narrows bridge.jpeg

Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Tacoma Narrows

We had a very nice paddle with pleasant people, good food, nice currents/waves with stunning views on a gorgeous glittering day! Photo: Jeff Evans

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

    TACOMA NARROWS CURRENTS:  SOUTH  -3.9 @ 1114 / S @ 1445 / +5.2 @ 1751 / PT EVANS: -4.0 @ 1125 / S @ 1455 / +5.5 @ 1815 /  NORTH: -3.2 @ 1157 / S @ 1500 / +3.5 @ 1757 / GIG  HARBOR: -0.7 @ 1003 / S @ 1205 / 0.8 @ 1540

    TIDES: NARROWS BRIDGE: 10.4 @ 0708 / -1.4 @ 1415 /9.9 @ 1929/ GIG HARBOR: 9.8 @ 0658 / -1.4 @ 1414




Everybody was on time although Scott had a little difficulty in finding the launch point. He had called me shortly before he arrived. I loaned him a radio to use for the day.  After a short huddle we launched just after 1130, heading straight west across the quiet channel.  There was already power boat traffic that would increase throughout the day. After about 10 minutes we turned north where we moved at an increasing pace under the bridges and on to Gig Harbor.  Nobody needed to stop and there were no incidents. Dave clocked us at one point moving 8 knots after clearing the bridge.  We arrived at the already crowded dock at The Tides Tavern about 1300.  There was a couple of staff taking orders on the dock although nobody is allowed to actually eat there.  Nobody opted to eat inside or on the covered patio so we ordered our food takeout and waited outside the door on the dock and benches.  Terry stayed at the picnic table next door by a public restaurant and once our food was brought out to us we headed on over there to eat it in the bright and pleasant sunshine.  At one point Terry saw a TT staff member moving his boat around by the dock and went down to find out what was going on.  I used the restroom and then joined the others down at the dock.  We shoved off about 10 minutes later around 1430. A line of power boats were surprisingly close to the shore on our western side as we approached the Gig Harbor mouth so we jumped behind the first one to cross over to the other side.  There were a surprising number of kayaks and rec boats and lots of activity on the steep beach around the point of the nav aid.  We went through the gently slapping waves and hugged the shoreline as we went north for about a mile to arrive at Rhonda Schwab’s house.  She was standing on the shore holding her new 10 week old Golden Retriever Kirby.  We stayed about 20 minutes, me playing with the puppy and Rhonda inspected some minor damage to be repaired on Dave’s boat. Eventually we said our goodbyes and shoved off, heading towards the spectacular view of Mt. Ranier.  After a short discussion the decision was made to head to Point Defiance and it was rewarding as we had some tide rips and wandering currents to play in for a few minutes.  There was a steady stream of power boats--some of them getting alarmingly close to the low shoreline!!--whose wakes added to the fun.  Eventually we were flushed out and heading south again arriving smack in the middle in the rippling water under the bridge.  We continued riding the current out in the channel until opposite the pilings at our takeout before turning left and heading back in, arriving at 1700.  The rocks and low tide made for a bit of a tricky landing but no damage done.  Good teamwork was applied to get the boats quickly back up on the grass.  I moved my car after changing my clothes to load up and loaned Dave some wheels to transport his boat to his car.  The parking lots had filled up as expected on such a nice day.  After we had all loaded up and changed we had a short huddle under a shady tree that yielded a complaint about Terry’s boat being moved but nothing else.  I was very sad to see that after 30 years Steamers closed as of 04/11/21 so no more dinners, drinks or ice cream there afterwards. But we had a very nice paddle with pleasant people, good food, nice currents/waves with stunning views on a gorgeous glittering day!  All paddlers performed well with excellent group dynamics.