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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Fox Island Circumnavigation

A nice paddle on what turned out to be a really welcome mild winter day. Photo credit: Matthew Pahs

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

    TIDES/ CURRENTS: ARLETTA TIDES: : 8.2 @ 0858 / 12.8 @ 1338 / -1.6 @ 2100,  GIBSON POINT: S @0943 / +1.2 @ 1211 / S @1352 / -2.2 @1753  HALE PASSAGE: S @0915 / +.7 @ 1016 / S@ 1124 / -2.2 @ 1638, TACOMA NARROWS SOUTH: S @0910 / +2.1 @ 1132 / S @ 1328 / -4.0 @ 1733


 We had a no show on this trip. Herman arrived at 9:15 after making a wrong turn and huddle was completed before he was ready to go.  We launched a little after 0930 and headed towards the SE corner of Fox Island by the nav aid, pausing to watch a porpoise along the way.  We had to stop for Herman to get some gloves on so it took about an hour to get across the channel.  Once there we stopped for a 20 minute break.  Herman said he was having problems with his left foot peg being unstable and after some examination I put one of his full dry bags and two of mine into the cockpit so that he had that to brace his foot against. The water was quiet and the breeze slight as we worked our way up to the eastern point to our lunch spot, gathering renegade balloons along the way, arriving about 1230.  We sat on some handy side by side driftwood logs that provided both chairs and a flat surface to eat our meal with its killer view on the west side of the spit.  The Olympics weren’t visible though. The public bathroom was open. We launched about 1330. Once we were clear of the bridge spanning the channel we rafted up for a discussion.  Terry and Tim (both trip leaders) wanted to go to the Fox Island side of the channel, Steve and Matt said they would go mid channel and Herman said he would follow me. We agreed to meet up at the tip of the peninsula on the north side.  En route I met another paddler named Mike from Wollochet Bay and we compared paddle vs. stick advantages (not much) and some route notes.  He eventually headed home and I caught up with Steve and Matt.  Herman was far ahead in mid channel. While Terry and Tim met us at the planned rendezvous point by that time Herman was at least halfway out in the Narrows channel. Rather than one of us chasing him down we decided to stay as a group, took a bearing and headed out.  There was no wind or waves and we made quick time with Tim eventually going right and herding Herman back over so that we all arrived at a nicely high tide at the take out.  Good team work was applied to get the boats up on the grassy area.  Once we had loaded up our cars and changed we had a post trip huddle where no complaints were made and thanks exchanged.  Tim, Terry and I opted to have dinner afterwards at Steamers where Tim kindly bought mine. A nice paddle on what turned out to be a really welcome mild winter day.   The group performed well with excellent group dynamics.


NOTE: Although I had gone over radio protocol before we launched, I forgot to have everybody switch on their radios so that we could stay in contact before we split up after lunch and also when crossing the channel back to Titlow. Terry and I had turned ours on but had not contacted each other as it wasn’t needed.