Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Hope Island

Hope Island low tide paddle on a day it was minus 4.7', the lowest in 13 years.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Weather was calm, overcast and comfortable, in the 60's. Wind calm to very slight breeze in the afternoon with a few rain drops. The timing of the trip avoided the strongest currents. 

A south sound classic paddle trip to experience what is really a shoal extending from Squaxin Island out into Squaxin Passage east of Hope Island. Commonly referred to as a reef, but not a reef in the classical sense of a coral reef. More like shallow water that gets exposed at low tides. It always make for great marine life viewing.

We were a group of 8 Mountaineers Sea Kayakers launching from Boston Harbor Marina at 10AM. A 9.3 mile round trip over 5-½ hours. The day's low tide was the lowest in 13 years as I read. It was minus 4.7 feet. Often times this trip runs in the minus 2 to minus 3 foot range. Getting to minus 4 is a big deal. Nearing minus 5 is amazing!

We had calm, cloudy weather. Not the greatest for photography, but better than last year's heat bubble that cooked shellfish and marine life.

We launched at 10AM, and as we neared Hope Island shortly after 11AM, we noticed the Raccoons were feeding at the water line. They were padding around for small crabs and other tasty bites. We must have seen 50 raccoons in all scattered around the circumference. All in the rocky areas. They don't bother with the sandy beaches because that's not where their food source is at.

We hit our lunch beach on the east side of the island around 11:30AM, took a nice break, and were back on the water by 12:35PM. There are outhouses on the island. Low tide was around 1:15PM predicted. We explored the reef/shoal, for about an hour and then headed back. We were back at Boston Harbor by 3:30PM.

The marine life viewing was awesome, but seemed less than other years. Not nearly as many starfish, no sunstars at all. On the flip side, we saw many moon snails. While it was really neat to see such a low tide and so much of the shoal exposed, I think the minus 2 to 3  foot range might be better because one can paddle over more area. This may have been why we thought we saw less. 

Our timing was perfect and we didn't need to battle strong currents. Just a little bit at Hunter Point so we stayed close to shore, as well as the west side of Hope Island we paddle against a mild current. 

A great day!

A link to photos in my gallery. All photos are © copyright of Ron Jones. All rights reserved.