Whidbey Island Welcome the Whales Paddle

Description: We are going to paddle in Saratoga Passage from Greenbank to Langley (... in peak whale-watching season? :)-, and attend the Langley Welcome the Whales Parade and Festival.

Sign-up Requirements:

This is a 10 nautical mile spring paddle in cold water that may be subject to wind waves and boat wakes.

To sign up for this paddle, you must be an intermediate or advanced paddler with good boat-handling, bracing, re-entry, and rescue skills and be able to paddle a sustained 2.5 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.   RSVP's without answers to the sign-up questions will be deleted.

Logistics

Paddlers can stay on Whidbey Friday evening or come over Saturday morning on the 7 a.m. ferry.  While the required timing varies, prior experience indicates that to catch the 7 a.m. ferry, cars should be in the ferry line by approximately 6:15 a.m. 

Most paddlers can drive directly in the morning from the ferry to the launch site in Greenbank.  A car-shuttle ride from Langley back to their cars will be provided after the paddle and parade.  (The event host is staying on Whidbey Friday evening and he and one other will spot their vehicles in Langley on Saturday morning to accomplish this.)

Schedule and Itinerary:

6:15 a.m. - if taking the morning ferry over, get in the ferry line to catch the 7 a.m. ferry.

8:00 a.m - meet at Hidden Beach, off-load and park.

9:00 a.m. - launch and paddle to Langley.

~ 1:00 p.m. - arrive in Langley, secure our kayaks, and watch the parade (starts at 1:30 p.m.), have lunch, and attend the festival. http://www.orcanetwork.org/Calendar/show_event.php?id=23&size=small

~ 4:00 p.m. - complete the car shuttle back to Greenbank and pick up the kayaks in Langley on the way to the Clinton ferry.

Conditions and Contingency:

This paddle is contingent upon reasonably safe wind and weather conditions.

Equipment Requirements:

Kayak, paddle, pfd, paddlefloat, pump, sprayskirt, sunglasses, sunscreen, water and snacks, picnic lunch, waterproof hat, VHF radio if you have one, drysuit.  Layered warm clothes, waterproof insulated paddle gloves and/or pogies, warm head and ears protection.  Extra change of warm clothes in a dry-bag.

Immersion Gear:

Wearing a drysuit is required on this paddle.

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  • Aaron S

    You all did a great job of turning this into a fun outing and adventure. And thanks to the Saratoga Beach folks for letting us drive down to pick up our kayaks. I liked launching this trip from Freeland, as we did. Look for this one to be posted again, next time the Saratoga Passage afternoon current is again a favorable ebb. With less wind, this'll be a nice paddle around to Langley.

    April 21, 2014

  • DCC

    Aaron once again put a good plan together and used common sense when making the decision to beach and walk back to the cars. He kept us safe. The 3 rating is because of the weather and events that closed the paddle early but is probably a 4 or 5 rated paddle under better circumstances.

    April 20, 2014

  • T.-

    In my book, it was a fun day. We got to paddle until the winds got ugly and then were able to land on a nice beach with shelter, a nice walking distance to the cars, and we got to chat along the way back. The clouds held the rain until we had our kayaks loaded and we all got to enjoy a nice frosty beverage, interesting conversation, & good food afterwards. Aaron did a fantastic job of putting this together, kept in mind the skill set of the group when making decisions, and kept an open mind/flexible when the winds changed & started to really kick up. Everything worked out just fine. :)

    April 20, 2014

  • peter p

    Thanks Aaron for keeping us safe and the organization.

    April 19, 2014

  • Lonnie R.

    We bailed around 11:15 near Saratoga Beach due to high wind and waves.

    April 19, 2014

  • Phyllis

    Standing on East Point looking west. Still no sign of Meetup paddlers. Did you cancel? Turning back.

    April 19, 2014

  • Phyllis

    Arrived & tucked in in Lanley Harbor. Beautiful evening run. But no wind for sailing. That will come Sunday. Did get into a pod of about 6 gray whales at the S end of Hat Island. Awesome! See you tomorrow. I will be paddling solo. Martina staying at the boat nursing some stitches.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phyllis

    Aaron - could you keep 68 on after you launch too? Might be helpful for meeting up with those of us coming from nether regions. I answer to Raven's Journey.

    April 18, 2014

    • Aaron S

      My VHF with channel 68 monitored will be on the whole time I'm paddling. My cell phone is the item that will only be available prior to launching. If a VHF call-name is needed, I'm "Fickle Faithful".

      April 18, 2014

  • Audra

    Sorry for late cancellation. I have to take my daughter to the airport and then get a new windshield. Dam rock!

    April 18, 2014

  • Wade J.

    I may get pulled into going to the Easter Swing Dance in Seattle. If I CAN still paddle, I'll most likely head out from Mabana beach or Camano Island S. P. meeting you all on the way and paddle back on my own. I'll monitor 68 on my marine radio. My cell is[masked] - just in case the need to double check. I'll be able to launch about an hour later to meet ya'll as you turn south down Saratoga passage.

    April 18, 2014

    • Aaron S

      Be glad to see ya if you can make it, Wade. I will be monitoring channel 68, and for any communication before 9 a.m., my cell phone is[masked]-3015. Brisk south-southeast winds predicted; your Rouge Wave Adventure skills may get a workout on the crossings. :)

      April 18, 2014

  • Phyllis

    The Whale Sail Paddle Sail is on! Martina will be arriving with me on the sailboat. I might have Martin too. We'll meet you somewhere along the way. Will you be monitoring 68?

    April 17, 2014

    • Aaron S

      Great. Be glad to see you all. Yes, I will be monitoring channnel 68. South-southeast winds predicted; if you step out from the shore a bit and don't a little excitement :)-, you may come a ways up meeting us.

      April 18, 2014

  • Audra

    I'm a bit under the weather not sure if I can make it.

    April 16, 2014

  • DCC

    Hi Aaron and all. I still plan on being there Saturday but I am fighting a bug. If I am well, you will see me. If I am still ill and have to cancel, I have T.- number and can relay messages through her (if that's okay with her).

    April 16, 2014

  • Aaron S

    As of Wednesday morning, the marine weather forecast for Saturday is south or southwest winds at 5 to 15 knots, with wind waves 2 feet or less (the regular forecast indicates that the wind will be primarily in the afternoon). Assuming that holds, that's a good forecast for this paddle, as the paddle is well sheltered from a south or southwest wind and will have no fetch from that direction. This paddle will also have approximately one knot ebb current running with it all the way. See everyone Saturday morning!

    April 16, 2014

  • Aaron S

    Car shuttle logistic: we need two vehicles (my van plus one more that can carry at least five) stationed in Langley prior to the paddle, so ... two morning shuttle volunteers are needed:

    (1) Volunteer 1: someone (in addition to myself) who is staying on Whidbey, to arrive at Hidden Beach around 6:45 a.m., off-load kayak and gear, and drive to Langley (... to post-paddle be a back-driver to get folks back to their cars at Hidden Beach).

    (2) Volunteer 2: someone, either coming over on the 7 a.m. ferry or staying on Whidbey, to swing by Langley in the morning, on his/her way to Hidden Beach, and pick up the two back-drivers in Langley around 7:40 a.m. (good timing for on the way through from the ferry).

    Two volunteers, please, to make this work for all?

    (Note: If Volunteer 2 is someone staying on Whidbey, these morning shuttle times can be a half-hour later.)

    April 14, 2014

    • T.-

      Hey Aaron, I'll be coming over from PT & can meet you @ Hidden Beach at 7:30a.m. I can stuff 3 more peeps in 'Lil Silver. :)

      April 15, 2014

    • Aaron S

      Thanks, T, you're a star. See ya at 7:30. We're all set with shuttle drivers. If we get any more peeps on the paddle, I can stuff more in my "soccer-mom-mobile"­­. :)

      April 16, 2014

  • peter p

    Ok Aaron, see ya at 0730 at hidden beach

    April 14, 2014

    • Aaron S

      Super Peter, thanks much for being Volunteer 2. (Lonnie, Peter's truck can carry three passengers, so you've got a morning ride from Langley to Hidden Beach. Meet us in front of Whidbey Island Kayaking Company at 8:10 a.m.)

      April 14, 2014

    • Lonnie R.

      Got it. Thanks, Aaron.

      April 14, 2014

  • peter p

    Aaron...little whitey has a passenger capacity of 3. One riding shotgun, 2 in the jump seats (tight) but others can ride in the spacious bed...let me know where in Langley at 8am

    April 14, 2014

  • peter p

    I can be Vol 2., if needed. Tell me exactly where In Langley to pick up. White Toyota pickup with extended cab. Yellow Feathercraft. Jump seat in back..I'll be in Langley at 8am. My mobile is[masked]

    April 14, 2014

  • peter p

    Donna and company..I am going to camp at Fort Casey (P.T. Ferry) on Friday nite if anyone wants to join me. Probably camp down by the water. White pickup Tacoma with yellow Feathercraft.

    April 13, 2014

  • Donna E

    I would like to go the night before and camp out. Anyone else up for that??

    April 13, 2014

  • Donna E

    Gary...I'm with you on that dream!! It would be nice to see whales : ) ...up front and personal.

    April 13, 2014

  • Audra

    Wet suit ok?

    March 24, 2014

    • Aaron S

      Dry-suit preferable, but wet-suit okay. Audra. Lotta capable folks on the paddle, so if you go in, you'll likely be out fast.

      March 24, 2014

  • Phyllis

    I may have up to 3 people with me on the boat and paddling to meet you. I'll take responsibility for them.

    March 17, 2014

  • Phyllis

    Great plan Aaron! I might sail across to Langley on Friday, then paddle north to meet you half way and paddle back to the festival with you. Sail back to Everett on Sunday. Do you want me on your RSVP list?

    March 16, 2014

    • Aaron S

      Sounds like you've got a great, and fun!, plan, too, Phyllis. Yes, add yourself to the RSVP, with full understanding that you may be paddling up from Langley to meet us along the way.

      March 17, 2014

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