Deception Pass


Sea Kayak - Deception Pass

Introduction to Deception Pass

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  • Sea Kayak IV
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 4.0 nm

Meet at Bowman Bay.  

Heavy traffic is expected on Hwy 20 due to a protest scheduled fro 10 am.  Suggest planning to arrive at Bowman bay by 7:30

  • 8:30am - Meet at Bowman Bay with boats ready
  • 8:31am - Discuss paddling in currents
  • 9:30am - On the water for practice
  • 10:50am - Head toward the pass
  • 11:00am - Slack.  We paddle to the pass
  • 1:30pm - Max ebb at -5.7k

We will probably depart the pass around 1:30. 

Optional dinner on the way home.

Introduction to Deception Pass

 The moving water in the pass gives us a perfect school room to practice handling our boats in more challenging conditions.  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.  However you acquired the familiarity you ought be able to describe what edging and bracing are, probably have done some practice in flat water, and maybe or maybe not actually used the skills.  I'll review edging and bracing and we will practice on the water.  

 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 several times so comfort with capsize, wet exit, and buddy rescue are essential.  Expect to get wet.


 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.  

 We will then do some rescues to get everyone comfortable with being in and out of the water.  If time permits I’ll have a rescue scenario.

 Then we will paddle to the pass, timing to arrive just after slack.  In the light currents 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.   




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

All kayak essentials are required.  

A Helmet is required

In addition I suggest

  • Gloves
  • Tow line
  • Dress expecting immersion
  • Spare clothing
  • Lunch for shore break and snack food for on the water.



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