CKF’s Early Days
By Joanne Schwartz

The date was May, 1995. I was just about to turn over leadership of CKF to the “competent and energetic care” of Len Goodman, a wonderful fellow paddler who was keen to guide the club through its second decade. In the 100th edition of the Kayak Yak, CKF’s early-days print newsletter, I detailed the first four years of CKF’s history. But first, here's a brief review of that 100th issue which marked the 10th anniversary of California Kayak Friends.

We listed area Coordinators in San Luis Obiso County (Phil Niles), Santa Barbara County (Bob Smith), South Ventura County (Jude Conroy), North LA County (Mitchel Helbrech), North Orange County (Judy Carson and Herb Hislop), Mid-Orange County (Bill McNair), South Orange County (Sally Smolinsky), and the Inland Empire (Linda Jones). Several other positions were vacant. Membership Services chair, Ann Berkery, listed four new members, bringing the total number of paddlers who had joined in our first ten years to 1583.

Articles in this 100th issue of the “Yak,” as we called it, included Practical Advice for Paddlers Who Are Baja Bound by Ed Gillet; Unpretentious Charm, the Natural Beauty of Morro by Alison Ashton; a note from member Bernie Crampton about driving to Magdelena Bay only to find it was closed to kayakers because one had died there the year before; a note from member Don Shusta about his upcoming year-long bicycle trip; Baja Sea Kayaking Tips from an Oregon paddler, Jim Reed; an article on Kayak Safety and Me about a white-water fatality back east by Larry Gross;  a note from a Canadian paddler, John Lang, about his recent kayak trip to Bahia de Los Angeles in Baja; SAFETY: Lost Kayaks in Bahia de Los Angeles by Joanne Turner (now Schwartz) describing eight parties who lost kayaks in Bay of LA – (later to be increased to 13 parties); a CKF Trip Report on The 6th Black Canyon Expedition with Herb by Ed McMurray; The Surf-Zone – Life in the Land-Water Interface by Howard Stiff; a Lake Mead trip report on the First Annual Labor-Day Up-Hill Paddle Trip by member John Main of Las Vegas; a brief one on Close (whale) Encounters in 1994 by Ed Gillet; Another Fish Story by John Blair; a fun piece on paddling technique, New School,  borrowed from an internet source; another safety piece, Sun-Loving Kayakers, Take Heed by Len Goodman; Let’s See, What Shall I Wear, borrowed from an internet source; Hypothermia: Impacts and Prevention by Howard Stiff and Mercia Sixta , published in WaveLength (a wonderful British Columbia kayak publication still available for free at your local kayak store, or by subscription); and a long piece I wrote, From Back Issues of The Kayak Yak – Our First Four Years.

We also listed a full page of GOODIES, including 65 articles, 38 books and 13 videos, all available at no charge to members as a lending library. (BTW, where are they now???); ads from six local businesses, a request for art designs to be considered for the 1995 CKF T-shirt, and a Calendar of Events compiled by members Jay and Par Burbank including over 30 local and remote kayak events, plus several weekly events.

Were we having lots of kayak fun! 


CKF's first 4 Years