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Trip Report    

Fox Island Circumnavigation

04/11/15 -SAT –III+—TITLOW BEACH AROUND FOX ISLAND AND RETURN. APPROX 14 NM.
LEADER: LISA A JOHNSON
PADDLERS: TIM BURKE, JOHN DUNLAP
TIDES/CURRENTS: NARROWS SOUTH END +02.12 @ 0824, S @ 1014, -3.3 @ 1357.
CONDITIONS: WIND AND STANDING WAVES 0-2+’, SW WIND 8-15 KT, GUSTS 20 KT, SCATTERED SHOWERS WITH HAIL, TEMPS 50S, VISABILITY LIMITED TO GOOD
SIGHTED: CORMORANTS, SCOTERS, EAGLE

This was a trip that reminded me of why I like to paddle a sea kayak. Our huddle and launch were slightly delayed due to a misplaced car key and we launched at 0915 into the wind and scattered whitecaps for a short time on the east side of channel. We crossed over to the west Island side to get into the lee of the wind, bouncing through the fun standing waves over the shoal before continuing on the eastern side of Fox, arriving at the SE corner at 10:30. No breaks were needed and we rounded the corner moving about 2+ knots and winding up going 3+ knots at the western end arriving at the WWTA site at the NW corner by the spit at 12:30. During this time we gleefylly paddled through at least one heavy approx 5 minute system. We also unexpectedly had a short--and what turned out to be for me joyful visit-- with some former paddling buddies from BWET that were circumnavigating the island in the other direction from the Fox Island Bridge. We landed for lunch on the west side of the spit in slightly dumping surf and had an hour long break at one of the picnic tables with a beautiful view of the Olympics with their new snow on top before moving onto a log in the sunshine. Another squall came in and after packing our boats and waiting it out we launched in the slightly increased surf. John and I emptied our boats out on the quiet side of the spit while Tim pumped his out. Assisted by the wind and building current, we then proceeded at 4+ knots mid channel, gradually working our way over to the NE corner of the channel opposite Titlow Beach. We had to wait here for 20-30 minutes while two systems moved through the area. I sat on my boat on the side while Tim and John paddled around close by to keep warm. (The temperature changes were immediately evident, particularly when hail was present!) We then proceeded across the channel in sunshine, sacrificing a straight ferry angle to surf the wind waves before arriving back at Titlow Beach at 1430. Both paddlers performed extremely well with excellent group dynamics.

NOTE: During the southern section I was slightly in front and closer to the shore, checking over my shoulder frequently at Tim and John. At one point John waved at me and I waved back and continued on. Tim caught up with me, saying that a bio break was needed and we waited for John. He told me that he had raised his stick at that time, signaling me to stop. I don’t know if it was the white paint, the angle of the light, visibility or combination of but I never saw the raised stick.

 

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