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Sea Kayak - Tacoma Narrows

Tacoma Narrows trip narrative

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Sea Kayaking - Tacoma Narrows

    Wednesday, September 26th, 2018


    Trip Narrative:

    All participants arrived on time and fully prepared. We launched at 10:30AM from Titlow Park in Tacoma. At low tide this beach presents a gradual rocky shore line and a large staging area from which to launch. The small rocks are covered in slippery seaweed, so we walked our boats slowly and carefully to avoid falling. We paddled our way under Tacoma Narrows bridge slightly to the right of center. Using the railroad tunnel on the North shore as a landmark we made our way to Salmon Beach. When paddling in the center of the channel we encountered a 10~12 knot ENE wind blowing in the opposite direction of the ebbing current. The surface waves were 1~2 ft. with occasional whitecaps. The ebbing tide created a back eddy along the North shoreline so, in order to enjoy the added speed assist of the ebb current, our scenic paddle along Salmon beach was done at a distance. After passing Salmon beach we continued to make our way along the North shore until the Point Defiance light came into view. At that point we could pick out the lighthouse at the Gig Harbor entrance and began to paddle in that direction. We paddled against the current for a half mile or so as we approached the GH entrance. We were happy to land at the Tides Tavern boat dock at 12:00 noon. After pulling ourselves then our boats onto the dock we went inside for lunch.  After lunch, at about 1:30PM, we practiced rolls, bracing maneuvers, and rescues in the small area just inside the Gig Harbor entrance. We departed Gig Harbor at 2:00PM. Once in the main channel traveling South we experienced weather cocking as a result of the ENE wind. The trip back to Titlow Park took us along the South West shore of the Narrows to Point Evans. We took a bio break just prior to Point Evans. Once back on the water huddled-up at Point Evans to evaluate the conditions under the bridge. We paddled under the center of the bridge avoiding the bridge footings altogether. We made our approach on the flood tide by paddling to a point slightly South of abandoned ferry landing at Titlow Park using the back eddy to our advantage. We landed at 3:15PM and had boats and gear loaded by 4:00 PM. After a group debrief we headed home.

    Meet at 9:30AM, On the water around 10:30AM

    Launch Site:

    The grassy berm adjacent to Steamers Restaurant at the foot of 6thAvenue in Tacoma

    Boats and gear loaded and ready for the drive home by 4:00 PM


    There is free parking along 6thavenue within easy walking distance of the launch site


    Located at Titlow Water Park, about a 5-minute walk from the launch site


    9446486, Low Tide 2.44ft at 12:47PM

    9446484, At landing time 7.5ft at 4:00 PM

    9446486, High Tide 12.27ft at 6:59PM


    PUG1528 Narrows South End at mid-channel. Note, these current predictions reflect the current flow in mid channel, but there is a large back eddy at the launch site.

    Slack at 6:54AM

    Max Ebb 9:54AM 4.16 knots

    Our ETD out bound 10:30AM 4.0 knots

    Arrive back at Titlow Beach 3:00 4.0 knots

    Max Flood 4:00PM 4.88 knots (we expect to be off the water at this stage)


    PUG1427 Narrows Bridge mid channel

    Max Ebb 10:06AM 4.29 knots

    Our out bound ETA at the Narrows Bridge 10:45AM 4.0 knots Ebb

    Our inbound ETA at the Narrows Bridge 2:45PM 4.0 knots Flood

    Max Flood 4:00PM 4.71 knots (we expect to be off the water at this stage)


    PUG1428 Narrows North End mid channel

    Slack 1:24PM

    Marine Zone forecast for Puget Sound

    Wednesday: N wind 5 to 15 Kt. Wind waves 2ft or less

    Marine Pinpoint forecast for Tacoma Narrows

    Wednesday: NE wind 8 to 10 kt. Sunny.  Wind waves around 1 ft.


    7:02 AM


    6:59 PM