Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Blake Island

A wonderful and peaceful weekend on beautiful Blake Island for a fun shake down trip! Photo taken on BC CAN trip

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • HARPER TIDE: SAT: 9.2 @ 0838 / -1.5 @ 1653  /// SUN: 8.3 @ 1002/ -0.2 @ 1654


SIGHTED: EAGLE, SEALS, SEA LION,  RACOONS, GARTER SNAKE, CANADA GEESE, HUMMINGBIRD, DEER, PORPOISE, RABBIT  Terry was delayed with traffic and I by other things but we arrived at Lowman Beach around 0815.  The park is being renovated and has been fenced off with the tennis court and almost anything recognizable removed.  The beautiful full tree in the NE corner is happily still there.  There is room for two cars next to the split rail fence at the end of the narrow road fronting the houses on the south side; Terry and I parked end to end to unload and moved our boats over the top rail and down the couple of steps leading to the beach.  There is free street parking available with no need for permits and hopefully it will stay that way. We had our boats packed, the cars moved and launched on time at 0900.  The water was calm with nothing in the shipping lanes so no calls were necessary to Seattle Vessel Traffic on Channel 14.  (5A is used in Admiralty, San Juans and Strait of Juan de Fuca).  We took our time crossing the quiet channel.  As we approached the island we could see numerous people in bright red t-shirts being very busy at various places in the State Park campsites.  We paused while going by Tillicum Village next to the marina on the NE side of the island but couldn’t see any lights or signs of activity in or around the building.  A couple of eagles were making a racket above our heads before finally settling in the trees.  We continued on to the WWTA campsite to find a couple of small craft on the beach and more people in red tshirts hard at it in the campground when we arrived about 1015.  They are a volunteer group who, along with various Boy Scout groups, work with the Park Service to clear the noxious growth from the campsites at all of the campsites.  The ranger in charge showed up in his cart and chatted with us a bit as we were unloading our kayaks.  He told us that the Tillicum Village facility shut down as usual in October but on 12/31/21 the company folded.  Argosy Cruises had pulled out of the operation and while there is a search on for a replacement it doesn’t seem to be a priority and will not likely reopen in the near future.   The ranger told us that their station is open at 1:00 and again at 6:00, selling snacks, drinks and ice cream.  He said he would wait for us to show up.  We were told that the workers would probably wrap up around 4:00 so after piling up our stuff and stashing the boats in the driftwood Terry and I sat down to eat our lunch at the station 51 picnic table. It was a little before 1:00 when we set off on the trail.  We found where a section of the fencing had collapsed along with the embankment and several trees shortly before reaching the Village.  We each got an “Its – It” (a “LAVISH “ ice cream sandwich) at the shop.  The shop also sells camping permits, soft drinks, snacks, candy bars, lighter fluid and park memorabilia and takes credit cards.   We ate our ice cream sitting at one of the numerous picnic tables watching part of the large Canada goose population with their frequent noisy squabbling chasing each other around in between their constant eating with its inevitable results.  We walked over to survey the remains of the Trimble family home before hitting the 3.3 mile trail around the perimeter of the island.  (There are other trails available).  I didn’t see any of the information stations along the trail that I recall being there in the past.  After a staring session exchanged with a local deer we continued on to find another group of the volunteers burning the gathered weeds.  They said they were staying on the island and also in three boats anchored off the west side and would be heading out in the morning.  We thanked them again for all their efforts.  We continued on the sometimes muddy trail which at times has you far up from the beach with impressive views and sights of the many beautiful madrona trees, large firs and hemlocks  and other plants on the island.  There were a number of kayak campers on the west side campground.  We arrived back at the campsite late in the afternoon to find only one other paddler who had pitched his tent in another site.  The tide was out considerably and a few raccoons along the shore getting their dinner as we made ours after pitching our tents.   We went for a walk on the west side and there were about 20 power boats anchored off the shore.  That is a lot for this time of year but it did feel and look like summer.  We had beautiful views of Mt Baker and the Cascades as the sun got lower, eventually disappearing behind the snow tops of the Olympics.  I got in my tent before 9:30 to read a bit before turning out the light. Sunday I was up about 9:15 to bright sunshine and a bit of dew on the shady areas of the campsite that soon burned off.  We had a leisurely morning and it was noon before we took down our camp and packed our boats.  Another pair of boaters arrived just as we were shoving off at 1300.  There was more boat activity outside the marina and in the shipping lane.  We paused to rescue a renegade balloon, attaching it to the back of Terry’s boat.  A tanker was clearing Three Tree Point and I had some (probably unnecessary) anxious paddling to get out of the lane as soon as possible.  We could see a few SUPpers and lots of activity around out launch point as we approached about 1415.  Predictably the tanker’s swells hit us just as we were getting out of our boats, swamping mine.   It was very warm and crowded at the take out and we had two ladies with Origami canoes in front of us.  It was interesting to watch them fold up their 24 lb boats; Terry said it is the same material that is used for the Post Office crates.  I was kind of envious to see them fold them up, sling them on their shoulders, stick them in the trunk of their car and drive off.  It was a bit of waiting before Terry and I could get our cars in place and our boats and gear loaded up.  Terry kindly bought our take out meal at a Taco Time and we ate it in Lincoln Park before saying goodbye.  A wonderful and peaceful weekend on beautiful Blake Island for a fun shake down trip!