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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Tacoma Narrows

A quick trip from Titlow Park to Owens Beach and back.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • It was a somewhat hot day with very little wind. 

We left Titlow Park on schedule (8AM) and headed out into the Narrows channel to catch a one to two knot ebb flow. The small group of five did a great job of staying together as  we wound our way through the sailing and fishing boats. I was not paying enough attention to our position and allowed us to drift too close to one of the supports for the Narrows bridge. We changed direction and headed more into the center of the channel. After paddling past the small community of  Salmon Beach we headed around Point Defiance at about 9:15AM. At the point, we found very little turbulence with just a few boils. We had an early lunch at Owens beach from about 9:30 to 10:30AM. As we paddled out to where Kevin had suggested we view the building rip tide at Point Defiance we heard people on land, yelling and pointing out to the channel. About 1000 feet off shore I could see a double kayak with two people in it and two people in the water who were waving their paddles above their heads. I could barely see their kayak since it was partially submerged. The rip tide was building quickly with some waves causing low braces. Just as I was formulating a rescue plan a boat that I had not noticed came to their rescue. Not long after this, the rip tide started to subside and the waves died away. So, this just proves that timing is everything. If the unprepared kayakers had just waited they would have had a better chance of making it through that area. As we traveled back to the launch site the building flow current got us up into the 7 knot range. With the currents and the strong group I was amazed at how quick this 11+nm trip took. It was good weather, an excellent group and a great paddle.