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  1. alexsidles

    Deception Pass Challenge 2021

    A write-up of the event in 48° North, a local sailing magazine: Alex
  2. alexsidles

    Hein & Salmon Banks, Strait of Juan de Fuca, WA 6–7 Aug 2022

    [Cross-posted at] The spring of 2022 had been a red-letter season for gray whales. Not only had I found gray whales on my usual whaling grounds in Possession Sound, I had also encountered them off Kalaloch and Cape Flattery on Washington’s Olympic coast, and even a lone gray...
  3. alexsidles

    San Juan Island to Portland/Rum/Sidney/D'Arcy

    Ah, you even said so up-thread. My apologies. I'll leave my post up just in case future readers need to know the secret to snagging a San Juan Islands ferry reservation during summer. Alex
  4. alexsidles

    San Juan Island to Portland/Rum/Sidney/D'Arcy

    I almost forgot the most important part: make your ferry reservations right now. Washington State ferries makes reservations available in three tranches: one prior to the start of the season (already long passed), another two weeks prior to the sailing date (which is today for your August 22...
  5. alexsidles

    floating? VHF radio recommendations

    I’ll insert John Abercrombie’s standard warning so he doesn’t have to! USB-chargeable handheld radios only draw 3.7 volts, as opposed to the 7.4 volts that is standard in non-USB radios. Using half the voltage means the USB radios must deplete the battery’s amperage twice as fast to achieve the...
  6. alexsidles

    San Juan Island to Portland/Rum/Sidney/D'Arcy

    On Stuart Island, the hike out to the lighthouse is not to be missed. Along the way, you’ll get a glimpse of real island living, including the one-room schoolhouse. On Jones Island, the nicest campsites are in the large, southern cove, out on the enclosing arms of the bay, especially the...
  7. alexsidles

    James Island, San Juan Islands, WA 30–31 July 2022

    [Cross-posted on] In our latest family adventure, my dad and I paddled my kids, Maya and Leon, out to James Island for the weekend. 00 Route map. The fee for overnight parking at Washington Park has increased to nine dollars per night, cash only. The route from the mainland to...
  8. alexsidles

    Delta 12.10 vs. Boreal Baltic 120

    If you’re in Seattle, I think you can just go to Northwest Outdoor Center. They sell and rent Deltas. Alex
  9. alexsidles

    Whidbey Island, north Puget Sound, WA 1–4 July 2022

    [Cross-posted at] Over the Independence Day weekend, I circumnavigated Whidbey Island, a route of some ninety-four miles (150 km). To hit the east-setting flood in Deception Pass, I would need a pre-dawn start Saturday morning. I drove up to Bowman Bay on Friday evening to camp...
  10. alexsidles

    Skagit and Hope Islands, Skagit Bay, WA - Kayak / Camping - May 2022

    I think Paul's trip with raccoons was to Hope Island south, whereas David's trip without raccoons was to Hope Island north. Having camped several times on each, I can say there are, indeed, tons of raccoons on Hope Island south, but there don't seem to be any on Hope Island north. Alex
  11. alexsidles

    Triangle Island, Cape Scott, BC 16–21 June 2022

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Andrew, this trip was only possible because I had such good luck with the wind. The difference between the fifteen-knot headwind on Friday (Helen to Lanz) versus the five-knot headwind on Sunday (Lanz to Triangle and back) was huge. Besides luck, the other...
  12. alexsidles

    Triangle Island, Cape Scott, BC 16–21 June 2022

    [Cross-posted at] Triangle Island is the most remote island in BC, excepting the islands of Haida Gwaii. Haida Gwaii hardly counts as remote, though, in light of the thousands of people who live there, with their cars and ferries and planes. By contrast, Triangle Island has not...
  13. alexsidles

    Leaving a "duration" note on your car dash - good idea or not?

    Paul, Overnight parking is a nightmare in the San Juans. The guidebooks are no help, because most authors show parking without specifying whether it is overnight parking. The fact is, there just isn't much overnight parking available. The North Beach road-end isn't posted with any parking...
  14. alexsidles

    Sucia Island, San Juan Islands, WA 11–12 June 2022

    [Cross-posted on] Hey, it's my 500th post! Long live WCP! At last, our schedules aligned with the weather, and we were able to take our first kayak-camping trip as a complete family: Rachel and me, and Maya and Leon. With its gentle beaches, protected waters, and wide open...
  15. alexsidles

    Jones Island, San Juan Islands, WA 14–15 May 2022

    [Cross-posted on] Late spring is one of the best times to visit the San Juan Islands. By mid-May, most of the warblers, flycatchers, and swallows have arrived. The seabirds have largely departed, but the ones that remain are all in their spectacular breeding plumage. The days are...
  16. alexsidles

    Questions about Bear Canisters

    In Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, they have a rule about bear canisters: “Keep a clean camp. Store food and any scented items in bear resistant food containers at least 100 yards from your campsite. Do all cooking and eating in the intertidal zone at least 100 yards from your campsite.” On...
  17. alexsidles

    Wingehaven, central Puget Sound, WA 30 April–1 May 2022

    [Cross-posted at] I’ve been taking my daughter, Maya, camping since before she was three years old. My son, Leon, turned two years old in April. To celebrate, I took him on his first-ever kayak-camping trip, along with Maya. My wife, Rachel, wasn’t able to join us, but my dad...
  18. alexsidles

    Kalaloch, Olympic coast, WA 16–17 April 2022

    [Cross-posted at] One of my favorite parts of Washington State is Kalaloch. Here on the western edge of the Olympic Peninsula, Highway 101 bends close to the ocean shore. Every couple of miles is some new scenic overlook, with long sandy beaches to explore. As is true of most...
  19. alexsidles

    Possession Sound, north Puget Sound, WA 9 April 2022

    [Cross-posted on] The sounders are a small population of gray whales that pause their annual springtime migration to loiter in Possession Sound. While most gray whales proceed directly from Baja to Alaska, the sounders spend several months foraging for ghost shrimp in the inland...
  20. alexsidles

    Cape Flattery, Olympic coast, WA 27 Mar 2022

    Thanks, Doug. I always hope these trip reports inspire other people to do trips of their own. If you like sea cave pics, here’s another Cape Flattery trip report from three years ago: Remember: high tide, low swell, gentle wind. Alex