Hammersley Inlet

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Hammersley Inlet
Friday Harbor
Willapa Bay
Cape Flattery
Guide Training
Elkhorn Slough

Report from Ken

The day was supposed to be a rainy one, but it turned out that the weatherman doesn't know everything. We met up at Walker County Park, just to the east of Shelton, and got on the water at about 10am. This was a Matelót trip with five club members making up the roster: myself, Gary, Ana, Jackie and Jim.


Jim, Ana and Gary getting ready to paddle

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© 2005 Azimuth Expeditions. All rights reserved

We had planned the trip to coincide with a good ebb to carry us out to Hope Island, where we'd have lunch and take a break while the tide turned and the currents reversed directions. The most we'd see would be about 3 kts. going with us. There were a few constricted areas in the inlet, but they only really become truly hazardous at higher current velocities.

For the most part, the trip went as planned. It took us just under 2 hours to get to Hope Island, and the weather in the morning was superb. Blue sky, warm yellow sun. By lunch, however, we'd started to get a taste of the wind coming down from the Olympics. The breeze in the morning had been at our backs, and it was much less forceful. We hoped we could avoid paddling into the teeth of the wind as we returned back the way we came.

Before starting the return voyage, we wandered around the trails of Hope Island. Site of a farm and orchard in the early years of the 20th century, Hope Island is now a Washington State Park. It does get its share of visitors during the summer, but now, during the "off-season," we had the place to ourselves. Old farm implements lay rusting quietly in the tall grass above the orchard. The ranger's garden, fenced off from the deer by chain-link, echoed the gardens that have grown here in the past, with its tall corn and a variety of vegetables. The windmill towered over the farmstead and the wind rustled in the tops of the surrounding firs.

The sky was dark as we started our paddle back to the put-in. It wasn't raining on us, but it didn't seem far away, and the air temperature had dropped from where it was before lunch. The wind, however, didn't seem like it was going to be as much of a factor as we had feared earlier. Although we could feel it, especially on the crossing back to Hammersley Inlet, the power of the current was stronger, and carried us swiftly back.

The trip back to the park took about the same amount of time as the first leg had, and we were back to the cars by 3:15 or so. After loading out, we went to Lennard K's in Allyn for some hot food and cold drink. Another great Matelót paddle!

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