Summer = more frequent and longer trips for the club. In an effort to explore as much as the Puget Sound as possible, I've been trying out each leg of a northward paddle from Shilshole/Seattle. It starts with a short-ish paddle from West Point in Discovery Park, heading north to Shilshole. I've paddled from Shilshole to Carkeek, Carkeek to Richmond Beach, from there to Edmonds. The next logical step is Edmonds north to Mukilteo.
The thing about Seattle/north-central Puget Sound in the summer is that usually the winds blow from the north. The only exception seems to be when new weather is arriving or when I'm trying to plan a big trip! So, instead of Edmonds to Mukilteo, I reversed it - Mukilteo to Edmonds - for the extra wind push in the right direction (in theory).
That crazy thing on the front of my kayak is a downwind sail. I was counting on the north wind to give me a little extra push on this trip because it is a longer one - a little over 9 miles. Well, it went from north wind (yippee!), to no wind, to south wind (not yippee) to no wind. It wasn't too bad, but there wasn't enough for the sail - oh well. Note that in the Northwest winter the wind on this trip usually blows from the south.
It's a pretty straightforward paddle. You've got Edmonds in sight as your destination in the distance. This sometimes breaks down newer kayakers - you basically paddle at the same spot for the entire trip. In my Innova Helios II, with two paddlers, this trip took about 3 hours from Lighthouse Park in Mukilteo to the Edmonds Marina. Sights along the way? You've got Whidbey Island on your right, mainland on your left, a cool earthen beached ship along the way, and Meadowdale Beach Park about halfway for break-time if you need it.
Despite many signs about not diving near the Edmonds ferry terminal, there aren't any about what kayakers should do when approaching. Paddle around the giant ferry that could leave at any moment or sneak quickly under the docks? We went with the dock option with no problem except the ferry attendant reminding us not to do it again...
After the Edmonds ferry terminal and fishing pier you'll arrive at the marina. It's a very congested marina, especially the entrance/breakwater, so be careful coming in. After you enter, head south and you'll see the fuel and guest docks. We pulled right up to an empty guest slip and got out and packed up our gear without hassle. If you keep going past the marina there is a nice beach to land. There's even a beach before the ferry if you don't want to go around. There's restaurants here - a nice place to break if you were heading farther south.
Like I mentioned before, this trip took about 3 hours (in our inflatable) and is best paddled downwind (aren't all trips better downwind?!). The next step in my northward travels? Probably Mukilteo to Camano Island! Or maybe in reverse if the wind actually blew the way it was forecast!
~Paul & John (& Captain Wifey in the support car:) ETC
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