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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Eagle Harbor to Blakely Rock Light to Port Blakely

An excellent, laid back paddle. Great weather and great views of the mountain (Rainier) and the city skyline

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Launched from Bainbridge City Dock at end of Shannon Street.  One participant rented a kayak from Exotic Aquatics.  Check their opening time if planning a trip that needs rentals.  Today they opened at 10.  We launched about 10:40AM.

    Purchase parking pass at kiosk by boat ramp. Select "Crew/Hand Carry" option.  Today the price was about $5:50 for all day.  After unloading move cars up to parking along Bjune Street.  Look for signs that indicate that if you've purchased a pass/permit at the boat ramp you are exempt from the 2 or 3 hour parking limit.

    There really is no current to be concerned about on this paddle.  Only "conditions" to plan for are high/low tide and wind/weather.

    Zero wind and glassy water as be began the paddle from the Bainbridge City Dock.  Mild air temperatures.   Wind picked up a bit in the afternoon but stayed well below 10kts.  No white caps, no wind waves to speak of.  Had a bit of head wind from the north in the afternoon.

Started paddle at 10:45AM just as tide was beginning to turn from low tide so we could have someplace to land on Blakely Rock.  Cut diagonally across harbor from the city dock so we stayed well clear of ferries.  Rounded Creosote Point and headed south/southeast.  Since tide was low we could see and had to dodge some of the old short pilings off the point.  Be cautious in this area so you don't poke a hole in your kayak.

After rounding Creosote Point we paddled directly towards Blakely Rock Light.  A direct line stays clear of the ferry lane but it can be disconcerting if you are on this line when a ferry is coming directly at you before making the right turn toward the harbor.  Ferries don't make huge wakes but there can be some slow rollers to add some fun to the paddle.

As we approached Blakely Rock Light we looked for signs of seals and seal pups in the water and on the rocks and also for indication of nesting birds. There were none so we beached on the western edge on the shell beach/spit for a short break.  Depending on the time of day and season of the year there are typically seals and their pups on the rocks and in the water around the rock so when you see them, don't land.  Steer clear.  

We then headed directly into Port Blakely Harbor and stopped at the beach by the old steam plant.  The city or county has installed a pedestrian bridge across the opening of the lagoon in recent years which is a nice addition.  The beaches on the south and north of the lagoon dike/bridge are sandy and if tide is low enough allows plenty of room to beach boats and enjoy a break or lunch, which we did.  Don't trespass onto the private property. The boundaries are well signed.

After lunch we paddled east toward the opening of the Blakely Harbor and practiced rescues.  The rising tide and increasing breeze pushed us back west to the Steam Plant but not enough to cause a problem.

After  practice we paddled back along the shore, rounded Creosote Point and then stopped at the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.  It is accessible from stairs from the beach.  Entrance is at the far west end of the curved beach inside the harbor from Creosote Point.  Paddle to the beginning of the boat dock marina on the south side of the harbor and you'll see the stairs.  2 minute walk to memorial.  This was a very moving experience for all of us.  If you haven't been, plan for a stop at the beginning or end of your paddle.  You won't regret it.

Back at launch point at about 4:45PM

7.7 nm.  

Elapsed time: 5:50 hours

Moving Time: 3:19 hours

Average moving speed: 2.3kts