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Turn and Shaw Island

Published on 9/27/2018
By Mark Steward

September 7-9, 2018   (Trip Rating: SKIII)

Type: Kayak camping 2-nights, Turn and Shaw Islands (replacing Sucia/Matia due to conditions)


Tina Marie-trip leader

Chis Brubaker-co-leader

Christina Jones

Mark Steward

This last weekend was my second overnight kayaking trip in the San Jaun Islands. Tina was my trip leader and we were accompanied by Chris and Christina. LOL I know, the names are awesome. As someone that has a difficult time remembering names, it made it great that I only needed to remember Christina’s to have the two others. Despite the poor forecast, we ended up with good paddling weather every time we were on the water.


Day 1 we launched from Lopez Island and paddled up the coast to cross to Turn Island. It was one of the most fun crossings I’ve had. There was a lot of confused water and good conversation on the way. Upon landing on Turn, we discovered that Tina’s raccoon fears were real. Little guys were all over and kept us on our toes. I think we were all very relieved when a group of less prepared (they did not have Tina Marie as a trip leader) kayakers arrived to stray the night, thus drawing them away. That night we admired Chris’s tarp hanging abilities and fancy tent and learned of his love for all things “gourmet” as it dumped rain. Tina fancied up our area with a table cloth, salt and pepper shaker and so much more. She’s good at that. Thanks Tina. The rain didn’t last too long and we were able to sit on the beach throwing rocks and enjoying the bioluminescence for more than an hour before turning in. Christina drank my beer this night because she put it out to get cold at low tide and it became inaccessible. Good thing I had trusty vodka too. LOL


On day 2, I was somewhat disappointed that we missed the Orca by only about 25 minutes. We landed on Shaw Island and noticed that a ferry had stopped. Christina whooped out her binoculars, and sure enough, they stopped for a small pod of Orcas. The disappointment was short lived however and overcome by the charm of our camp spot on Shaw Island. I was able to easily hitch hike to the nearest store to buy a 6-pack of IPA to replace the beer of mine that Christina had drank the night before. I also grabbed some chicken that Tina turned into magic camp fajitas somehow. Thanks Tina. 😊. That afternoon and evening we hung out in the day shelter and enjoyed a fire in a brick wood stove and just talked while we cursed Christina’s “Jiffy “pop that never really popped. Good thing I went hitch hiking for beer, this evening Christina placed her beer in sea slime to cool off. When she retrieved it, it was covered from what I’ve heard. After enjoying a good evening with good people, everyone went to bed………except me. I decided to see what this bioluminescent thing looked like from the water. WOW. It was intense. As my bow left a wake of glow green, my paddle strokes were like explosions in the water that when looked at closely resembled a sky FULL of stars. I went to bed very satisfied this night.


Day 3 was all about making that ferry. Easy crossing back to Lopez and I think we were on the road by 9:30. It was all great. I enjoyed this trip very much and really appreciate the effort my trip leader Tina and co-leader Chris (who can make learning anything fun) put into it. I cant think of anything I would change and cant wait to do it again.


click for more pics



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