Terry Anderson’s KLOG
Jun 17, 2006
12:30 PM – 4:00 PM
High tide: 9:17 AM Low tide: 3:54 PM
Skagit Bay and Similk Bay, Puget Sound, WA (near Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands).
Launched from Ala Spit (aka Ben Ure Spit), a county park and Cascadia Campsite
3:30 hours, 12.6 miles, 3.6 mph average (3.1 knots), 6.7 mph max (by GPS)
This was the maiden voyage for my new Eddyline Falcon S18 kayak (yellow)
From the spit I traveled around the south and east sides of Hope Island (a state park) and saw a pair of Black Oystercatchers that made a raucous noise when I neared. I then went north to the opening between Klickit and Skagit Islands and on north into Similk Bay. I followed the eastern shore to the extreme north end of the bay and into a small extension Turner’s Bay. I had a very narrow and shallow entrance with far more tidal lands than the map showed a small open area near the end that had many heron and other water birds.
I returned partly along the western side of Similk Bay but then crossed to east shore to avoid a long log boom anchored, extending nearly across the bay. A little south I sited two harbor seals about 100 yards ahead. Since it is illegal to approach marine wildlife too closely, I prepared to go around them but they dived and a few moments later surfaced very near me, then dove again surfacing on the other side of me. They repeated this. Then I sited one ahead and wondered if it was one of the two, but it seemed far from where they’d been. Later I saw four heads above water at one time, so I know there were at least four of them. Two surfaced within 20 feet of me and then later one only five feet away – I could have touched it with my paddle. Once when I had not seen them for awhile I looked over my shoulder and notice they were just a little behind me. They continued following me for over 20 min and over a mile.
I explored the north shore of Hope Island including the moorage and then crossed to the north end of Ala Spit. After looking to see if there were herons in the lagoon behind the spit (there were only gulls) I explored the shore north a little and then returned to Ala Spit to end the trip. While unloading my kayak, I noticed a bald eagle sitting on a rock near the shoreline only 50 feet away (the closest I have ever observed one).
In addition to the Oysercatchers, eagle and seals, at various points along the route, I saw herons, cormorants, and gulls.
* If you have Google Earth installed, you can double-click on the attached Placemark file and it will fly you to a location. If not, you will need to install Google Earth first (available at http://earth.google.com).