How to Social Distance Puget Sound Style

You don’t think of sea kayaking as the tool for virus busting but it may be just the perfect tool for social distance.

Social Distance Outdoors

I’m not sure what to make of this health crisis we find ourselves in. I watch the daily news and I’m shocked by the actions of those that seem to find some justification to ignore the advice of our health experts. How hard is it to social distance or wear a mask? How is it our constitutional right to kill others? You have to shake your head at the stupidity, but that’s for another time and place to address.

Luckily we still have the outdoors and can enjoy it responsibly. Most of the trails, beaches, and areas we enjoy exploring are off the beaten path with us rarely crossing paths with others. Now we just carry a mask to slip on if we do hear someone coming down the trail.

The real challenge seems to be keeping repetition from dulling the experience and with that in mind, we pulled our long-neglected sea kayaks down from their storage, cleaned them up, and tried to remember how to secure them on our vehicle for the drive out to our local put-in on the South Puget Sound.

Wild and scenic rivers

wild and scenic rivers project a huge success

As a team, we more than tripled the amount of data to date. We’ve received 573 completed surveys from 91 rivers this year, compared to 183 surveys from 41 rivers in 2020.

We’re proud to have been a part of this effort! We’re working on articles and videos so stay tuned. 

Ketron Island

For this inaugural paddled we wanted to keep things short and close to home. For that, we decided to head to one of our old haunts Ketron Island.

This small wedge-shaped 220-acre island has always had an interesting history for the south sound, but if the name sounds familiar it’s more than likely due to its recent history as the crash site of the stolen Bombardier Q440 passenger plane from SeaTac airport.

In the latest census, there were 17 residents listed on the island which only sees a couple of ferry runs a day. Over the years there have been many schemes and plans for the islands, but like the rusting ferry slowly dissolving into the beach none have ever been realized.

You don’t think of sea kayaking as the tool for virus busting but it may be just the perfect tool for social distance.

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Latest Instagram

Enjoying a bit of warmth on a cold clear winter's evening on the Olympic Coast. We don't get many days like this in the winter. ...

Setting up camp at Toleak Beach on the Washington coast. We took advantage of the clear but cold winter weather and hiked in the day before our #COASST bird survey. ...

Snug Harbor Cannery on the southern half of Chisik Island. I spent a few years guiding out of the Alaskan treasure. ...

Just published our latest adventure - Hit and Run at Bear Creek - You can find the link in my bio up top. ...

At the mouth of the Columbia River stands the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. Still active, she’s been guiding mariners since 1856. ...

A multitude of grey defines Lake Crescent during our latest #COASST survey. ...

The old Navy torpedo warehouse located on the grounds of Washington’s Manchester State Park. ...

While out dodging the rain showers, came across this beautiful Amanita muscaria near camp. The cap was a big as a dinner plate! ...

During our recent science trip to Suiattle River for the Wild and Scenic River Project, we were treated to these wonderful views. Here we're enjoying the winter's day with Mt. Baker in the background. ...

Our collection site for the Wild and Scenic River project. We grabbed river samples as well as tested ph, dissolved O2 and other data points. Turned out to be a great day in the field. ...

Heading out to start the Winter series of collection for the Wild and Scenic River project for Adventure Scientist. ...

These Nootka Rose caught my eye in camp this morning. Sitting here enjoying the fire listening to the geese overhead as they fly south. ...

Bear Canyon just outside Morton Washington is a little pocket of pristine wilderness. ...

Theresa doing her best to imitate the North Head Lighthouse. ...

A bridge span over the Green River. I love the contrast between the texture of the bridge and the fall colors of the background. ...

Here's a sunset from our recent #COASST bird survey at First Beach. The next day it poured rain. I measured over two inches just that afternoon. ...

Most of the island is privately owned but there is a small section of Washington DNR beach that sits on the SW corner of the island. That’s where we headed for our lunch break. It was a cloudless day with ample sunshine. The kind of day which goes a long way in making up for the short gray cold days we endure during the winter.

We were both pleasantly surprised by how comfortable we felt in our boats. Much like seeing an old friend where you take up right where you left off despite the time in-between visits.

We ended up spending all day on the water and Ketron. The upside was that we never had to share any of this with others. With no effort, we were the models of social distancing. We were in our own little bubble completely isolated and protected from the world of pandemics. Turns out the shorelines and waterways of Puget Sound make the perfect social distancing environment.

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