Kayaking Foundations: Skills and Safety for Paddling in the PNW (June 2022)

Class Description:

Bring your camping gear and let’s learn some on-water skills. We’ll enjoy two days of on-water learning and camping fun in Anacortes. This 12-hour weekend class was created for BIPOC Latinx, and AAPI who are needing a foundation of knowledge and skills for kayaking in nearshore waters in the lakes and bays of Washington. (If you don’t represent as a person of color but are interested in attending, reach out and we’ll let you know if space is available.) Class will be instructed by Captain Phyllis Woolwine, Founder of Shearwater University. Captain Phyllis is a kayak, sailing, and powerboat instructor whose credentials include American Canoe Association Certified Coastal Kayaking Instructor; USCG Captain: Master Near Coastal; US Sailing Certified Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising, Coastal Passage Making, and Coastal Navigation Instructor; US Powerboating Certified Basic Powerboat Cruising, Inshore Powerboat Cruising, and Night Operations Instructor; National Board Certified Teacher, Adult and Young Adult Science; MA, Multicultural Science Education; and BS, Botany. Captain Woolly brings her passion and a lifetime of experience in boating, education, and natural science to her culminating life work, which is Shearwater University.

Book online now!


  • Whether you’re trying kayaking for the first time – or you’ve been paddling and knowing you need to develop skills for effective strokes & safety – this class is for those who want to learn in a supportive, inclusive environment.
  • You can bring any type of kayak, or rent a sea kayak from us – discounted to $10 per day for this class

Skills Covered:

  • Getting in and out of a kayak at the beach without getting soaked
  • Paddle strokes for making forward progress, and for maneuvering your boat effectively
  • Balance and bracing skills to keep you right side up
  • Wet exit: it may not sound fun, but you’ll need this skill for when it inevitably happens
  • Assisted rescue: How to get back into your kayak in deep water with help from a friend
  • Self-rescue: Techniques for re-entering your kayak in deep water by yourself
  • Essential gear to keep you safe and happy

Class Schedule and Camping Logistics:  

  • Class will be at Bowman Bay (part of Deception Pass State Park) an ideally protected bay in paddling paradise. Saturday and Sunday June 18 and 19, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
  • We’ll be camping at Washington Park in Anacortes Friday June 17 – Sunday June 19. Check in is at 1:00 pm on Friday. We’ll break camp before leaving for class on Sunday. Washington Park is a 15-minute drive from Bowman Bay.

Date: June 17-19, 2022
Class fee: $100
Ages: 14+ (minors must be accompanied by an adult)
Max capacity: 8 persons
Bowman Bay: 4399 Bowman Bay Road, Anacortes, WA 98221 (circle drive with statute in the middle)
Washington Park Campground: 6300 Sunset Avenue, Anacortes WA 98222
Required immersion gear:
Drysuit or 3 mil wetsuit (rentals available, see registration)