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
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!