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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Tacoma Narrows

Another beautiful December paddle with an unexpected surprise.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

12/17/16 -SAT –III—TITLOW BEACH TO GIG HARBOR AND RETURN.  APPROX 14 NM.LEADER: LISA A JOHNSON

PADDLERS: MIKE ANDERSON, JANET BEAGLEY, TIM BURKE, BOB BURRESON, WILL GREENOUGH, MIEKE KLOK, BOB METZGER, SHINHO PARK, DAVE STOLIER

NARROWS CURRENTS: -3.26  @ 1133, s @ 1435,  +3.18 @1703

CONDITIONS: SEA CALM TO RIPPLED,  LIGHT AND VARIABLE BREEZE,  CLOUDY, TEMPS 30S,  VISABILITY EXCELLENT

SIGHTED: SEALS, SEA LIONS, CORMORANTS,  SCOTERS,  EAGLES, LOONS, MERGANSERS, BUFFLEHEADS, GREAT BLUE HERON

 Everybody was ready on time and after a brief huddle we launched at 1000. We headed west towards mid channel, making the sharp right to then head under the midspan of the bridge, moving at least 6 knots. No stops were needed and we reached the marker at Gig Harbor entrance at 1100 accompanied by numerous seal and sea lion sightings, arriving at The Tides dock about 15 minutes later.  We were able to leave our boats pulled out on the empty dock and our wet drysuits and shoes draped over the railing outside the front door.  The restaurant was as usual warm and cozy and ready for us (I had called on Friday).  As usual the food was good, the service excellent and we shared cookies and Will’s apple crisp for dessert. Tim insisted on kindly treating me for lunch. After about 1.5 hours we struggled back into our now cold drysuits and headed north once out of the Harbor to go say hello to kayakers Rhonda and Chris at their beautiful waterfront home. We were doubly rewarded, once by their smiling faces and warm welcome, the second by a rare treat taking place directly in front of their house.  At least a dozen sea lions were having a feeding frenzy right off the shore and the water just boiled with their leaps and flops, the gulls screaming and diving overhead.  It lasted at least 10 minutes and the whole herd slowly moved north before dispersing farther up Colvos Passage. After about 10 minutes we loaded back up and headed east to take advantage of the building current before turning directly south towards the bridge. A brief pause for a shore stop just before the bridge where the bulkheads were still quiet and then Tim asked if he and Shinho could forge ahead of us and I said fine. The rest of us arrived a few minutes behind them and later than expected at approx 1600.  Due to evening plans and obligations a post paddle huddle was skipped and it was Mike, Mieke and me who took the last of the cookies and went to Steamers where Mike kindly bought my sandwich and we watched the last of the beautiful pale December sunset across the water.  All paddlers performed well with excellent group dynamics.

 

 

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