Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Cape Falcon

Great trip with sometimes challenging conditions. 3' swell allowed entry into most of the caves and arches, and afternoon north wind gave a nice push back to the launch.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Swell: 2-3' at start and 3' at end. Period was 6 seconds.
    Wind waves: 0.5' at start and 1-2' at end.
    Wind: North 0-5kt at start and North 10-20kt at end.
    Tide: -1.4' at start and 5.7' at end.

    Long haul across the beach at launch due to very low tide.  Utilized wheels to make it easier.

    Relatively easy conditions at start and along south facing shore due to protection from wind.
    Fairly rough conditions with lots of clapotis along north facing shore and after lunch due to the rising north wind and interaction between larger wind waves and swell.

Photograph for this report is provided by permission of and copyrighted by Ron Jones. Thank you Ron.

We met as scheduled at 8am and got off the beach at 9:15am.  It was a very long haul to the water due to the very low tide. Conditions were good enough (low swell) to enter most caves and arches. The one we couldn't navigate on the way out due to low water, we went through on the way back with the higher tide. We didn't stop at Smuggler's Cove on the way out as we'd only been on the water for a bit more than an hour and we wanted to explore the northern shore before the wind came up fully for the afternoon (forecast to be N15kt with gusts to 25kt). It was quite rough along the north side of the cape, providing lots of bumpy paddling.  We decided not to land on the beach to the north of the cape as I had originally hoped to do - too windy and bumpy to make it much fun. So we turned around short of the beach and coasted back to lunch at the northern end of the beach at Smuggler's Cove where there was little swell for the landing.

After a leisurely lunch, we coasted back to Manzanita with the wind at our backs, playing along the shore and going through the one arch that we had missed on the way out.  The strong north wind provided some good surfing opportunities after leaving the cape, with the interaction of the wind waves and swell.  We made an uneventful landing through confused swell at around 1:45pm .

It was a great day with a small but fun group.  We had one wet exit going through a slot, with a well coordinated, efficient rescue.  

Important for this trip to have well prepared paddlers with towing gear and practiced rescue skills. Knowing that the group is prepared allows much more fun to be had!