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

6/20/17

Boating - Mysterious Anchor Image - Deception Pass State Park

During my tidal rapids SUP class last week, we came across this anchor image on a rock at the south or right entrance to Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park.  In the book this is, Trip 28

I've seen it before, the question is, what does it mean? And how did it get there?

Anchor image in Deception Pass State Park



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

5/28/17

Searching for Harbor Defense Bunkers along the Strait of Juan de Fuca

My obsession for exploring harbor / coastal defense forts started during a music camp on Marrowstone Island near Port Townsend in the late 1970's. Friends and I would skip class to explore the World War 1 era emplacements of Fort Flagler, then a relatively unknown fort.  We knew every nook and cranny of the extensive fort and found many additional bunkers, usually fire control stations or searchlight emplacements hidden in the woods around the park boundaries.

In recent years, my interest has been renewed out of curiosity about the many hidden bunkers along the Strait of Juan de Fuca built during WW2 to support the cannons at Fort Hayden, now Salt Creek Recreation Area.  As a photographer, I'm also working on a series of images showing the less known bunkers which are mostly covered by thick foliage and off the beaten path. These are hidden in the forest and when found appear like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. I'm motivated by the search as well as the find, which feels like 19th and 20th century archaeology.

Some are on private land and a few are in DNR areas. The largest and most public emplacements on the Strait are at Camp Hayden (Salt Creek) where visitors can drive through Battery 131 which once employed two 16" cannons. These were fired once, but a turn of events in the Pacific War led the installments to become quickly outdated. Nearby, a battery of two 6" guns on Striped Peak can be easily accessed by a dirt road above the ranger station. Other fire control stations (slit bunkers) can be seen by the tent camping area and hidden in thick foliage on Striped Peak.

To support Battery 131, fire control stations were installed at Angeles Point, Agate Rock, Lyre, Majestic, Pillar Point and on Cape Flattery. Panama Mounts which are concrete circles were installed at Angeles Point and on a peninsula (private land) above the west side of the Elwha River which can be seen on Google Earth.

If you ask a local, many won't know of any additional emplacements beyond the public Salt Creek emplacements. A few friends have explored and found a few emplacements over the years thus motiving me to find those and others.

This link lists exact locations via Harbor Defense plans dating to the 1940's. But not all are as easily found as the maps show. Google Earth images show heavy forest over most of the sites and no sign of current or updated roads. A May 2017 search for the Agate Rock bunker was thwarted by dead end or heavily overgrown roads. It's on DNR land but bordered by private land on 3 sides. A Port Angeles local had been there and sent me a road map giving me a better idea of how to get there. Sounds like the best tool for search are a bicycle or motorcycle to more quickly access dirt roads and paths. We were on foot. In this video by RoadTrippers, motorcycles are used to search out bunkers in this area.



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

5/16/17

San Juan Islands - Planning a San Juan Islands Paddling Trip

Check out my new article for Kenmore Air Magazine on Planning a San Juan Islands Paddling Trip.

A bonus addition to this article is another piece I wrote on 5 Paddle In Cafe & Stores in the San Juan's (Pg 58).

Read the Story Here

Learn:
- Where to go for your skill level
- Rent vs bringing your own boards/boats
- How to plan your trip for currents, weather, boat traffic, etc
- Who to rent and take paddling lessons from
- Going solo? What to pack, safety gear, etc
- Resources - my book, weather links, tide/current links

Thanks to various local San Juan Island's paddling business for their local paddling and travel info!








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

San Juan Islands - Orcas Island Paddler's Guide to Rentals

Kenmore Air has been in touch with me to provide guide services to one of their charters for a summer day trip from Seattle to Orcas Island. Their group has up to 25 participants which means we need to supply the boats and boards. In planning this tour, I've had a chance to chat with many of the board/board rental operations on the island. To save you the effort, here's a list of the basic rentals and resources I found..

Cascade Lake - a wilderness lake south of East Sound in Moran State Park. You may not think of paddling a lake given the epic paddling spots on the island, but it's actually a very pretty spot and will give more wind protection and opportunities for beginning paddlers not ready for tidal currents surrounding the rest of the island. Check in with Adventure Orcas for sup, canoe, pedal boats and kayak rentals. Nice folks!

West Beach Resort - Located on the west side of the island, West Beach has a string of rustic cabins in a nice bay with a view of Waldron Island. They have a few sup and kayak rentals for guests and run a weekly SUP race Sundays and Thursdays at 5:30pm. Race winner gets an off season night's stay!

Shearwater Kayak Tours - A great shop and professional rental operation, Shearwater also offers tours and/or has a summer base in spots like Deer Harbor, West Beach, Doe Bay and Rosario Resort. They also run tours out to Sucia Island.

Body Boat Blade - If you're looking for the best in sea kayak instruction not only on Orcas but in the entire region, BBB's owners Leon and Shawna are super professional, safe but also fun folks to paddle with. They also have a shop in East Sound. From the basic to advanced paddling including rolling, tidal rapids, adventure trip training to open water classes, they cover it all.  And they have a few sups for rent on the island as well.

Need to get there in a jiffy? Take a day or overnight trip there with Kenmore Air. Avoid the ferries lines and traffic.

* Learn more about paddling in the San Juan's in my article planning for a paddling trip in the SJ's for Kenmore Air Magazine. 

My book, Kayaking Puget Sound also has epic trips covering the entire island and surrounding islands.

Cascade Lake, Orcas Island

From the Body Boat Blade website

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


5/15/17

Coast of Puget Sound - Great Book about the Geology of Puget Sound

Due to the many posts I've added about the geology and development of Puget Sound, fellow paddler Granville Paules sent me an out of print book that puts all the Puget Sound and Salish Sea geology into context.  

If you want to learn how Dungeness or Ediz hook were made, how beach erosion affects your beach place bulkhead and many other things, check out this book, if you can find it.  

The Coast of Puget Sound
by John Downing




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


5/14/17

Erratic Boulders of Puget Sound

"A glacial ‘erratic’  is a rock fragment carried by glacial ice and transported some distance from the outcrop from which it was derived, and generally resting on bedrock of a different type* [although glacial or alluvial sediment may directly underlie the erratic. " (source: NW Geology)

Many erratic boulders line the shores of Puget Sound. Some large erratics can be found in Seattle such as 4 Mile Rock off the south side of Magnolia and this one below off North Beach of Discovery Park.  Read more about erratic boulders  (source: NW Geology)

Possibly the most interesting erratic is Haleelts Rock on the north end of Bainbridge Island which has a petroglyph on it's north facing side. See pic below.



Haleelts Rock, Bainbridge Island
4 Mile Rock
Discovery Park erratic, North Beach


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

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