San Juan Info

Will be going on a 7 day sea kayaking trip to the San Juans in mid-September. What type of weather should be expected OR is it just extremely unpredictable?

Anything I should particuarly take in lieu of the destination? I have paddled for several years now, always along the east coast and southeast rivers and lakes.

Any info is appreciated.

Bobby Centers

Augusta, GA

The weather in the Pacific Northwest is
very unpredictable. Generally that time of year you can count on it being warm and dry during the day, and cool at night, but you should still prepare for rain. The water will be cold (about 50 degrees) regardless of what the air is doing. Preferably you will be with someone experienced in the area. The currents can be extreme and are very complex. It is important to understand the timing of the currents which frequently appear unrelated to the tides.

in addition to the San Juan Islands
cross the border and visit the Canadian Gulf Islands. Friendly people, good beer, less populated, near Victoria.

Safety gear
Bobby, I’m planning a beginner trip in the Port Townsend area, a little south of the San Juans, also middle September. I was up there in 2004 for the WCSKS, and the weather was as marciat stated.

You may already have these things covered, but:

I wouldn’t go without some combination of wet or dry suit. I would also want someone in the group to have a VHF radio for up to the minute weather reports, and emergency communication.

You can download Coastal Explorer Trial, and download nautical charts separately (or buy the full CE package). You also get access to tide, current, and pilot book information.

There’s a great book titled “Deep Trouble,” about kayaking mishaps and lessons learned, mostly off the coasts of Washington, B.C., and Alaska. Many of the mishaps included failure to recognize weather deterioration, getting caught in steep waves and strong currents, lack of protection against cold water emersion, and inadequate signaling devices.

Paul S.

Check out the book
"Northwest Marine Weather" by Jeff Renner, a local NW TV weatherman, kayaker and sailor.

The san Juan Islands Afoot and Afloat
by Marge and Ted Mueller