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Paddle caches


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ever since seeing this thread a couple weeks ago during a search, I've been on the hunt for a kayak or canoe. Sucks they're so spendy. I'll come across one soon enough, can't wait!


You might try a raft, as they tend to be fairly inexpensive. I wouldn't use one on Lake Washington, but on some of the smaller lakes, it might work.

Edited by Dwoodford
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I'm a big guy and don't take care of things very well, so something plastic/rubber(inflatables) would only last me a season or two and then be ruined. I feel something durable like a canoe or kayak would be an investment and last me much longer. I mean, if I run across one for super cheap, by all means, but yeah, gonna wait until this winter and find one for cheeeeeep!

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I'm a big guy and don't take care of things very well, so something plastic/rubber(inflatables) would only last me a season or two and then be ruined. I feel something durable like a canoe or kayak would be an investment and last me much longer. I mean, if I run across one for super cheap, by all means, but yeah, gonna wait until this winter and find one for cheeeeeep!


Ok, that makes sense.

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Sorry, I don't know how to upload photos into the forums yet.


Thing for me to learn next.

(Well after I figure out #@%#@ GSAK)


That's my sweetie in our raft. We stayed plenty dry, but yeah, you do have to take care of it.

We got some lake caches this summer. There are a lot more caches that we can reach by this boat than we are able to get to at this point.


So many caches, so little time.


Eventually I'd like to get a pair of Kayaks too.

In the meantime, we've been having a good time in the raft.

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Hope this is useful to someone.



It sure is. Thanks.


And BTW, I noticed that your bookmark list doesn't include the Blake Island caches. I've been thinking about them again. One of these days.......


Thanks very much.

List has now been updated to include those.


See any more I've missed let me know. I'll be adding more as I go along.

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For those still looking for and entry paddle-craft, Costco has their annual entry into the paddle-world, and it looks like a pretty darn good deal.


$320 gets you the kayak, paddle, foam pads and straps for rooftop carrying. Darn near everything you need, and they've even got PFDs on the next isle if you need one. The boats get pretty good reviews online, and for the price folks look pretty pleased. Heck, the seat-backs look better than our considerably more expensive Old Towns... :)


-- Michael





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I think I'm pretty much stuck on getting a canoe. I'd rather get the kayak, but with two dogs and an occasional passenger, will need to go that route. I've seen a couple decent ones at craigslist, but with it getting closer to summer, getting tough to find a good deal. If anyone here has a green canoe(from sitting) and wants to find it a good home and a future filled with days in the water, please get in touch :blink:

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My thought is to launch from somewhere just north of the Southworth Ferry Terminal. I would take advantage of tomorrow's noon low tide, launching in the morning (maybe 9-ish) and riding the outgoing tide north to Blake Island. Then after seeking the caches I would ride the now incoming tide back south to Southworth.


Anyone here have experience with this trip? Suggestions? Cautions?

Edited by square_peg
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I always launch at a great launching ramp in Manchesterl, (the town not the park). If you look at the finds on the caches for W7WT and Ajetpilot, Bruce posted a lot of pictures. I am no longer able to handle a boat so I sold it. it was a 12 foot boat with a 9 horse Merc outboard. We left Manchester and followed the GPS to a cache at the South end, then went around the east side to the dock and moored the little craft with the dingys. Hiked from there to all the other caches. Have fun and post some pictures. Dick


I checked when we were there and it was August 7, 2003.


Also, I have a beatup plastic lake boat with oars. That I have caught some big trout from in the Eastern WA lakes. It is very unstable, but has a deep keel that makes rowing a pleasure. A couple of wheels on the rear that I used to push through rattlesnake country to some remote lakes. If anyone wants it. You can have it for free. We had a cabin on Lake Cushman and our kids had a ball playing with it. Not a boat for use on the sound or if you can't swim. Probably not worth driving too far to get. It is in East Bremerton. Not a boat you want to take your young girl friend for a ride in. Contact me at my e-mail address. w7wt@comcast.net

Edited by W7WT
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If you want to launch a motor boat from a trailer, Manchester is the best spot with any tide. If you had a high tide, the Harper launch would work, but it's a mud flat at low tide. If you're talking about a canoe/kayak, I'd launch right next to the Harper Pier. There's a 4' high bulkhead, but it's easy to climb and that works at any tide (well, you might get a little wet at high tide). That also gives you the shortest paddle. I've canoed to Blake from Harper many times. You can't park legally right at the pier, but there is roadside parking right by it if contstruction hasn't messed it up. If it has, just go down the road to the little park across from the Harper boat launch. There's a road-end access just north of the Southworth pier, which I've used for local paddling, but I prefer Harper pier for Blake.

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We made it. Found both the caches and hiked around Blake Island. What a fantastic day of caching!!!!! :unsure:


We launched here (Google map). There's room for one vehicle to park here without blocking the gate. Don't block the gate!


From here it's just a little over a mile across the water to the Blake Island South End Campground. There's a trail leading up off the beach at that spot. We found a father and daughter canoe pair camping there.


We planned our trip for a day with a low tide just after our crossing. This gave us a favorable current in both directions. We also selected a day with good weather, high pressure and little wind. We found the water almost glassy for the crossing. We really lucked out with the weather.


The inland water advisory for the area predicted 1 foot swells with winds up to 10 knots. The tidal current, the swells and the winds were essentially a non-factor for this trip. I wouldn't want to do this crossing in a rubber raft under rougher conditions. We were prepared to cancel the trip if we found rough water.


The beach on both sides is barnacled cobble. We had to be careful launching our rubber rafts. I brought beach shoes for launching and dry shoes and socks for hiking once we were across. As we approached the island there was a notable northwest current close to shore. You need to account for this with your bearings (note, the current would be different after low tide).


Once ashore we pulled out the trail maps and compared them to the NW Trails maps on our Garmins. Neither are particularly accurate. We saved our tracks to send in to NW Trails but we didn't map the whole island.


We first hiked up to the Chief Sealth's Birthplace cache. It was a pretty easy hike with most of the elevation gain right at the start. Once there we debated back tracking along the mapped trails and looping around to the Blake Island Summit cache. Instead we elected to bushwack about 600 feet to the other trail. This turned out to be a good idea. The forest was fairly open and a small game trail was easy to follow. That saved us a mile or two of extra hiking. The second cache was as easy to find as the first.


Then we hiked down to the NW corner of the island and followed the island loop trail east to Tillicum Village. We arrived at the village just before an Argosy Cruise boat arrived and disgorged a load of tourists. That was interesting. :unsure:


From their we followed the shoreline trail around the east side of the island and back to the South End Campground and our boats. Total trail hike was about 7 miles. Total water crossings were about 2.5 miles.


We used the tide tables for Point Vashon. We found the actual tide change at our crossing was about a 1/2 hour behind the Point Vashon tide table. As we approached the Southworth side on the way back there was a notable current running to the SE, bringing us to shore a little east of where we were aiming for.


All in all I'd say this crossing is very doable in a modest craft provided that you are an experienced boater and you have planned ahead for favorable tides and weather. Any time you're crossing part of Puget Sound in a small craft there is inherent danger. Keep that in mind and you'll be fine.

Edited by square_peg
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My congrat. for your successful Blake Island Tour. i was impressed with your well planned trip and your obvious seamanship. My first adventure on Blake Island was at the end of WWII we returned from Okinawa some 64 years ago on the USS Poseidon, ARL-12. We unloaded ammo to a barge moored on the East side of the Island. Then we use to camp there a lot before it became a State Park. Kids loved camping on a deserted island. One of my most enjoyable geocaching trips was there with Bruce, Ajetpilot. Bruce is a full

Commander in the US Navy as a carrier pilot. I kidded him saying I never expected to have a full Commander as my deck hand. Thanks for the pictures. I showed the one of Peg to my little boat he thinks he might like to have. All it said was "OH MY GAWD", do you expect me to haul him around. Thanks Dick

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It was great meeting you today, Dick! :P

That's quite the station you have set up there.


And you're getting along rather well. You look like and move like a man 15 or 20 years younger than your age. I guess geocaching keeps you young.


Thanks again for the little boat. It'll get wet soon. :laughing:

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Oregon Coast update.....just wanted to let folks know about the increased interest in paddle caches along the Oregon coast in the Florence to Coos Bay zone. Mackie's caches inspired many of us to get kayaks, etc to hunt his paddle caches and now the area has an ever increasing list of paddle caches. C'mon on down and check'em out!!


I've placed a few paddle-in caches around my area (southern Oregon Coast). Several on Eel Lake near Tugman State Park and one on an island in Coos Bay.







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