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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Burrows & Allan Islands

Counterclockwise paddle around Burrows and Allan Islands from Washington Park

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trip was planned so we could ride the tail end of the ebb from Washington Park down the west sides of Burrows and Allan and then catch the beginning of the flood coming back up through Burrows Bay, Burrows Pass, and around Fidalgo Head.   Make ebbs were in the 2.0-2.5kt range. Max floods were in the 3.2 range.

    Weather was excellent. Mild winds (at most perhaps gusts of 8kts).  Clear Sky.  Beautiful day.

    The only hazards we had to really be alert to was boat traffic both ways  through Burrows Pass and Allan Pass.  As we came to the NE corner of Burrows the flood had built a pretty decent eddy that we chose to skirt around rather than paddle through or play in it.  A tour boat was coming into the pass heading to Skyline Marina just as we were beginning to cross the pass to Fidalgo Island.  We initially decided to hold in place to let the boat pass but the captain of that boat must have seen the rip/eddy and noticed our position relative to it because he/she chose to idle and allow us to pass across in front.  Good thing that happened because we would have been pushed right into the eddy and rip if we had needed to wait much longer.  That would have been OK and the group could have handled it but it made for a less stressful/eventful end of the paddle.  As noted below, we did have a great ride on the flood through the pass on the north side just off shore from Fidalgo Head.

We launched from Washington Park at 10AM.  This was a student paddle so we invested time along the way to discuss water/wind/boat traffic conditions.  Stopped at the Burrows Island Light for an early lunch then proceeded south crossing Allan Pass just before slack.  Dealt with some squirrely water off the end of Burrows and then some boat wakes in the Pass but nothing major.

Wind waves were perhaps 1' at the most some of the time but as we rounded the south end of Allan the water was exceptionally calm.  Along this shore and on all the trip we noted that the bull kelp seemed to be healthier and more abundant than in recent years.  This isn't a scientific observation.  Just personal observations and comments.  Nice to see.

Stopped in Alice Bight on Burrows for a break and then spent about an hour practicing rescues of various types.  We chose there because on a perfect day like we had it was an ideal spot.  No boat traffic, clean water, and no significant wind since we were in the lee of the island and the wind had backed around to come from the SW.

Rode the flood up through Burrows Pass.  At one point we reached 6.2kts with minimal paddle effort.    After rounding Fidalgo Head it was a smooth, easy paddle back to the launch as we got a push from the flood even as we hung in close to the shore.