Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Lake Washington

Launched from Newcastle Beach Park, paddled to, into, and out of Mercer Slough, lunch break at Enatai Beach Park, break at Meydenbauer Bay Park, return to Newcastle Beach Park.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
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    Weather Conditions:  air and water temperatures are in the low 50's.  Wind around 5 knots gusts to perhaps 10 knots.  Water was choppy, with less than one-foot waves, except in Mercer Slough the water was calm. Overcast clouds.  These conditions stayed for most of the day, except that it probably got a few degrees warmer.  Light rain began just after landing back at Newcastle. 


After launching from Newcastle, which was around 9:45 am, we paddled north toward Mercer Slough.  We saw blue herons, turtles, and, I think, kingfishers.  After exiting we paddled to Enatai and stopped for lunch.

After lunch we paddled north, hugging the shoreline for the most part, ogling at the mansions.  One even had a floatplane that had its own platform that can be raised above and lowered into the water.

But the pièce de résistance was watching an eagle torment perhaps hundreds of coots who had taken refuge at a tiny bay created and protected by the landscaping from a couple of mansions.  The eagle hovered for a few seconds over the coots kinda like me at an all-you-can-eat buffet table.  After hovering the eagle and perhaps a juvenile eagle proceeded to buzz the coots, again kinda like me at an all-you-can-eat buffet table.

Quick break at Meydenbauer Bay park. Then paddled back to Newcastle.  Landed around 3 pm.  

Paddled with a great group of Mountaineers.  

Around this time is, to me, the best time to paddle the Slough and Lake Washington.  The fauna is more active, parking is easy, very few speed boats, although we did see a couple of boats with folks fishing, and few folks at the beaches.  But flowers are usually better a few weeks later.  There were Canadian geese in the morning who were chased away by walker's dogs.

Newcastle, Enatai, and Meydenbauer parks all have nice restrooms.  They are part of the Bellevue park system.  Parking is free. One thing to note about Newcastle beach:  the walk from the parking lot to the beach can be thought of as long but the ground is flat.