McNeil Island Circumnavigation


Sea Kayak - McNeil Island Circumnavigation

McNeil Island Circumnavigation. Paddle pin qualifying trip.

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  • Sea Kayak II/III
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 15.0 nm

Estimated launch time 9:30 a.m., however this is subject to change with advance notice. Weather will dictate launch site, which will either be Longbranch or Steilacoom. The primary plan will be to launch from Steilacoom, but if weather is not cooperative the launch will be moved to Longbranch.

Escape to McNiel Island. SK II/III | 15NM. If the weather cooperates we'll launch from the historic town of Steilacoom, Washington's first incorporated town. We'll cross to the south side of McNeil to start. After crossing we can take a brief rest on Eagle Island before continuing. Again, depending on the day, we may just continue our circumnavigation, or head to Longbranch for another break. These are the only two stopping points because McNeil is off limits to us law abiding citizens. Be prepared for some long stretches in the boat. Once we round the eastern edge we will paddle continuous back to Steilacoom. We won't set any new water speed records, but we will keep a steady pace. If we get some less than ideal weather, the launch site will be from Longbranch on Key Peninsula. This will add driving for some, but reduce paddling and exposure. It's highly likely we'll be bucking current somewhere on our trip. This is one of seven islands to qualify for the south sound islands paddle pin. It's one of the more challenging islands to earn so if you're looking to get pinned in 2015, you need to do this trip. No need to be scared though. Sign up with leader, Ron Jones. and 360.359.3395. If we haven't paddled together before, I much prefer a conversation over email.


McNeil Island Circumnavigation

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

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
Trip Reports