Sea Kayak - Northern San Juan Islands


Sea Kayak - Northern San Juan Islands

A 5 day/4 night kayak instructional camping trip to the San Juan Islands

  • Fri, May 27, 2016 — Tue, May 31, 2016
  • Seattle Sea Kayaking
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Adults
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 30.0 nm
  • Late April:  Planning meeting in Seattle
  • 5/25 (Wed):  7:00pm Evening planning meeting in Seattle
  • 5/27 (Fri):  Load cars early.  Catch mid-morning ferry to San Juans.  Drive to put in.  Load boats.  Park cars.  Paddle to camp 1.
  • 5/28 (Sat):  Paddle to Camp 2.
  • 5/29 (Sun):  Paddle to Camp 3.
  • 5/30 (Mon):  Paddle to Camp 4.
  • 5/31 (Tue):  Paddle to put in.  Unpack bloats and load cars.  Ferry back to mainland mid-afternoon.

This is a 5 day trip to the San Juans around Memorial Day weekend.  We will travel on the Friday before and Tuesday after to avoid the worst traffic.  The first and last day will be full with travel, packing and paddling so it is important you are able to start early on Friday.  Similarly the last day could run into the evening.  My preference is to be back home by late afternoon. 

It is always prudent to not have anything critical the day or two after a trip just in case bad weather prevents return.  We will try to avoid this but flexibility is necessary.

The exact route won't be determined until the week before or even on the trip.  However, the intention will be to move camp everyday, conditions permitting.

There are two planning meetings which will be important to attend

Want to start doing kayak camping trips in the San Juans and coast but not sure you know everything you need?   This trip is for you.  We will kayak and camp in the San Juans for 5 days/4 nights.  We will take time to discuss decisions as a group.  We will have time in camp to try equipment.  Being early season we could be fortunate and get some rain and wind to work with.  We will practice skills and play around.  You'll learn.  It will be fun. 

The trip starts with two planning meetings.  About a month out we will meet to plan what can be planned at that distance.  The big picture will be discussed.  Gear sharing will be worked out.  You will likely have homework (research) to do after that meeting. 

The second meeting is close to the trip.  At this point we will have done background research and will have a general view of the weather conditions for the weekend.  We can start to make specific plans for where we will go on the trip.  Details will be finalized in as much as possible.

On the trip we will try to do most planning as a group with plenty of time to discuss the factors that go into decisions.  Planning time and practices may limit our range.  We will move camp every day unless conditions prohibit. 

Because of the potential for camping and paddling in bad weather for several days  this is not a trip for novices.  Appropriate background for a participant would be advance beginner to intermediate level of skill paddling and camping and enthusiasm for getting out in conditions.  Here are some specific skills I think you should have.

Kayaking Skills

  • Able to paddle in 2ft waves
  • Able to paddle in 15kt winds.  
  • Able to pull in to a 15kt wind for a couple hours
  • Comfortable with wet exists and buddy rescues
  • Maintain a steady paddling pace over 3.25 knots (in good conditions)
  • Paddle 12nm in a day (in good conditions)

Camping Skills

  • Own decent camping gear
  • Have enjoyed using it
  • Able to camp in rain for several days and keep positive attitude

This trip is leader permission so I know who is coming.  If you are interested and think you may have the base skills please contact me to discuss.  I want people to come and learn.

Shared Expenses

There will be some shared expenses for this trip:  ferry, parking, camping, etc.  Some of these may have been paid for in advance by the trip leaders.  We will keep track of expenses and settle up when appropriate.


Northern San Juan Islands

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • Camping gear or arrange to share
  • Food for 5 days
  • Camp rain gear
  • Chart

Plus the other standard camping and kayaking essentials.

Trip Reports