A big thanks to the Olympic Peninsula Paddlers for having Fidalgo Paddlesports come out to Sequim for an Incident Management Training. It was a pleasure to work with the 17 paddlers who took part and grow our collective awareness and skill sets together as we analyzed real world incidents, explored the traps leaders fall into when making decisions, worked on our rescues and recoveries skill sets and refined our judgement in this fun and interactive day!
We appreciated everyones involvement and personalities, great questions, contributions and the atmosphere we created of challenging our perceptions of on-water leadership and how to create safety in all that we do. We hope you were able to learn something from the experience and feel inspired to keep the learning process happening to become ever more capable risk managers.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with your paddle club. We hope our paths cross again soon!
A really, really pretty place out in the San Juans is the Wasp Islands!
We launched from West Beach Resort on Orcas, which charges a small fee to launch and park overnight but at least you know your vehicle is secure, plus knowing there’s an ice cream sandwich when you return at their store waiting for you is always a pleasant way to end a trip.
We ventured out into the President Channel and rode a nice ebb of nearly 3 knots right down the middle to Flattop Island, which is on the way to exactly nothing. We set a goal sometime back to kayak around every named island in the San Juans, so no matter how far removed or out of the way once you get started on a goal like that you start making the effort to get out to the far away ones you’d have no real reason to visit. Lots of seals, bald eagles and possibly a golden eagle. Some of the coolest geology on the islands cliff faces I’ve seen in the San Juans. Made our way to Jones Island that night which has a couple really nice campsites, about 3 miles of hiking trails and running water.
Next day we made a journey over to Deer Harbor, and then through Pole Pass and Wasp Pass, visiting a number of the Wasp Islands until we got to Yellow Island, which was a real treat. Some hiking, flowers in bloom and seals hauled out on the beaches made it worth the visit alone, but the cool thing was the caretakers cabin built in the 1800’s with drift wood, trees milled on site and reclaimed parts of wooden ships. The fireplace reminded me of an Adirondack style lodge fireplace with a bedrock hearth, massive in scale and made from cobblestones. Porthole covers as windows, floorboards from ship planks and old hemp rope used to construct the cabin, there were little details everywhere for those interested in that sort of thing.
On our last day we eddy hopped against the current back up the west side of Orcas and found an actual message in the bottle! Check out pics of our paddle, the Yellow Island cabin and the message in the bottle from Aubrey in the pics below.
What a lovely time we had this last week on our trip out to Sucia, Patos and Matia.
We left from North Beach on Orcas Island and made the crossing to Fox Cove on Sucia which was our home for the next four days, camping on a nice little bluff overlooking the water with beautiful sunsets each night over Patos. Being a midweek paddle, we had the islands somewhat to ourselves at times.
The next morning we made the crossing to Patos and enjoyed a nice little tour of the lighthouse before completing our journey around the island and traveling back to Sucia, with a nice paddle around Sucia as well. Third day it was over to Matia!
We saw more otters, eagles and seals (with their pups!) then I’ve seen on any paddle trip in some time. The skies were clear, water calm and wind low which made for the best paddle conditions. Thanks to Steve, Jim, Deborah, Doug and Paul for the fantastic company.