Harstine Island, S Puget Sound, WA State


I recently completed a three-day solo in a Fobot Kodiak in southern Puget Sound, Washington State. It was a circumnavigation around Harstine Island, a new area for me.

The trip report is at the WCP forum at:


Sorry for posting a link rather than the actual report, but I don’t want to deal with trying to get all the pictures uploaded here.



Thanks for the trip report!
I love the south Puget Sound. It’s my favorite paddling destination. Salty used to chide me for that, but for me it IS NW paddling. If the San Juans is open blue water with scattered green islands, the south sound is green intersected with blue.

The currents in the whole south sound area are funny and have to be learned. I remembering paddling from Boston Harbor to Hope Island for the first time. Everything was going fine until I rounded Hunter Point and then BAM, I ran into a wall of current. Pickering Passage ebbs north and floods south, the water from Totten and Hammersley Inlets draining that way. I am told (but cannot confirm) that Peale Passage runs north during either exchange.

I enjoyed the birds too. I’m from Monterey so I know most of them from down here. Saw my first Marbled Murrelet off Blake Island, caught Pigeon Guillemots mating (!) on Anderson Island, got the broken-wing routine from a killdeer, and was surprised by a one-bird greeting committee (a semipalmated plover) on Blake Island.

For books, join the WWTA and get the WWTA water trail guide. The best for the area.

Quit worrying about what Salty thinks
and enjoy what you like. Nothing wrong with liking what you like. Harstene is pretty, anyway. I like what I like and make no caveats. BTW, your home waters are pretty cool, whassup with Harsten over Pt Lobos?


I don’t “worry” about what Salty said
so much as I was incensed: If you told me you liked vanilla, really, how could I say you were wrong and that chocolate was better? De gustibus non disputandum est. On the other hand, where Salty lives–the La Conner area–is beautiful in its own right: flat, low, pastural lands punctuated by dramatic rock outcroppings with fir trees and the water right there nearby.

Re Harstein vs Pt Lobos, at Harstein all you have to do is drop your boat in the water and go; at Pt Lobos, you slide down Monastery Beach straight into the wash cycle!