This blog covers trips from the book and other favorites. Contact Rob in Seattle: rob@robcasey.net or 206-465-7167

3/7/17

Spring Tides on Seattle's West Point, Trip #18

In cleaning out my laptop I came across an archive of webcam images from a privately run webcam that focuses on Seattle's West Point Lighthouse. The owner is a kite/sail boarder. They depict my 'backyard' paddling spot which I visit regularly. I've seen West Point in all times of the year from flat calm and glassy to gnarly 51 knot gales. I've surfed 10' freighter waves (no joke!) off the point and had half mile rides from tugs from the middle of Shilshole Bay to the point. On bucolic glassy summer days, it's a great escape from the hoards of paddlers on Seattle's lakes. Trip #18

Here's the webcam link

These images pulled from the webcam show a variety of conditions for the point.

-2-3 tide most common April-July

30-40 kt Southerly (gale)

Container ship passing, waves in soon!

March 7, 2017, lowish tide, calm conditions

Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites - www.wwta.org

3/2/17

Beach Restoration of the Old Mill Site at Port Gamble - Trip #32

Old School view
Last time I drove on Highway 104 through Port Gamble, I got pretty excited to see that the old mill site is undergoing a transformation into a natural looking beach.  A search resulted in info that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fund the restoration via a grant. See Below for details... (paragraph copied from here)

Once a big mill town owned by Pope and Talbot, the now restored charming town of Port Gamble is a roadside attraction for those driving to and from the Hood Canal Bridge in Kitsap County. A cafe, kayak store and a few other shops give visitors are good stop from traveling. I used to stop there to let the dog run on the big cemetery hill before or after long ferry waits at Kingston.  
Trip #32 in the book

KITSAP COUNTY
Before Restoration
Teekalet and Port Gamble Restoration ($1,500,000)
Grant funding will be provided to the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe to work with Pope Resources and the Washington Department of Ecology to purchase the development rights of property at Port Gamble Bay and develop a restoration plan to restore coastal processes in the bay. The restoration plan, once implemented, will remove a significant portion of existing jetty, fill and rip rap to restore beach habitat.  The restoration will enhance a toxics cleanup project at the mill site and bay.
Phase: Acquisition and design
Sponsor: Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
Contact: Roma Call (360) 297-9687

Other Puget Sound Restoration Projects



Feb 2017

Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites - www.wwta.org


2/16/17

Elwha River Mouth - Washington's Newest Beach (Seattle Times article) Trip #40

I've had the opportunity to watch the Elwha River dam removals over the past few years. I surfed the river mouth pre-removal when the beach was cobble. Over the years, soft sediment began to not only cover the cobble but also extend the beach into the Strait several hundred feet. The sediment changed the river mouth from shallow reef style waves preferred by short boarders to sandy beach waves better suited for paddlers. Pre-removal, I was able to paddle up the river mouth nearly a quarter mile to a class 2 rapid, now the sediment has choked the mouth to where it's nearly impossible to make that trip.  The sediment is so thick that you lose sight of your hand just below the water's surface.

Paddling the mouth is best at high tides when you can skim over shallow submerged sections of the delta. At low tides, you can paddle around the entire delta.

Be watchful of waves. The Strait can be flat calm, or not. Despite the differences in wave types, large waves can break on the west and north sides of the delta at any tide level. If you prefer a calm no wave day, use the following sites to forecast swell 4' or less, and no or little wind. A NW or W swell over 4' can deliver substantial waves to the delta. Or a strong W or NE wind (over 15kts). Use surf etiquette if other surfers are present.

Launch from Place Road (right fork) but be prepared for a 10 minute walk on gravel to the beach. Check out the book for additional launches. Trip #40

Read a great article on the post-release Elwha delta.. (posted 2/14/17)

Surf Forecast Sites I Use:
Surfwater.org - PNW surf forecasts
NOAA - Puget Sound to WA Coast Marine Forecast
WindAlert - Real time wind data



Looking west towards Freshwater Bay and Striped Peak  (courtesy of Doug MacDonald) / Seattle Times


Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites - www.wwta.org


2/6/17

Portage - A Vashon Shortcut - Trip #11

Portage from Maury Island, Seattle & Mt Rainier in backgroun
If you're paddling down Puget Sound from Seattle to Vashon Island, there's a long way around Maury Island, (SE Vashon) and a short way. The long way is over 8 miles from Tramp Harbor to the south tip of the island.

By portaging from Tramp Harbor over Portage, a narrow isthmus separating Vashon Island from Maury Island, the route through Quartermaster Harbor is only 4 miles in protected water.

Portage is approx 200 yards wide at high tide. Watch for speedy traffic. In Joel Roger's Water Trail book, a classic read, NW paddling guide Joel is seen crossing Portage during his epic paddle from Olympia to Pt Roberts following the Cascade Marine Trail.

The Shomamish People used Portage not only to shorten trips but to catch birds. By raising 300' wide nets, they would catch birds passing through the narrow gap.

Looking to rent a SUP on Vashon? Fat Cat Paddle Boarding operates during the summer on the south side of the point.

Joel Rogers crossing Portage





Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites - www.wwta.org

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1/30/17

How the Navy Tried to Turn Bioluminescence Against the Soviets

Here's a really interesting article fellow paddler Darrell Kirk of Stand Up Paddle the World sent me. Since I offer Bioluminescence tours, this was down my alley, sorta...


Reports of bioluminescence from the past, collected in 1966.
 U.S. NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE
 In October 1999, Ukraine’s secret service showed up at the home and office of Sergei Piontkovski, a marine biologist, and started raiding his files. They were looking for information about plankton.
Piontkovski was a leading scientist at the Institute of Biology of Southern Seas in Sevastopol, Ukraine, and since the fall of the Soviet Union, he had been working with colleagues in the West to analyze huge troves of ocean data that Soviet ships had collected around the world during the Cold War. The investigation focused on the grant money that Piontkovski and his colleagues had received from western institutions, but the New Scientist reported at the time that there could be another reason for the Security Bureau’s interest in the scientists and their plankton data—some of their studies focused on tiny bioluminescent organisms that could help military forces detect enemy submarines.  Read More..
A port beam view of a Soviet submarine, 
1977 NARA/6363107


Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites - www.wwta.org





The Salish Sea Marine Trail

Reposted from Wild Coast Magazine...
Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and BC Marine Trails Network Association have come up with the perfect recipe for connecting Vancouver Island and the rest of Canada by trail. Just add saltwater and stir with a paddle.
The result will be the Salish Sea Marine Trail, a blueway – a saltwater route designed for paddle craft and small beachable boats – that will connect The Great Trail (the new name for the Trans Canada Trail) from Horseshoe Bay on the BC Mainland to Kilometre Zero of The Great Trail at Clover Point in Victoria.
Salish Sea Marine Trail
The 257-kilometre trail will snake north from Clover Point along Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula into the Gulf Islands, then north past Nanaimo through the Winchelsea and Ballenas islands across to Lasqueti and Texada Islands, then down the Sunshine Coast and across Howe Sound to
end at Horseshoe Bay.
From there it will connect to the Sea to Sky Marine Trail to link to Squamish by water plus connect with The Great Trail land trails in Vancouver and the rest of Canada.
The Salish Sea Marine Trail will not only provide the link, it will create an incredible new paddling route in its own right, providing a human-powered connection spanning the Canadian side of the Salish Sea.
Spearheading the Salish Sea Marine Trail is the BC Marine Trails Network Association (BCMTNA), an affiliation of British Columbia's kayaking and paddling clubs along with private members and business members. Formed in 2009, its mandate is to develop marine trails along the British Columbia coast through a network of access points and campsites developed in association with government agencies, First Nations and stakeholders.
Other partners coming on side for the Salish Sea Marine Trail include the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, which will provide the marine ecology interpretive component for the trail as it develops. Read More..

Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites - www.wwta.org

1/28/17

Point Robinson on Vashon Island - Trip #11

Point Robinson is a point on the SE section of Vashon Island that juts out into Puget Sound facing the beach front town of Des Moines. The Sound zig zags a bit here this forcing current traveling north and south quickly around the point. Some say freighter waves jack up here when opposing the current. The historic lighthouse was built in 1885 and automated in 1978. The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. 

There's several routes for paddlers to access the lighthouse. Des Moines from the east is approx 2.6 miles which includes a crossing of that section of the Sound. Think about current when crossing, over compensating your route - go further north if the current is flooding.  You can also access it from various put-ins on Vashon, the closest being Portage which separates Vashon and Maury Islands.

The lighthouse and surrounding grounds are run by the Vashon Parks District and the light keeper quarters are maintained by the Lighthouse Friends.  You can rent the adjacent lighthouse keeper quarters for the night via VRBO.  There's also a Cascadia Marine Trail campsite north of the point and up the hill.

Lodging & Visitor Info - Vashon Parks 
Pt. Robinson Stewards have fully restored the two Keepers' Quarters on the property for use as rentals. All proceeds from these rentals goes back into the park's restoration and maintenance. For additional information about renting the Keepers' Quarters, contact Eric Wyatt, Lodging Manager, at 206-465-3180, ewyatt@vashonparks.org, or see VRBO.COM to learn about all of our vacation rentals.


Sunday tours of the Lighthouse are available mid-May through mid-September. During the off-season, tours can be scheduled by calling Captain Joe Wubbold at 206-463-6672.

The Ship's Store Gift Shop is open seasonally on Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5:00 p.m. Call for additional information at 206-463-1323.


Address: 3705 SW Pt. Robinson Rd., Vashon, WA



Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites - www.wwta.org