NWWB Notes: Coast Guard Offers Guidance for Paddler Safety Across PNW 

Gals, When touring the Seattle Harbor Patrol offices they shared that the majority of drownings in Northwest waters occur from paddle boards, canoes and kayaks. After reading this, if you know someone who is headed out on in a small craft, please pass on this information. It may save a life.

united states coast guard

Coast Guard urges paddler safety this summer across PNW 

Coast Guard, partner agencies demonstrate cold water safety rescue on Lake Union

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard urges the public to be prepared when operating a paddle craft on the water this Memorial Day weekend as summer kicks off across the Pacific Northwest.

As stay-at-home restrictions are eased and air temperatures rise, in our rush to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest, it is easy to forget that water temperatures remain dangerously cold.

However, there are some easy steps that you can take to ensure your own safety while recreating on the water. In the U.S., an estimated 130 people die annually while kayaking or canoeing; 90% of those deaths as a result of drowning.

Factors that contributed most to these fatal accidents were: failure to wear a life jacket, operator inattention or inexperience, alcohol and drug use, hazardous waters, weather conditions, and navigation rule violations. Don’t forget: life jackets are required by law to be on all vessels, including kayaks, canoes and paddleboards.

Below are steps you can take to ensure a fun time out on the water and make it home safely.

File a ‘Float Plan’ – Before you leave, create a plan and let someone staying behind know your itinerary. The plan should include the contact information for all individuals going out, the intended route, and what to do in case of emergency or non-arrival at the estimated return time.

Check the weather – The weather can change quickly and is often a leading cause of getting into trouble. Prior to departure, check the weather for current and forecasted conditions. This should include understanding how different weather conditions, tides, and currents will affect your waterway and craft.

Wear a Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device – Personal Flotation Devices save lives, if they fit and you wear them. In many incidents, life jackets were onboard but not worn; and once you are in the water it may be too late to put one on or adjust it, as cold-water shock is a deadly and ever-present threat in the Pacific Northwest. A highly visible PFD, with reflective tape, will assist mariners in seeing an individual and increases the chances of being found by a search team if the need arises. To further reduce the risk of hypothermia and cold-water shock, it is advisable to dress to the water temperature – not the air temperature – by wearing a dry suit, wet suit, or other synthetic materials (not cotton).

Label your paddle craft – A label allows responders to confirm if someone is actually in trouble and collect information to help search efforts. A simple label with a name, contact information, and alternate contact number written in waterproof ink or paint can drastically reduce search times; in addition to ensuring the return of any wayward watercraft to its owner.

Go with a friend – Two people allow one to help the other in case of emergency, and allows for that critical call for help to initiate a search and rescue response if the need arises.

Waterproof communication devices – This could be something as simple as a whistle, air horn, or cell phone in a waterproof case, to flares, a handheld VHF radio, or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with proper registration. These devices will allow you to alert mariners in the immediate vicinity or send an alert to the Coast Guard.

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs – Boating under the influence is ILLEGAL. This applies to all boats including kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, rowboats, and inflatable fishing rafts. The use of alcohol or drugs while operating any vessel is unsafe and impairs judgement, motor skills, situational awareness, and can hasten onset of hypothermia.

These simple steps can ensure you are prepared to enjoy the water safely and responsibly.

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NWWB Notes: Member Joanne Poggetti Spearheads Sewstrong.org providing protective masks during this critical time.

Gals, if you are reaching out in some way to help during this unprecedented health crisis that has hit our world, let us know in order that we might help celebrate your efforts.

During these challenging times there are gals in our group who are reaching out to help and those efforts should be celebrated. Joanne Poggetti (who along with Katie Gerghity   took a 13′ dinghy down the Columbia Rover from Lewiston to Astoria) is spearheading an ambitious project to get protective reusable cloth masks and face shields in the hands of those who need them. sewstrong.org  is her organization and their efforts currently involve 70 sewers who have provided upwards of 10,000 masks. They seek both sewers and folks who could deliver the masks.

Joanne offered Margaret Mead’s famous quote on her site that is good for all of us to remember:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”   –   Margaret Mead

a pile of medical masks

Who We Are

Sewstrong volunteers have mobilized for one mission only: To get reusable cloth masks and face shields into the hands of people who need them ASAP. We came together to address the current crisis in the healthcare industry and community settings surrounding protection from COVID-19 infection.

We fill requests from healthcare facilities and other community organizations. Our products are provided free of charge are produced in home by people who sew and craft. Sewstrong’s steering team provides leadership and direction.

Our Cloth Masks

Our medical advisory team provides input on our cloth face mask design. They base their input on current scientific and industrial recommendations. Our current standard is a pocket design cloth mask with elastic ear loops or ties. This is the design recommended by the CDC for use when no commercially made masks are available. We value feedback from our customers and our volunteers on how to improve. We strive to make the highest quality products and deliver in a timely manner.

photo of joanne poggetti

Joanne Poggetti, MA, Sewstrong Founder

Joanne has over four decades dedicated herself to improving quality and productivity in a wide variety of government, industry, and educational settings. Her clients have included the Saskatchewan Health System, PeaceHealth, Fred Hutchinson, Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, Microsoft, University of Washington, and a variety of U.S. government agencies. In 1996, along with John Black, Joanne launched the first comprehensive LEAN implementation in healthcare in the United States.

 

 

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NWWB Notes: Margaret Pommert Wins National ‘Leadership in Women’s Sailing’ Award

Northwest Women in Boating congratulates Margaret!

Margaret Pommert Honored with
2020 BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award

MARBLEHEAD, Mass., May 20, 2020 – Margaret Pommert of Seattle, Washington, has been named recipient of the 2020 BoatUS/National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award. The award annually recognizes an individual with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

“Margaret has been called ‘a force of nature’ for her enthusiasm and effectiveness in getting more women on the water,” said NWSA President Debbie Huntsman. “She encourages women to step up to new responsibilities and to expand their capabilities, confidence, and boating horizons.”

Added Huntsman, “Margaret also has developed impressive, forward-thinking mentoring and online learning opportunities for bringing more women sailors forward as certified instructors and licensed mariners. In doing so, she has truly shown exceptional leadership in women’s sailing and is most deserving of this award.”

A Pacific Northwest native, Pommert is an American Sailing Association and US Sailing certified instructor and holds a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard Master Captain’s License. For many years, she taught sailing in California on dinghies, keelboats, catamarans and monohulls, and she now teaches at a variety of locations in the Pacific Northwest as well as online. Pommert also works for the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, teaching new keelboat instructors. One of the nation’s largest sailing schools named her 2019 Instructor of the Year.

Beyond instruction, Pommert skippered an all-woman J105 sailing team that twice won a fundraising regatta for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She was on the only all-woman U.S. team at the 2018 J22 International Midwinter Championship Regatta, co-led a flotilla up the Inside Passage to Alaska five times, sailed a Pacific Crossing, and explored many top cruising destinations. She also writes a monthly column for women sailors in Northwest Yachting magazine, created the free boating education website seattleonthewater.com, and serves on The Sailing Foundation’s Executive Committee where she is the organization’s Offshore Safety at Sea training organizer. Pommert has served as a member of the Washington State Boating Programs Advisory Committee, which provides recommendations on ways to enhance boating safety and evaluates grants on boating access infrastructure.

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NWWB Meeting Mon. Mar. 18th Jennifer Hahn Author of Spirited Waters Soloing South Through the Inside Passage and Pacific Feast A Cook’s Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine

Note: We are not putting the ZOOM Meeting link on the blog. If you haven’t received the program info email with the link to the ZOOM Meeting send an email request to nwwbviv@gmail.com

Jennifer Hahn, is the author of award-winning SPIRITED WATERS: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage (Mountaineers Books) and PACIFIC FEAST: A Cook’s Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine (Skipstone Press). She will talk about her adventure kayaking solo from Ketchikan to Bellingham and will share about her current life focus offering a PowerPoint talk of Inside Passage wild edible foraging.
 
Jennifer is currently doing research on seaweed in the Salish Sea and is a faculty member of Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. She teaches courses in Wild Food Ecology. In the summer, she works as a naturalist and guide in Southeast Alaska and the San Juan Islands for Sea Wolf Adventures, Gustavus, Alaska. She is also savoring a future fall/winter writing retreat to complete a third book.
 
Date: Monday, May 18th
 
Time: 7:00pm – till 9:00 pm
 
Location: ON ZOOM  You will receive a link to the meeting via email, if it misses you, request the link via email below
 
Questions: Email nwwbviv@gmail.com
 
Excerpt from Spirited Waters Soloing South Through the Inside Passage
 
“One of my most hair-raising experiences was when I was leaving Ketchikan, Alaska and aiming my bow for Bellingham. There had already been two storms that had come in and stymied me. There was another storm coming in but not for 24 to 36 hours, and, I thought, if I don’t go now I’m going to chicken out. So I bolted out of Ketchikan and paddled 26 miles to a small island I hoped was bearless. The next morning I got up and turned on the weather radio and heard, (amidst crackling static,)  ‘45 knot winds…Dickson Entrance.’ I looked out and it was silver smooth and I thought, storm shmorm it’s gonna hit sometime later but it’s not gonna hit this morning, I’ll just go six miles down the coast. I thought, I’ll be careful and cautious and stay along the coast, except Dickson Entrance is not your normal coast; it’s wide open to the Pacific. I was crossing a channel soon after called Boca de Quadra. It is 2 ½ miles across and I got hit by the storm in the middle of it. Out in the middle of this channel a long ways from land, I remember hearing this voice (when you’re alone you have intuitive voices that, for me, shout sometimes.) This one shouted, ‘Pick up the binoculars and look at the horizon!’  I thought, Good Gravy! This voice was like the navigator in me. I feel like there are several people in the boat with me sometimes and one is the navigator. She keeps me on course and holds me to task. She’s checking how fast my hair’s lifting, you know, is it a 5-knot wind is it a 10-knot wind? My hair is used like those little streamers on a sailboat. I picked up my binoculars. You learn to go up and down in the swell and get a gestalt when you’re up on top of the swell, hold it, and come back down into the trough, and go back up again and reconfirm what you see in binoculars without getting sick. If it’s not too rough, you can do it real quick. This time the edge of the horizon was toothed like a bow saw. I’d never seen a horizon that rough in binoculars. Where I was, it was just small little humps of waves. I thought, that is one heck of a storm coming at me; that is the 45-knot winds they were talking about. I thought, do I keep going or do I turn around? I didn’t know where to go back to, so I thought, Ill try to make it. I tried and pushed myself and the waves got bigger and bigger. Soon they were three foot, and then they were four foot and they were breaking over the bow and breaking over me. Finally, one hit me and went over my head into my jacket, down into my kayak. I did a 180 at the top of the next wave and just surfed nearly out of control for a good period of time. I was so scared I wanted to cry and my navigator just shouted, ‘Don’t you cry or you’re gonna fog your eyeballs, you need to see every wave that’s coming behind ya!!’ I was watching out of my periphery vision to see the waves that were coming behind so that I could be in the right position to brace or role.”
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NWWB Notes: Mon. May 18th Meeting Jennifer Hahn Author of Spirited Waters Soloing South Through the Inside Passage

We need an evening of enthusiasm and fascination. That’s what our presenter, Jennifer Hahn will bring you. Fascinating isn’t overstating, this unusual gal kayaked solo from Ketchikan to Bellingham writing an award winning book on her adventure, Spirited Waters Soloing South Through the Inside Passage. (read an excerpt below) From sleeping on islands because of ‘bearanoia’ to munching along the way on natural plants and seaweeds about which she’s an expert and teaches, she has engaging tales to tell and information to share.

I interviewed Jennifer for Nor’Westing Magazine in 2001 and her enthusiasm and creative ways of viewing life stood out in my mind. She lives and teaches in Bellingham, and now, with ZOOM meetings, it’s realistic for her to speak to us. Her signature of my copy of her book included a hand-drawn sea otter, she’s an artist, too. She spoke on one of our Women’s Inspirational Panels at the Seattle Boat Show.  She’ll amaze you, make you laugh and you, too, won’t forget her.

Date: Monday, May 18th

Time: 7:00pm – till 9:00 pm

Location: ON ZOOM  You will receive a link to the meeting via email, if it misses you somehow, request via email below

Questions: Email nwwbviv@gmail.com

Excerpt from Spirited Waters Soloing South Through the Inside Passage

“One of my most hair-raising experiences was when I was leaving Ketchikan, Alaska and aiming my bow for Bellingham. There had already been two storms that had come in and stymied me. There was another storm coming in but not for 24 to 36 hours, and, I thought, if I don’t go now I’m going to chicken out. So I bolted out of Ketchikan and paddled 26 miles to a small island I hoped was bearless. The next morning I got up and turned on the weather radio and heard, (amidst crackling static,)  ‘45 knot winds…Dickson Entrance.’ I looked out and it was silver smooth and I thought, storm shmorm it’s gonna hit sometime later but it’s not gonna hit this morning, I’ll just go six miles down the coast.

I thought, I’ll be careful and cautious and stay along the coast, except Dickson Entrance is not your normal coast; it’s wide open to the Pacific. I was crossing a channel soon after called Boca de Quadra. It is 2 ½ miles across and I got hit by the storm in the middle of it.

Out in the middle of this channel a long ways from land, I remember hearing this voice (when you’re alone you have intuitive voices that, for me, shout sometimes.) This one shouted, ‘Pick up the binoculars and look at the horizon!’  I thought, Good Gravy! This voice was like the navigator in me. I feel like there are several people in the boat with me sometimes and one is the navigator. She keeps me on course and holds me to task. She’s checking how fast my hair’s lifting, you know, is it a 5-knot wind is it a 10-knot wind? My hair is used like those little streamers on a sailboat.

I picked up my binoculars. You learn to go up and down in the swell and get a gestalt when you’re up on top of the swell, hold it, and come back down into the trough, and go back up again and reconfirm what you see in binoculars without getting sick. If it’s not too rough, you can do it real quick. This time the edge of the horizon was toothed like a bow saw. I’d never seen a horizon that rough in binoculars. Where I was, it was just small little humps of waves. I thought, that is one heck of a storm coming at me; that is the 45-knot winds they were talking about. I thought, do I keep going or do I turn around? I didn’t know where to go back to, so I thought, Ill try to make it. I tried and pushed myself and the waves got bigger and bigger. Soon they were three foot, and then they were four foot and they were breaking over the bow and breaking over me. Finally, one hit me and went over my head into my jacket, down into my kayak. I did a 180 at the top of the next wave and just surfed nearly out of control for a good period of time. I was so scared I wanted to cry and my navigator just shouted, ‘Don’t you cry or you’re gonna fog your eyeballs, you need to see every wave that’s coming behind ya!!’ I was watching out of my periphery vision to see the waves that were coming behind so that I could be in the right position to brace or role.”  

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NWWB Notes: Sea Stories Online Nancy Erley & others 5pm tonight May 6th

Join in to hear Nancy Erley and others tell Sea Stories 5pm tonight May 6th, link below.

https://aymesinclair.typeform.com/to/SbxCuc

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NWWB Notes: Recreational Boating Open for Day-Use Starting May 5th

Here’s a link to an article with more information

 

 

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