We sold a power boat and bought a used tandem kayak instead. This turned out to be a great choice. Little-by-little we have improved our equipment and skills, and are still really enjoying the kayaking hobby:
Snohomish River: Mar 26
7 miles From Riverside Park.
Lake Union: April 2
7 miles From Gasworks Park to the Ballard Locks and back.
Lake Washington: Kirkland: April 9
8.3 miles From a Kirkland water front park around Hunts Point and Yarrow Point, and back.
Sammamish Slough: Mar 16
15 miles From Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington via Sammamish Slough. We were capsized!
Lake Washington - Mercer Island: May 7
7.25 miles From Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island across Lake Washington to Meydenbauer Bay and back.
Mercer Slough: May 14
10.7 miles Around in Mercer Slough, Lake Washington near the Slough's bay.
Flowing Lake & Lake Roesiger: May 21
8 miles Circumnavigated Flowing Lake. Done too soon, so we looked on the map for another. Lake Roesiger was a little bigger. Went around it too. First really nice day of the spring, so many people were at their cabins - friendly greetings.
Spada Lake: May 28
12 miles Spada is the water supply for Snohomish County, so it has restrictions on boating. No development except the dam at the west end. Only two water access points. Many stumps to avoid. One section of pollen on the water looked like a stream of gold dust on the surface. Went around the east end. One supply river was glassy clear; delicious. Watched a Bald Eagle in a tree near above us, another raptor eat a fish it caught. Must return!
Lake Sammamish: July 23
8.1 miles Around south end of lake.
Lake Stevens: July 30
6.3 miles Circumnavigated the lake.
Everett-Snohomish: August 6
16.7 miles From the Everett waterfront up the Snohomish River. Many (13) Osprey nests on harbor pilings. Up river to where it splits around Spencer Island. Down river on its north side. Harbor seals (including a nursing pup). Back out to the Puget Sound. By the beached wooden boats acting as a breakwater. Stop off at Jetty Island Park, then back.
Deception Pass: August 13
6.1 miles From Bowman Bay on the north side of the pass along the coast almost to Telegraph Bight. To Deception Island, and back.
Sammamish Slough: Sept 10
4.5 miles Up river from Bothell until the water was too shallow to pass.
Lake Sammish: Sept 18
5.8 miles Around the north and west end of the lake.
Lake Washington - Seward Park / Mercer Island: Oct 1
7.2 miles From a park near Ohlers Island, around Seward Park, across to Mercer Island, and then north. Re-cross to the point of Seward Park, then around Andrews Bay, and back.
Total 2011 = 130 miles
Lake Washington - Magnuson Park: Feb 5, 2012
8.9 miles Map
Started late for a winter day. The air warm and calm, but the water was cold. When we turned around at the 5 mi mark, the wind had picked up. Chop big enough to slop over the boat at times and leak in on us. Both of us were cold, but the exertion helped. Heading into the wind all the way back, pulling hard. Beautiful sunset over Seattle at 7 mi mark, but that meant the light was fading. Pulled up to lighted dock at dark.
Sammamish River: Feb 20, 2012
10.4 miles. Map
Upstream on the Sammamish River from Kenmore. Lake Washington water level continues to be low. Working against the current would ensure a return that could be relaxed. Saw lots of birds: seagulls, Canada geese, Mallard, Merganser, Buffleheads and other ducks, Coots, Kingfishers, Cormorants, Red-wing Blackbirds, a Blue Heron, and Bald Eagles (20 ft above us in a tree). Just before Woodinville, the river became very shallow and fast, so we turned around. Peak speed of 7 mi/hr there.
Lake Union: Mar 24, 2012
4 miles. Map
A short trip to re-start kayaking habits after some other things prevented it. Always interesting to see the houseboats and stuff here. First time to go all the way to the south end of the lake. An overwhelming quantity of moored boats, including monster yachts. Had purchased new spray skirts (they worked well), and a new PFD (personal flotation device: too tight; couldn't breathe well!!). First warm spring day. A little wind and chop. Enough sun to notice our faces were reddened afterwards.
Sammamish River: April 1
Windy day with chop on Lake Washington, so we went up the Slough. Two weeks ago the Lake was 1.5 ft low, now it is right full; the river is fast and swollen. Shallow water was impassible near Woodinville on Feb 20. Deep enough this time, but very fast. At the most difficult place, we were in an all-out sustained sprint to crawl up-river. When we paddled down through that section we hit 8.6 mph/hr! Saw a muskrat.
Nisqually Wildlife Refuge: April 7
Started at the end of a negative tide. The whole of the river delta area was exposed mud flats. We had to go out into the bay to circle around them to the Nisqually River mouth. The tide flood advancing toward the delta could be seen as a sharp line of darker clear blue water. It was visibly and audibly rippling as it came in - just like a babbling brook all around us. There were many birds! Heron, ducks (many varieties), geese, and eagles (bald and golden). We went up the river until the current became too fast. When we came back down, the flats were covered in water, so we could cross them directly. Even though it appeared that we were out in the Puget Sound again, for a long time the water was fresh. It was only slightly salty as we neared our exit.
N. Lake Sammamish: April 14
8 miles Map
Started from Idlywood Park. Went a little way down the Sammamish river, but not so far as to repeat last year's adventure. ;-) Fun to watch the off-leash dogs playing at the water-access areas. Looped around the N side of the lake by all the wetlands area adjacent to Marymoor Park. Down the E side, then across. Houses with elevator trolley cars because they are at lake level, but the road is ~100 feet above. Relaxing outing in the sunshine.
Lake Cavanaugh: April 21
7.8 miles Map
Initially we had planned Spada Lake, but that was closed for another month. Glass-smooth water, incredible mountain views to the east. Beautiful sunny day! When the boys were younger, we had visited the larger island with our Sea-Doo jet boat as a guest of the owner. Eclectic mixture of tiny cabins with large new houses.
Lake Washington - Union Bay: April 29
6.3 miles Map
It was unusually quiet in the Washington Park Arboretum waterway because the 520 bridge was closed for construction. Airplanes were the biggest noise. Saw and heard an exceptional number of birds. More than a dozen herons. Saw crows chasing redwing blackbirds; redwing blackbirds chasing crows. Four beaver lodges and one beaver that slapped the water and dove away from us. Turtles swimming underwater and also sleeping on logs. Visited one of the freeway sculptures and visited the bridge mid-span. A very pleasant paddle.
Lake Washington - Medina: May 6
Toured the Medina waterfront of Lake Washington. Lovely sunny day. Many exceptional lake-front properties.
Spada Lake: May 12
Water level high but not full. Calm until evening. Beautiful snow on mountains. Went roughly all around the lake. Saw a deer, a bear, and a scruffy coyote. The water from the east-end river is transparent, cold and delicious. Paddled into wind and mild breakers on the return.
Lake Washington - Union Bay: May 26
4.3 miles Map
Paddled together with Andrew and Bethany (canoeing) around same route of Union Bay as on April 29. (Route recording started late.) Greatly increased water lilies. Blooming yellow wild irises in the wetlands. Many herons. Lots of boat traffic in Montlake canal when crossing to the Arboretum. Ate lunch on Foster Island. Such a great time with A&B!
Everett Waterfront: June 2
8 miles Map
Went around Jetty Island. (The island is a bird sanctuary at its ends.) North to look at the sunken ships. (Such big timbers they used when they made wooden ships more than a hundred years ago!) On the west side of the island is an enclosed calm water area. Many, many birds to watch: bald eagles, herons, sand pipers, starlings, etc. Ospreys, terns and others were fishing: they would hover at 30 feet then dive straight down into the water. Wow! (Again,) Best paddle yet. :-)
At the island's south end is the Navy base, and I had intended for us to tour near the ships. However, a rip caused the water to be quite rough for our boat and we didn't stay. We did OK, but it was scary for Melanie and intense for me. Calm again at the island breakwater.
On the way to stop off at the island, an osprey dive-bombed, caught a fish and carried it to its nest. The wind had picked up off-shore. Many kite-surfers were out.
Lake Washington - Renton: June 30
9.9 miles Map
Rain squall came up just after we left. Hardest rain yet while out in the kayak. Very pleasant. Up the Cedar river between Boeing and the runway until it suddenly was too shallow. Melanie grew up here and was surprised by the changes to the parks on the lake. Expensive houses as usual by the water, but more eclectic. Herons, several Kingfishers. Watched a heron fly down to snatch a fish.
Concord River - NY: August 4
5.3 miles Map
Rented Kayaks at Concord. Paddled with our friends David & Mary. The Sudbury river becomes the Concord. Very gentle river, warm sunny day, big trees on bank for shade. Under the historic Old North Bridge. To the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Got out to see the Lotus flowers. Returned.
Lake Washington - North End: August 22
16.9 miles Map
Perfect weather: sun, calm with light breeze, clear water. On vacation, so unhurried trip. Fish & chips lunch stop in Juanita. So many big houses! :-) Bald eagle, osprey.
Lake Whatcom - South End: September 3
10.2 miles Map
Beautiful day. Put in at southwest point. Wind and chop (with some white caps) from north. (Not disconcerting - we must be getting more comfortable.) Enjoyed the undeveloped shoreline.
Total 2012 = 141 miles
Lake Washington Arboretum: March 24
4.7 miles Map
A restart after a period of time when Melanie's shoulder had been hurting. As usual, the birds are numerous and fascinating.
Sammamish River: April 27
16 miles Map
From Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington. A repeat of the trip in Mar 2011 when we were capsized. Portaged around the weir: the dogs at the off-leash park were confused by people coming up on land where they go in the water. The trip was good, but took longer than we thought. Quite windy and choppy at Lk Wa; harder to get out with waves slamming against the logs. Tired. :-)
Union Bay: Mar 24
Loop around bay from UW aquatic center.
Sammamish River: Apr 27
Janae dropped us off at Lk Sammamish. Portaged around the weir at Marymoor. Two poodles were confused by us getting out of the boat. Trip was longer than we remembered. Some head wind and rollers on Lk Wa when we were already tired. Boat heavy to get onto car.
Lk Union & Ship Canal: May 27
Loop around lake, to locks and back.
Everett Puget Sound: June 2
From Everett almost to Tulalip Bay. New dry suits, sun quite warm. Looked at the old wooden ships and local birds. Stopped on N Jetty Is. on return.
San Juans: June 17-21
Guided trip with AKT:
Day 1: Orcas to Sucia: lunch. Sunny. To Patos: camp. Lighthouse and sunset. Rain overnight. 6.5 mi
Day 2: Return to Sucia: lunch on a curved beach. Forgot to put on my sunglasses. Around to camp at Fox Cove. 8.6 mi
Day 3: 3-day group returned. To Matia: lunch at Eagle Cove. Concern about weather change for return to Sucia. S. 9.4 mi
Day 4: Some wind (from S) and rain. Circumnavigation of Sucia. Very interesting sights. A bit of surfing with Greg in the tandem returning to camp. 7.5 mi
Day 5: Break camp and return to Orcas. 3.4 mi
Bainbridge Island: June 30, 31
Put in at Suquamish boat launch to Faye Bainbridge Park. Camped in a water trails campsite (inexpensive).
Lake Union: Aug 3
Loop around lake.
Burrows and Allan Islands: Aug 2010.5 miles
Around the Islands. Visited lighthouse on Burrows. Mostly had current in our favor down around Allan. Visited CMT campsite on Burrows. Fast currents N of Is. - 9mph peak.
Lk Sammamish N.: Oct 26
Loop around N end of lake. A bit into Sammamish river.
Total 2013 = 110 miles
Lk Wa & Juanita Bay: Feb 1
7.1 miles, tandem
OO Denny to Juanita, across to Magnuson, and back.
Camano Island: Feb 21
9.5 miles, tandem
Stayed at Cama Beach for our anniversary. S from park to Elger Bay and back.
LaConner & Swinomish Channel: Mar 22
10.2 miles, tandem
From LaConner, portage over breakwater, in Skagit Delta, around Goat Is. Lunch by log booms. Visited old gun emplacements: heavy with mossy vegetation. Up channel by LoConner and back.
Deception Pass & Ben Ure: Apr 13
7.9 + 2.6 miles, tandem
Stayed in Ben Ure cabin. Through Canoe Pass, around Deception Is. to Burrows Bay. Back through Deception Pass - currents picking up speed. Avoided whirlpools.
Next day observed significant surf though Deception. Canoe Pass when tide slowed, but pushed though some rollers. Returned at full slack.
Golden Gardens & Discovery Park: June 5
8.2 miles, tandem
From Golden to Discovery. To Ballard Locks entrance & return.
Lk Union & Ship Canal: Sept 20
12.1 miles, tandem
Big loop around lake, to locks and back.
Mukilteo: Oct 5
5.4 miles, tandem
N from ferry dock. Boring along train tracks. Snacked by private park.
Alki & Duwamish: Oct 11
13.4 miles, tandem
Some wind from the south, so whitecaps off Alki Point. Turned back there. Surfed some of the rollers. Fog hid Seattle. Rain so heavy the water looked like grass. Took break at put-in. Up Duwamish. Under bridge of fishermen.
Sammamish River: Nov 28
3 miles, solo
First time in my new kayak: fantastic boat. Briefly up river after dark. Three times a beaver slapped water beside me.
Lake Union: Nov 29
6.9 miles, solo
UW aquatic center through arboretum. Portage in arboretum due to fallen trees. Quickly dark. To Lk Union and back. Explore by a few houseboats; sheltered mirror-smooth dark water and reflections of two-story houses gave illusion of flying. Dry suit sleeve freezing on car roof after take out.
Ship Canal & Puget Sound: Dec 6
15.8 miles, solo
Through the Ballard locks to the Sound. I learned kayaks go in locks last. Kayaks also aren't high enough above the water to avoid diesel fumes. Through Shilshole to Golden Gardens. Winds from the S made surf-able rollers. Heard a kayaker call for rescue on the marine radio. I saw an ocean bulk carrier stop to help. Wind in my face all the way back.
Lake Wa: Dec 26
5.2 miles, solo
Practice and exercise. Accidental dump: self-rescue didn't work, went to shore.
Sammamish River: Dec 28
3.9 miles, singles
First outing in Mel's single. Upstream until she was tired.
Total 2014 = 111 miles
Lake Wa: Jan 4
12.4 miles, solo
From Kirkland to the south side of 520 bridge. Evening. Wind from S made almost 3ft waves. Worked on surfing skills. A marina of barges on N side for bridge construction. Parked behind one in still water for the update with Alan. Followed the shore back by all the big houses.
Lake Wa: Jan 10
14 miles, solo
Still, misty day. Big loop down around 520 bridge and back. Only saw one other boat out. Dark before 520. Observed crows flocking in flight (like starlings). Later gulls wheeled over me for 10 min. Long crossing of lake to take-out. Shore lights subdued, misty air in face, water smooth like old plate glass. Very very quiet; loudest noise was my paddling. Meditative experience.
Lake Wa: Jan 11
7.8 miles, tandem
Loop through arboretum, around 520 bridge from UW. Briefly surfed a slow boat wake. Impressive construction footprint: barges, floats, cranes & etc. Tandem seems heavy and large after single.
Lake Union: Jan 24
5 miles, singles
Practice outing for Mel. Looking at houseboats. Stop-off at wooden boat center. Showed boats to a couple.
Everett: Feb 1
10.2 miles, solo
By Navy ships. Sea lions on navy floating fence. John Glenn, Aiviq ships. Got dark. Around Jetty Island. Some surf-able low rollers. Tide so low I had to portage by derelict wooden ships N of Jetty. Fast river current with glassy surface.
OO Denny Park: Feb 8
1.6 miles, singles
Practiced rescues together. Lunging onto the back deck, then straddling the kayak seems easiest. Cold water on the head is startling and intense.
Lk Wa - Juanita Bay: Feb 14
5 miles, singles
After replacing Melanie's back rest, the trip was quite comfortable for her. Beautiful sunset.
Lake Sammamish: Feb 22
5.8 miles, solo
A loop around the S end of the lake. Up Issaquah Creek until completely blocked by fallen logs. First time wearing distance glasses on a paddle - it is nice to be able to see. Calm water, beautiful sunset.
Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington: Mar 1
14.7 miles, singles
Shuttled ourselves with our two vehicles for the one-way trip. Met a family of 5 in a canoe before the Marymoor weir. The portage around the weir was tiring without wheels. Too many tennis balls to count downstream of the dog park. Rafted together and did the update with Alan & Katie by 60 Acres. Got dark around Woodinville; stopped at Wilmot Park; 7 MPH peak speed afterwards. Through Bothell the crows were flocking; they were like a moving ceiling of birds. The whole distance is familiar now, but I still forget how long it takes. Drove back to pick up the van after dropping the boats at home.
Black Lake: Mar 7
5.1 mi, solo
Forgot hat, bright sun. Goal to get around the lake in 1 hr - almost made it. 4.5 mph average speed, sometimes 5. Experimented with rotating hips by legs - new power. Quite tired (sleepy) that evening.
Lake Stevens: Mar 15
7.6 mi, solo
Raining, misty, quiet. Saw a river otter. Met another kayaker and briefly talked. Good outing.
Lake Quinault: Mar 19
8.5 mi, singles
Raining, misty, some small rollers. Nice to see a shore not fully developed. Eagle, heron, maybe otter, no mallards. Pleasantly tired.
Puget Sound, Carkeek Park - Kingston: Mar 22
22.4 mi, solo
From Carkeek Park across Puget Sound, then up to Kingston. Winds 10-15, seas 1-2 ft. Some rollers to surf. Watched Victoria Clipper returning. Very clear water on West side: shells, sand below. Did update with Alan & Katie along shore. Short break at Kingston, then return. 5 mi crossings. Wind in face all the way back. Sunset at middle. Poss whale surfacing in distance. Bumpy water, boat performed beautifully. Dark to see park location; used illumination of passing trains to see walking overpass. Quite tired.
OO Denny to Kirkland: Mar 28
6 mi, singles
1-2 ft rollers from S wind. Mel did great! Stopped at Waverly Beach Park before return.
Tulalip Bay to Kayak Point: April 4
16.7 mi, tandem
Sank in muck getting into the water. Winds 10-15, seas 1-2 ft. Surfing going N, some 3 ft rollers. Lunch at Kayak Point. Cross to Camano Island: smoother water, but headwind the same. 4.5 mi crossing back. Saw harbor seals and birds (new one: surf scoter) out in the middle. Both tired.
Lk. Wa: Seward Park and Mercer Is: April 11
6.7 mi, singles
Wind gusts to 25 mph. Planned a route in lee of land, and traveling down-wind to minimize wind effects. But, along Mercer the water was unexpectedly active: crests almost breaking, seas to 3 ft. Melanie handled things well, but was stressed. Pulled into a park for a break; she decided she had had enough. After a snack I crossed back to get the car and then pick her up.
Port Orchard to Blake Island; April 18
19.3 mi, singles
Put in at Waterman Pier. Rode tide through Rich Passage. Water upwellings act weird! Stopped at Manchester St. Park, looked around. Harbor porpoises on way to Blake; waited until gone. A bit choppy when crossing to island. Lunch onshore. Wind died for crossing back to Rich passage. Rode tide back through again.
Lk. Wa: Seward Park and Mercer Is: April 26
8.8 mi, singles
Repeat of route from two weeks ago with much less wind. South around Seward Park, across to Mercer, North under I-90, across the lake in the lea of the bridge, and back. Nice day, fancy houses, no unusual wildlife, but lots of waterfowl.
Lk Wa north end; May 11
4.5 mi, singles
Clockwise loop around north end of Lake Washington from Sammamish River. Some south wind producing surf-able rollers.
Lummi Island, Puget Sound: May 16
22.2 mi, solo
Circumnavigation of Lumi Island with a WKC group. Sixteen boats launched from beside the ferry terminal, against the wind down to the DNR campground. (Very nice campground.) This was my first trip with an established group of kayakers, so I was pleased to see that I stayed near the front of the group much of the time. After rounding the south point, it seemed like the wind died away, however, we were picking up speed in the building flood tide. Stopped at Lummi Rocks for another break. Impressive wall of trees up the side of the island. Some tidal rips to play in. 7 mph up Rosario Strait. One more stop near the north end. Current in Hale Passage for the return was mild for the crossing.
Spada Lake: May 25
13 mi, singles
Invited a neighbor to kayak with us. Lake nearly full. Clouds down to the hills around the lake. A beaver slapped water at me. Around the whole central lake. We all had great paddle.
Blake Island, Puget Sound: May 29 & 30
12.1 mi, singles
Started late from West Seattle (after 8PM) because of various delays. Beautiful sunset while crossing. Light winds, but some rollers that were unsettling to Melanie. As we approached a log boom that was being towed, the turbulence was concentrated, then the waters behind it were flat. Moonlight on the water, very calm by the island, smells of the trees and land. Set up camp at 10PM. Lots of raccoons foraging on the tide flats. Walked to Tillicum Village after breakfast. Very nice return crossing.
Lake Wa, OO Denny to Kenmore, June 14
6.8 mi, singles
Beautiful sunny warm day. Mild headwind and chop (mostly from the many boats). No dry suits today: more cool, but without the benefits of staying dry, however the water was warm. Hurried back for the update with Alan.
Whatcom Lake, June 20
5 mi, tandem
Before a picnic birthday party for Mom Grove, we went around the north end of Whatcom Lake. Had to get an invasive species boat inspection, and Melanie took a 1/2 hour course (to get the fee waived). Sunny, some breeze, but mild water. Gave rides to Mom, Cami & Eli. Gave lessons to Jeremy Hoos, Andrew & Bethany.
Lake Washington, June 28
7.4 mi, singles
Explored near the 520 bridge (which was close for construction) and the UW waterfront. Clouds covered the hot sun of recent. Busy to cross the boat traffic regions. The heron in this area are plentiful and unafraid. Saw an eagle nest (with large chicks). Invasive water plants were quite extensive for the time of year.
Cypress Island, San Juans: July 24-26
38 mi, singles
Guided trip by AKT, with Andrew & Bethany in tandem
Day 1: From Anacortes downtown, around E side of Guemes, lunch at N point, to Pelcan Bay site on Cypress. Hike up to Eagle Pt. Good rain overnight. 12.5 mi
Day 2: Around W side of Cypress to Strawberry Bay. Bethany liked rollers. Some headwinds - tired group; lunch. Return around Strawberry Is. with wind at back. Dinner. Night trip to Cone Islands and bioluminescence; otter under Mel's boat. 13.9 mi
Day 3: Pack up and return on W side of Guemes to Anacortes. 11.6 mi
Marrowstone Is, Puget Sound: Aug 1
18.5 mi, singles
Camped the night before at Fort Flagler State Park: beautiful sunset, played flutes on beach.
Circumnavigation of Marrowstone Island: Met WKC & Meetup group at causeway S end of island. Dragged boats N through shallow stream to water. Our leader Aaron was an enthusiastic character! Noisy birds on spit at Marrowstone N. Lunch at Ft. Flagler waiting for tide change. Wind and tide helped us the 2nd leg E of the island. Stopped at CMT campsite at S. Last segment against some wind & current. Good trip, all tired.
Deception Pass, Aug 25 & 27
20 mi, single(s)
We camped the week at Bowman Bay with Austin & Janae:
25: After I gave rides to the grandkids around the bay, I went out around Deception Island, and back. Just after high tide, I kayaked to the pass and played/practiced around the outlet of Canoe Pass, and up in Deception Pass. Could not go farther than Pass Island. 9.5 mi
27: Mel & I gave boat rides to the g-kids, then went N along the coast about 2.5 mi. That rock wall is very interesting. Again after high tide, I went to the pass and worked in the flow. At on point I crossed from still water at the side into the full flow, but was not prepared, so I went over. I don't yet have a roll, so I wet-exited, drifted out of the pass and self-rescued. Then I went back and practiced what I missed. It is fascinating to study the turbulent flows and learn what the water is doing. 10.5 mi
Port Susan & Stillaguamish River, Sept 7
13.8 mi, singles
Launched from Kayak Point after a picnic lunch. Extremely calm in the bay. Saw seals on way to mouth of river; lots of gulls, some herons. River quite slow just before high tide; some fishermen. Exited the river through an alternate channel of the delta. At least halfway back, the water wasn't fully salty. Also, because the bay is shallow, the water was pleasantly warm for being the Puget Sound.
Lake Washington, OO Denny Park, Sept 12
1 mi, single
Went out to practice self rescues. Another rec kayaker asked if I was OK once when I was out of the boat. :-) Couldn't do rolls. Noticed the tension of a pounding heart as I readied to roll into the water. Progressed to righting myself consistently with a paddle float. Noticed I was more calm then. Very fatiguing work. It made me mildly dizzy, and the effect persisted for a while.
Lake Washington: Kirkland waterfront, Oct 2
5.5 mi, singles
Joined a MeetUp group for an easy paddle into the evening. Started with 5, but one dropped out. An interesting group of people. Ate afterwards together at a grill nearby. Great conversations.
Lake Washington: SE side of Mercer Is, Oct 25
9.2 mi, singles
Loop from the E side, across to Mercer and to the S end, cross back and return. Beautiful, calm day. Stopped at a park to do the update with Alan - sitting at a picnic table in the rain in our dry suits.
Lake Washington: Seward Park and Mercer Is, Oct 31
10.2 mi, single
Same route as in April. From Sayers Park to Seward Park against the wind, across to Mercer Is. Up to I-90, across the lake in the lee of the bridge, and return on the west side.
Winds had caused small-craft advisories on the Sound but they seemed to die when I got to Mercer, and I was going to be disappointed. They picked up big time by the bridge. I'm sure it was 25 mph at my back as I did 7, surfing in the rollers. I was thankful for the windbreak of the bridge. Only 1 boat & 1 windsurfer.
Outer Commencement Bay loop, Nov 21
14 mi, singles
Meetup group of 7 interesting people: Launched into modest wind and chop, so crossed to Vashon Is, then to Point Defiance. Beautiful mountain views; sunny but cold. Traveling sea lions surfaced fairly close (huge animals!). Tide was high so had trouble finding a park in Tacoma to land and eat. Had to keep moving to stay warm out of the boat.
Lake Union loop, Dec 24
6.5 mi, single
Around the lake, exploring urban water views again, through sunset. Not as many people at home, on boats or as many Christmas lights as I would have expected. I pretty much had the place to myself.
Lake Washington: N. loop, Dec 28
12 mi, single
Kenmore to Sandpoint and back; sunset midway. Training for my following trip. Remembering how to pace myself.
Lake Washington length, Dec 30
23 mi, single
Kenmore to Renton: Put the boat on the van the night before. Significant frost on it that melted after I left Kenmore. Light wind mostly in my favor, but sun in my face all day. Wildlife: only common birds. Beautiful changing views of snow covered foothills, Cascades and Olympics.
Put in at Sammamish River boat launch. Briefly stopped at St. Edwards to loosen my skeg. Took a break at Magnuson Park. Observed the 520 construction. Stopped for a hot lunch at a Madison Park restaurant. On to Seward Park for a final break. Sunset. Arrived at Coulon Park.
My phone died (freezing cold). Melanie not already waiting for me, so I changed out of my dry suit and got something warm to eat at the (serendipitous) Ivars. After I warmed up my phone it restarted (with 1/2 battery), however Melanie found me at the same time. Tired, not sore.
Total 2015 = 354 miles
Lake Washington: E of Mercer Island, Jan 30
8.8 mi, single
Loop from I-90, Meydenbauer Bay, to Mercer & back. Directly into wind and waves crossing to Mercer, then still water in lee of island. Few ducks and geese. Pretty sunset. Fancy houses!