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The Road Less Paddled: Seven Special Spots for Local Kayakers

During my first paddle with WAKE (Whatcom Association of Kayak Enthusiasts),  I learned two important lessons about kayaking in Bellingham: first, that uncrowded lesser-known destinations are immensely gratifying, and second, that there are often good reasons why these spots are uncrowded. The Salish Sea is replete with destination gems enjoyed by paddlers “in-the-know.” These special spots demand advanced skills, rough-weather …

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When It Rains, It Pours… and We Go Kayaking

It has been a torrential downpour in Whatcom County over the past week and the rivers are flowing high with turbulent water, a white water kayaker’s dream. With a lack of precipitation this winter, there have been few pow days at Mt. Baker and even fewer high water laps on the North Fork of the Nooksack River in Glacier, WA. …

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A Promise Kept, A Record Broken

My left paddle blade drags heavily across the water as I lean back in my seat and glide toward the beach. At the water’s edge, a 3-foot wide, red digital clock clicks off the time: 22 hours, 8 minutes, 15 seconds and counting. In knee-deep water, a crew of six are waiting for me, and when my surfski reaches them they …

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Current Events: The Kayaking Legacy of Reg Lake

by Ted Rosen There are two sports worlds. There is the world of mainstream sports, with its glamorous superstars, enormous budgets and massive marketing machines. Then there’s the world of passion sports, with its underdog heroes, relative poverty and niche marketing efforts. Everyone knows the mainstream sports legends. But in the passion sports, our heroes are legends in the true …

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Novice: Surviving the Frostbite Regatta

Story by Richard McClenahan. Photos by Richard McClenahan and John D’Onofrio   The vessel is 60 feet long, weighs upwards of 250 pounds and has eight metal oar-riggers sticking out of the sides like large, gangly elbows. Eight of us—otherwise known as novice crew members—heft the boat to our shoulders, four to a side. A couple short people quickly become …

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Wild Portraits: Salmon through the Artist’s Eye

by Jessica Newley   After last year’s successful mission to shoot Pink salmon , I’ve been eagerly waiting all summer for news of this years runs.   When word came last Thursday, from our friends at the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, that the Coho had finally made it up the Cascade River we started packing our bags and preparing for a …

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George Dyson: From Tree House to Turing’s Cathedral

Story by Ted Rosen “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho There’s something curious about George Dyson. You won’t see it when you meet him. He’s a fairly non-descript, private fellow with a slight build and a rumpled appearance. He doesn’t exude charisma and gravitas. But behind his green eyes is a man …

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Snorkeling with Salmon: Encounters Below the Surface

Story and photos by Jessica Newley When the water first hits my face, it’s like being stung by little bees all over my cheeks. To top that off, I have an instant ice cream headache and if I don’t get my footing soon I’m likely to drown in four feet of water. As an avid scuba diver, the irony of …

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Paddling into Canada: A pilgrimage to Hozomeen

Story and photographs by John D’Onofrio The surface of Diablo Lake is a turquoise mirror. The air is still, without the faintest breath of wind. I dip my paddle into the water and the canoe moves silently away from the shore. Behind us, the boat launch at Colonial Creek recedes as we move down Thunder Arm and out into the …

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More Faster Backwards: Restoring the David B

On June 16, 2006, the David B left Bellingham, Washington, bound for Juneau, Alaska, on her maiden voyage as a passenger vessel. Eight years earlier, Christine and Jeffrey Smith had found the David B tucked behind a breakwater on Lopez Island, in the San Juan Islands. The tired old wooden boat, built in 1929, was showing her age. When the young couple stepped aboard the neglected vessel, her sturdy work-boat style captured their hearts with an ageless beauty that only the young dreamers could see. Their desire was to own and operate a small expedition cruise ship in Alaska. With their love for one another and without much income, they pinned their hopes and sheer will on rebuilding the dying boat. What they thought would be a two-year project became an eight-year tug-of-war between time and money as they raced to finish rebuilding the David B before it was too late. More Faster Backwards is the story of Christine and Jeffrey’s uncertain struggle to rebuild the David B and their journey to Alaska on an untested seventy-seven year old boat to begin the life of their dreams.

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