San Juan Islands from Anacortes


Sea Kayak - Turn & Doe Islands

Join us for a three day, two night sea kayaking trip in the San Juan Islands this spring, with camping on Turn and Doe Islands! Starting and ending at Washington Park, this moderately paced ~45 nMi trip will be rated SK IV for long crossings, currents, and the potential for wind and waves that could make things interesting! More details as the trip date approaches.

  • Sea Kayak III/IV
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 45.0 nm
  • High Point Elevation: 674 ft
  • Maximum Wind: 12 kts
  • Maximum Waves: 2 ft
  • Maximum Currents: 2.5 kts
  • Pace: Moderate

Saturday, May 4, 7:00am - Meet at Sunset Beach in Washington Park. Drive to the lot just to the east of boat ramp area. This lot is adjacent to the outdoor kitchen area.  We’ll unload boats and gear, pack and prepare our boats for launch, move all our vehicles to the overnight lot, then gather for pre-launch orientation back at the beach. Overnight parking in lot B is $11 per night. Here is a link to more information. Washington Park | Anacortes, WA.

Important: If you think you may need more time to ready your boat please plan on arriving earlier than 7:00am.

The goal of this trip is to experience some of the elements of a sea kayaking expedition including piloting in current, long crossings (upwards of 7 nautical miles), and overnight camping.

The group will be expected to keep together at all times, especially when padding in current on the numerous long crossings.

While the aim is to maintain a moderate pace overall, expect it to be challenging at times, particularly during crossings.

Participants are expected to have experience padding in current, including eddies and confused water, and must be comfortable with long crossings.

Here is a mileage breakdown by day:

Day 1: Washington Park to Turn Island - about 18.5 nautical miles (nMi), including a 6.5 nMi crossing of Rosario Strait on the morning ebb and a run through Cattle Pass on afternoon flood.

Day 2: Turn Island to Doe Island - about 11 nMi on the afternoon flood.

Day 3: Doe Island to Washington Park - about 16 nMi on the morning ebb with several 2 to 4 mile crossings.

Trip Preparations

Participants will need to bring food, water, supplies, and shelter for two nights and three days of travel.  Also, bring cash to pay state campsite fees ($12 per night).  Drivers will need an additional $22 for two nights of overnight parking at Washington Park.

Here are some things to think about when assembling your camping supplies:

Water - There is no potable water at either of our campsites so each paddler will need to plan on having enough water for their own drinking and cooking for the three days.  We will have an opportunity to collect water at Odlin Park on our second day.

Food - Suggestion: two breakfasts, three lunches, two dinners, snacks).  Bear box recommended for keeping small critters away from your food.  And a line to hang trash and other things you want to keep away from critters.

10 essentials, including personal first aid kit, medications, extra sunglasses, headlamp, etc.

Kayaking 20 essentials and repair kit.

Communications - in addition to a mobile phone with waterproofing protection, bring a handheld marine VHF radio if you've got one. Compact GPS Satellite Communicators, like a Garmin InReach, are welcome as well but be sure to activate your plan before we set off.

Navigation - bring charts, tide and current references, something to write with, a boat compass, waterproof watch, and a GPS if you've got one.  And a chart case! Extra points to participants who work out their own trip charts and plan!

Weather - May temperatures range between 44°F and 62°F in the San Juans, with rainfall averaging about 1.72 inches.  Friday Harbor, WA Weather Calendar | Weather Underground

Shelter - Tent with rain fly and footprint/ground cloth. Sleeping bag or equivalent (suitable for cool spring weather) and sleeping pad.

Cooking kit - fuel, ignition source, pot/pan, cup, utensils.

Clothing - warm clothing, puffy jacket, cap/hat, rain jacket and rain pants, etc. Drysuits are required for this trip due to the likelihood of cold water immersion.

Comfortable shoes for camp and light hiking.

Nice to haves: Drybags for keeping clothes, food, gear, etc dry; Ikea or Costco bags for transporting cargo to and from your boat; compact folding camp chair; battery powered battery charger up to the job of keeping your personal electronics going for three days (remember those cables and a dry bag for this gear). Camera gear with extra batteries and a way of keeping it all dry.

Each participant should be familiar with kayak camping, the use of dry bags, how to pack your boat for proper trim, launching and landing a loaded boat, and how to perform rescues with loaded boats.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!


San Juan Islands from Anacortes

  • Rosario Strait & Bellingham WA001

    Sea Trails Lopez, Blakely, Decatur & Shaw Islands WA002

    NOAA Bellingham to Everett No. 18423

    NOAA Strait of Juan de Fuca to Strait of Georgia No. 18421
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

These eight 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. Drysuits required due to the possibility of immersion in cold water.
Trip Reports