Meeting location: Ridgefield Marina, Ridgefield, WA.
Directions (via I-5 north): Take exit 14, turn left (SR501/Pioneer St), proceed to downtown Ridgefield. Turn right onto Main, then left onto Mill St and enter the marina. Free parking is along the fence to the left. If that's full, you'll need to purchase a parking receipt from the machine at the restroom ($6). Instructor/guide will meet you there for the class.
Kayak rentals: Single kayaks rent for $33 (2 hrs), doubles for $47 (2 hrs). Fees include paddle, pfd (life vest) and bilge pump. Ridgefield Kayak Rental accepts checks, credit and debit cards (Visa, M/C).
Weather: This class goes rain or shine. If it looks rainy, bring rain gear (see "What to wear and bring," below).
What to expect: This is a 2-hr "introduction to sea kayaking," oriented to beginning and novice paddlers. Instruction is included. More experienced paddlers are welcome, but be aware the pace will be slow/moderate. After instruction, we'll be off on a short paddle upsteam on Lake River. We should return to the kayak rental boathouse by 3:30 p.m.
What to wear and bring:
Unless it's a hot day, avoid wearing cotton next to your skin -- cotton acts like a sponge and soaks up sweat, leaving you chilly and clammy. Remember, it's always cooler on the water. Quick-drying fabrics such as polyester, polypropylene and nylon are far superior to cotton for this activity. Footwear can be old running shoes, river sandals, water shoes or wetsuit booties. Fingerless gloves (such as bicycle gloves) can prevent possible blisters to hands from gripping the paddle shaft. If it's looks like rain or is rainy, a rain parka (doesn't need to be Gore-Tex, but should be at least water-repellent) will help keep you dry.
Hat (broad brim is best), sunglasses with tether and sunscreen.
Change of dry clothes in a waterproof bag, in event of a capsize. Capsizes are very rare, but can happen.
Water (or favorite non-alcoholic beverage), and an energy bar or two.
Optional: small pair of binoculars (waterproof if possible). We'll be paddling adjacent to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, which has many species of aquatic birds.
Optional: camera -- should be in waterproof bag or case if not waterproof.