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Trip Report    

Beginner Sea Kayak - Jones Island

Strong NNW winds down the long fetch of the San Juan Channel led us to change our destination from Jones Island to Turn Island. In this case, the greater NOAA zone forecast definitely ruled over the local pinpoint forecast.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The NOAA marine forecast for the greater zone definitely overruled their pinpoint forecast for the area around Jones Island.  While the pinpoint called for fairly calm winds, the higher winds of the zone forecast are what we encountered as we approached Point Caution from the south.  A steady NNW blow continued for the rest of the day but was not as much a factor for our paddle down to Turn Island.

Our original goal was to stop at Yellow Island for a tour of pre-European native flora then go on for an overnight camp at the WWTA site on the west side of Jones Island. We left Friday Harbor on schedule, riding the flood for a nice current assist up San Juan Channel. As we approached Point Caution, however, it became apparent from the large white caps building ahead that the NNW winds hitting the northbound Point George current were not going to make the trip a fun one. At that point, we activated Plan B and headed down channel to Turn Island, where we found a lovely campsite out of the wind on the south side. In the evening we watched and listened to harbor seals and otters feeding and cavorting in the small passage south of the island. Overnight we had some very light rain that gave way to enough morning sunshine to dry the rain fly. On the way back to Friday Harbor, we spotted four Pisaster ochraceus sea stars in the cracks of the Fucus-slathered rocks along the coast of San Juan Island. After hauling our boats out and onto their trolleys, we stopped for lunch at Downriggers then caught the 1:55 pm ferry back to Anacortes.

 

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