Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Maury Island Circumnavigation

A beautiful, warm and calm September day with little boat traffic made for a great paddle. Launching from Des Moines, we circumnavigated the island in a counter-clockwise direction. The water was exceptionally clear for this time of year. Photo by Dewey Fuller.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Capture.JPG

    Parking at Des Moines Beach Park is limited, but we arrived early enough that this was not a problem for our 4 cars.

    We had little to no wind all day and the sunshine made it a bit warm at times. We took dips during breaks to keep cool.

    In spite of an ebbing tide in the afternoon, we found that there was a mild (maybe 0.5kt) current against us  as we paddled northeast along the southeast shore of the island. Perhaps there is a large back eddy that forms here as the ebb turns the corner coming  out of Dalco Passage.

    We only saw one freighter all day and there was no traffic during our crossings to and from the island. We did use the Marine Traffic app and Channel 14 to monitor traffic for the crossings.

It was a fine September day on the water with little to no wind, sunshine all day and exceptionally clear water. We got off the beach at 9:10am and paddled across to Point Robinson in easy conditions and with no shipping traffic. Continuing along the north shore of Maury Island, we made our first stop about a mile short of the portage for a break. The tide was near high, making the portage as easy as it gets. The bank on the north side has some poor footing on the step up to the road and the logs on the south side also present challenging footing requiring some care. After the portage, we paddled across to Jensen Point Park, where we stopped for lunch. This is a nice stop with a good beach, picnic tables, trash receptacles and an good restroom.
After lunch, we paddled out of Quartermaster Harbor and around to our next break at Piner Point. After break we paddled up the east shore, enjoying the crystal clear water - unusual in my experience at this time of year. We could easily see down to the bottom at least 20' down and with the sun refracting through the ripples, it looked clear as a swimming pool at times. We were challenged keeping course and keeping from being dizzy due to continuously looking down all the time. We reached Point Robinson again at about 4pm and had a break before the crossing. It was warm enough that we again spent some time floating around to cool off. Again there was no traffic approaching, so we made the paddle back to Des Moines in flat calm conditions, arriving back at the cars at about 5pm.

Total distance: 16.78nm
Average moving speed: 2.8kt