11.24.18 narrows.JPG

Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Tacoma Narrows

A really nice time on a quiet day with lots of wonderful wildlife in very good company! Photo credit: Tom Culhane

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • CURRENTS: SOUTH END: -2.91 @0932 / S@1244 / +3.13 @1516 / MID: -5.37 @ 0910 / @1243 / +3.39 @ 1506 / NORTH END: -2.65 @ 0937 / S@ 1249 / +2.6 @1512 /

    TIDES: GIG HARBOR: 12.6 @ 0620 / 6.6 @1151 / 11.9 @ 1651



 Everybody arrived at Titlow Beach in time for our 1000 launch after a brief huddle.  A radio check was done shortly after leaving shore on a nicely high tide and then we headed west before making the right turn to head north under the mid span of the bridge in quiet water.  We paused momentarily to watch some porpoise pass in front of us and as I drifted under the bridge I watched two sea lions pass close by going the other way.  The paddling was easy as we rode the currents headed about along the west shore.  Eventually I cut over to the shoreline just outside the mouth of Gig Harbor to get into the back eddy and avoid the ebb flowing from the narrow opening itself.  The seals seem less intimidated in this area, one adult coming within an arm length of my stick as I paddled along. There was little boat activity as we paddled up to find my friend Ann Scea waiting for us at the dock of The Tides Restaurant at about 1145.  Some of us removed our drysuits on the benches of the warm porch before going in to find Greg, Tami and Joe waiting for us.  The place filled up during the time we had our hot meal and it was 1315 when we suited back up, said goodbye to my friends and headed back out again.  A few boats passed as we headed out straight out of the opening  and the currents picked up as we made our way back the same route on the western side that we had come. I noticed that most of the leaves on the trees are gone now. We were still on the north side of the bridge when I saw that Larry W. was hauling out on the shore and called for a stop.  The paddlers in front didn’t hear so I used my whistle.  Even though I could hear it rebounding off the hillside, Larry C. and Brian still didn’t stop.   I pulled out my radio to find the battery had died.  (I should have made sure it was recharged the night before!) Bob pulled his out to find Brian hailing us.  They held their position until we all got caught back up and told us they had heard our voices calling but never the whistle.  Sound dynamics on water can be so odd.  We proceeded on, arriving at Titlow at 1430 to find the water level pretty much where we had left it which made the haul out much easier.  Good teamwork was applied to move the boats up to the grassy area and special thanks to the two who insisted on carrying my boat for me. Once we were changed, loaded up and ready to go there was a brief post trip huddle with a review of good communications, no complaints and thanks exchanged.  Nobody opted to go to Steamers afterwards. A really nice time on a quiet day with lots of wonderful wildlife in very good company!  All paddlers performed well with excellent group dynamics.

 NOTE:  I have been assigning two stand by leaders before a paddle but I forgot to do so on this trip.