Strait (Part 2)

  Strait (Part 4)
Strait (Part 3)
Strait (Part 2)
Strait (Part 1)
Hammersley Inlet
Friday Harbor
Willapa Bay
Cape Flattery
Guide Training
Elkhorn Slough

Report from Ken

There was plenty of snow on the ground when we put in at Cline Spit. It had snowed heavily (heavily for here, anyway), the day before, and the area around Sequim and Port Angeles had some of the highest concentrations of the white stuff. Cold too, very cold.


Lauren getting out of the van at Cline Spit

1 of 16

© 2005 Azimuth Expeditions. All rights reserved

Cline Spit was where we'd taken out after the first trip, and it was the perfect place to get the Straits experience going again. There were nine of us this time, a large group at any time, but positively huge for the beginning of December. Ana, Lauren, Jules, Jim and myself were the Azimuth guides on the trip, Gary came from the Matelót kayak club, Lauren brought David, a friend of hers from South Carolina, and rounding out the group were Reed and Michael from Washington Water Trails.

This was to be a simple day trip, a 14-mile section between the Dungeness area and the town of Port Angeles. Although I didn't really expect to find too many spots that could be considered for use as Cascadia Marine Trail sites, I thought it was important, if I was supposed to be surveying the Strait, that I at least paddle all of it. I expected it would be highly developed and relatively tame, but it turned out to be a much more interesting paddle than that.

After the shuttle had been completed, we got on the water for the short paddle from Cline Spit to the point where the Dungeness Spit connects to the mainland. Here we carried our boats over the sand and logs to the open side of the spit, and launched again out into the Strait. What had started out as an overcast morning was showing signs of breaking up, and before long the skies became blue. The peaks of the Olympics behind Port Angeles were still obscured by clouds, but on the whole, it had turned into a very pleasant day on the water.

The shoreline to the west of the spit was steep and sandy. Tall, brittle cliffs extended for a couple miles into the bay, with only a few breaks where streams trickled down to the sea. We stopped for lunch on one of the few spots we could make it to shore. There was a bit of a swell, not too big, but enough to make waves of a few feet that crashed onto the steep beach at our feet. At one point, there was a wave that was larger than the rest that grabbed a hold of Michael's boat and started to pull it back out to sea, but alert minds and quick feet got it before it made it out too far.

After lunch, the weather turned out to be downright balmy, at least in the sun. The mountains were peeking through the clouds now, and the surface of the water was flat and perfect for paddling. Michael, Reed and David pulled out to a substantial lead over the rest of us lollygaggers, but we all got off the water by the time the short winter day turned to twilight. After getting the boats loaded, we scooted across the street to a fine Indian food feast, with much spicy food and conversation.

Stay tuned to the Field Reports page for an update on the third leg of the Straits voyage, scheduled for February of 2006.


Upcoming Events
Field Reports
Flag Expeditions
Discovery Grants
Contact Us

azimuth expeditions