It was a fine day out at Friday morning as about 30 children and young adults gathered at the park's pier on Lake Washington for some water sports fun.
In a unique partnership with the , Seattle-based Sail Sand Point and Issaquah-based Kayak Academy offer the "Sail, Kayak and Play" week-long class every summer at Luther Burbank Park.
Kids aged 8 to 14 years old learn how to sail Opti class boats or paddle in kayaks on Lake Washington and enjoy fun landward activities later in the day. Sail Sand Point sailing teachers Jake Antles, Katy Cenname and Caylin Cordray took eight sailors our at a time on the boats, while Barb Granseth and Katie Chapman took another group out on Kayaks. Most of the teachers are college students on break for the summer.
Antles, a student at the University of Washington, guided the sailboats from a motorized craft and kept a lookout for water traffic in the East Channel of Lake Washington.
"It's been really good on the water today," he said. "Really shifty. Today the wind was from the south, the west then the north."
The class also teaches the youths important boating and water safety skills — such as what to do when your boat capsizes and how to wear a life vest and a wet suit. All participants must already be comfortable in the water and know how to swim.
"We did have a little excitement yesterday," Antles said. "Three of the boats capcized."
Twelve-year-old Erin Greer, an IMS, said she loves sailing and had taken part in the class last year.
"We had a lot of good winds most of the day, which is good cause we get to go fast," she said. "I like to go fast."
The next "Sail, Kayak, Play" class is scheduled for Aug. 8-12. Contact the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department for more details.