Inland Kayaking Day Trip

Very sore and sunburned but I’m back.  I had considered kayaking out to one of the islands in the Puget Sound but my lack of experience with tides and currents, as well as not really knowing my limits I decided for something a bit more modest.  With the help of my sister, I put in at the northern end of Lake Washington near the mouth of the Sammamish River, with the intent of making my way down the western shore and into the Lake Union area and finally disembarking at the Ballard Marina, roughly 16 miles overall.

Most of Lake Washington was glassy and windless when I started out at 8:30am.  The northern end of the lake was surprisingly shallow and long tendrils of aquatic plants were easily visible until I’d make my way a hundred meters from shore.  Mount Rainier was out in excellent form (photo below).  I had very little company except for passing a guy on a rowing board heading in the opposite direction (hellos exchanged).

Along the way, I passed Magnuson Park where there is a water front dog park where several people were out playing fetch with their canine companions. I hung around briefly to retrieve and pitch back some balls that had floated out too far.

As I got closer to the 520 bridge the nature of the water changed quickly.  The water go much choppier and the head wind started to pick up making kayaking require a bit more effort.  A floating rest meant actually loosing ground, so I was committed to continual paddling from this point forward.  I also started to encounter recreational craft at this point, mostly skiers and a few sailors.

At the University of Washington and the Totem Pole, I started to see a few folks tooling around in kayaks, but mostly sticking to the local area.

Once in the canal, I started encountering larger motor cruisers, several of which pretty blatantly ignoring the speed/wake laws. This is pretty common among the status-symbol boat owners, so I expected it but still resent the behavior.  There were quite a few folks out along the banks taking in the sun on their lunch breaks.

At this point, I was pretty stiff and the last of my sunscreen had been sweated away (I’m feeling both today), but only one major obstacle left.  A very large cargo ship being serviced had blocked the waterway to half its usual width and created some pretty intimidating currents from its engines.  The later of which knocked me around pretty badly.

Finally, reaching the Ballard Marina after five hours, I crawled out of the kayak and gave my legs a much needed stretch.  My sister gave me a lift back home (was not up to marching through Ballard sweaty, crisp and beat).

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3 Responses

  1. What an awesome trip, glad you shared the pics…

  2. jenni says:

    sounds like an awesome day!

  3. Mystech says:

    It was lovely… though I’m paying for it today. 🙂

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