Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Hammersley Inlet

A really enjoyable spring paddle on a changeable pleasant day with really good company for the maiden voyage of Bill's new boat!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • CURRENTS:  WEST END: -2.1 @ 1028 / S @ 1349 / +2.2 @ 1702  LIBBY PT: -3.5 @1041 / S @ 1355 / +3.0 @ 1704

    ARCADIA TIDE: 14.3 @ 0543 / -0.4 @ 1244 / 13.5 @ 1921



When I first arrived at Walker Park at 8:00 the gate was still closed but within a minute or two the very obliging park ranger was opening it.  He said we can now use the day use parking on the west side of the park.  By this time Bill had arrived and Janet joined us a bit later along with another party of three led by a long time paddling buddy of mine, Dave Resler.  Bill and I had our boats and equipment moved down first and we then set up a shuttle, leaving my car at the Arcadia boat launch  in case of issues. By the time we returned Janet was just about ready and I had our pre trip huddle.  Most of the questions had been answered prior to this point so it was about 10:15 when we launched.  After a radio check we moved out into the increasing current.  It was easy to find the fast tracks through the smooth and quiet water.  After saying hello to some fisherman on the shore and a boat we ducked around the corner to go up Mill Creek.  While the creek bed extends quite a ways back I have never gotten very far past the first bend and this trip was no different before a couple of strainers and lack of water blocked our progress.  We returned to the main channel and headed for Cape Horn.  The level was way down and Bill went on ahead to check out the conditions to report that while the current was running right along there wasn’t much action.  We paused a bit but there was nothing to play in so continued on around the corner and past the Squaxin boat launch.  Bill wanted to do some rolls in his new Illusion and both Janet and I gave him some bow rescues when needed.  After some successful attempts we decided to head down the west side of Hope Island first, saying hello to some plump and healthy looking raccoons busy on the shoreline, arriving at the south end campground at 1215.  Dave, John and Tim were already there and we joined them for some good discussions and pleasant conversations.  The weather turned rapidly and while I walked to the clean and well stocked bathroom facility in the steady rain we shoved off a bit later in sunshine and clear conditions.  At first the current was against us as we headed up the east side of the island but it reverses before you reach the halfway point.  It was an easy and quick paddle across the channel and as we entered Hammersley again we eventually saw a sea lion diving and flopping on the surface about a quarter of a mile away.  I had to stop for a bio break at one point and was gratified to see soon after some sea stars on the undersides of the rocks on the north side of the channel. Nobody else needed to stop and we had easy paddling in the quickening currents the rest of the way back to the park.  Although the wind gusted slightly and things got dark we beat the rain, landing at the shore about 1600.  Good teamwork was applied to get the boats up the embankment and I showed Janet how to adjust her wheels to make the carrying easier.  Bill and I got our boats and equipment up and ran the shuttle to pick up my car.  I changed before returning in the pouring rain.  It didn’t take much longer to get everything loaded back up after which we had a quick huddle with no complaints and thanks exchanged.  Bill opted out of dinner so it was me, Janet and Dave who went to the Black Bear Diner in Lakewood for a very good dinner and even better discussions. A really enjoyable spring paddle on a changeable pleasant day with really good company for the maiden voyage of Bill's new boat!  All paddlers performed well with excellent group dynamics.