Day Nine – Ala Spit to Anacortes

We woke up at 6 AM, cooked a pot of cream of wheat and broke down camp very efficiently.  We were pretty much packed by 8:30 AM, which was our best time by a half hour.  We are getting better at this!  Or maybe it is just easier with that much less food.  Anyhow, the Hole in the Wall kayak club folks were slated to meet us around 9:30, so we dawdled a bit launching.  Today’s paddle would take us north through Deception Pass and into the Straight of Juan de Fuca.

Deception Pass is known for gnarly currents and whirpools, so we were trying to shoot through at slack tide around 11am.  We had some time to kill before the other folks were ready, so I decided to practice rolling and bracing a loaded boat.  I had never rolled with a full boat, so I was bit nervous.  No need though; she snapped up without delay.  Very reassuring.  Apryle took a few action shots and we met the kayak club folks to begin our paddle.

A total of eight of us would end up paddling this day.  The two of us, of course, along with Reg (who paddled extensive whitewater in California years ago and has tremendous touring experience in Patagonia….any Mwonos reading remember the sailboat we saw in 2004 down there?  He was on it. Small world.), Kathleen, Allison, and Maryann.  We floated on unbelievably calm water up to the pass and shot through, taking photos along the way.  Stunning scenery. 

On the other side we met up with Liza and Rich, who entertained the group with some on the water antics…jumping in, cowboy re-entry, switching boats, etc.  I was super pysched to have some local folks along with us, hearing their stories, learning about the area, and just seeing how confident they were in these waters.  Thanks for coming out, everyone!

We paddled north along the beautiful rocky coast of Fidalgo island and out around Allan and Burrows.  Spotted a couple of coyotes on shore and paddled one very squirrely tide rip north of Burrows. 

After twelve short miles with the current pushing us along, we found ourselves beached at Washington Park.  The group cleaned up and shuttled cars while Apryle and I set up camp and took showers!  Then Maryann took us in for some laundry and a ride to meet the crew at the Brown Lantern, a local watering hole for dinner.  Really awesome to spend the day with everyone and share stories.  We can’t thank everyone enough for their hospitality.

Day nine was a great day on the water and off.  Now we are in Anacortes, looking forward the the next leg through the San Juan and Gulf islands!

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