Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Indian Island Circumnavigation

Paddled clockwise around Indian Island, starting and ending at Port Hadlock. With breaks at Fort Flagler State Park boat ramp, Mystery Bay State Park boat ramp, and during the portage across the Marrowstone/Indian Island isthmus. Returned to Port Hadlock via the Port Townsend Canal on the late afternoon ebb.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Conditions were excellent on this day.  See leader’s trip report for more detail.


Our hearty group of ten Mountaineers from three different branches (Everett, Seattle and Tacoma) successfully completed the 12.75 nm trip in just over seven hours.  As planned, the trip included four breaks: on the water off Kala Point, lunch at Fort Flagler, snack break (with ad hoc self and assisted rescues practice) at Mystery Bay, and a rest break combined with a short portage at the isthmus between Marrowstone and Indian Islands.

Weather conditions matched the NOAA Marine pinpoint forecast fairly well.  Water conditions on the leg between Port Hadlock and Fort Flagler included wind waves from the southeast of less than 1 foot.  During our crossing of Port Townsend Harbor we also encountered some minor wake from the usual north/south parade of power boat traffic.

The conditions for the rest of the paddle were very smooth, with calm water on Kilisut Harbor, Mystery Bay, and Scow Bay; and glass-like surface conditions from the south beach of the isthmus, on Oak Bay, all the way back to Port Hadlock.  

The leg back to Port Hadlock was assisted by the 2.5+ kt ebb through Port Townsend Canal.  It was as smooth as silk, with no wind waves or powerboat wakes to disturb the flow.  Achieved our top paddling speed of 7.1 kts during this leg.

Ended back at Port Hadlock about 12 minutes earlier than planned.  Started the trip at 11:00am and ended at 6:02pm.  Average moving speed was 3.0 kts.  Total moving time 4 hours and 18 minutes.

Air quality and visibility was hazy throughout the day but definitely better than the heavy smoke the region experienced earlier in the week.