July 27, 2019 – The boys dropped me off at the beach in the charming town of Langley, Washington (southeastern end of Whidbey Island). I launched and paddled up the eastern shore of Whidbey. The forecast called for 15-20 knot northeast winds in the morning which would buck up against the incoming tide from the south.
That forecast had not materialized when I launched at 9 am. In fact, the first hour and a half was delightful. Boat traffic was lite and stuck to the other side of Saratoga Passage next to Camano Island. The only traffic on my side was an assortment of skiffs, one stand up paddle board, and a couple of smallish fishing boats; all of these vessels were on checking their crab traps of which there were a large number pretty much the whole length of shoreline I paddled today.
My plan was to paddle from Langley to Oak Harbor, about 22 miles. At around mile eight the wind picked up to about 15 knots and stayed there for the next half hour. The wind waves were not really an issue, but I didn’t feel like bucking that headwind for another two to three hours. I was just offshore from a public beach, so I landed at mile 10 and called Uncle Sidney to see how far away he was. He happened to be only seven miles away.
He was there in 15 minutes and we loaded BABS onto the Saab and returned to Oak Harbor where I spent the remainder of the day finalizing my paddling/camping plans for the southern shore of Strait of San Juan de Fuca. I also spent time reading more articles about kayaking Cape Flattery. I really wouldn’t mind having someone paddle it with me. Any takers? The tides this week aren’t bad for that paddle (low slack in the morning so you can see more of the rocks and before the wind picks up).
Highlights of the day include a harbor porpoise or two in the bay next to Greenbank and several dozen Bonaparte gulls “talking” with each other in their raspy voices. They are uncommon back home but not so much in these parts.