Washington State Kayaking


Just got my new Redfish 14 SOT. Did Blake Island where Tillicum Village is. If you take the ferry and don’t do dinner at the village, it’s $40 roundtrip!!! If I go by kayak that cost nothing a lot next year, it would pay for my kayak, not taking the ferry that’s really meant to bring you to the Native American Indian dinner & show there at Tillicum Village. You can camp too, checked it out for next year.

Did Jetty Island, about 4 miles around in the waters off the city of Everett, great in protected waters seeing herons, osprey, seals.

Also did Hood Head in the Hood Canal. Most trips yeild views of osprey, eagles, starfish, commorants, plovers, & seals.

Finally tried my own front yard so to speak, minutes from my house yesterday on the Puget Sound, and saw herons, schools of small fish, plovers, rock crab, dungeness crab and tons of silver dollars. I managed to finess picking up a silver dollar with my paddle to keep. Those are the round flat shells that have a star design on them. It’s nice to know I don’t have to travel far for a fun day on the water.

All trips mentioned are listed in my paddling book as protected.

Next week, if all the moons and sun and stars are aligned, I will try and do the McAllister Creek in a refuge or the Nisqually Delta next to it. One you kayak out on high tide using two cars to shuttle and one you kayak in on high and out on low.

California (Monterry Trip-Elkorn Slough)

I’ve done this on the Elkorn Slough in Monterry and it was great. Saw seals, baby seals, otters and sea lions. One otter stayed right next to my kayak as he dove down to get shellfish and come up next to me w/his rock on his belly to break open the shells. It was a magical trip.



put in and take out points at Nisqually
The Nisqually/Mcallister Creek paddle is something I’ve thought about for a while. Where do you put in and take out for each? I know there’s a boatramp south of both, but what points east on each river do you use for put in / take out?

Nisqually river
just be aware that there can and will be tribal fishing nets on the Nisqually virtually year around. Sometimes they can interfere with paddling so be watchful.

I missed this post, if you’re still around, the library kayak book I use is back in the library so I don’t have the info, but it does tell you everything you’d want to know if you can get it from your library or look up the info at your book store. The book is:

Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, and Gulf Islands : 50 Trips on the Northwest’s Inland Waters

By Randal Washbourne

I was told to launch at Luhr Beach, pass the mouth of McCallister and proceed to the mouth of Nisqually. You can paddle around there and it’s pretty interesting w/o entering the Nisqually Delta. I haven’t done the trip yet.

You can also put in up the river and kayak down if you have a 2nd car for McCallister. The book details the whole thing, plus is an excellent book, giving you info on whether the trips in the book are in protected, moderate or unprotected waters.


Trip Descriptions
Check this site - you’re love it:


Thanks! That’s a really good site.

I recently purchased a good book “used” from www.Amazon.com called “Kayaking: Puget Sound, the San Juans, and Gulf Islands” by Randel Washburne

It details 50 trips. It’s very easy to read and tells you whether a trip is in protected, moderate or exposed waters or any combination there of.

It’s nice to have at home as a reference. I used to get it from the library.


Randy has a website that has some intersting reading. Take a peek. I learned the history of the dilapidated cabin, the “Hotel Triquet”, that sheltered me for three nights in 2005.


Thanks for the link! That Randy is a real charactor. He flew by the seat of his pants so to speak when he made the shelters and just the way he went cruising around everywhere in his kayak.

His book that I bought is very well written which is why I bought it to keep as a reference.


More than a character…
….he’s a really nice guy. He is one of those people who shaped kayaking in the PNW. Yeah, there were others and every region has them but he did it in a very low-key and humble way. I met him years ago, professionally, but didn’t reconnect until recently when a link to his site was sent to me. It was then that I learned that the first cabin that he built was the very same “Hotel Triquet” that showed up when I was in need of something other than a tent to sit out a nasty 3 day storm. http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2765435790086659951IVNlcl

Aren’t you just dying to read his links of that are “not ready for viewing yet”? There are some serious adventures there that he hasn’t finished writing. I’m thinking that if we contact him via his website he might be motivated to finish them. Topics include:

In Just Thirty Years (not ready for viewing yet)

Some observations about the changes I’ve seen along the wild BC Coast since I started paddling there in 1974. How doing things that seemed innocuous back then have become inappropriate today. The Great Bear Rain Coast and the First Nations jurisdictions.

Moresby Island before Gwaii Haanas (not ready for viewing yet)

1974 - My second sea kayak trip. The southern Queen Charlottes (now called Haida Gwaii). Abandoned villages, sea hippies, and loggers.

South Central BC Coast (not ready for viewing yet)

Adventures between Johnstone Strait and Bella Bella 1976 to present. Kayak Bill and Haddiington John.

North BC Coast (not ready for viewing yet)

Exploring the coast between Bella Bella and Prince Rupert via the western route. The Dead Ed Scenario.

Fast Saltwater (not ready for viewing yet)

Paddling through BC’s most notorious tide races, and some little known ones. Dent Rapids’ hundred-foot whirlpools, camping on Nakwakto’s Tremble Island at 16 knots.

Vancouver Island (not ready for viewing yet)

Around the island in two years. Chased around Cape Scott by sea lions, escorted around Cape Cook by orcas, serenaded by wolves.

Hope I didn’t just break a copy write law but, Damn Randy, you gotta finish that stuff!

We wanna read it!

I kind of got that impression of him, low key. Even though he created shelters, they seemed to be done in a stealthy way w/o impacting the environment.

You go first. Write to him and let me know if you get a response. With all of the topics he left unfinished, he has a lot of writing to do and maybe would rather be out kayaking or doing something outdoors.


I already did…
…and he responded right away. He said that he knowing that someone is interested might motivate him to go back and finish them up.

Write him. He’ll get back to you.

I’ll give it a go and let you know what he says if he responds. I’ll write to him in a day or two. I suppose he has a contact link on his page.


Yes he does

I finally have time to e-mail Randel. For some reason, my e-mail would not go through. I put the “code” in that you’re given. It comes back “wrong code”. I did pay attention to lower and uppercase, so I don’t know why it didn’t work. I’ll have to try again another time.

I stopped in an outdoor store, I think it was in Tacoma. The man (forgot his name) there also wrote a book, but more of a pamplet on Puget Sound trips. I asked if he ever met Randel Washbourne and he said that he did and that the man was not really kayaking anymore. I kind of felt like I would be prying to ask why since he didn’t offer up the info automatically.


I tried it again and it went through.


I don’t know…
…maybe for the same reasons I don’t fly hanggliders anymore.

After nearly 30 years it was just time to do something else. I still lurk on the HG websites though.

Same Here
I was thinking that he may have taken up another outdoor activity. I had a motorcycle for a few years, didn’t use it as much after a while, then sold it. I went back to hiking/camping, then added in kayaking which is perfect since some trails here don’t defrost until July. It’s great to fill that void w/kayaking.


Reply From Randel
I received a nice letter back from Randel Washbourne. He said he is not doing as much kayaking anymore but still does other outdoor things as mentioned in his stories on his website.

I told him I bought his book and have enjoyed it and found it very useful, easy to read, etc. He thanked me and that’s about it.


If you are planning a trip…
…to an area that Randy has been you should consider PM-ing him for advice. He has a ton of info in his head and has been to many specific locations that you might want to visit. His experience, insight and willingness to share can prove really valuable

It’s a nice thought, but I don’t know if he’d want to take me on as his new best friend, lol:)

I’m so new to kayaking and his book has so many doable trips, meaning in mostly protected waters, that I’m good for a long time.