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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Columbia River: Martin & Goat Islands

A fine winter paddle on the Columbia south of Kalama with sunny skies and moderate winds. Lots of wildlife including Sandhill Cranes, Egrets, Eagles, Deer and lots of ducks and geese.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Tides (Kalama): L 0659 0.1', H 1211 3.3', L 1956 0.3'
    Wind: S-SE 0-10kt with few gusts to 15kt
    Weather: Mostly sunny with some high clouds. Cool - 33-40 degrees
    No fishing activity on the beach at the launch.
    Distance traveled: 15.56nm
    Average pace: 3.1kt

Conditions at the launch were good - sunny with light winds. All except Neil arrived by 8:15 and Neil arrived around 8:35. We got on the water at around 9:15. There was a tug coming upstream as we launched so we headed downstream for a bit to cross astern of the tug. The wind continued to be light from the SE until we reached Deer Island Point, then picked up from the south to 5-10kt. Once we got behind Goat Island we were sheltered from the wind and continued south, exploring the slough about half way down the island. There was plenty of water to cross the piling row at the south end of the island and we proceeded to our first break on the small beach at south tip of Goat Island.

After break, we headed back north along the east shore of the island with a 5-10kt SE wind on our stern quarter. We had a small flock of Sandhill Cranes fly over while we were making our way north along this shore. Also, passed a couple lining an aluminum boat loaded with stuff along the beach. Looked like they were living in an encampment further along the beach. We chose to start the crossing to the north end of Martin Island early, instead of from the very north end of Goat Island so the wind would be a bit on the stern rather than on the bow. The wind was 5-10kt from the SE and there were some whitecaps on the river.

From the north end of Martin Island, we paddled south in the sloughs behind Martin and Burke Islands and took a lunch break at the beach at the mouth of the slough. Had a leisurely lunch and did equivalency rescues for Neil Schulman. Lori and Jerry picked up some significant pieces of junk to help clean up the beach.

After lunch we paddled back north along the western shores of Burke and Martin Islands and then along the Washington shore of the river back to the launch point. Arrived back at the launch at around 3:30pm. All but Neil enjoyed an apres paddle refreshment around the fire pit on the deck of Ahles Point Cabin.Capture.JPG