Sunday, August 12, 2012

Paddle Log #28 Belfair, WA

It was a spectacularly gorgeous weekend here in Kitsap County.  We took advantage of the rare combination of me being home, having the day off, and the nice weather to get our kayaks in the water for the first time this year.  Two places have been on my "places I want to paddle next" list - the Dosewallips Nature Preserve across Hood Canal off of Dabob Bay, and the nature preserve near Belfair at the very end of Hood Canal. 

I opted for Belfair this time since it was a shorter drive.  Low and behold, there was some sort of town festival going on in Belfair that had the main road we wanted to take closed and caused bottleneck traffic on all the side streets to get around it. 

Even so, things worked out pretty well.  We stopped at a little country-cooking type of local place, Pat's Little Red Barn, and picked up some lunch to go.  We took it down and ate lunch on the picnic benches at Belfair State Park.  The food was excellent and the setting couldn't have been much better.

Belfair State Park was a nice place with campgrounds, picnic areas, public restrooms, showers, and obviously beach access.  I was a little surprised that on such a beautiful Saturday, the parking lot here wasn't more than about 10% full.  It does cost $10 per day to use the park or $30 per year if you buy the Washington State Discover Pass.

It's about a hundred yards from the parking lot to the water.  The entry was smooth round rocks and pebbles, so not too hard on the feet.  It's a very shallow incline, and I could see people walking out in the water another hundred yards off shore, so I imagine at low tide it would be a bit longer walk.

We brought water cannons this time, and the resultant water battle between our two kayaks came with big smiles and deep dimples.

My gunner returning fire.  We had a little bit of an advantage having one person to paddle while the other manned the water cannon.  I was pretty proud of my eldest for how fiercely he was alternating between paddling and shooting.  It kept him distracted.  He paddled for 41 minutes before deciding to take a break and ask for me to hook up our tow line.

We took a break from the water war and tried to keep the noise down while we paddled around the nature preserve.  The waterproof doodle pad proved a hit again.  Here my son is drawing a picture of the two of us in our kayak being eaten by a shark.  Lovely.

On the way back, I handed the camera off to my eldest.  This was his photo from the receiving end of our barrage. 

The water was pretty warm (73F) and shallow, so the boys opted to get out and swim in about the last hundred yards to the beach.

My youngest had put up a stink about not wanting to go kayaking, but my wonderful wife offered him the choice of kayaking with Daddy or helping Mommy clean his room.  He quickly decided to go with me.  In the end, standing here on the beach, he declared, "This was fun.  We should do this more often." 

Stats for the paddle log:
  • Date: Saturday, 11 August 2012
  • Time In: 1:00 p.m.
  • Time Out: 3:10 p.m. (based on time-stamps on my camera)
  • Elapsed:  2 hrs 6 min (based on GPS)
  • Moving Time (GPS): 1 hours 58 min
  • Stopped Time (GPS):  8 min
  • Mileage (GPS): 3.25 miles
  • Sea State: 0.
  • Winds: 7-10 kts NE
  • Air Temp:  75F climbing to 81F
  • Water Temp: 73F
  • Current:  None.
  • Tides: Started on a flood.  High Tide was 9.5 ft at 3:08 p.m.
  • Avg Speed (GPS):  1.6 mph
  • Max Speed by (GPS):  5.1 mph
  • Rapids?  None. 
  • Hazards?  Not much.
  • Kit: My youngest son and I in our Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL, and my eldest son in his Perception Acadia Scout.  Flop hat, NRS paddling gloves, short sleeve shirt, swim trunks, Keen Newport sandals.
  • Configuration:
  • Route:  Put-in at the Belfair State Park and paddled northeast toward the nature preserve in Belfair.  
  • Other comments (such as wildlife spotted): 5 Great Blue Herons, lots of ducks and geese.

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