Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tenasillahe Island May 2008

Date: 5/25/2008
Time on water: 12:40
Time off water: 15:50
Trip distance: 5.36 nm
max speed 5.5 kt
moving avg: 2.7 kt
moving time: 2 hrs

I took Stephanie to Skamokawa for a kayak class with Columbia River Kayaking. She had come to Alder Creek's PaddleFest in April and really enjoyed kayaking so wanted to take a class to build a good foundation for having fun and being safe kayaking. And depending on conditions I would find some fun place to paddle while she was taking the class.

Due to warm weather the week before and alot of recent rain the water level of the Columbia was pretty high. It rained for most of the drive up to Skamokawa, but soon after we got there the rain stopped. I introduced Stephanie to Ginni. It was good to see Ginni again. Back from Mexico she was nicely tanned :)

I helped Stephanie sort out a bit of gear and clothing and I looked at the water and the charts to figure out what I was going to do with the day. Though the water was high, it didn't look brown and churning. Low tide was appr 13:30, but the current was basically ebbing all the time I would be out. So I planned to paddle across the river to Welch Island and Tenasillahe Island. The idea was to allow the current to take me downstream a bit to the north end of Welch Island. Then I'd paddle upstream in the shallow water near the islands as far as I had time. Then back across the main channel to the Washington side where the current would be stronger and let that strong current take me back to Skamokawa.

I got setup and headed out. Once I got into the shipping channel it was clear that there was alot of current. I basically followed my plan and ended up at the north end of Welch Island for lunch. Then paddled upstream, found the shallow water at the south end of Welch Island, crossed Red Slough over to Tenasillahe Island where I stopped for a hike on the trail around the perimeter of the island. I paddled a bit further south along Tenasillahe Island and headed back across the main channel. Once I'd crossed the shipping channel I turned downstream to enjoy the pretty strong current spiriting me back to Skamokawa.

Along the way I saw a few blue herons, alot of ospreys hunting, a bald eagle on Price Island eating something with a number of vultures hanging out nearby just waiting...

I got back to Skamokawa Center and found that Stephanie's class had just come ashore and were doing navigation stuff in the classroom. After her class, Stephanie and I headed over to the River Rat in Cathlamet to toast the day! It sounded like she had a great class and a good day on the water as well.

Hammersley Inlet to Hope Island

Date: 5/19/2008
Launch time: 12:30
Off water: 18:10
Distance 14.2 nm
Max speed: 7.8 kt
Moving avg: 4.0 kt
Moving time: 3:32

On an overcast Monday in May Ken and I paddled Hammersley Inlet. I was going to be up in Olympia working with him for a couple days so we decided to take part of Monday and go kayaking somewhere in his neck of the woods. I'd never done the classic Hammersley Inlet trip and the tides were favorable for it on Monday: low tide was appr 1pm. Our plan was to launch and land at Walker County Park near Shelton and paddle out to Hope Island for lunch.

We set out for Walker County Park and managed to get lost along the way. Note to self: always remember to bring the guidebook. The maps we had just weren't detailed enough to figure out how to get there. So we started a bit later than we'd hoped, but the tide was still ebbing and we got some nice help from it. I really enjoyed the Hammersley Inlet neighborhood. Kindof woodsy, some areas of nice older houses. I could picture living there, having a nice garden and doing some fishing.

As we got out into Pickering Passage the tide was just starting to flood and Ken wondered if there might be a nice little tide race off Steamboat Island which was on our way to Hope Island. It turns out there was so we played on it for a few minutes til the rising tide flooded the feature.

We then paddled over to Hope Island for lunch. Took a walk around the island. I could be a settler there. Nice afternoon. After lunch we completed our circumnavigation of Hope Island and headed back.

When we back into Hammersley Inlet the flood was really going, especially near Cape Horn. I got up to 7.8 kt! It was pretty swirly too. But pretty fun. On the return trip I really enjoyed the scenery in Hammersley Inlet. I could live there.

Got back to Walker County Park just as it was starting to rain. A good day out.