Circum-navigate Cypress Island - Day Paddle

Description: We are going to paddle clockwise around Cypress Island.  We will stop at Strawberry Island, Pelican Beach, Cone Islands and Cypress Head.   Going north in Rosario Strait, we will catch an approx. 0.4 knot flood current.  Coming back south in Bellingham Channel, we will be assisted by an approx. 0.9 knot ebb current.

Sign-up Requirements:

This is a 16 nautical mile paddle in cold water in exposed conditions, with likely wind waves and current effects, eddies and rips.

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.

Schedule and Itinerary:

9:00 a.m. - meet at the Washington Park Boat Ramp beach, off-load, and park.

10:00 a.m. - launch and paddle north in Rosario Strait to Pelican Beach, with a stop at Strawberry Island. (7 n.m.)

~1:00 p.m. - stop at Pelican Beach, and explore and hike ashore.

~ 3:00 p.m. - launch and paddle south in Bellingham Channel, through the Cone Islands and with a stop at Cypress Head. (9 n.m.)

~ 7:00 p.m. - arrive back at Washington Park.

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, picnic dinner, 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.  Minimal overnight bivvy gear, i.e. a sleeping bag and a tarp in a dry-bag, in case unpredicted high wind conditions force an overnight bivvy on Cypress Island.

Immersion Gear:

Wearing a drysuit is mandatory for this paddle.

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  • Aaron S

    Good paddlin' everyone! See ya on the next. And circumnav'ing Guemes instead of Cypress worked out well; on the evening home-stretch into Anacortes, we had a nice steady 15-knot headwind and short-fetch one to two foot waves ... with everyone lovin' the final easy workout and wavy fun. :)- If we'd gone around Cypress, the homestretch would have been three miles of 20-knot sidewinds and four-foot beam seas ... a little more wavy fun than I'd want. ;)-

    June 9

  • Donna H

    Thanks for leading and organizing (and sharing your equipment), Aaron. Beautiful day with good people. It was a fun paddle, especially the last three miles :) A little head wind never hurt anyone.

    June 9

  • Aaron S

    Another totally enjoyable paddle, with delightful, enthusiastic paddlin' pals, on a great weather day. Been lots of those lately!!! :) Thanks Bill, Dan, Phyllis and Donna! Gotta unpack here; it's been a fabulous weekend of paddling. :) :) I'll post photos from this paddle tomorrow.

    June 8

  • Aaron S

    My cell phone for any coordination is[masked]-3015. If you read this message, please give me a call to establish communication.

    June 7

  • Phyllis

    Hi Aaron. Not sure if you got my voice mail. Liking your idea about switching to clockwise circumnavigation of Guemes I. With SW winds forecast for all tonight and tomorrow, it gives a lot of time for building seas through that monstrous stretch out of Rosario Strait and up Bham Channel. Will be good to put that behind us in the morning rather than crash into it in the afternoon. If we can just move the launch and pull out to Seafarer's Memorial Park, we can altogether avoid the big open crossing to/from Washington Park. The crossing from Southeast Point on Guemes I to Anacortes is much more protected/friendlier in a blow. Thanks for setting this up and for adapting it sensibly to the conditions. :-)

    June 6

    • Aaron S

      Let's meet at Washington Park as planned, look at conditions and the forecast, and choose what to do from there. Seafarer's Memorial Park is only ten minutes away and we can adjust our logistics easily to whatever plan we choose.

      June 6

  • Kirk A.

    I'm going to have to cancel from this due to a sore back that's not cooperating with my weekend plans. Apparently, it didn't like the lap around Lopez last weekend immediately followed by hanging drywall after work this week.

    June 6

  • Aaron S

    The marine and wind forecasts as of 3 a.m. Friday look okay for our paddle. If the forecasts at launch time have deteriorated, we will do an alternative paddle from the same location. A good Plan B paddle, if necessary, that works fine with the currents would be a clockwise partial or full circumnavigation of Guemes Island, with a car spotted at Seafarers' Memorial Park in downtown Anacortes.

    June 6

  • Aaron S

    With southwest winds forecast for Saturday afternoon, I've tentatively revised the circumnavigation to clockwise so we'll be in the lee of the island paddling south in the afternoon. Either direction works fine with the currents. We'll choose the circumnavigation direction at launch time in accordance with the marine forecast at that time.

    June 5

  • Jody B

    bummer...all the drysuits in town are spoken for so no rental. Have a great time!

    June 4

  • Jody B

    Hi Aaron, I have something to pick up at Kayak Academy so I could rent a drysuit if I get in

    June 3

  • Lonnie R.

    I'd love to do this but I don't paddle at 2.5 knots.

    June 1

    • Aaron S

      This one's a pretty big paddle in open water, Lonnie. I'll be posting others with a little less pace and experience necessities. In the meantime, take a look at the photos from this Saturday; y'all paddled great and that paddle was awesome!!!

      June 1

  • Rob I

    there's nothing i appreciate more on these event posts than a detailed map! nice job!

    May 10

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