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Clark and Sucia Island exploration from Gooseberry Point (Long Weekend)

This trip will involve 4 days of paddling over a log weekend. We will launch on Friday at Gooseberry Point and head across Hale Passage and Rosario Strait to Clark Island The next day (Saturday) we will head to Sucia Island with possibilites of exploring Matia Island and Patos Island. On Sunday we shall head for Matia or possibly Clark island for another night, returning to Gooseberry Point on Monday. The plan is to finish Monday before lunch.

This is an advanced level paddle for skilled padders with their own kayaks and gear.

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. Possible backup plans may be to head to Lummi Island for a shorter trip if a storm comes in, or take the ferry to Orcas and launch from North Beach to Sucha, or drive to Dear Harbor and explore Jones Island.

I suggest bringing food to share in a pot luck arrangement. I’ll be bringing a vegan black bean dish, a couple of other main dishes and some rice or quinoa. Water is available on Sucia but we will have to bring containers and fill them for Clark and the other islands.

Meeting options are: the Ravenna Park-and-Ride at 10:00am. This will get us up there around 12:15pm, allowing us time to pack for the desired launch window.
or: The Lummi Island Ferry Terminal at Gooseberry Point at 12:15pm. We’ll meet at the parking area by the store at the ferry terminal and aim for a 1:30 launch.

Rating: This trip is rated ‘exposed’ or SK3+. Involves long crossings over open water across commercial shipping lanes. Possibility of encountering tide rips and strong winds from the South. Currents are not expected to be more than 2 knots this weekend; the strongest will be on Friday in Hale Passage where we are launching, however we should expect to cross eddy lines and erratically moving water. Participants must have their own kayak and all of their own gear, be trained in self and group rescue techniques, and ok with wind up to 15 knots. Because of the water temperature a wet or dry suit is required, dry suit recommended.
See descriptions at this link: Sea Kayak Trip Ratings

What to bring:

  • 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 the store by the Lummi Island Ferry Terminal at 12:15pm - drive N. on I-5 to Slater Road (exit 260). From Slater Rd after 3.7 miles turn left onto Haxton Way. Just before and right next to the ferry terminal there is a store where fishing boat trailers are often parked. Meet us there where we will launch from the beach.

Martin.


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  • Larry M

    I am proud to be a citizen of the state of Washington after visiting Sucia..... And Clark is wonderful also. What a great time.

    May 18, 2012

  • Martin

    Absolutely fabulous weekend exploring lots of beautiful places. Pleasantly challenging kayaking, too, and we really had great luck with the weather. Thanks so much for joining me and adding so much to the enjoyment of the trip.

    May 14, 2012

  • Phyllis

    What an amazing weekend in an amazing place. Not to mention the amazing people. Even the flu could not keep me away from this.

    May 14, 2012

  • Cheryl C

    If you stop in Bellingham for a meal...call me...I want to hear about this beautiful trip! Larry, do you have my phone number?

    May 9, 2012

  • Nancy J

    The easiest way to get to the Put In is to go North on I-5 to Slater Rd; turn left and go over I-5 to Haxton (the Silver Reef ) . Turn Left on to Haxton (south) and go about 5?miles. The Store/put in is on the rt, parking on left. Watch your speed.

    May 6, 2012

  • Nancy J

    I'm interested and this is in my back yard (love Sucia Island!), but Sunday is Mother's Day. Is anyone coming back on Sunday. My Mom takes Mother's Day seriously--no rainchecks.

    May 6, 2012

  • Julie N

    Wish I were going with you on this!!

    May 2, 2012

  • Phyllis

    In response to Martin's Meal email: I'll bring some misc dried stuff, but mostly I will be sharing edible wild plants I gather off the beaches, and with my shellfish and saltwater fishing licenses I hope to contribute some other fresh foods. Hoping to find a good rock pile from which to jig up some brown bombers.

    April 30, 2012

  • Phyllis

    Remind me to pack all my stuff to make kelp pickles out there. This is going to be prime kelp location and timing!!

    April 19, 2012

  • Larry M

    Holy crap, 3 guys signed up. about as close as we get around here to an even trip... :)

    April 19, 2012

  • Martin

    First day will be 6 miles to Clark. Then second day would be 8 miles if we went direct to Sucia the shortest, most direct way, but we'd probably do more if we wanted to explore.

    March 30, 2012

  • Martin

    Enter the following coordinates into Google Maps: "48.73,[masked]" (just cut and paste everything between the quotes into the search bar).

    March 30, 2012

  • Phyllis

    Just north of B-ham, it's at the end of the big peninsula that juts out toward Lummi I. You can see the ferry route leaving from there on Google Maps.

    March 30, 2012

  • Rob I

    where exactly is Gooseberry Point? i cant find it on google maps...

    and it looks to be 10-12 miles (not nautical miles) each day, correct?

    March 30, 2012

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