As a newcomer you have had little to no instruction on how to wet exit and get back in your boat or prevent capsizes effectively. You should only paddle in protected waters near shore and with a friend that can show you the basics. Only attempt short crossings when accompanied and only launch when you know that the weather is good and not going to change. Avoid any tidal current. The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place to discover by paddling but there are hidden dangers that you can avoid with a little bit of knowledge and skills.
To increase your knowledge and skills, find clubs and schools by visiting my Resources Page.