Winter days paddle in Puget Sound

I woke up antsy to get on the water this morning. Too much staring at a computer screen while high pressure has dominated the area lately. I had no great plans or destination in mind, just wanted to feel my blade in the water and smell salt water.

A beautiful winters day. (Photograph by Steve Weileman)

When all else fails a trip to Ketron Island always seems to get the cobwebs dusted out of the attic, and today’s trip did just that. There were high cirrus clouds filtering the sun as the next frontal system started to make it’s way into the area. It should have felt gloomy, but winter in Puget Sound is one of my favorite times to be on the water; no, or at least very little, boat traffic. Hit the beach and the only tracks you’ll see are raccoon and deer. This is as close as I’ll ever get to experiencing the sound as Lt. Peter Puget did when he put ashore on Ketron Island for a noon shot during his explorations of the south sound.

Reflections. (Photograph by Steve Weileman)

As I took a break on the beach and had a thermos of soup for lunch, my only company was a curious Harbor Seal that kept cruising just off shore. Hard to tell who was having more fun watching the other!

Lichen on a branch. (Photograph by Steve Weileman)

The water this time of year is incredibly clear, and it has a tropical appearance to it. However, as soon as I capsized for my first roll, it was shockingly clear that it was anything but warm tropical water. Half a dozen practice rolls and I had not only an ice-cream headache but was feeling a sense of vertigo. I’ve tried a handful of different skull caps but have yet to find one that does a good job during winter. I’d love to hear from anyone with some suggestions!

Still it was a small price to have the entire sound to myself for the day.

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