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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Hood Canal: Quilcene Bay to Toandos Peninsula

A very beautiful trip in snowy scenery. Lots of wildlife and beautiful shorelines.

  • Snow and ice on road
  • It was a snowy day on Hood Canal. The drive to the launch was slower than normal due to 2-3" on the roads and plows operating. The weather was calm, but snowy in the morning and early in the afternoon and then turned rainy with some south wind.Capture.JPG

Distance: 17.1 nm
Pace: 3.1 kt
Weather: cold and snowy with little wind. Turning to light rain and south winds to 10kt in the afternoon.

Cold, snowy and beautiful! The drive along Hood Canal was mostly on 2-3" of fresh wet snow, but we managed to arrive in time to launch only 10 minutes later than planned. With one paddler cancelling, it was just two of us for the day. It was calm and the forecast was for light winds from the south, so we decided to go ahead with the planned route to experience a rare day of snowscapes from the water.

After watching a huge otter cavort on the beach at the point, we got on the water at 9:40am and took a heading of 110 degrees magnetic to Tabook Point in light snow and visibility of about 1/2 mile. The reduced visibility required attention to the compass and GPS, while being distracted by lots of seabirds, seal, sea lions and haunting loon calls. Reaching Tabook Point, we paddled north along the shore in sometimes heavy snow. The water was crystal clear and the reflection of the falling snow in the calm water created the illusion of snowflakes rising from the water to meet the falling snow. The beach and trees were all covered in a couple of inches of white and we would occasionally paddle through patches of slush on the water.

After stopping for a break about 2nm up the coast, we continued to the very head of Tarboo Bay, through occasionally heavy patches of slush on the water. We stopped for lunch near the head of Tarboo Bay along the west shore. The snow was starting to turn to rain, but it remained very cold. Paddling back out of Tarboo Bay, we continued south along the western shore of Dabob Bay pastlots of sea lions, some of which accompanied us for quite a while. The rain stopped for a bit and then resumed along with a freshening south wind. On the last crossing from Lindsay's Beach on Bolton Peninsula to the launch we had a 5-10kt headwind. We got back to the launch at about 3:30pm.

S0303065.JPGThe snowy scenery and abundance of wildlife made this a special paddle.