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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Ketron Island Circumnavigation

A hot, but scenic day exploring the perimeter of the Nisqually Delta, Ketron Island and Oro Bay on Anderson Isle.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Our small group of four (had a couple last minute cancellations) spent the day exploring ship wrecks on the outskirts of the delta before completing our journey around Ketron. Bald eagles everywhere and seals too. We were cognizant of the quickly ebbing tide that left us with only a foot of water at times as we skirted the mud flats. We took a break at the grounded concrete barge allowing us to poke our heads in and around this interesting spectacle before heading in the direction of DuPont Wharf. With all the warnings about not being able to land on Ketron, we took our lunch break around noon before heading out to the island. Much to our surprise and dismay, as we started around the south side, we viewed a parked boat and three people resting out of the sun on the upper reaches of the beach. We continued our counter-clockwise paddle expecting to see the islanders protecting their precious island with guns as we were warned. Nothing. No islanders. We enjoyed the scuttled ferry on the north end before passing the ferry dock and around to the other side. Finally, we saw a few houses and even INHABITANTS on the island. But no guns pointed at us. On our last stretch down the northern side, we noticed another house up high on the bluff hidden in the trees. Perhaps said one of our group they are watching us, ready to repel any invaders. But no one else was around. At this point, one of our crew asked to land and quickly have a bio break. “Oh no, we’re not allowed to land here,” I replied. And then we ran into another group of four people who had set up an umbrella and were lounging about taking pics and enjoying the day. They appeared unharmed. Why haven’t these people been ushered off the island yet, was our response. And then 400 yards further, we spotted another group lounging just off the beach enjoying cocktails. I am no longer under the impression, as had been warned by multiple reports and parties, that Ketron is a place to be feared. May the myth live on, I suppose.

On our return to Luhr, we decided to paddle across to Cole Point and Anderson Island. We then explored East and West Oro Bay. What a beautiful place. On one bank we witnessed a river otter returning home. We explored deep into West Oro, past the marina to see the other scuttled ferry sitting high on the banks looking neglected. Quite a sight! After rounding the southern end of Anderson, we were met with a stronger flooding current that pushed us much further away from our launch site than expected, but eventually with some strong paddling we returned to the confines of the delta and our take out point. According to our GPS, we paddled approximately 16+miles vs. the projected 13.