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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Hope Island

A valuable experience paddle for basic students exploring the area north of Hope Island and in and around Hope Island.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Despite one of the lowest tides (-3.1 at 1:50pm) of the year, our group enjoyed a successful trip in and around Hope Island. After launch, we paddled north around the point from Arcadia and played in the 3kt. current coming out of Hammersley. We discussed and practiced crossing eddy lines and how to ferry across a current with plenty of practice opportunities. Then we continued into Pickering Passage and made our way to the tip of Squaxin before heading  south along the shore of Squaxin with our destination being Hope Island for a lunch stop. Due to the beautiful and warm weather, we had to be on the lookout for  boats while crossing Pickering Passage, with one very loud encounter from an ocean racer that went speeding by despite our and everyone else's dismay.  Nearing the shore of Hope Island, we noticed many raccoons foraging in the exposed shoreline for food. Overall, we must have seen approximately 25 raccoons. Also saw a few Bald Eagles & a Great Blue Heron. Despite the low tide, landing and disembarking from Hope Island was not a problem.

After a leisurely lunch, we set out around 2:30 pm after low tide to explore the exposed reef between Hope and Squaxin. At first, we had difficulty locating it, but with some searching we could see turbulent water moving over and around the reef, that was barely visible with the naked eye. As we moved closer, we noticed a large group of seals lounging on and around the reef, so we made sure to keep our distance while still experiencing the reef and its many critters. The water around the reef was only 6 inches to a foot in most areas making for slow going.  

Shortly after, our group decided to practice rescues in the mostly  calm water between the reef and Hope Island. Rescues practiced with success with the current and slight wind that pushed us past the northeast tip of Hope and near the shoreline of Squaxin. With the advice of Lisa J. the group made the decision to paddle to Steamboat Island and experience the shoal. Paddling past the north shore of Hope we arrived at the shoal and played a bit in the turbulent currents moving over the shoal before heading back to Arcadia around 4 (3' tide on return). Launch site was busier than usual, but still no problem loading and unloading boats.  All in all, an enjoyable and rewarding day.