Report from Ken
This was the final leg in a 135-mile trip from Port Townsend to
Neah Bay. On the first day (St. Paddy's Day), Gary McCall
and I set out from Pillar Point after doing the shuttle at
about 11:00 am. Pillar point was impressive, the huge
monolith perched just above the flat, calm water. After
rounding the point, both Gary and I wound our way through a
seemingly endless route of rock gardens. Seals were hauled
out at a couple points along the way and the swell running
through the rocks was just enough to keep it interesting but
not so much that there were any difficulties.
2006 Azimuth Expeditions. All rights reserved
This was the "wildest" section of the entire trip, with no houses,
roads or any other form of human impact visible at any time
along the way. We paddled the 9 miles into Sekiu in about 4
hours, fighting a deceptive current and 20-knot winds on our
crossing of Clallam Bay at the end of the day. After setting
up camp at Olson's Resort, we walked to the Spring Tavern
for a couple rounds of beer and darts with our fellow St.
The next morning, Gary and I were joined by Michael, who had driven
out to meet us in the night. We shuttled a vehicle to Neah
Bay, then returned to Sekiu and got on the water at about
9:00 am. Paddling conditions were quite windy at the start,
but we made good progress. After the mouth of the Hoko
River, Highway 112 follows the shoreline all the way to Neah
Bay, so even though we were further west, the coast didn't
seem quite as wild as it had the day before.
As we were approaching Seal Rock and Sail Rock, two large offshore
stacks a couple miles east of Neah Bay, we saw a whale blow
in the distance. He seemed to be moving the same direction
we were so we never really got a good look at him, but it's
still a very powerful feeling knowing that we share the
water with such large and wonderful creatures. Seal Rock and
Sail Rock were very cool; big, stark, stone monuments to the
power of the wind and water.
We touched shore at Neah Bay at about 4:00 pm. The wind was blowing
hard now, but we didn't care. The trip had been completed
and numerous sites along the way had been identified for
possible inclusion in the proposed extension of the Cascadia
Marine Trail. The hope is that, as time goes by, sites for
kayakers will be added to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and
that one day soon, the route we had taken from Port Townsend
to Neah Bay will be a part of an expanded trail system.
Now, where to next?