Chuckanut Bay (May 17, 2014)

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chuckanut_bay_coverConditions: Day Paddle
Gear: gear for a day paddle
Map: SeaTrails WA005 Lummi Island/Bellingham and Samish Bays
Area: Bellingham
Reference:
Stats: 7.18nm (8.26mi round trip)

I needed a second paddle to "graduate" from the EMSK (Everett Mountaineers Sea Kayak) class. My first was Skagit & Hope Islands. Ginger sent out an email to the students and mentioned this trip..something about it being scenic. OK...I'm game. I didn't expect what we did see..

We met at the Wildcat Cove Boat Launch (Larabee State Park) just south of Bellingham. Some minor shuttling of gear and boats down to the water. By about 10am we were ready and launched. Water sloshed up and over the boats...I recall someone saying something about careful of the water here...raccoon poop is known to foul the water....niiiiicce....

We paddled north hugging the rocky coast. Nice homes up and down the coastline. HUGE homes! The forecast had called out cloudy and 50% chance of rain and 1' waves so I was surprised to find it dry and waves < 1'. We continued north and rounded Governors Point. We took our time paddling...hugging the rocks and seeing hundreds and hundreds of starfish. There was one big sunflower star just below the waterline and right after snapping off one photo...my camera battery died. I'd forgot to charge it up the night before.

We headed north across the bay to a small cover where there were "palm tree" fossils. Well maybe not palm trees or fossils but there were an interesting way for the sandstone to erode. From this small cove we headed south to Chuckanut Island. We got spy hopped several times by seals. They must have an underwater superhighway because Chuckanut Rock was off to our left (no landing permitted here and you have to keep your distance...200yds?). We rounded the west side of Chuckanut Island and pulled the boats in on a small sandy beach (only there during low tide) for a nice lunch spot. This was an awesome lunch spot! Lots and lots to see here. Clams under the sand spouting little mini geysers. Lots of interesting sandstone formations. The marine life was incredible and having Virginia name all the unknowns for us was a real treat. It's amazing the tings you'll see when you stop and slow down... Some of what we say were starfish, anemone, red crabs, decorator crabs, brittle stars, sea cucumbers, chitons, small mud crabs, leather stars, a sea lemon... This place...the entire bay...absolutely wonderful. I'd return here any day just to slow down again and look for small treasures...

From the island we took a roundabout way south of Chuckanut Point and did more exploring in Pleasant Bay before we headed back over to Governors Point and back to the boat launch...at low tide...just meant we needed to walk the boats further back to the car!

Great day! Amazing day. I'm really thankful to Ginger for organizing and leading the trip and also to Virginia for opening my eyes to all the interesting little sea creatures we found.
 
Chuckanut Bay Slideshow

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