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Trip Report    

Tow and Incident Management Clinic - Deception Pass

Tow Clinic - Basic - For Beginners

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Launched from Cornet Bay in Deception Pass State Park.  Roads and launch were clear.

Ten participants plus six instructors.  Participants ranged from first year paddlers to those with ten+ years paddling experience.  To the best of my knowledge, only one participant had previous towing instruction.

Weather was great.  Sunny.  Low 60's.  Minimal wind average 5kts with some gusts up to perhaps 10kts.  Water ranged from glassy to perhaps 6-12" wind waves at times.

After beach huddle that included risk management discussion, we paddled from Cornet Bay kayak launch beach to Ala Spit.  ~2.1nm.  Had a slight current against us of 1kt.  Reached Ala Spit about 1045.  Spent about one hour on beach with instruction covering when/why to paddle, basic equipment, managing tow lines and gear, how and where to clip to boat, and basic towing formations.

After lunch split into five groups of two with one instructor to learn/practice single in-line tow, multiple towers in-line tow, contact tow, swimmer tow options, releasing and tossing tow belt clear both when upright and paddling and also in a scenario where the tower had capsized and then released the tow belt and did a wet exit.   All the exercises/practice as in the "bay" on the north side of Ala Spit.  Paddlers were on the water with these exercises and more from about 1230 to 1515.  Had the post paddle huddle on Ala Spit then paddled back to launch against a developing flood from Deception Pass arriving about 1600.  

We launched after high tide and arrived at Ala Spit just before the low tide and beached on the north side near the beginning of the spit (west end).  Lots of mud.  Next time we'll land out toward the end of the spit (east or NE end).

We'll have to see how the participants rate the clinic in their feedback.  Verbal feedback suggests that it was a successful, fun, and educational day.