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Sea Kayak - Hammersley Inlet

Another fun day exploring tides and currents in beautiful Hammersley Inlet

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • TIDES/CURRENTS: ARCADIA: 14.3F @ 0731, 3.4E @ 1342; LIBBY POINT (EAST END) -3.0 @ 1143, S@1457, +2.5 @ 1715, SKOOKUM PT (WEST END) -2.0@1141, S@1511, +1.8@ 1807.

    CONDITIONS: SEA CALM TO 1’,  SSW 0-12 KTS WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS 15KT,  MOSTLY SUNNY , 50-60S,  VISABILITY EXCELLENT

10/0717 -SAT –III—HAMMERSLEY INLET WITH INTRO TO CURRENTS REVIEW.  APPROX 14 NM.

LEADER: LISA A JOHNSON

ASSISTANT: TOM HARRIGAN

PADDLERS: SARAH BARNHART, STEVEN INTELMANN, PATRICK MCSHERRY

 

SIGHTED: SEALS, CORMORANTS,  SCOTERS,  PIGEON GUILLEMOTS,  GREAT BLUE HERON, BUFFLEHEADS, KINGFISHERS, DEER

 I moved the meeting time back to 7:30 and arrived a littler earlier to discover the main gate barred at Walker Park.  Steve arrived a few minutes after I did and I went up to the park keeper’s house.  He told me that in spite of what the website said (6 a.m 9 p.m.) he opened at 8 a.m.  He told me we could park in the regular day use lot on the east side that was unlocked.  So it was back to the side we used to use.  I called and spoke to or left VM for everybody else.  Tom arrived later due to his ferry schedule but still before Steve and I left to set up the shuttle at Arcadia after getting our boats/gear down by the beach.  We arrived back and got our boats down on the beach that left little room to spare on the ebbing tide.  After a bio break (bathrooms are closed, only one very clean Honey Bucket available) we began the overview of how water moves and chart reading approx 8:40. There were no questions afterwards. We launched about 0920 and headed east in the building ebb and stopped for some work on crossing eddy lines using a sculling draw in the weak current at a point on the south side prior to the Mill Creek cove. We had a brief bio break at the cove.  After more information on ferrying angles we headed towards the north side with everybody arriving successfully on or before the navigational marker.  We stopped at another point on the north side before coming to the creek that Tom found to work on some gentle peel outs and more on crossing ferry lines, this time using a forward stroke. From there we went straight to Cape Horn to practice and play in the max 3 knot current for about 20 minutes or so.  Nobody needed a bio break and we did another practice ferry to the north side and then around the corner at about 1245. There was about a 5 knot breeze blowing and the group opted to cross the channel to Hope Island for lunch instead of at the Arcadia boat launch.  We went around the north side to get into the lee of the wind and pulled up at the boardwalk on the other side in light rain.  It dried up after a minute or two and we were treated to a rainbow towards the north along with views of curious deer.  After about an hour we loaded back in and the group decided to go around the south end of the island.  The current was making itself felt as we headed across the only slightly stirring tide rip area at Steamboat. The wind began to pick up although the sunshine came back out as we headed west in the rising tide and current. As usual it was blowing harder in some sections than others.  Sarah and I were on the south side of the inlet while the others were on the north side when I pulled out my radio. Tom hailed me first but I couldn’t understand anything he said due to the wind.  Steve used his and agreed to come back to our side. Sarah and I rafted up briefly together for a snack and then we had another rafted up break once we were joined by the others.  The current continued to push us briskly west in spite the wind.  We reached our take out at approx 1645.  Some of us had brought wheels and there was some nice and greatly appreciated teamwork to get the boats up and off the beach area in the a.m. and p.m. We had a post paddle discussion where highlights were discussed and though there were reports of general fatigue and some soreness the group seemed satisfied with their performance and thanks were exchanged.  Nobody opted for  dinner. No capsizes or incidents to report. Additional thank you to Tom for his help, good suggestions and support. All paddlers performed well with excellent group dynamics. NOTE: In future I will have more bio breaks.

 

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