Mats Mats Bay to Port Ludlow and back - December 1, 2014
Ahhh the great Ice Breaker adventure, a story to tell your grandchildren. I remember back in the winter (actually late fall) of aught fourteen (two thousand and fourteen), we bravely launched in subfreezing temperatures risking our boats against the angry sea. Turned out to be a beautiful sunny and calm day though it was cold, about 29 degrees at launch. We quickly warmed up with just a bit of paddling as the sun did a great job of shinning on us. Mats Mats Bay was beautiful as were the many boats sitting still in her anchorage. Paddled out the channel into Admiralty Inlet and over to Colvos Rocks to visit with lots of harbor seals before heading into Port Ludlow Bay. Stayed calm and sunny throughout encouraging us to explore the inner bay and The Twins, a pair of islands deep inside the bay. Due to cold weather of the previous days and freshwater running off into the shallows of the bay, we encountered an ice covered expanse. Probably less than one inch thick but certainly more than just a thin sheet of ice. Got to play ice breakers as we paddled and poled our way through the ice, lots of fun and quite a bit noisy.
Great video from Susan B https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiad5bVJV1c
Made our way back to the beach by the Port Ludlow marina for lunch before heading back past Snake Rock and Basalt Point then back into Mats Mats Bay. Lots of seabirds about. A great outing followed by Chimacum Café pie to refuel us.
Paddle Park - Port Angeles - November 24. 2914
Launched from Paddle Park and headed out along Ediz Hook. Passed lots of jumping salmon in the fish pens, then spied John Palmer and another paddler launching from near the boat ramp. Apparently they weren't interested in joining us so we didn't see them again. Great view of the Coast Guard base and cutters but missed seeing a pilot transfer to a giant freighter as they moved to the other side away from our view. Crossed over to Hollywood Beach for a very nice lunch with lots of shared goodies. Almost got to play with the COHO as she came into dock after we paddled through the city pier after lunch. Did enjoy watching the COHO dock, always interesting. Lots of fun watching the log bronc tugs move the floating logs all about, almost like a little water ballet with really heavy rafts of logs. Large number of seals and herons on the log rafts over near the paper mill as we made our way back to Paddle Park. At least one of us used the most excellent kayak cradle to rinse off. Blackbird bakery made for a great repast.
PORT HADLOCK - INDIAN ISLAND - OAK BAY, November 17, 2014
Launched from the Port Hadlock boat ramp beach on a calm sunny morning, paddling over to Indian Island to view the bluffs and shoreline. Along the way a very large sea lion swam by then stopped to display his full size for the kayakers in case they wanted to be playful. A small winter white harbor seal was perched on an island rock just above the rising waterline and watched the group slowly paddle past. We entered the cut between the mainland and the island just before slack current. A large dark river otter scampered out of the rocks and across a white shell covered beach before disappearing into the brush. With the tide still flowing in, we explored the lagoons on the island then continued south and east along the bottom of Indian Island and a bit of Marrowstone Island. Turned back for a lunch stop in the warm sunshine near the base of a bluff with a view of Mount Rainier in the distance. Lots of birds all about including large gatherings of buffleheads and mergansers. On the way back several paddlers were treated to edging tips by one our most seasoned mentors before we rode the swift ebb through the cut. Explored the shore near the old Port Hadlock Inn and the lagoon where we learned some history of the large concrete foundation ruins there from a local. After spying more than several herons on Skunk Island and eagles, we were saddened by some of the trees dying off on the island. At our landing we practiced quick exits from the boats for use in surf landings, but no surf today. Chimacum Café provided excellent refreshments. See Susan B for photos
Port Williams into Sequim Bay, November 3, 2014
Launched from Port Williams with sunshine and excellent conditions, headed south towards the entrance to Sequim Bay with the tide. First paddled into the lagoon at Washington Harbor to enjoy the puddle ducks and other waterfowl. Spied a crab with a sizeable flounder in it's claws and a large colony of sand dollars. Also several eagles about. Did not see any sea stars as we passed the Battelle dock, the bluffs, and drop off along the northwest shore. A stretch break by the hand carry launch then south to Schoolhouse Point for lunch. After a nice sunny lunch break we were off across the calm bay to Hardwick Point and then up the east side of the bay. Always enjoy the beautiful bluffs on the northeast edge with the madrone roots growing in and out of the cliffs. Noticed more bird holes and little caves in the bluffs than there seemed to be in previous years. Paddled along the spit on the west side of Paradise cove before landing on Travis Spit to check out it's little lagoon, the entrance to which was blocked by several large logs. Back along the south side of Travis Spit and around Klapot Point to Port Williams with the outgoing tide.
FRESHWATER BAY PADDLE AND CLEAN-UP, September 20, 2014
At the September 20th club paddle we met at Freshwater Bay at 9am, arriving to a beautiful sunny morning with a light easterly breeze. Washington Coastsavers had a registration table set up with available trash bags. Only four OPP members showed up to participate so we signed waivers, grabbed trash bags and set off to paddle and pick up trash. The stretch of the Strait from FWB to Crescent Beach is probably the most scenic area we paddle in our local waters and certainly a favorite. The predicted bigger swell conditions didn't materialize while we were on the water, which allowed for an ideal opportunity to gather both in kelp rafts and accessible beaches. We were about two-thirds of the way to Tongue Point when we filled up and decided to head back. Felix did his usual stellar job loading his boat and deck and still managed to stay afloat and upright back to the launch site. As we paddled back to FWB, a mild chop and breeze helped to keep us a bit cooler. We ate lunch at the corner picnic table and called it a good day! Nice job crew!
SNOW CREEK PADDLE, August 24, 2013
The August OPP Saturday paddle took six paddlers from Snow Creek Resort, a small fishing camp about 2.5 miles east of Neah Bay, into Neah Bay and back via Sail and Seal Rocks and the defunct Peter’s Resort. We launched in fairly heavy patchy fog and stayed near the coastline, making straight for Neah Bay in order to take advantage of the tides. We had a short stretch break at the beach east of the Coast Guard Station, where we could hear some of the drumming and festivities going on at Makah Days. We headed back east in still patchy fog to a sandy beach for lunch where we watched for whales. Sadly, none were in evidence, although both orca and gray whales had been seen earlier in the week. The fog began to burn off as we paddled to Sail Rock, which we circumnavigated, then headed to the old Peter’s Resort on Sail River. The tide was high enough that we were able to travel upriver a ways where we saw an as-yet unidentified pinniped in the grass and brush. It seemed an odd place for a large seal/sea lion and we were wondering if it might be sick, but nobody wanted to approach it and cause it further aggravation. From Peter’s, we worked our way out to Sail Rock and checked out the sea bird colony on the concave north side. The many birds voiced their displeasure at our visit, but nobody’s boat got “decorated.” We returned to Snow Creek where we loaded up and went our separate ways after a fun 8.5 mile (7.4 nautical) paddle. Thanks to Susan Blenk.
DECEPTION PASS INTRO TO OCEAN CURRENTS CLASS, June 1, 2013
8 OPP members met the 2 ACA coaches and their assistant at Bowman Bay @ 0900 to begin a day of play in the currents at Deception Pass. After introductions and a review of the day’s planned activities, we launched into Bowman Bay for some assisted rescue and stroke review practice for about 3/4hrs…. then headed toward the pass. The flood tide was climaxing as we entered the pass so we stopped to take a break and wait for the ebb tide to start. When the ebb began we moved up Canoe Pass a little ways and practiced eddy turns into the current. That was followed by several interesting ferries and an eddy-hopping exercise up to Cornet Bay….where we took a lunch break. After lunch we returned to Canoe Pass with a long ferry in which we were supposed to use ranges, but I do not think anyone did…. several of the group did engage in some standing wave surfing at the east end of Strawberry Island. Then back to some more eddy catching and ferrying before there were several rescues….one planned and one not planned. By this time we were running short on time so we played in a few boils on the way back to Bowman Bay. The group met at Flyers restaurant brewery for dinner on the way to catch the 1930 Port Townsend ferry. Thanks to Cecil Oxford.
LAKE CRESCENT SKILLS PADDLE, May 30, 2013
12 OPP members gathered at the Crescent Lodge parking lot @ 1600 to participate in the monthly club skills session. After introductions, one new member had joined us, we climbed in our boats and paddled toward Storm King boat ramp because the wind was beginning to blow. As soon as we reached calm water we practiced edging, low brace turns, and assisted rescues…..some also did a few rolls. After about 1.5hrs. of practice, we started back to the lodge. A few paddled on to the creek to see if there was enough flow to practice turns in moving water, but the flow as not strong enough to add any significant challenge. Upon returning to the lodge, we put our gear away, and gathered in the lodge bar for a post paddle dinner. Thanks to Cecil Oxford.
CLINE SPIT PADDLE, May 20, 2013
The May Club paddle scheduled for Blake Island on Saturday had a change of venue due to inclement weather in the Puget Sound area. The weather for the new venue, Cline Spit to New Dungeness Lighthouse, was very good, however. The redirected group enjoyed calm seas, with an ebbing tide, and almost no breeze as it paddled out around the end of Dungeness Spit, then west along the Strait side of the spit about a mile past the Lighthouse. The exiting current from the bay was duly noted and drew comments from several paddlers later when returning to the inside of the Spit. There were many fishing boats seen loitering several miles east of the Spit as this was a BIG halibut fishing weekend. Thanks to Cecil Oxford.
CLINE SPIT PADDLE, January 14, 2013
Paddled from Cline Spit with an outgoing tide headed to the lighthouse. Spotted lots of birds and saw an eagle grab a seabird from water with an explosion of feathers. The eagle landed on a nearby piling to feed further scattering feathers around the bay. Passed by the lighthouse on our way out to the end of the spit and around into the strait before returning to the lighthouse for lunch. Unfortunately the crews removing creosote lumber from the spit kept away much of the wildlife but we did spot one sea lion and a several more eagles. Thanks to Felix Nidzgorski.
QUILCENE BAY PADDLE, January 7, 2013
Launched from Point Whitney and followed the western shore up into Quilcene Bay. Paddled into the small marina with its unusual boats. Very interesting shoreline and shell fishing operations. Several swan families swam and flew about including their darker colored younger ones. Beached for lunch near the river mouth then tried to go up river after lunch but only managed a bit of river travel. Paddled under the bridge to check out the upper reaches of the bay before heading back along the eastside. Checked out the mussel farm on our return. Thanks to Felix Nidzgorski.