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Trip Report    

Tacoma Narrows

  • Wed, Dec 30, 2015
  • Tacoma Narrows
  • Sea Kayaking

12/20/15 -SUN–SK III+—TACOMA NARROWS TO TITLOW AND RETURN 10 NM
LEADER: LISA A JOHNSON
PADDLERS: TIM BURKE, WILL GREENOUGH, TERRY JARET
TIDES/CURRENTS: +3.13 @0930, S @ 1232, -3.48@1603; COMMENCEMENT BAY TIDES: 4.85@0526, 12.8@1154
CONDITIONS: SEAS RIPPLED TO 3+’ WW, SHOWERS WITH SW 15-17 KTS GUSTS TO 20, THEN CLEARING TO MOSTLY SUNNY WITH LIGHT SO BREEZE, TEMPS 30-40S, VISABILITY FAIR TO GOOD
SIGHTED: SEALS, SEA LIONS, CORMORANTS

All paddlers met in time for us to launch at 1000 after paying our $6.50 (credit cards accepted) launching fee from Point Defiance Marina. The ferry left right before we did and we made our way in the quiet lee under variable skies to the point. Whitecaps and a stiff wind greeted us there while intermittent squalls accompanied us and slowed our progress a bit as we followed along the shoreline past the Salmon Beach housing. We then headed towards the middle of the channel to take advantage of the dying current but wound up moving closer to the shore as winds were blowing harder down the middle, negating the boost. (Will found the current closer to the shore to be moving faster.) The confused water increased as we got closer to the bridge and provided lots of fun bouncing around, smoothing out as we approached Titlow Beach. We arrived on a nicely high tide just after noon which only required a short carry to the upper grassy area where we changed shoes and headed to the restaurant. Steamers is closed until Jan 31st due to flooding so we wound up going to The Beach Bar and Grill next door. Will kindly bought my fish and chips lunch and we shared birthday brownies that I had brought. We got back into our soggy clothes and soggier boats about 1400 during a short and final squall to then head due west under much milder conditions before turning north and making fast time up the mid channel to Point Defiance. Winter paddling doesn’t get much better with lots of sea lions and seals with a tiny baby seal pausing for a long hello as we rounded the churning point into the quieter waters back into the lee along the beautiful shoreline of Point Defiance Park. A lovely moon came out in front of us as the sun was sinking behind us in a gorgeous purple and rose sunset. We arrived approximately at 1545 back at the boat launch. A brief post huddle yielded no complaints or negative comments. Will and I were the only ones who opted for some pre holiday cheer at Salty’s before heading on back home.

All paddlers performed very well with excellent group dynamics.

 

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