WA360: Days 1-4 Recap

For those of you following along at home, here’s a little texture to add to what you may have already seen on the tracker.

Day 1

Original plan: WA360: Day 1 – Going for Blake.

Best moment of the day:

Lots of good moments… having friends there to see us off was touching. It was a lot of fun to be in Port Townsend Bay with all those other racers. Lunch at Hansgrill did not disappoint – we split a big mushroom Swiss burger and a salad. But maybe the best was the shout out from the Kingston ferry. It was a wonderful surprise to hear our team names and cheers coming from the ferry.

Biggest Challenge:

Maybe our biggest challenge was getting launched. We spent too many hours trying to get our gear to dry out in our hotel room when we should have been sleeping. We weren’t done packing our boats when the race started, so we were glad for the 30-minute starting line.

We had some headwinds crossing Hood Canal and some big tide rips around Foul Weather Bluff, but nothing too strenuous or long-lasting.

Adjustments to the Plan:

After a pretty brutal weekend of fighting the winds, we started this race a little more tired than we would like. Instead of pushing for Blake Island (and setting up our tent in the dark), we opted to camp at Fay Bainbridge and call it a good first day.


Plan Actual
Daily Mileage 39.99 nmi ~30.32 nmi
Total Mileage 39.99 nmi ~30 nmi
Morning Launch 6:00am 6:15-6:30am
Evening Land 10:15pm 8:30pm

Day 2

Original plan: WA360: Day 2 – a View of the Sound.

Best moment of the day:

Day Two had a lot of great moments. It was calm, clear paddling for 99% of the day. We cruised along Bainbridge. We successfully navigated all the ferries between Eagle Harbor and Vashon. Harbor porpoises popped up regularly throughout the day (though not as close as on Day One). The breeze was just enough to keep us from overheating. We made a lot of miles in one pass.

It was also nice chatting with Team Time and Tides and with fellow kayak camper, Mario who was nearby. He hadn’t heard of the race, but seemed interested in what we were doing.

Biggest Challenge:

As we approached Point Robinson, the wind started to pick up. Whitecaps appeared in the channel. As we rounded the point, we were met with large swells. We had nearly no waves all day, so they all met us for our last mile. After what we had paddled in SEVENTY48 this year, the conditions didn’t seem too awful to tackle. We kept close to shore and continued on to Maury Island Marine Park, landing in a bit of a surf. About 30 minutes after we landed, the waters were completely calm again.

Adjustments to the Plan:

We had quite a long carry at low tide from our campsite at Fay Bainbridge. That ate up some of our paddling time. We were already starting from one spot behind on our schedule. When we launched, we were debating trying to hug the Vashon shore in Colvos to fight the current or sticking with our original route. We figured we probably wouldn’t get all the way through Colvos and to a campsite with the currents we may have to fight. We decided Maury Island Marine Park would give us a good starting point for Day 3.


Plan Actual
Daily Mileage 32.83 nmi ~20.55 nmi
Total Mileage 72.82 nmi ~51nmi
Morning Launch 7:00am 11:30am
Evening Land 6:00pm 7:15pm

Day 3

Original plan: WA360: Day 3 – Hoping for Hope.

Best moment of the day:

We cruised through the first part of our paddle, hitting the Narrows close to maximum flood. The winds were lighter than predicted, and we were feeling good for the first four or five hours of the journey. Harbor seals were popping up occasionally to see what we were doing. We got a cheer from a passing sailboat that lifted our spirits. At one point, we thought our minds were playing tricks on us because we thought we heard cheers, but there was no one nearby. Our friends were on shore, loud enough to be heard even though we couldn’t see them.

Biggest Challenge:

The winds picked up in the late afternoon and turned into a headwind when we were more than halfway past Anderson Island. We headed to shore, where the wind shifted around the island to become southerly. We were back to fighting winds for our mileage, and needed to make a different goal for the day.

Adjustments to the Plan:

We had planned to try to get to Hope Island, but the mileage required in the conditions would have taken a lot out of us. We ran through plans B and C before landing on D: round the north end of Anderson and take the more protected crossing over to the Key Peninsula. From there, round Devil’s Head and continue North to Joemma Beach State Park.


Plan Actual
Daily Mileage 16.85 nmi ~25 nmi of race progress (more than that paddling)
Total Mileage 89.67 nmi ~75 nmi
Morning Launch 6:00am 10:15am
Evening Land 1:00pm 9:15pm

Day 4

Original plan: WA360: Day 4 – the Gig is Up. For those of you following along at home, here’s a little texture to add to what you may have already seen on the tracker.

Best moment of the day:

Leisurely planning our day while sipping coffee? Drying our gear in the covered picnic shelter? Having the time to actually write up our thoughts on the race so far? Possibly taking a nap? It’s hard to say…

Biggest Challenge:

Our first step every day is to check the updated weather report. When we went to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, we had seen predictions of winds a little stronger than we like, but manageable. When we looked in the morning, we saw that a Small Craft Advisory had been declared for almost all of the hours we planned to paddle.

Our other big challenge? The brown squirrel that knows campers = food. We keep our food pretty well stowed away, but weren’t prepared for it to chew through a coffee cup lid before we had a chance to rinse it. This little fluff has zero fear of people. We’re a little scared it’s going to chew through everything we brought with us.

Adjustments to the Plan:

We did not originally plan for any zero days. But after putting a lot of miles on our boats and bodies the last week, this was the right call. We’re hoping the forecast for tomorrow holds out and we can check off our first waypoint and start heading north for real.


Plan Actual
Daily Mileage 33.5 nmi 0 nmi
Total Mileage 123.17 nmi ~75 nmi
Morning Launch 5:00am n/a
Evening Land 7:45pm n/a

How We’re Doing

If we were in this race to win it… or even to finish it, we might be discouraged at this point.  But we have two goals:

  1. Stay Alive
  2. Stay Married

WA360 is more of a framework to give us some challenges on those goals. So are we on track to finish by the end of the race? Not really. Are we working hard and exhausting ourselves? Yep. And we’re really doing a great job at both of our goals, so there’s not much more we can ask. We would gladly accept gentle tailwinds and favorable currents. But if we can’t have those, we’ll gratefully accept our ability to make this journey at all.

If you’re following this spot, you’ll see updates with our plans going out every day. We thought those might be of interest, even though we have gone 100% off-script. Our camping spot today wasn’t even in our consideration set, because it’s so far out of the way. Our camping spot we’d like to get to tomorrow was barely considered and not in our plans. But that’s fine. We’re good with taking this one day, one forecast, one paddle stroke at a time.



LauraJune 10, 2021

You are doing great! I appreciate the update and hope you are Getting some good rest today, i’m sure You could use it!

RachelJune 10, 2021

Looking good and again it was good to here your voiCe

kazJune 11, 2021

First of all, I usually don't make comments online. My hat's off (exposing my bald head) to you both for even attempting this after the conditions you had to endure in the seventy48. Your efforts are an inspiration to others. I do appreciate the update on your blog. It allows us to know all is well and that you're safe. You are the ones that are out there and you have to do what you think is right for you. Stay safe.

maryJune 12, 2021

thanks for the up-dates! i hope to see you today as you buzz past fox island! you two rock.

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