Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Blake Island

My last 2022 overnight paddle on beautiful Blake Island will be a sunny and warm memory through a dark and wet winter. Photo credits: Jeff Mercer

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • TIDES/CURRENTS: HARPER 09/24/22 0.8 @ 1035 / 11.2 @w1718  SUN: 10.0 @ 0457 / 1.2 @ 1113 / 11.3 @1737 



I arrived at the launch point at the beach at the end of the road adjacent to the north side of the Southworth ferry dock before our 1000 meeting time with Jeff arriving a short time later. We unloaded our boats, put on our gear and ran through self and assisted recoveries which Jeff needed to do for some equivalency qualifications. This was my first assisted recovery since my knee surgery and it went well. Afterwards we loaded up the boats and moved our cars.  I parked in the upper lot that required $5 cash with the screwed up parking stall numbering system and Jeff parked in a different lot where he could use his credit card. We took off around 1100 mostly following the western shore.  The tide was out leaving a considerable amount of the shoreline visible.  Eventually we turned to the right and headed east towards the northern edge of Blake Island.  Although there are no currents listed in this area I found that about halfway to the island we weren’t moving much and changed our ferry angle.  We arrived at the point of the spit a few minutes later around noon and paddled around the little “surf” on the shallow end and got out at the WWTA campsite.  All the sites were taken with some rather large tents that must have come out of the several canoes were pulled up on the shoreline. All of the picnic tables had stuff on them so I knew we had to move on.  After a brief chat with a couple of people who  came off the trail we got back in our boats and headed around to the middle of the cove on the eastern side to land at the State Park campground, arriving about a half hour later.  There were only a few of the numerous campsites taken and we rejected the more shaded back areas to choose an open flat one close to the driftwood which we stashed our boats on once they were unloaded. All of the grills were covered up with plastic or tape due to the burn ban on the yellow and very dry campground. But the bathroom/shower facility was open.  The same park ranger I had a few months ago turned up to remind us of things and said the park service office was still open until around 6:00 and we could pay up there or at the kiosk.  I was grateful when he told us the WWTA site was being taken up by some Boy Scouts performing their ongoing clean up efforts. I can’t seem to get away from Boy Scouts on Blake Island this year. We walked up to the ranger station later to register (they take cash or credit there) after stashing our food in the campsite lockers. I got one of the last “Its It!” ice cream sandwiches there too!


It was very warm but little breeze so I set up a shade tarps for the table area and my tent.  Jeff went for a walk while I relaxed and read, enjoying the sun sparkling on the water knowing that it won’t be this warm for much longer. I don’t usually bring a stove for an overnight and ate my dinner sandwich later.  Jeff turned in before I did, reading in my tent once it got dark until I turned off the light. I’d forgotten my earplugs so was conscious of the constant hum around this quiet island due mostly to the boat traffic and being about three miles from the large city of Seattle.

 There was no hurry to get up as we didn’t shove off in the already warm sunshine until about noon. I reviewed some boat handling skills with Jeff and then we headed on across the mile wide channel to Southworth after pausing for a brief survey and discussion about ferry angles. We arrived about 15 minutes later.  I had to hit the bathroom at the ferry dock before retrieving my car.  After that it didn’t take long to get our boats strapped up and cars loaded before a post trip discussion with no complaints and thanks exchanged. Jeff didn’t opt to join me at the Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor on the way home. My last 2022 overnight paddle on beautiful Blake Island will be a sunny and warm memory through a dark and wet winter. Jeff was good company both on and off the water and performed well. He is also now a qualified Mountaineers sea kayaker….congratulations!