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Steilacoom / Tacoma Narrows Paddle

Description:  We are going to paddle from Steilacoom to Titlow Beach Park in the Tacoma Narrows, and back.  We'll have current up to 3 knots with us both ways.  At Titlow Beach Park, we'll paddle the waterfront, hike the trails, and have lunch at Steamer's Seafood Cafe.

For anyone interested, there will also be an optional pre-paddle paddle available before the posted paddle, southward exploring the Steilacoom waterfront, approximately 4 n.m. round-trip.

Sign-up Requirements:

This is a 12 nautical mile paddle that may be subject to wind waves and current effects.

To sign up for this paddle, you need to be an advanced novice, intermediate or advanced paddler, you must have bracing, re-entry, and rescue training, skills and practice, and you must be able to paddle at a sustained 3 knots pace.  The required kayaking experience and skills need to be documented in your meetup-profile information and your answers to the sign-up questions.

Schedule and Itinerary:

8:00 a.m. - optional arrive early and do a pre-paddle paddle south along the Steilacoom waterfront and back, approx. 4 n.m. round trip.

10:00 a.m. - meet at Sunnyside Beach Park.

10:30 a.m - launch and paddle 6 n.m. to Titlow Beach Park, with 2 knots ebb current.

~ 12:30 p.m. - arrive at Titlow Beach Park, paddle the waterfront, explore the park and hike its trails (1.3 mile Hidden Beach Loop Trail), and have lunch at Steamer's Seafood Cafe.

~ 3:00 p.m. - launch for the 6 n.m. return paddle back to Steilacoom, with approx. 2 knots flood current.

~ 5:00 p.m. - arrive back at Sunnyside Beach Park.

Carpooling and Details

Carpooling is encouraged.  After there is some sign-up, sign-up-ees can arrange carpooling amongst themselves.

There is a $5 parking fee at Sunnyside Beach Park.

Bring kayak wheels if you have them; it is a couple hundred yards from the parking lot to the beach at Sunnyside Beach Park.

We will be beaching and securing our kayaks in an urban park; bring if you have them a bicycle cable and lock and a cockpit cover.  It is not essential that everyone bring a cable and lock; several kayaks can be locked together.

Conditions and Contingency:

This paddle is contingent upon reasonably safe wind and weather conditions. If the predicted weather conditions are unsafe for this paddle, the paddle will be revised to a protected paddle.

Equipment Requirements:

Kayak, paddle, pfd, paddlefloat, pump, sprayskirt, sunglasses, sunscreen, water and snacks, waterproof paddle jacket and hat in case of rain, warm clothes for the shoreside adventures, kayak wheels if you have them, VHF radio if you have one, immersion gear, bicycle cable and lock if you have them, small daypack for hiking,

Immersion Gear:

Wearing immersion gear (drysuit or wetsuit) is mandatory for this paddle.

Join or login to comment.

  • Nancy W

    As folks have commented: a wonderful trip all around. It was sooo cool to be under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. We saw seals, dolphins and really cool jellies! Great paddle buddies! This is whay I moved here 3 months ago.

    September 23, 2013

  • Aaron S

    And, I just read that there is as another old ferry from Virginia, the funky, art-deco-looking M/V Ocean City, moored in Oro Bay, across the way on Anderson Island. Hmmm ...if we get lucky with some Indian Summer weather, stay tuned for an "Old Ferries" paddle.

    September 23, 2013

  • Aaron S

    Meanwhile, about a couple of interesting sights on the pre-paddle: The closed "no trespassing, violators will be prosecuted" waterfront park with the derelict structure with a boat hanging in it is Salter's Point Park and the structure was Steilacoom Marina, which burned in a spectacular fire in 2009. And the beached, listing M/V Olympic on Ketron Island was a Chesapeake Bay ferry, bought by Washington State Ferries, and then by a string of private owners, with municipal evictions, and moored adjacent to the Ketron Island ferry dock until a storm broke it off its mooring and sent it ashore.

    (continued next comment)

    September 23, 2013

  • Aaron S

    Thanks for joining us Doug and being a cheery paddler on the fascinating pre-paddle; we'll look forward to seeing you on more paddles. Thanks Nancy for being totally fun to paddle with the whole way, and thanks Amy for ditto on the equally fascinating main paddle, and "clink, cheers" from the fine seafood lunch with the "I've Been Working on the Railroad" dinner-theater.

    (continued next comment)

    September 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I did early short paddle but hsd to cut it short due to sciatic pain. Its a place i'll be back to for sure.

    September 22, 2013

  • Aaron S

    Lotta pix 'cause there were a lot of cool and interesting sights and sounds along the way on this very fun paddle ... including the "I've Been Working on the Railroad" dinner-theater show, next to where we ate a nice lunch. a hop-skip-and-jump from the big-bridge with fun current show, a bit before the railroad lift-bridge show. :)-

    September 22, 2013

  • Aaron S

    This was the poster-paddle for why, rather than be concerned about weather forecasts, always go to the launch spot and check out the conditions as paddle time. Solid sunshine, balmy conditions, and delightful comfortable temperatures! And a fine paddle and adventure, on an excellent route, with lots of fine sights and interest all along the way!

    September 21, 2013

  • Aaron S

    The paddle and pre-paddle are a go all the way at this point. The marine forecast is good and "chance of thunderstorms" has disappeared from the general forecast. I was also down that way this evening and it was not windy and a touch of late afternoon showers stopped entirely by evening. See some of you down there at 8 a.m. and the rest at 10 a.m. If any paddle-plan adjustments are necessary due to conditions tomorrow, we'll make those adjustments at the launch location.

    September 20, 2013

  • Amy H.

    Saturday is coastal clean up day - lets bring an extra bag along and do some cleanup.

    September 20, 2013

  • Aaron S

    The current marine forecast for Saturday, "S wind 10 kt ... becoming sw 10 kt in the afternoon, wind waves 1 ft or less, showers likely.", is okay for the paddle. The general weather forecast, "Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers. High of 64F. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%." is not ideal, but ... I've seen a lot of not ideal forecasts end up being good paddling days.

    The paddle is a go at this point, and likely will continue to be a go unless conditions are thunderstorm-y Saturday morning. Check back here Friday evening and early Saturday morning for any updates, and for any Saturday morning coordination, my cell phone is[masked]

    September 20, 2013

  • Jody B

    This will be interesting. I've always wanted to check out Chambers Creek Park (and the eco-friendly golf course-2015 US Open will be held here) We will be paddling right by it.

    September 16, 2013

  • Aaron S

    Doug, Nancy and anyone else interested in the pre-paddle: we have at least three of us for the pre-paddle, so it's a go. Just arrive at 8 a.m. at the launch location for the posted paddle, and we'll paddle to and check out the Steilacoom waterfront (... should be interesting) and be back by 10 p.m. to meet up with the other folks doing just the posted paddle. If there are any questions or required coordination, I am at cell phone[masked]

    September 15, 2013

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