Deception Pass


Sea Kayak - Deception Pass

Introduction to paddling in Deception Pass

  • Sat, Jul 18, 2015
  • Seattle Climbing
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Adults
  • Sea Kayak IV
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 3.0 nm

Meet at Cornet Bay.

10:00am - Have your boat ready to launch

10:05am - Discuss paddling in moving water.

11:45am - Launch boats and practice skills

11:30am - Paddle to pass and explore.

12:30pm - Currents are getting interesting.

2:30 - 3:30pm - Return to Cornet Bay.

At Deception pass  the moving water gives us a perfect school room to practice handling our boats in more challenging conditions.  Plus it is a beautiful place to paddle.  This outing will introduce  you to paddling in Deception pass and paddling in moving water. 

Who is this for?
Participants should have some familiarity with edging their boat and bracing.  You might have taken a class, received some informal instruction, or watched a Youtube video and felt you understood it.  You have also practiced on flat water but may not have been sure you were actually doing anything effective.  I'll review edging and bracing but won't give primary instruction in it.  
Paddling in dynamic water, water that is actively trying to tip you over is where you learn to actually use edging and bracing.  You'll likely get it wrong a few times so comfort with capsize, wet exit, and buddy rescue are essential.  
You should be comfortable getting in and out of your boat in flat water.  Rescues should be fairly routine.  A little fear about doing them in Deception Pass is fine but you should be up for the adventure.  

I need assistants who are comfortable paddling in Deception pass and can do rescues in moving water.  Assistants must have a tow rope.
We will start with a discussion about the environment we will be paddling in.  The main feature at Deception pass are eddy lines - lines that demark water moving at different speeds.  The main skill we will practice is paddling across these.
So we will start on shore and I'll describe what an eddy line is, where they hang out, how to recognize them, and what they want to do to your boat.  From that will naturally flow a discussion about how to paddle across them:  on edge with a gliding brace.  
We will get in the water and practice these skills close to shore.  Maybe do a few rescues to get comfortable getting in and out of the water.  
Then we will paddle to the pass, timing to arrive just after slack.  In the light curents we will paddle around the area to enjoy it's beauty.  We might practice a little eddy hopping as a way to make progress against a current.  
As the eddy lines start to form we'll start paddling across them.  Before you know it you will be crossing fast moving eddy lines with confidence.  
Usually by time of max current people are getting tired and it is time to call it a day.  Expect to paddle for 3 to 4 hours.  There is always a place to get out of moving water and some shore to get out on for a short break.  
  • Difficulty: 
  • Route: Cornet Bay to Deception Pass and back 
  • Distance:  2-3 nm

Deception Pass

  • Sea Trails Deception Pass and Skagit Bay WA101

    NOAA Bellingham to Everett No. 18423

    NOAA Anacortes to Skagit Bay No. 18427
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment


Helmet - Required

Tow Rope - If you don't have a tow rope yet it is time to think about getting one.  Not required but suggested.

Plus the 10 essentials and the kayak essentials

  1. Floatation in both ends of the kayak
  2. U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  3. Paddle
  4. Spray skirt
  5. Bilge pump with floatation
  6. Self-rescue paddle float
  7. Waterproof whistle
  8. Appropriate clothing for the conditions encountered seasonally
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