Introduction to Currents - Tacoma - Deception Pass


Introduction to Currents - Tacoma - Deception Pass

Introduction to currents up to 5 kt.

  • Sea Kayak IV/V
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 6.0 nm
  • Maximum Wind: 15 kts
  • Maximum Waves: 3 ft
  • Maximum Currents: 5 kts
  • Pace: moderate to brisk

Bowman Bay boat launch, ready to paddle at 8 AM.

This course is BEGINNING CURRENTS. Beginners and early learners welcome, no experience in current required. 

First year students are welcome if:

  1. Fairly stable in boat.
  2. All Student paddles are done.
  3. Conditioned enough for moderately active paddle.

Interested in kayak camping in the San Juan's?  This clinic helps prepare you for the eddies and currents you will experience on that journey.  I make it a requirement on all my San Juan camping trips.  Interested in rock gardening?  Same story. Interested in kayak surfing?  Yup, helps there as well.  Paddling in currents and eddy lines is common in Puget Sound, so why not get good at it? The clinic is conducted in Canoe Pass (right next to Deception Pass, but without as much large boat traffic). There is a nearby beach if you need to take a break.

We will pitch you off the bridge at maximum current flow and see how you do!  Just kidding, (bad) sense of humor.  We will ACTUALLY enter the current zone at slack, and learn as the flow increases.  You will learn how to enter and exit current for maximum benefit, eddy hop (move upstream in a current channel), and ferry glide (slide across a current channel). Bracing skills will be covered including how to use a low brace in current. Rescues will be practiced throughout the day.  Everyone will get in the water. We can make this as "aggressive", or as "tame" as you like.  For those who desire to be challenged rolling, bow rescue, and self-rescue in current are all possible. Getting comfortable,  great... now do it backwards with your eyes get the idea.  All exercises are “challenge by choice”.  Some people learn well watching, others by trying and learning by their mistakes.  This is not a pass/fail clinic.  People get out what they want.

Participants should do their best self-assessment.  Participants should feel they are ready to paddle in SK IV conditions, should be willing to get wet, practice skills, try new things, push limits and be safety support for others. Let’s all support each other in developing skills and stretching limits, where ever they are.

I've scheduled an incident management clinic the day before.  This clinic and IM work well together, and both are required for the Intermediate Kayaker Badge course.


Deception Pass

  • Sea Trails Deception Pass and Skagit Bay WA101

    NOAA Bellingham to Everett No. 18423

    NOAA Anacortes to Skagit Bay No. 18427
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • Required equipment:
  •                Drysuit
  •                Helmet
  •                Extra Clothes
  •                Lunch
  •                Snacks accessible on wate
  •               Short and long tow system.
  •               Dry suit is mandatory.
  • Recommended:
  •                Skull cap
  •                Nose plugs
  •                Goggles
  •                Gloves
  •                vhf Radio (if you have one)
  •                Spare paddle
  •                Go Pro?   😊

Glasses and sunglasses should be equipped with floating straps in a bright/visible color.

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