Outdoors

Making Waves

The wonders of water
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Velella_Sailing_level-o.jpg

In the winter, the Pacific Northwest beckons outdoor enthusiasts with snow-filled peaks and miles of fresh powder. Come spring and summer, however, it’s all about what we accomplish on the water—whether it’s sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing or swimming. Following are three ways to get excited about making waves.

Saturday, May 3 is Opening Day of Boating Season, and there are a variety of ways to get involved. First off, crew members and the general public can get fed at a fundraising “Boating Breakfast” happening from 7-11am at the Squalicum Yacht Club (2633 Harbor Loop Dr.).  Concurrently, the Corinthian Yacht Club will host a Boaters’ Swap Meet in the club’s parking lot. Nearby, the Bellingham Yacht Club’s “Land of Oz” themed celebration kicks off with a 10:30am reception for members and guests. At noon, there’ll be a public blessing of the fleet, followed by a 1:30pm Boat Parade. Stick around afterward for a Pirate Barbecue and live music. In La Conner, an Opening Day Boat Parade begins at 3pm and features a variety of watercraft making their way through the town’s historical business district in the Swinomish Channel. More info: http://www.squalicumyc.org www.b,yc.org or http://www.swinomishyachtclub.org

Kayakers are a hardy bunch, and many—including members of the Whatcom Association of Kayak Enthusiasts (WAKE)—continue to dip their oars in the water throughout all seasons of the year. And, while sea kayaking is WAKE’s main focus, they welcome “any adult who wants to paddle in the many areas of the Pacific Northwest.” From 10am-4pm Sat., May 3 they’ll be doing just that at their annual WAKE Demo Day and Gear Swap at Bloedel Donovan Park. The event is part of Bellingham Parks & Recreation’s Paddle Palooza, and features demonstrations of the latest in kayaks and related equipment, as well as offering a space for attendees to buy and sell related gear. For a $5 fee, those who show up can take watercraft of their choice out on the water. Sound Rowers will also be hosting its annual Lake Whatcom Classic on Saturday morning, so show up to watch the action, or sign up in advance, and get rowing. More info: http://www.wakekayak.org or www.soundrowers.org

While the final event we’re drawing attention to won’t see participants dipping their toes in the wet stuff, it might just inspire them to quit the rat race, purchase a sailboat and live off the grid for a few years. At 7pm Saturday, author and adventurer Wendy Hinman will be at Village Books to share stories and images from her book Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven-Year Pacific Odyssey. The book focuses on Hinman and her husband’s years-long voyage aboard the 31-foot Velella—a boat that was adequate for the journey, but a bit undersized for Hinman’s tall spouse. The lighthearted event will focus on the teamwork necessary to travel 34,000 miles on a too-small watercraft, and those who attend can also glean tips for traveling on a budget, living at sea and finding a way to make adventure a part of your everyday life. More info: http://www.villagebooks.com or www.wendyhinman.com

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