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River to River Paddle: Stilly to Skagit 10-12 miles

  • Oct 20, 2013 · 11:00 PM
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We did this double-estuary tour from the Stillaguamish River to the Skagit River successfully last summer, taking South Pass and West Pass behind Camano Island.  This year it will be somewhat more challenging - due to winter kayaking conditions and also a differing tide set-up, which should ultimately favor us to get farther up the Skagit.

Because of the winter conditions and river currents I'm calling this an SK III paddle. I am therefore going to post it with only a waiting list, and will place people in based on first-come but also preparedness for this kind of paddle.  This includes:

  • You are an intermediate or better paddler.
  • You are paddling your own (not rental or loaner) kayak that you have spent plenty of experience in under varying weather and current conditions.
  • You will be wearing a dry suit and pfd.
  • You have a well-practiced self-rescue.
  • You will be bringing full paddling & safety gear including spray skirt, paddle float, and bilge pump.
  • Bring food & water for lunch and snacks.

We will meet at the Hat Slough launch at 11:00, then shuttle half the cars the 7 road miles to our take-out.  We'll eat some food & launch by 12:00 as the tide is reaching low.  But low tide on this day is a full 5 feet, so we should have plenty of water to flush out the bottom of the river. Once out in Port Susan, we turn north toward South Pass and West pass.  These two narrow passages take us behind Camano island and dump us into Skagit Bay.  We can take our time on this leg, as it will be best to pass through here around slack tide - which is about 3:00.  We can spend some time on the shore of the slough for lunch depending on timing.

Then we paddle a few miles up the Skagit River to our take out.  The closer to 5:00 it gets, the more push we will get from the marine current going up river.  But with fall rains, we may still have more fresh water against us.  We will have two take-out options, and will decide based on the the river conditions and timing.

Plan for a hearty meal and a brew on our way back home.

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  • Jenny

    A really nice paddle! I didn't mind the wading or the fog or the mud, it was just great to be out and see the flats. Perfect distance and timing too. Thanks Phyllis!

    October 21, 2013

  • Phyllis

    Cheryl - I'm sad you won't be able to come. It's been FAR too long since we've paddled together. Do take care of your headache. I hope you feel better soon.

    October 20, 2013

  • Cheryl C

    Phyllis, I have had a headache since about 4 PM yesterday. It is better this morning but still a shadow. I'm disappointed, but think I"m not going to make it today. I fell pretty wiped out from the headache. I will miss a beautiful paddle. Have a great time.

    October 20, 2013

  • Phyllis

    Hi Dan. Sorry to hear about the crud that got you. We'll miss having you on the paddle. Get well.

    October 19, 2013

  • Dan I.

    Hi Phyllis I've picked up the bug my kids have had all week & starting to feel pretty crummy. I'm going to bail on tomorrow rather than bring the plague to everyone. I home this is enough notice for you to get ahold of someone on the waiting list. Have a great paddle.

    October 19, 2013

  • Phyllis

    BTW: If there's fog we will still go. It's likely to lift by launch time but even if lingering: There is very little boat traffic on this route and what with GPS & the nearby shoreline and my memory we will grope our way over. If you have GPS, bring it as back up to mine.

    October 18, 2013

  • Mark B.

    Fyi, i normally paddle with ssak and have all safety gear including drysuit, 6+ years paddling all of Puget sound

    October 18, 2013

  • Mark B.

    Phyllis, hello. If i do make the list, is there anyone coming from Tacoma that has an interest in carpooling? Either i can carry one additional kayak or if i can hitch a ride. Please let me know... thanking you in advance.
    Mark

    October 18, 2013

  • Phyllis

    Thanks Aaron. Do make sure you wear thermal protection. A good wetsuit would be acceptable, but I think drysuits are better for winter. See you there.

    October 18, 2013

  • Phyllis

    Looks like we are in for some great weather this Sunday for our paddle. This paddle is timed for both tides & daylight and we will proceed with the schedule, so please plan your time to be with us for the shuttle & launch times. Those on the waiting list, I'm just awaiting your RSVP answers to let you in. Looking forward to it.

    October 17, 2013

  • Aaron S

    Sounds like a great trip, but I'll be out of town. Have fun everyone!

    October 14, 2013

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