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Trip Report    

Vashon, Blake & Bainbridge Islands

06/05-07/15 -SAT –III+—VASHON/BLAKE/BAINBRIDGE ISLANDS CIRCUMNAVIGATION. APPROX 60 NM.
LEADER: LISA A JOHNSON
PADDLERS: NELSON HAMRE, TERRY JARETT, BRADLEY MITCHELL
CONDITIONS: 0-1’, N 0-7 KTS, CLEAR AND SUNNY, TEMPS 50S-80S, VISABILITY EXCELLENT
SIGHTED: ORCAS, PORPOISES, SEALS, SEA LIONS, OTTER, RACCOONS, DEER, EAGLES, CORMORANTS, SCOTERS, OSPREY, GREAT BLUE HERONS

DAY 1: 15 NM. After paying the $6.50 fee we launched from the Pt Defiance Marina on time at 0900 and went along the shore to Point Defiance. We headed west and ferried north until about mid-channel and then rode the ebb up Colvos Passage. We made good time, taking a bio break and later a lunch break, arriving at the northwest corner of Blake Island at 1500. We pitched camp on the middle of the three sites. Other campers showed up later on both sides and there was plenty of action going on around at the power boat side of the spit. The main bathrooms were closed but a clean and stocked pit toilet was available. Fee is $12 a night and you must have a WA Water Trails member present. There are now food lockers available at each site. Nelson and Brad opted to go to the $45 salmon dinner dance at Tillicum Village.

DAY 2: 25.5 NM. We launched on time on the dying flood at 0700. We got through Rich Passage by 0815 to coincide with slack before heading north. We had a bio break and arrived at Agate Pass approx 1100 to catch the 4+ knot max. We were delayed for a few minutes when we came to an empty kayak floating off of Keyport. It was an unmarked Kevlar grey “Alaska Star Kayak” single with double hatches that were empty except for leaves and some metal brackets that looked like they were for the foot pegs. We decided to leave it floating on the flat water as power boaters would have a better chance to do something with it that we could. We made a quick potty stop after we rounded the top of the island and then arrived at Faye Bainbridge SP for lunch at 1315. Nobody needed any breaks and we made the group decision to continue on and arrived at the mouth of Eagle Harbor approx 1530. We waited by the red buoy while the ferry departed and then hopped over to take a break at Blakely Rock. We then went along the shore a short distance before a quick trip back across the channel to land at the campsite at 1630. We all ate dinner at our campsite and then went for a walk to Tillicum Village. I waited on the trail until the others returned with the ice cream bar that Nelson had bought me! We walked back to camp and got a campfire going with the wood we had brought. We were briefly joined by some visiting Seattle paddlers and a deer before we all turned in. NOTE: there was no water available on the west side of the island after Friday night.

DAY 3: 19 NM. It was nice to sleep in a bit but the sun hitting the tents didn’t make it too comfortable after 8:30. We packed up and launched at 1000. We passed up a jamboree of raccoons along the shoreline; I’ve never seen so many in one place! We decided to skip a visit to the gift shop and arrived at the Vashon Island ferry dock at approx 1100. We parked the kayaks on the concrete boat launch adjacent to the ferry and after a brief wait were seated on the deck of the Mexican restaurant next door. We were late in launching after the lunch at 1330. We stopped at Wingehaven to check out the WWTA campsite. It is in need of serious attention, particularly regarding some invasive species in the area. We then loaded back in our boats and continued on down the east side. Nobody needed any breaks and we arrived at Pt Robinson approx 1515 for about a 20 minute break. We encountered the first real wind coming from the north as we paddled outside the lee of it along the southern shore of Maury Island. The wind died as we took a bio break before we crossed the mouth of Quartermaster Harbor and set a ferry angle back across the channel to return to the busy marina at 1900. Nelson opted out of dinner in Tacoma. All paddlers performed well with excellent group dynamics.

 

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