My main condition for participating in SEVENTY48 the first time was that I wouldn’t have to paddle at night. We almost met that condition, but did end up still paddling towards a landing spot nearly 90 minutes after the end of civil twilight the second night. Nighttime paddling can be serene and beautiful. We’ve seen bioluminescence, shooting stars, beautiful full moons, and some of the calmest seas while paddling in the dark. But it’s also easy to imagine all sorts of things under the water when it’s dark. Sea monsters seem much more real a few hours after sunset, and random splashes in the night aren’t as easy to ignore as they are in the sunshine.
SEVENTY48 2021 – Day One
Regardless, our plan for SEVENTY48 2021 is to paddle through the night. In years past, we have traditionally camped at the Cascadia Marine Trails site at Lisabuela. We’ve had the benefit of a quiet night and a strong morning current in Colvos passage. And that plan would make sense again this year, but by the time we land at Lisabuela, we’re really just a few hours into the race. We still have a lot of adrenaline from the start, and we’re as fresh as we’re going to be. And we’ve done a lot more nighttime paddling than we had in 2018.
Day Two: Midnight-to-Midnight
So this year, we’re going to harness that “I’ve paddled fewer than 20 miles today” energy and hop back in our kayaks after taking a break at Lisabuela.
We anticipate that we’ll reach Blake Island State Park a few hours before sunrise. With so little night in front of us, we plan on bringing a hot beverage to keep our energy up. Then we’ll continue on towards Bainbridge Island after a short break. We’re hoping to be able to make it to Wing Point before the first Bainbridge-to-Seattle ferry run of the day. We intend to paddle straight through from Blake Island to Fay Bainbridge.
Once we land at Fay Bainbridge, it will be time to rest. Even though we’re paddling through the night, we do plan on camping for a few hours, to rest up while we wait for favorable currents. After paddling half of the race distance, we assume we’ll be able to sleep through some daylight and noise from other campers. We plan to launch from Fay Bainbridge in the early afternoon, to catch the ebb current up the Kitsap peninsula. We’ll take a break at Eglon:
In our ideal plan, we can make it to Hansville in time to grab some take out from Hansgrill.
After dinner, we’ll embark on our second night paddle, this time crossing from the Kitsap Peninsula to the Olympic Peninsula. We’ll catch the ebb current through the Port Townsend Canal.
Day Three: Heading for the Finish
After a break on Indian Island, we’ll head across Port Townsend Bay to land close t0/within an hour or so of sunrise.
Will our plan work out in reality? No one can say at this point. The weather may be against us. This race is nothing if not a challenge. We won’t know what we’ll encounter in SEVENTY48 2021 until we’re in the thick of it. But we’ll do our best and try to stick as close to the plan as we can. And we’ll update you along the way, if you want to follow along.