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  1. alexsidles

    Strawberry Island, San Juan Islands, WA 4–6 Sept 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] Rachel and I began taking Maya kayak-camping in the summer of 2019, when Maya was not quite three years old. All along, I’d been planning to take her to Strawberry Island, my favorite place on Earth. Finally, this year, Maya was old enough that I felt...
  2. alexsidles

    Gray's Canyon, continental slope, WA 21–22 Aug 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] Some of my happiest memories have been of close wildlife encounters by kayak: visits to puffin colonies, meetings with various species of whales, face-offs with bears. In a kayak, as opposed to a motorized vehicle, I meet the animals on their terms. What happens...
  3. alexsidles

    Salmon Bank, San Juan Islands, WA 7 Aug 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] My dad and I made an unsuccessful run to Salmon Bank in search of minke whales. From South Beach on San Juan Island, we paddled out two and a half miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the bank, where we loitered for an hour, listening for whale breaths...
  4. alexsidles

    Sucia Island, San Juan Islands, WA 24–25 July 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] My friend James and his daughter Chelsea joined Maya and me in the latest of our dad-daughter kayak-camping overnights. Sucia Island, a short two-mile crossing from Orcas Island, was the perfect destination for a trip with kids—not too close, not too far, and...
  5. alexsidles

    Willapa Spits, Willapa Bay, WA 26–27 June 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] In light of the shocking high temperatures forecast for the weekend, kayaking the inland waters was out. Even staying indoors was a miserable prospect. There was only one hope: an escape to the coast. I’d long been eyeballing an unnamed, sandy island in the...
  6. alexsidles

    Anderson Island, south Puget Sound, WA 19–20 June 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] For this year’s first camping trip with James and Chelsea, Maya and I took them to one of the gems of south Puget Sound: Anderson Island. From the launch beach at Nisqually, the paddling distance is just over three miles (5 km) each way, through some of the...
  7. alexsidles

    Solo kayaker to Hawaii rescued on day six

    The latest attempt to paddle from the West Coast to Hawaii ended in a rescue today. Cyril Deverreux was paddling one of those custom-built, cabin-equipped "kayaks" that look more like miniature motorboats. Today, his sea anchor became fouled, and he and his ground crew decided to call in the...
  8. alexsidles

    La Push to Destruction Island, Olympic coast, WA 29–31 May 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] Over Memorial Day weekend, I paddled down the Olympic coast from La Push to Destruction Island and back. To get an early start, I drove up Friday after work and car-camped at Kalaloch. Needless to say, all the car-campsites had been booked months in advance...
  9. alexsidles

    2021 Gray Whale Invitational

    I’d like to invite all who are interested to come look for gray whales with me by kayak this Sunday, May 23. I’ll be departing from the beach next to the boat launch at Lighthouse Park, Mukilteo, WA at 1:00 PM. From Lighthouse Park, I’ll ride the afternoon flood four miles north to Hat Island...
  10. alexsidles

    Burrows Island, San Juan Islands, WA 1–2 May 2021

    [Cross-posted at alexsidles.com] For Maya’s first camping trip of the season, I wanted to take her to someplace she’d never been. Strawberry Island would have been perfect, but currents were adverse. To reach Strawberry, we’d have needed northbound currents in the morning and southbound...
  11. alexsidles

    Fort Ward & Middle Point, central Puget Sound, WA 10–11 Apr 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] The most famous relics of Puget Sound’s nineteenth-century harbor defenses are the three large forts of the Triangle of Fire, the main line of defense and a terrific kayaking destination. Less well known but more of an adventure to visit by kayak is Fort Whitman...
  12. alexsidles

    Long Island, Willapa Bay, WA 6–7 Mar 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] Dave Kruger of Astoria, Oregon was a pillar of the kayaking community in the Pacific Northwest. Dave died in August 2020 at the age of seventy-five. He is much missed by all of us here on WCP. One of Dave’s favorite kayak-camping grounds was Long Island in...
  13. alexsidles

    Kayaking with baby Leon, Lake Wash., Seattle, WA 28 Feb 2021

    [Cross-posted at alexsidles.com] I don't usually post a full trip report for little family outings on Lake Washington, but this one was special. My wife Rachel and I brought baby Leon out for only his second time ever in a kayak. Leon rode with me, while Maya rode with Rachel. Feeding ducks and...
  14. alexsidles

    Kayaks seen from space

    Just goes to show, you never know who's watching out there! Chain Bridge, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, VA: Chuckanut Rocks, Chuckanut Bay, WA: Canoe Pass, Thetis and Kuper Islands, BC: Copeland Islands, Discovery Islands BC: Cypress Head, San Juan Islands, WA: Fisherman's Point...
  15. alexsidles

    Lake Chelan, North Cascades, WA 13–15 Feb 2021

    [Cross-posted on alexsidles.com] Inspired in part by recent trip reports by Pascal and Rick, I paddled the length of Lake Chelan in the north Cascade Mountains of Washington. Different government sources variously give Lake Chelan’s length as 55 miles, 50 miles, or “over 50 miles.” On Google...
  16. alexsidles

    Resident orcas declining. Transient orcas increasing.

    The Atlantic ran a great article today on the decline of the southern resident orcas and the rise of the transient orcas. We are now down to just 74 southern residents, but we are up to 349 transients. As the article says, the transient population is "well on its way to replacing the residents...
  17. alexsidles

    Obstruction Pass, San Juan Islands, WA 9–10 Jan 2021

    [Cross-posted at alexsidles.com] The weather forecast for the weekend was grim. A low-pressure system was on its way toward us across the ocean, bringing increasingly powerful southeast winds to the inland waters. Windspeeds in the San Juans were forecast at 20–30 knots, with gusts to 40—too...
  18. alexsidles

    Case Inlet, south Puget Sound, WA 26 Dec 2020

    [Cross-posted at alexsidles.com] For mile after mile, so-called development lines the shores of Puget Sound. The houses and docks and breakwaters pile together and spill onto the beaches, stifling the wild environment. Along the worst-affected reaches, the growth is so dense it feels like it is...
  19. alexsidles

    Back issues of Ocean Paddler magazine

    UK-based Ocean Paddler magazine is offering a great deal on digitized back issues: Issue nos. 1–69 for £20 (USD 26.57; CAD 34.79), except issue nos. 3–9 are unavailable for some reason. A total of 61 issues is included. I haven't paid for a kayaking magazine since Sea Kayaker Magazine and...
  20. alexsidles

    Point Roberts, Strait of Georgia, WA 7–8 Nov 2020

    [Cross-posted at alexsidles.com] Point Roberts is an American exclave, surrounded on three sides by water and on the fourth side by the border with Canada. In normal times, the drive from Point Roberts to any other part of Washington State requires crossing the border twice: once into BC at...
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