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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Hartstine Island

A wonderful trip around this island in nearly perfect conditions - mostly sunny with little wind. Sea lions and a humpback whale were observed along the east side of the island.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Nearly perfect conditions. Mostly sunny with little wind. We got off the water as a weather system was coming in. The launch at Latimers Landing was in good shape with a freshly cleaned porta-potty.Capture.JPG

We got on the water on time in sunshine, but cold (35 degrees) conditions with no wind. Headed south along Harstine to our first break just north of Brisco Point. With the ebb, the currents were as predicted - against us initially until just north of Squaxin Island, then with us in Peale Passage.
After break, we continued around Brisco Point and into Dana Passage, riding a 1.7 kt current. The sun was out and we got pretty warm on the way up to McMicken Island where we stopped for lunch. We had a leisurely 45 minute lunch break in the sun, watching sea lions cavort off the north end of the island. Near the end of lunch, I thought that I spied briefly the back of a whale to the south of us, but I couldn't tell for sure.
Almost immediately after we got on the water we had a humpback whale surface several times about 100 yards to our side toward Heron Island and once only about 50 yards behind us. It then left the area and we didn't see it again. We continued north up to Dougall Point in sunshine with a slight south breeze helping us along. As we rounded Dougall Point at about 1:45 pm, the weather to the south started to look a bit ominous with some tall thunderheads and rain showing against the sky. We took our last break on a beach just north of the entrance to Jarell Cove and then continued south down Pickering Passage into a light headwind. We made it back to Latimers Landing at about 3:40 pm as a slight sprinkle started up.
On the way back home, we drove through a significant hailstorm with lightning just west of Olympia - good to be off the water then!