Patrick Robinson
The Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey Team came to Alki Kayak Tours for a team building exercise on Sept. 15, getting the entire 26 man team out on the water. The paddled down to the Alki Lighthouse and back, overcoming their own apprehension and getting some upper body exercise in the process.

SLIDESHOW: Seattle Thunderbirds came to WS for a teambuilding kayak ride

The Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey team is a group of young men familiar with high speed, athleticism, grace and raw power. But on Sunday, Sept. 15 they were out of their comfort zone in a visit to West Seattle. They came to Alki Kayak Tours for a team building exercise, to kayak out into Elliott Bay and down to the the Alki Lighthouse and back, in two man kayaks.

This was new for all of them and they were apprehensive. The morning was foggy, and lightning and thunder had preceded their arrival (appropriately enough) but as skilled as they are on skates, on the water they were untested. "I'm afraid of the animals," one of them said, perhaps alluding to killer whales, and others said they were unsure of themselves in the boats. When asked what it takes to be a hockey player, one said, "Brains and balls," which is likely the same combination required to get out on the water.

The tour was, by all accounts, uneventful with some of the players noting how tiring it is to paddle that distance, using muscles more attuned to slap shots than water travel.

The Thunderbirds season has already started and their next opponent is the Portland Winterhawks coming up on Sept. 21. Their home ice is at the ShoWare Center in Kent at 7:05pm. You can buy tickets here.

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