Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paddle Log #24: Port Gamble, WA

Back in Virginia, I normally followed the 120-rule for kayaking.  The 120-rule states that the air temperature plus the water temperature have to add up to at least 120F in order to go kayaking without cold weather gear like a wetsuit.  The 120-rule is generally satisfied from around May to September there.

Not here.

Looking at the historic water temperatures around here, it's typically in the 50s, so it requires some pretty warm air temperature (above 70) to meet the same 120 rule, and that doesn't seem to happen all that often, either.  I think maybe about a month from mid-July to mid-August.  I picked up a book about kayaking in the Pacific Northwest, and I noted in the introduction that they refer to the 100-rule.  Mmm-hmmm.

MWR here at Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) offers a lot of great outdoor activities.  Actually, I think they call it Fleet & Family Readiness (FFR) here.  Whenever I go kayaking someplace for the first time, I prefer to go with someone else who has been before and is familiar with the area and the hazards.  The Pacific Edge Outfitters on the Bangor Sub Base offers everything you could possibly need to rent for any outdoor recreation.  They also have regular organized trips, like a Wednesday night paddle.

That's another odd thing about Kitsap versus Virginia...  the time of sunset.  We're so far north in latitude here, it's 9:30 p.m. and I can still see orange sky above the Olympic Mountains out my family room window.  Combine that with the fact that the warmest time of the day tends to be in the late afternoon when the sun has burnt off the fog and clouds, and it makes for some pretty nice evening kayaking.

Last night, my boys and I went with the FFR Wednesday evening paddle to Port Gamble.  Each of these Wednesday night paddles have met up at Pacific Edge Outfitters at 5 p.m. and plan to be back to Pacific Edge around 9 p.m.  We met up there and caravaned up to Salsbury Point Park just north of the Hood Canal Bridge.

Suit up!  On the beach at Salsbury Point Park
getting ready to head out onto Hood Canal.

This was the first time kayaking for the boys this year.  I was glad that my younger son's rain pants still fit.  My eldest son has outgrown his rain pants, but his kayak has a lip that is able to use a kayak skirt, so we used one of the kayak skirts from Pacific Edge Outfitters.  It did a great job keeping the water out of ES's cockpit and he was very pleased to stay dry and comfortable from start to finish. 

YB seemed dry and comfortable for the duration of the evening, too.

Paddling on Hood Canal north of the bridge.
(Hood Head in the background)

From Salsbury Point Park, we paddled east along the shore past the small town of Port Gamble and around the old lumber mill.  The Port Gamble Sawmill was the oldest mill in the country when it closed down in 1995.

We had a very nice paddle around the sawmill and back.  We saw one bald eagle on top of the sawmill, a couple of bluejays and guillemot pigeons, plus 3 harbor seals.  We looked for a family of otters that supposedly live to the south of the sawmill, but we didn't see any.

My youngest son took this photo of the bald eagle on top of the sawmill.

Heading back toward the Hood Canal Bridge.

Stats for the paddle log:
  • Date: 27 July 2011
  • Time In: 6:03 p.m.
  • Time Out: Approx 8:09 p.m.
  • Elapsed:  2 hrs 6 min
  • Moving Time (GPS): 1 hour 56 min
  • Stopped Time (GPS):  10 min
  • Mileage (GPS): 4.28 miles
  • Sea State: 1
  • Winds: 5-10 kts NW
  • Air Temp:  68F dropping to 62F
  • Water Temp: 60F
  • Current:  Slack water at beginning, rising to 0.4 kt flood current at 1900.
  • Gauge Height:  N/A.
  • Avg Speed (GPS):  2.2 mph
  • Max Speed by (GPS):  5.0 mph
  • Rapids?  None. 
  • Hazards?  Wake from passing boats, chop from the wind.
  • Kit: Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL (my youngest son and I), Perception Acadia Scout (eldest son).  Ballcap, NRS paddling gloves, short sleeve shirt, NRS paddling pants, neoprene booties.  Youngest son wore his rain pants and NRS neoprene socks.  Eldest son had outgrown his rain pants from last year.  He wore swim trunks and his NRS neoprene socks, but he used a skirt from Pacific Edge Outfitters and it kept him dry.  He complained he was getting cold about half way through, so he put on his jacket.  I brought both boys' jackets in the center storage compartment of my kayak.
  • Configuration: YB in front, me in the middle seat.  ES in his own kayak.
  • Route:  Put-in at Salsbury Point Park, east around Port Gamble and back (see Garmin Connect below).
  • Other comments (such as wildlife spotted): Bald eagle, blue jays, guillemot pigeons, seagulls, 3 harbor seals.

1 comment:

Sam S. said...

I know this is a bit delayed (still catching up from the move) but looks like your crew is living up the outdoors in the PacNW. Love the pics of the boys in the kayaks...enjoy! (we really miss ours)