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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Freshwater Bay

There’s a large variety of activities that can be led out of this destination. i.e. there’s rock gardening to the west or you can paddle less than 4 nautical miles to the east and experience SK-II through SK-V conditions which gives a variety of planned activities. It's excellent place to perform equivalency skills.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Freshwater Bay to Angel Point Equivalency Paddle

    What can you say about Freshwater Bay to look at it looks really calm not much going on but as you paddle east with current building when you get just a little west of Elhwa River. There’s a distinct Eddie Line as you approach the river mouth. And a increasing background  Roaring, Crashing and Thumping. you’ll begin to realize there’s some big Surf present.  As dumping seas formed from the 5.8’ swell produces a 3.5’ Surf. On GPS chart one can see where mouth is but not discernible from paddlers view.
    Our group was hosting some out of area paddlers Who were to demonstrated there Equivalency skills.  In order to keep the paddle within in the pre-described SK-III.  We chose to go a little beyond Angel Point, where Surf was more manageable. A little less dumping and much smaller waves.  This made our landings there for a bio and short lunch break doable without exceeding the trips stated SK rating.

In order to overcome the dumping waves re-entering kayaks.  We waded just beyond breakers in between sets. And lunged onto the rear-behind cockpit then paddling; while lying on billy piercing developing curling waves then cowboyed into cockpit. (very cool in control Maneuver).

Two of our participants had never paddled through such seaweed before the kind with the 1 1/2 - 2” tube and tubers that float on the surface and create kind of an appearance of not being a passable feature.  

Helmets weren't required or mentioned in Leaders notes but would have been a plus as we had planned to enter the river to go short distance and explore it! But we decide Surf was an issue making paddle rating an SK-V instead of SK-IV.  Our Leaders were determined to keep Paddle in SK-II/III+.  A side note everyone had helmets except for two who had left there helmets in car.

This paddle has wide range of environments and skill levels. If one wanted to pick and choose what you put your group into. With proper pre-planning it could be above SK-V.

The tide was flooding and the current was at 1.4 - .8kts while returning to Fresh Water Bay this made paddling against it a good workout for sure especially attaining close to 2.8-3.0kts pace

Just normal walking pace is 2.4kts at times it was difficult to keep this pace.  I found it help full to change my angle ferrying in, or out from shore to attain a faster pace against the Flooding current.

There lots of opportunity to perform self and assisted rescues and rolls Demonstrations.

All in all this was a great paddle it’s my intention to lead this trip down the road. I served as Assistant Leader on this Equivalency  Paddle.  It was a great time.




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Bruce Durham
Bruce Durham says:
Sep 14, 2019 09:49 AM

Nothing to add😉👌

Bruce Durham
Bruce Durham says:
Sep 14, 2019 09:52 AM

Nothing to add. I

Martine Bouret
Martine Bouret says:
Feb 03, 2020 04:08 PM

Just saw your trip report... had a great time too! Yes, the bull kelp was very strange to us.