Welcome to Following the Raven - a sectional paddle of the Inside Passage! Have you ever wanted to “just keep going”? And going and going...? Me too, so join me for this “project” - a little farther north each year. Yes, it will take some years, but we have the rest of our lives, and don’t you want to see it all? You can participate in as many or as few sections as you like and are prepared for. The ultimate goal is Juneau, Alaska. But that’s a few years down the road (or up the channel).
We start small this year with the Puget Sound Edition, which will occur over two weekends in August. These two weekends are chosen with tides and currents in mind, which we always want in our favor when possible.
This Meetup is the inaugural paddle, from Golden Gardens in Seattle to Camano Island State Park, with an overnight at Possession Point on Whidbey Island.
Friday Evening Prep: It will help a lot if we can deliver some cars to Camano Island Friday after work to simplify our launch on Saturday. Let's coordinate via the comments below to deliver cars as needed to our pull-out the night before. Then we can carpool to Golden Gardens in the morning. I can fit 3 kayaks on my car now.
Saturday: Golden Gardens to Possession Point - about 16 miles. Meet at Golden Gardens in Seattle Saturday morning at 8:30 to launch by about 9:00. The ebb current will help us up the coast for the first 6 miles. We’ll stop at Richmond Beach to play in the sand, explore low tide and eat lunch. As the tide begins to turn we will re-launch, utilizing the calmer slack waters to approach and cross the the entrance to Port Susan, arriving at our destination for the day at Possession Point on the southern tip of Whidbey Island. There is a Cascadia Marine Trail campsite at the park. No water available at the camp site, so we need to pack that in (we can fill our containers at Richmond Beach).
Sunday: Possession Point to Camano Island State Park - about 16 miles. Our launch time will depend on the weather forecast. If southerlies are predicted, we will have a leisurely morning, waiting for the flood to get going, and launching at 10 or 11 to have the current with us most of the way. If northerlies are predicted, we’ll be better off with an early start when the air tends to be more still. When we get to Camano Island we will have cars awaiting to carry us back home.
Following the Raven continues the next weekend: a three-day paddle from Camano Island State Park to Washington Park in Anacortes.
- You must have your own sea kayak, PFD, dry suit (preferred) or wetsuit, and all safety gear.
- You must have solid skills in wet-exit and re-entry of your boat under a variety of real conditions.
- You must be able to sustain a pace of 4 miles per hour (under neutral current & wind conditions) in order to achieve the necessary distances.
- You must enjoy camping and be good humored and flexible in general under whatever conditions nature throws at us.
- Let's coordinate a shared meal for Saturday evening. I will send out an email to the group to work this out as we get closer.
- There will be camp fees and some parking fees to share. We can work that out at the time, so bring some cash.
- In addition to normal kayak camping gear, bring enough water container capacity for one night without on-site water. We can fill our containers at Richmond Beach at lunch time. This will lighten our morning load.
Sections-to-Come as we Follow the Raven:
Future years will take us through the Inside Passage of BC and eventually SE Alaska, taking our time to enjoy a week-long-ish exploration each summer. Highlights include the San Juan and Canadian Gulf islands (next year), the Sunshine Coast, Desolation Sound, Johnstone Straight, the Broughton Islands, and the wilds of the northern BC coast with it’s winding channels. Then we break into SE Alaska - my old tromping grounds of 18 years, mostly on the water. Our exploration of Alaska will be no rush. There are so many amazing places to explore (some of which I know very well, and some of which I have longed to explore for many years). Highlight trips will include the Misty Fjords; Stikine River, LeConte Glacier and humpback whale-infested Frederick Sound; Rocky Pass and Keku Straight; West Chichagoff, Glacier Bay, and so on. Perhaps we will even do the Admiralty Island Canoe route (a lake-hopping freshwater paddle with portages across Admiralty Island).