Deception Pass


Sea Kayak - Deception Pass

An opportunity to practice paddling in Deception pass with support of instructors and a supportive group.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sea Kayak IV
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 4.0 nm

Meet at Correnet Bay

  • 8:30 AM:  Dressed and boats ready for launch
  • 8:31 AM:  Discussion and instruction
  • 9:30 AM:  Launch and practice
  • 11:30 AM:  Paddle into the pass
  • 2:00 PM:  We will be getting tired and return to Correnet bay mid afternoon

Optionally stop for dinner on the way home.

Deception Pass Flood

The moving water in the pass gives us a perfect school room to practice handling our boats in more challenging conditions.  This outing will give you opportunity to gain  more experience paddling in the pass with support of instructors and a watchful group.

Who is this for?

The main requirement is that people be comfortable paddling in dynamic water.  You don’t have to be good at it but if you are intimidated I would suggest a more moderate introduction to deception pass.  If you have not been to deception pass but are very comfortable in dynamic water you should do fine.  If you have been to Deception pass previously you can use your experience there to gauge how ready you are for this day.

On this day the current is strong and it is flooding.  People find the flood more intimidating.  Perhaps it is because it appears the current will take you right into a wall.  Of course, the current does not go INTO the wall but along it so if you capsize you will probably end up doing a rescue while bumping along the wall in swirling current.  There is nothing inherently dangerous about this, but it is more intimidating.

With the stronger current all the features are larger.  Whirlpools and boils are more powerful.  The confused water in the broad eddy line will have more power to push your boat around.  

Another consideration is how good you are at staying upright in your boat.  Of course we expect to capsize in deception pass at times but if you capsize too often it will be frustrating and counter productive.  Bracing and balance will be important.  If you feel you understand those and have a half way developed brace reflex you should do OK.  If you don’t have much of a brace reflex you may find the water on this day capsizes you too often.  


We will start with a review of the environment we will be paddling in:  How to cross eddy lines and how to cross the chaotic water.  Then we will do some edging and bracing exercises.  

Hopefully time will permit us to practice a rescue scenario.  At the least we will get everyone in the water for a rescue to overcome reluctance to get wet.  Come ready to be in and out of your boat several times during the day.

We will aim to arrive at the pass soon after slack to start with gentle currents.  We’ll paddle as currents build.  We many change venue a few times to experience different types of eddy lines.  

Expect 1.5 hours of practice time followed by 2-3 hours of paddling in the currents.  




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

  1. The Kayak essentials
  2. Dress for immersion
  3. Extra clothing
  4. Tow line
  5. Helmet
  6. And all the other kayak essentials for a day on the water.
Trip Reports