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Trip Report    

Chuckanut Island

Chuckanut Island

  • Mon, Jul 6, 2015
  • Chuckanut Bay
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Chuckanut Island Paddle 7-5-2015

A party of 10 Mountaineers, we launched from Wildcat Cove at Larabee State Park at 11am to calm conditions in the cove. NW winds were forecast to be around 7 kts with waves up to 1 foot. The NOAA prediction lived up to those expectations as we rounded Governors Point in a fun rocking horse derby sort of fashion. A number of us found it helpful to deploy our skegs to some degree in order to correct for weather cocking as we pointed downwind into aptly named Pleasant Bay. We took a short breather there then turned our boats north toward Chuckanut (aka Lunch) Island. The lowering tide was making a nice landing beach for us.

During our brief stay on the island we encountered a return visitor who was looking for a wedding ring his wife lost on the beach the day before. Fortunately, he and his friend had a metal detector and the treasure without much difficulty. Saw a number of oystercatchers on and in the rocks and eagles overhead.

Our next stop was Clarkes Point to check out the fossil-like concretions along the inlet there. Along the way we saw a number of pelagic cormorants and gulls on white guano painted Chuckanut Rock.
Regardless of how those palm tree-like formations in the rocks at Clarkes Point actually got there, they are always interesting to see. We were delighted to also find a number of purple sea stars along the waterline at the west side of the inlet, apparently making a comeback after last year’s massive die-off.

We crossed the top of Chuckanut Bay over to the popular beach at Teddy Bear Cove for our next stop. Contrary to the beach’s reputation, attire was in that day. One of the locals had coordinated an impromptu cleanup campaign and we joined in to help pick up bits of broken bottles and other debris left over from the Fourth of July celebration.

The trip down the east side of the bay was calm and uneventful. All calm air, smooth water, and sunny skies. A bit hazy, though, due to quite a lot of smoke from fires up in British Columbia. Everything was cast in a warm orange light.

Cutting across Pleasant Bay we could see sail boats moving slowly out in the Strait of Georgia. While the winds had calmed across that long fetch to the northwest, there were still a healthy amount of residual wave action at the head of Governors Point. We rounded the point with no problems and made our way past Whiskey Rock and back into Wildcat Cove. Did a bit of assisted rescue practice then headed to shore.

Several Basic Sea Kayaking class students were signed off on this trip. Afterward, we headed to Bob’s Burger’s and Brew to debrief.
Trip pix can be seen at