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Sea Kayak - Washington Park to Friday Harbor

Paddles don’t get much better than this on what turned out to be a lot of fun spent in good company on a stunningly beautiful day in glittering blue water.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

06/24/17  –SAT-  SK IV – WA PARK TO FRIDAY HARBOR. APPROX 22 NM

LEADER: LISA A JOHNSON

PADDLERS: BOB METZGER, LARRY WRIGHT,  ROBIN PISANTE, TERRY JARET, TIM HAUSER

CURRENTS: ROSARIO STRAIT -3.9@0946, SAN JUAN +5.1 1508, CATTLE PT S@1205

SEA STATE/WEATHER: WW 0-2’, LITTLE OR NO NW BREEZE,  HOT, CLEAR AND SUNNY, VISABILITY EXCELLENT

SIGHTED: EAGLES, RHINOCEROUS AUKLETS, GBH, PIGEON GUILLEMOTS, BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS, SEALS

 

Larry and I had camped at WA Park with Bob and Robin at Deception Pass SP on Friday.  All paddlers arrived and were ready to launch at 0900.  Tim’s wife Lucinda kindly offered to run shuttle for us at the end of the day so we didn’t have to set one up. It was perfectly clear with no boats in sight as we rounded Green Pt 20 minutes later.  We arrived just south of Boulder Island approx 45 minutes later.  Nobody opted for a break and just as we rounded Watmough Head a large tour boat came by.  I stupidly didn’t consider it as I headed for the shoreline and was promptly pushed up and momentarily pinned on the rocks by the three foot wake crashing in. No damage was done and I was able to get underway again unassisted in spite of laughing at Bob’s apt observations (“Well timed, Lisa!”).  We made good progress without any more issues along the bottom of Lopez Island.  Nobody opted for a break although we did raft up to take Bob up on his kind offer to share some “Australia Bites”.  We successfully avoided startling a good sized group of seals beached outside Iceberg Pt, arriving there at noon.  There were a few kayakers just leaving as we pulled out and we had lunch sitting mostly in the shade until 1400 while Tim and Larry chose to hike up to the top of the hill.  We then got back into our boats and after switching on our radios and doing a check, headed up towards Cattle Pass with Bob in charge.  We went on the east side of Long Island and proceeded to the other end to see that while the current was definitely moving the wave action I had hoped for was not.  However, we spent about half an hour playing in the whirlies and eddies.  No capsizes although at one point Bob’s whole stern was sucked down and he was spun around before successfully squirting out with a big whoop and a huge grin. We made rapid and easy progress up the channel, hauling out on turn Island approx 1600.  After about 15 minutes we then headed in to Friday Harbor where we just beat the incoming ferry on the way to the kayak dock around 1645.  I swam trying to get out of my boat and after enduring the obligatory photo shoot, me and my boat were helped out by the others.  Although somebody came out to try to collect a fee we didn’t have to pay and soon had everything wheeled up and off the dock.  After a brief cleanup in the bathrooms we wheeled down to the ferry to find the 6:25 was ½ an hour late and were advised to go for ice cream rather than dinner.  Larry knew a good place 55 steps up the street and to the right where we all had good ice cream served up in large portions, finishing up just as the ferry came in.  Pirate Days were being celebrated and there were some beautiful old ships jammed with passengers floating in and outside the harbor.  We had to wait briefly at the harbor mouth as toots and “shots” were exchanged.  We had another ½ an hour wait at Lopez Island and we finally arrived at the Anacortes ferry dock approx 8:30 pm to find Lucinda waiting with their car.  A quick ride the mile down to pick up our vehicles (NOTE: this is a “speed trap” area) and we were back and loaded up by 9:00 pm.  Nobody opted for a meal afterward.  We had beautiful clear views of the Olympics, Mt. Garibaldi(?), Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier throughout the day.  Unfortunately, in spite of the low tide I saw only two sea stars on the rocks where three years ago they were in abundance of all colors. While no whales were spotted, a highlight of the trip was watching a very large and determined bald eagle swimming to shore with some prey at the south end of Lopez.  Paddles don’t get much better than this on what turned out to be a lot of fun spent in good company on a stunningly beautiful day in glittering blue water. All paddlers performed very well with excellent group dynamics.

 

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