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Old Ferries on Ketron & Anderson Is. + Steilacoom Apple Squeeze

Description:  We are going to paddle from Steilacoom to Ketron Island, south through Comorant Passage, then across Nisqually Reach to Oro Bay on Anderson Island, then north along Anderson Island's east coast to the Anderson Island Ferry Dock.  Along the way, we'll see a bunch of interesting sights, including an old Chesapeake Bay ferry, the M/V Olympic, beached on Ketron Island, and an old Jamestown, Virginia ferry, the M/V Ocean City, moored in Oro Bay.  At the Anderson Island Ferry Dock, we'll choose amongst three options at that point:

* (1) Paddle directly back to Steilacoom (a 3-n.m. crossing), or

* (2) Catch the 12:30 or 2:40 p.m. ferry back to Steilacoom, or

* (3) Paddle around to Eagle Island State Park (approx. 1 n.m. from the ferry dock), have lunch there, then paddle back to the Anderson Island Ferry Dock and catch the 2:40 p.m. ferry back to Steilacoom.

And if all that isn't enough excitement (!), we'll be back in time to party-hearty at the 40th annual Steilacoom Apple Squeeze Festival, which runs until 4 p.m.!

Sign-up Requirements:

This is a 10 or 13 nautical mile paddle that will be subject to wind waves and current effects.

To sign up for this paddle at this time of year, you need to be an 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:

7:30 a.m. - arrrive at the meeting location, offload the kayaks, and get our vehicles parked.

8:00 a.m - launch and paddle 3 n.m. to the south end of Ketron Island.

~ 9:30 a.m. - paddle 1.5 n.m. across Nisqually Reach and 1.5 n.m. into Oro Bay.

~ 10:45 a.m. - explore around Oro Bay and paddle north with 1 knot ebb current to the Anderson Island Ferry Dock, approx. 4 n.m. total.

~ 12:15 p.m. - arrive at the Anderson Island Ferry Dock and pursue one of the options listed above.

~ 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. - arrive back in Steilacoom.

Logistical Details

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

There is a $6 parking fee at the Steilacoom Ferry Dock, or free parking in town with a walk-back.  If we take the ferry back, the walk-on fare with a kayak is $9. 

Bring kayak wheels if you have them, stowed in your kayak; they may be useful at the launch site, and they will be very useful if we take the ferry back.  To take the ferry back, we will carry the kayaks up a stairs from the beach and then roll or carry them onto the ferry.

Bring a bicycle lock and cable if you have them; when we get back to Steilacoom, those who want to party-hearty at the Apple Squeeze Festival will likely secure their kayaks at the landing area, retain their car parking-spaces, and load up their kayaks after the Festival ends at 4 p.m.

Conditions and Contingency:

This paddle is contingent upon reasonably safe wind and weather conditions. If the weather conditions are unsafe for this paddle, the paddle will be revised to a protected paddle, possibly a loop around Comorant Passage without the crossing to Anderson Island, and then party-hearty at the Apple Squeeze Festival, or rescheduled.

Equipment Requirements:

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

Immersion Gear:

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

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  • Jamey T.

    Great group, great organization.

    October 8, 2013

  • Jamey T.

    Thanks for the wonderful day. Was a true pleasure and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    October 7, 2013

  • Aaron S

    Thoroughly enjoyable paddle, all you guys. I added the GPS track at the end of the photos. 14.4 n.m total.

    October 7, 2013

  • Wanda C.

    Looks like you had an amazing day. Didn't realize it was a red/white boat convention, with a token (but surely beautiful) wooden boat. : )
    Will definitely put that route on my calendar. Thanks for sharing. (My daughter did great at Tough Mudder.)

    October 7, 2013

  • Dan I.

    Gorgeous day with a congenial group; smooth, silky waters and neat old hulks in a beautiful setting

    October 6, 2013

  • Dave R.

    Great trip Mr Shaw!
    Thank you for an excellent trip and organization of all details!!

    October 6, 2013

  • Aaron S

    Nice work old-ferry treasure hunters. Total success!!! Not to mention an all-around grand and thoroughly enjoyable paddle adventure on an it-doesn't-get-any-better-than-this weather day! Sorting out the pix here; will post pix shortly.

    October 6, 2013

  • Harrison

    All- very sorry for the late notice. I've come down with flulike symptoms this weekend and have been laid up in bed. Hope all of you have a good time.

    October 6, 2013

  • Wanda C.

    Notice how the ladies drop off when the weather gets cold. Hope you all have a great paddle. : )

    October 5, 2013

    • Aaron S

      Cold weather? Hot guys? (... and hot cider on this one, at the Apple Squeeze Festival!) Long time no sea, Wanda. Come paddle with us some time soon! :)-

      October 6, 2013

    • Wanda C.

      This does look like a great day with perfect fall weather. My daughter's doing Tough Mudder though.

      October 6, 2013

  • Aaron S

    Just got home from today's adventures; with any luck will make it on time in the morning. I'm at cell[masked] if any questions or coordination required. The weather forecast looks real good, and this is a cool route, and this should be a fun paddle. See y'all in the morning!

    October 5, 2013

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