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.

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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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You never know what a simple hike through the woods will yield. Found this small dam in the hills behind our camp on Hood Canal. I'm guessing that at one time it was used by a hometead to hold water during the summer months.⁠ ...

Some of the lush green and waterfalls to be found on the Olympic Peninsula. ...

South shore of Dusty Lake just north of Vantage, Washington. We recently spent a night hoping for a shot of the Milky Way. That didn't happen as hoped, but we had quite the adventure nonetheless. ...

Just published our latest adventure - "A Visit to North Cove" - You can find the link in my bio up top. https://buff.ly/3KFAQB8 ...

Tongue Point on the Strait of Juan de Fuco. This was a negative tide and I’ve never seen so much of the reef exposed. ...

Never seen the tide so low here at Crescent Bay. Getting ready for this weekends #COASST bird survey. ...

⁠ Theresa doing her best to imidate the North head Lighthouse.⁠ ...

Here's an elevated view of the massive geologic formation on the south side of our Dusty Lakes camp. ...

Took us a bit to get into Dusty Lake and a one point we were being chase by a thunderstorm, but the views and scenery made up for the hardships. ...

A rare clear evening out on Washington's coast. The Olympic National Park has miles of coastline to enjoy. ...

Sunset over the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center. Watch this site as we'll be heading back next week for an extended stay to explore the Ancient Lakes area. ⁠ #northcentralwashington #ncw #centralwa #columbiagorgeinspiration ...

Squalls approaching Portage Head. Jason and I found ourselves hunkered down in a tent waiting for a bit of clearing in the morning before heading down the coast in our kayaks. ...

The old BNSF railroad maintenance shed. It's been torn down to make room for a golf course, but when it was standing, you could still find parts for the trains in labeled bins.⁠ ...

Sunset over the hills of the Columbia River Gorge near Vantage. We'll be heading back there next week...stay tuned. ...

Sunset over the old gravel dock near Steilacoom. This area abounds with a rich tapestry of history. ...

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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