavy kayak / light sailboat here in 2015. There are rear car top rollers that work for the very tall, and a clever hydraulic side loader that’s very pricy. Yakima Racks makes an extension pole to reduce the weight a person has to lift for a hundred bucks. I copied it with a two by four, a plate screwed on the end and a bungee cord.


Read Full Post »