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Winter Break Paddle Orcas Island Trip Report

Published on 1/6/2015
 By Bill Porter

 The Route


 The Trip

Trip Leader: Bill Porter
Participants: Nozepho & Jon Sheriff, Beth & Rob Freelove, Mike Germani

Very convenient to rent cabins at West Beach Resort which was our salt water launch spot for Saturday's trip along the west side of Orcas Island. Launching at 9:30 we paddled up to and around Pt. Doughty on our journey to Orcas Island International Airport. Magnificent views of Patos, Sucia, Matia and Clark islands and in the distance the Canadian islands with their snow peaked mountains. On the return leg of our paddle we stopped for a lunch and exploration break at Pt Doughty. Amazing views from this spot and always worth the effort to climb up to this water accessible only camp site. Back in our boats after lunch we jumped into the swirling currents and tide race which forms at Pt Doughty for some playtime. A couple of the paddlers on this trip where first time Orcas paddlers and now they too, join the ranks of the "Orcas Island paddle junkies" club !

Saturday night the group gathered, joined by some high profile local paddlers to celebrate Nozepho Sherriff being awarded her US citizenship. Following a multi-course epicurean delightful dinner, ample libations and awards ceremony is when magic happened, the group spontaneously burst into song, singing that American classic “Margaretville” which brought Nozepho to the edge of tears, a truly moving moment! She is a very gifted young lady and a wonderful addition to this great country of ours. 

Sunday morning we drove to Mt Constitution and viewed the top side of the clouds that formed around the peak ;-) actually half way up the mountain there were many sunny panoramic views of Lopez and San Juan island. Stopping at Mountain Lake we took a very enjoyable 75 minute paddle around this clear, very cold mountain lake. We were greeted by a welcoming choir of ravens who no doubt were glad to see paddlers on this lake, a lake that has few paddlers this time of year. 

One non paddling highlight of this trip was the Friday 3:40 pm Anacortes to Orcas ferry run which had to almost come to a complete stop by Shaw Island due to a large pod of Orcas fishing, what a magnificent Christmas present for the crowds of ferry passengers. 


Winter Paddle Orcas Island Trip

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