Boat, sunrise and Cascades on the second morning out of Banbridge.
The Camp Cat.JPG
This cat woke us up at Fay Banbridge State Park. She was quite friendly.
Jordan pulls the boat just off Indian Island to escape the current ripping through the channel.
Rowed right up to down town Port Townsend. Rowing up to this Victorian town felt like going back in time.
This big guy lay on the beach on Dungeness Spit. He was huge.
On the other side of the spit were fifty or more harbor seals. They came over to our side, they were curious animals.
Greg using the boat as a windbreak on the exposed spit to grab a bite.
The lighthouse the evening of the third day on Dungeness Spit.
Sunset on the Spit.
Greg cooking dinner on the beach in the small wind shadow of the boat.
Woke up that morning to the Elephant seal scooting towards us. He stopped once we stood up and went to the water.
Crab on Dungeness.JPG
On the spit with the Olympics in the back ground.
Our mascot for this trip was Pokey the Triceratops.
Rainbow off Clallam Bay.
Greg with rain soaked laugh before we headed in to dry ourselves at the small fishing village of Sekiu.
A fisherman overlooks Clallam Bay at Sekiu.
Jordan rests a bit after rowing through kelp off of Neah Bay.
Greg and Jordan pose for posterity upon reaching Neah Bay.
A small jellyfish dances among the Kelp.
Rock formation off Flattery. Reminded us of Easter Island.
A small trawler off of Tatoosh Island.
A large jellyfish swims next to our boat in the Pacific Ocean.
Fog closes in on us the first day in the ocean. Greg sets a course on the GPS as land is no longer viewable.
A small sunfish took advantage of the calm and basked in the fog filtered sunlight.
Same sunfish let us come right along side for this shot before our company got old and he swam away.
A heaven of sorts.JPG
For whatever reason the calm water and the setting sun made we wonder if with this is what the gate to heaven looks like for watermen. I tried not to dwell on this.
The din of roaring Sea Lions was overwhelming and could be heard for miles from the group on this island.
Swells were long and low, choked down with kelp, still troughs of waves revealed rocks like gentle breaking whales. We kept rowing through the night as we could not see a safe place to land through the fog.
Sunset was still spectacular in the fog. We rowed through the night to La Push.
Greg and St. James Island - the fortress rock that guards the small town of La Push from the Pacific.
One of many Pelicans that flew off of Destruction Island.
Greg and I rowed the boat ashore just north of the Queets River.
Jordan and our Crayola color drybags from sealine after we landed through the surf.
Our boat and the sunset from our camp in the driftwood just north of the Queets.
A half hour made a huge change in the color of the same sunset. It was cold on the coast.
Greg studies the next days charts to Gray's Harbor. Nature had other plans.
Our boat sits on the shore waiting for us to bring her out beyond the breakers.
Greg guides the boat in what looked liked breakers we could fight.
It wasn't this wave in particular that got us, the the three more right after that flooded the cockpit of the boat. We changed plans after this.
That night the Pacific tossed this stump like a chew toy a few yards from us and our boat above the tide line.
We thought the other stump was big, this is a mammoth left by another storm.
Another example of the oceans power. Something had to put it here.
The Mouth of the Queets. Found out later that the Makah Tribe had just made it past the breakers in a canoe after 60 years of trying. Made us not feel so bad for having to change our rout.
Greg runs back after checking a fork in the river. We took the other one.
The Queets just up from the mouth. This was the start of our detour to Hoquiam on Gray's Harbor. It was a prudent and safer option.
We start our row up the Wishkah to Lori and Scott's place. They own Bottomsiders, the boat pad company that outfit our ocean rowboat.
A boat, not unlike ours on the Chehalis River bottom. We were blessed with better luck.
We camped at a turn in the river that produced a comfortable island for the night. The river rock was good to sleep on.
On our island were freshwater mussles, some nearly four inches long. Some animal had been eating several of them as shells were all over the beach.
Getting out and pulling, pushing and prodding the boat became commonplace as the river gained in elevation and ceased be affected by the tides.
Despite passing through much farmland the river still had plently of room for Black Tail Deer.
Greg continues our row upriver, rowing was becoming more rare.
Our first portage that involved clearing all the gear out of the boat.
A shot of moving water.
Greg cooks breakfast on a secluded bank.
Jordan helps pull the boat through a narrow section choked by logs from flooding.
Clouds like these always seemed close with their thunderheads as we made our way to the mouth of the Black River.
Our boat and the last daylight clouds at our last camp on the Chehalis.
Again, a half hour and the sun was a different hue of pretty.
I suppose overuse broke this oar.
Greg cuts a supple branch to become the brace for the broken oar.
Jordan carves the branch, enhancing its already curved shape to fit the face of the broken blade.
Once again strong string proves important for Jury rigging. The brace was tied to the blade.
Ready for action.JPG
The oar was then wrapped in vulcanizing tape followed by Gorilla tape. This mended the oar for the rest of the trip.
These great looking animals showed little to no interest in us.
Up the Black.JPG
The river continued a back and forth game of rowing and pushing.
The black river rock is where the river gets its name. It is punctuated by these brilliant plants that grow among them.
Checking the rout.JPG
As the river narrowed and the path became more confusing the GPS became more important.
These blue flowers first appeared at the start of the Black River in small clumps. Here we pushed our boat through them.
After following two forks in the river and having resigned ourselves to another pick up a call to our navigator David Burch sent us down this small rivulet and a cow pasture.
Now was the time our dry suit use got serious. We were now in and out of water that seemed to get colder as we got nearer to the source.
The path continued to Narrow. We had no idea what we were in for.
The trees closed in on the river. We only knew where to go by following the flowing water. This picture was taken after I hacked a path through with the machete.
Once past the over growth we had a short while of un-choked stream with tall grass on each side. Our footing was slick clay.
Our largest dry portage. A quarter mile back to the main stream.
To get the boat over land we emptied the boat. We striped down and got behind the stern. Pushing as hard as we could over the grass got some distance between five and fifty feet.
Once back in the main stream we riverboated along for a bit.
Merrily we paddled along, it was quite wet.
That night we spent dry and cool under and overpass. Our last mile had been rowed. I blog about the day while Greg cooked dinner.
That next day we were certain we would make the lake. How long could 2 to 3 miles of swamp take?
This picture does not do the angle justice.
Greg is not holding the back down. This is just the angle of the boat to get around a fallen tree. It was a slow lesson to learn that no problem existed in this swamp that could not be cured with a machete and some grunt work.
The Lilly pads were huge. Thick stocks beneath the surface allowed us to use our feet to feel from stock to stock as we made our way through the maze of pads, reeds and thicket.
This shot was taken out of the waterproof camera housing. I'm not sure which one I like more. All I know is I am no Bogart and Greg is no Hepburn.
We spent an extra day in the swamp. Day two covered a half mile in eight hours.
This was really quite a moment for us. There were tears and gesticulations of the celebratory sort.
We leave the swamp. Tired but satisfied. The last 300 ft of the swamp was a thicket, not even a hint of a main channel.
Our knuckles were pretty chewed up after days of moving a boat upstream and through swamps. Rowing 12 hours a day is much easier.
North of Black Lake is a canal that took us three and half of the five miles to Capitol Lake and Budd Inlet.
This is where the Canal out of Capitol lake ran into Percival Creek - unrowable - instead we pushed the boat a mile and half down a rail road track - also unrowable.
Took two hours to push the boat on railroad tracks to get here. Almost broke my leg and I think I'll lose a toenail.
Rowed through the night to get to Devil's Head in the south sound.
Got a good shot of the sunrise before I passed out for three hours to catch the next tide.
The Tacoma Narrows bridge was the final goal before Gig Harbor.