The Plan – WA360 2021

Plan is a strong word – with a race this long, it’s a little bit more of a choose-your-own-adventure. We have an ideal plan that we’d like to follow. But something will inevitably cause us to make adjustments along the way. So while we might be able to stick to the beginning of the plan, it seems unlikely that we’ll still be following Plan A by the third or fourth day.

Days 1-3: Heading South

It’s a bit of a mind-bend to plan our initial route South. We’ve paddled the SEVENTY48 race route heading North so many times that it’s automatic for me to try to find the best ebb currents between Tacoma and Port Townsend. But for the first three days of our WA360 adventure, we’ll be seeking flood conditions. Our goal is to make it to Hope Island by Wednesday night, after checking the Olympia Shoal waypoint off our list.

Map of Route for Days 1-3

Days 4-7: Getting Our Goat

We’ll make our way North again and get our next waypoint: Goat Island. We have never kayaked Deception Pass, and we didn’t think this race would be the ideal time to try it for the first time. So we’re tackling the Swinomish Slough. Warnings of shallow waters don’t bother us much, since our kayaks only draw a few inches of water. We’ve gotten some insight on how to judge the currents, and we’re hoping to make it through on Day 7.

Map of Hope Island to Saddlebag Island

Day 8: Bellingham Bay

Our next waypoint is a buoy in Bellingham Bay, close to Fairhaven. We’re hoping to loop around it and head to the campsite at Lummi Island on Day 8.

Map of Bellingham Bay Waypoint

Days 9-10: Point Roberts and Back

The final waypoint of the race is as close to Canada as you can get without a passport. We’re hoping to circle the buoy on Day 9 and then camp at Point Roberts before starting our return trip on Day 10.

Map of Lummi Island to Matia Island, by way of Point Roberts

Days 11-12

With the currents predicted for Day 11, we’re hoping we can get a high-mileage day and make a lot of progress back towards Port Townsend. Depending on how the day goes, we anticipate either one LONG day or camping at one of the many Cascadia Marine Trails sites on our way to the finish line.

Map of Matia Island to Port Townsend

Days 13-14

You may have noticed that the race deadline is two weeks. So what will we do with our remaining two days?

  1. If we need to take any unscheduled zero days or if we fall behind in any way, we still have two days’ worth of wiggle room to qualify as finishers.
  2. If we DO finish on Day 12, we’ll likely need the weekend to recover and start feeling human. We’re both reporting to work on Monday morning, so it would be wonderful to have some recovery time under our belts.
  3. Assuming we are able to use the weekend to recover, we’ll likely eat all the foods, drink some beers, and take many naps over the course of the weekend.


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