Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Carr Inlet

A very nice paddle with pleasant company on one of the most flawless days in March I have ever seen!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • TIDES/CURRENTS: WAUNA:  7.69 L @ 0454, 12.34 H @ 1004, 0.26 L @ 1731 / HALE PASSAGE:  +0.62 @ 0644, S @ 0801, -1.54 @ 1357, S @ 1729 / NARROWS (S of bridge: -3.3 @ 1329 ; NARROWS (N of bridge):  +2.07 @ 0754, S @ 1008, -3.21 @ 1311, S @ 1726 / GIG HARBOR:  7.21 L @ 0436, 11.1 H @ 0946, -0.16 L @ 1703




Terry Jaret had emailed Bill and I on Thu that he’d came down with COVID and asked me to take over his trip.  Bill kindly agreed so it was just him and I on Sat morning.  After some phone calls on where exactly we were supposed to meet we were finally able to leave his car at the GH boat ramp and get over to the west end of the Wauna bridge just outside of Poulsbo to launch.  There is a Honey Bucket there with a 4 car parking lot next to the launching area.  Overflow parking is along the side of the bridge and on a warm day like this one I expected a lot of people by the time we came back in the afternoon.   


We were a little late launching around 0845 and settled in to what would be an easy 3+ knot pace with lots of interesting conversations.  The snow capped Olympics to the west were breath taking under a virtually cloudless blue sky with their reflection in the barely rippling water.  After about a mile I began to feel the pull of the ebb. We opted not to stop at Cutts Island which I think happens to be the cutest little island in the Puget Sound.  Cutts rises out of the water like a slice of cake on a plate with its extensive spit on the north end at low tide with a high sandy cliff above rocks on the south. This morning the higher water level left hardly any of the spit and we could see Canada Geese up on the embankment, the limited shoreline and the surrounding waters; I believe they nest on this uninhabited spot.  While the island is well worth getting out to explore (use caution: there is poison ivy on it) or take a break we chose not to. There were no seals on the east side as we went on by.


We passed the opening of Horsehead Bay without opting to go in and proceeded on to and around Green Pt. McNeil and Pickering Passage are clearly visible but we had to get around the point completely before Fox Island came into view with the DeMolay Sandspit Nature Preserve clearly visible a little more than a half mile away and a lot further off a beautiful view of Mt Rainier. We headed straight for the familiar west side beach that had a few families wandering around, mostly on the east side.  We arrived about 1100 and settled on a log to eat our lunch. After about an hour we passed up a couple of boaters and a SUPer to follow the quickening current around the point and headed down Hale Passage towards the Fox Island bridge.  The current was moving at least a knot and we made fast progress towards Pt Fosdick, turning the corner at my desired projected time at 1330. After a quick bio break just past the Tacoma Narrows Park we caught the max current of 3+ knots that helped move us quickly under and beyond the bridge.  We had begun encountering power boaters before we reached the bridge and the number increased as we approached Gig Harbor.  Their wakes stirred up the already swirling and lumpy waves enough to make things interesting without getting too annoying although I was getting tired of the traffic by the time we finally got into the busy harbor.  We got into the back eddy on the east side and continued on in the increasing heat to the boat launch near the back, arriving at 1500.  There were a few boats and vehicles at the launch and one tall person very kindly helped load my boat on Bill’s Toyota. Once loaded up and changed we did the quick shuttle for the last time to transfer my boat/gear to my car at the bridge.  While there were a number of cars and people along the bridge and beach I had expected to see a lot more there on such a beautiful day.  Bill opted to go straight home.  A very nice paddle with pleasant company on one of the most flawless days in March I have ever seen!