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.