I want to explore James Island before summer is over. The forecast is for the winds to drop in time for the weekend, so I plan to cross from Washington State park at a time when the tidal current is approaching slack. Slack current is at 3pm, and the crossing is 3.5 miles, so I’m thinking of launching between 1:30 and 2pm to time our crossing so that we arrive just after slack and avoid the dangerous tide rips that occur around Thatcher Pass and south of the Island. I’ll keep a close eye on the weather forecast for the weekend - this is not a trip to do in a strong southerly wind. The forecast is for under 10 knots, which will be great. I suggest bringing food to share in a pot luck arrangement. I’ll be bringing a vegan black bean dish and some rice. Kayak, paddle, Paddle Float and Bilge Pump. VHF Radio and emergency flares, if you have them PFD, Wet or Dry suit, Clothes for paddling, Kayak Shoes, Change of clothes for camp, towel. Tent, stove, food, water for camping and lunch. Sun Screen, Rain Hat Sense of Humor and fun. Directions to the meeting place: From I-90 E take the Ravenna Blvd. and 65th Street exit (exit 170), drive across Ravenna to 65th Street and we’ll meet in the lot on the north side of 65th. Alternatively meet us at Washington Park at 1pm - drive N. on I-5 to Hwy 20 (exit 230). Go West on hwy 20 and follow the signs to the San Juan Island ferry terminal. Go past the ferry terminal along Sunset Road to Washington Park. Meet us at the picnic beach area next to the boat launch. Martin.
Meeting options are: the Ravenna Park-and-Ride at 10:30am. This will get us up there by 1pm, allowing us time to pack for the desired launch window.
or: Washington Park at 1:00pm. We’ll meet at the picnic area, unload and then park our cars at the overnight parking area.
Rating: This trip is rated ‘exposed’ or SK3. Involves a long crossing over open water across commercial shipping lanes. Possibility of encountering tide rips and strong wind. Participants must have their own kayak and all of their own gear, be trained in self and group rescue techniques, and ok with wind of 15 knots. Because of the water temperature a wet suit or dry suit is required. See descriptions at this link:
Sea Kayak Trip Ratings
What to bring: