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Why We Paddle: The 6th Annual Deception Pass Dash

Why We Paddle: The 6th Annual Deception Pass Dash (2011) from Baby Seal Films on Vimeo.

I have paddled in the Deception Pass Dash every year since the first race in 2006. At that time only about 40 paddlers entered. Since then it has grown into a large  two-day festival with about 150 boats, including surfskis, sea kayaks, outrigger canoes, paddleboards and rowing shells. It is easy to come up with reasons why so many people are attracted to this race -- the challenge of paddling in strong tidal currents, the possibility of rough winter storm conditions, the stunning beauty of the Pass, and the excitement and sense of camaraderie that comes from participating with so many other paddlers.

I wanted to commemorate the 6th annual Deception Pass Dash with a video and came up with "Why We Paddle". It was a joy working with my friend Katya, who shot most of the video, and interviewing a handful of racers about what attracts them to paddlesports. Many thanks to the people we interviewed and especially to members of The Pitchfork Revolution, who contributed the music for the soundtrack.

Visiting the Kalakala

Kalakala from Baby Seal Films on Vimeo.

After hearing that the historic art deco era ferry Kalakala was recently put up for sale by owner Steve Rodrigues for $1, I wanted to see it again. The ferry has been evicted from it’s current berth in the Hylebos Waterway so who knows how much longer it will be in Tacoma. It needs to be moved by the end of the year or it will be seized by the Coast Guard. But it may not even be in condition to be moved. The Coast Guard said that improvements need to be made to keep it from sinking or breaking apart when towed.

It is a short paddle (1.5 nm) from the new Dick Gilmur public access kayak beach on Commencement Bay to see it. It looks like it’s in pretty bad shape.

Kakala path

Thanks to Katya Palladina for the photos.




Interview with Phoxx Ekcs Part 4: "My Most Dangerous Day On The Water"

Interview with Phoxx Ekcs Part 4: "My Most Dangerous Day on the Water" from Baby Seal Films on Vimeo.

This is the 4th and final part of my interview with Phoxx Ekcs. He talks about kayaking from Cape Sutil back to God’s Pocket through the worst conditions he’s ever encountered -- out through surf and 6 to 8 ft waves -- and barely making progress against strong headwinds. He paddled from sunrise to sundown on the first day after having had nothing to eat for the last 3 days and only a liter of water.

I talked to Phoxx further about his decision to launch his kayak that day. He said that he simply couldn’t stay at Cape Sutil any longer because there weren’t any mussels there. There had been high winds and rain during the few days prior and he thought he was leaving on a relatively calm day.

We wrap it up with a demonstration on how to start a fire using a fire board and spindle.