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Sucia Island

I haven’t posted in over a year but I’ve been doing things! Mostly I’ve been out hiking and kayaking, and in September I started riding horses again. I may or may not fill in the past year, but for now, here’s the 3 day trip from this week. I’ve been hearing about kayaking trips to Sucia Island (north of Orcas) for years now and I finally got to go with NSSKA.

The entire island is a state park and can only be reached by boat. There is no ferry service to the island. Most people arrive by motor boat, and we saw a few professional tour groups while we were there, but we made the 2 mile crossing after first visiting a Cascade Marine Trails campsite at Point Doughty.

Our original plan was to stay two nights and explore Matia and Patos islands, but forecasted high winds convinced us to return after only one night. We spent our second night at Moran State Park, paddled two of the lakes there, and went for a hike.

Arriving at Fox Bay Camp
Looking back at our campsite from a hiking trail
Some of the views around Sucia
Hike around the island
Fossil fish on Sucia
Sucia, Patos and Matia islands from Orcas
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Larrabee Park South – Kayak Trip Report

This is from April 26, but I’m just updating my blog now. We launched from Larrabee State Park and paddled south. We had a bit of wind at the start but that soon died down and on our return it was glassy smooth. We seemed to have encountered a nude beach and another good resting point that was occupied so we kept going until we found ourselves in what looked like a commercial oyster bed, so we exited that quickly and started on our way back. What we did find that was interesting was a rock carving (I assume modern) and a bunch of wind-sculpted Chuckanut sandstone. Overall I found the paddle south to be not as interesting as going north, but it was a good day to be on the water.

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Wrecked Ships

I mentioned the abandoned ships north of Jetty Island recently and discovered that a friend had never noticed them before.  They were sunk to try to divert water in the channel back when ‘they’ were trying to turn the Snohomish south to make Everett a freshwater port.  That failed, but the ships remain.

I took these photos 2 years ago when I paddled out to see them with a friend.

Jetty Island

Paddling among the ships

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Random musings and even more soap

I’ve been doing all sorts of exciting outdoor adventures, but I haven’t brought the camera so, alas, I cannot share.

I got my kayak out to a new lake and did a 6 mile loop at a leisurely pace (and got a sunburn because of that classic reason: it was cloudy out).  And for my birthday I got some kayak toys – hully rollers to put the kayak on top of the car (which I can now do by myself!) and this cool deck compass.  It’s probably overkill, but I have ideas about leading some short expeditions between islands and it seems like a good thing to have for that.  Right now I’m just playing with it.

My youngest daughter has been afraid to ride her bicycle ever since she fell onto the bar hard a year ago. In the last week, she went with her dad to a bicycle repair shop, where, apparently, they worked some sort of magic by showing her how bicycles work and letting her ‘repair’ one.  She is now super enthusiastic about riding. She still will only try to ride her own, older bike, that’s too small for her, but she completed an 11 mile ride with the family WITHOUT COMPLAINING.

This warranted an ice cream reward and we’re going to plan more small and easy trips with fun things at the end to encourage more.

The mango-lassi soap cured out somewhat tan in the ‘white’ areas – apparently it contains some vanilla – but it still looks good and is ready to ship out.

And then yesterday I made a new soap “Man Candy”!  The scent is actually called “Blue Sugar” and is described as “masculine cotton candy” but that was too much for my friends to remember and so it is now Man Candy.  I did another in-the-pot swirl and I really like the way it turned out.

And I cleared some space in the chaos that is my garage – so now I can mostly walk through it.  That’s progress.

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Seascape Kayak – Quick Update

Using the right tools and some WD-40 I managed to get the rudder apart.  Here are the metal pieces that need to be straightened.

And here is the critical central plastic piece that holds the rudder to the boat and allows the blade to slide up and down.  It’s seen better days.  I’m going to see if my Maker friends can cut a new one or if we need to purchase it from the manufacturer.

I’m currently researching the deck cording to see if I can do better than $.50 per foot.

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Broken Kayaks – Before

I made soap this week, but I haven’t taken pictures of it yet – those will come later. Instead, since we had a rare patch of sun today, I decided to repair a crack in the cockpit of my kayak and have a look at the free one donated to our club a few weeks ago.

The repair of my thigh brace went well – the company sent me a plastic patch to lay over the top (it’s a 14′ Delta Kayak, made from a lightweight ABS plastic) and some epoxy to hold it in place after a bit of sanding.  I love my Delta.  It weighs nothing (45 lbs), it has unique ‘gas-pedal’ style rudder pedals, a surprising amount of bulk storage, and a snack hatch!  It’s just fun to paddle.  I’m not entirely sure how the thigh brace cracked.  My guesses are either that I jumped into it too abruptly launching from a rocky patch into a quick-moving stream or something to do with my 13-year-old son.

The donated kayak is a 21 foot fiberglass tandem. A “Seascape 2” by Northwest Kayaks. I’ve seen them used by a lot of touring groups in the area. It had been stored upside down under a hedge for many years and the rudder was broken off. Today I went to see what we were up against.

All the bungee needs to be replaced and I had to pry/cut off two rotten pieces of wood that had once been used to mount an outrigger.  Fixing the outrigger holes and maybe some new gel-coat should do it for taking care of the body.  I don’t trust the hatch seals, but I’ll test those when I get it into the water.

The rudder needs the most work. The blade is bent and the plastic parts are cracked or broken completely in half so it is no longer attached to the boat

These are my ‘before’ shots.  I hope we can either replace or manufacture all the parts we need to get this rudder working again, and get the whole thing cleaned up – it’s filthy.


A shot of the 2 kayaks side-by-side.  The 21 foot tandem makes my 14 foot long sea kayak look like a toy.

The patch job on my Delta’s thigh brace.