Freshwater Bay

Trip

Sea Kayak - Freshwater Bay

Two days of introductory rock gardening and surf zone training (conditions permitting), ACA Level 4, trip rating SK-V due to surf launching and landing.

Info
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.
  • Sat, Oct 11, 2014 — Sun, Oct 12, 2014
  • Seattle Sea Kayaking
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Adults
  • Sea Kayak III+, Sea Kayak IV, Sea Kayak V
  • Challenging

Meet at 10am on Saturday, Oct 11th at Salt Creek day-use parking lot, adjacent to Crescent Beach and Tongue Pt. On Sunday, we will repeat the assessment of surf at Salt Creek at 9 am to decide the plan for the day.

Course Overview: "Coastal Kayaking" - This training event will combine elements of the Coastal Kayak Surf Zone course and the Coastal Rock Gardening course. We will use ACA curriculum and guidelines. One of your leaders, Brian High, is an ACA certified Coastal Kayaking (L4) and Surf Kayaking (L3) instructor. He will offer surf and/or rock gardening training on both days, depending on the conditions, with help from qualified assistants.

The Coastal Kayak Surf Zone course is designed to teach paddlers the necessary skills to safely launch and land a kayak in the surf. Conditions should include small waves, height less than 3 ft, ideally with spilling surf on a gently sloping beach clear of obstacles and swimmers. Winds should not exceed 15 knots.

The Coastal Rock Gardening course is designed to teach paddlers the necessary skills to navigate a kayak near rocks, arches, and sea caves to enable exploration of these features, as well as facilitate landing on areas protected by waves breaking against rocks, reefs, and other obstacles. Conditions should include small waves, height less than 2 feet, ideally only big enough to create gentle surge among the rocks. Winds should not exceed 15 knots.

Meet at 10am on Saturday, Oct 11th at Salt Creek day-use parking lot, adjacent to Crescent Beach and Tongue Pt. Those taking the Kingston Ferry should catch the 7:10a ferry to arrive on time. From the parking lot we will assess the conditions and plan on either rock gardening or surfing for the day. Camping will be at Tongue Point (Salt Creek Recreation Area) on Saturday night, and whether or not you make a reservation is up to you. If you prefer to stay at the Crescent Beach RV park or even a hotel on town, go right ahead. On Sunday, we will repeat the assessment of surf at Salt Creek at 9 am to decide the plan for the day. If you only wish to participate for one of the two days, that is okay, but we strongly recommend participation on both days.

I expect this sea kayak trip to have the following difficulty and conditions.  View the sea kayak difficulties definitions on the Activity Types page.

  • Difficulty: SK V
  • Wind: up to 15 kt
  • Waves: up to 6 feet
  • Route: Freshwater Bay to Crescent Bay
  • Distance:  8 nm
  • Pace: Slow

We'll paddle from Freshwater Bay to ... Crescent Bay on whichever of the two days is the most suitable. If there is surf on the other day, we will practice surf zone skills at Crescent Bay. If both days are too small for adequate surf conditions, we will do more rock gardening the second day from Crescent Bay to Whiskey Creek Beach or Lyre River.

Route/Place

Freshwater Bay



  • MapTech Cape Flattery to Whidbey Island No. 103

    NOAA Strait of Juan de Fuca: Eastern Part No. 18465
  • See full route/place details.
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Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Please bring kayaking and Mountaineer "essentials" plus wear "immersion wear" (drysuit or wetsuit) while paddling. A helmet is absolutely required, but a bicycle helmet may suffice if you do not own a watersports helmet. If you choose to wear a wetsuit, it must be at least 4 mm and must either be a full body ("steamer") wetsuit or must be combined with suitable garments (e.g., dry-top) to provide equivalent protection to the entire body. We will be getting wet and we need to be comfortable in the water for prolonged periods. If you will be camping, you will, of course, need to provide your own camping equipment too. If you want to bring a whitewater kayak, that is fine for the surf kayaking segement, but sea kayaks are recommended for this event, and are required for the rock gardening trip, as the distance paddled will be up to 8 nm with few opportunities for "bail out".

These seven essentials plus The Ten Essentials are required on all sea kayaking trips.  All but the whistle and clothing should be provided with any kayak rental.

  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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