Watching Our Water Ways

Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
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Paddle adventure will circle the entire Kitsap Peninsula

January 24th, 2009 by cdunagan

I love simple ideas that can capture your imagination and your spirit of adventure, and that’s what we have with the recently announced Puget Sound Challenge.

Route of Puget Sound Challenge

Route of Puget Sound Challenge (Click to enlarge)

Here’s the idea: Everyone who loves to kayak is challenged to paddle from Belfair to Allyn, a distance of less than five miles as the crow flies.

What makes this challenge interesting is that Belfair is in southern part of Hood Canal and Allyn is in the southern part of Puget Sound. To complete the trip by water, you must paddle about 150 nautical miles — all the way through Hood Canal, around the tip of the Kitsap Peninsula and then south through Puget Sound.

You don’t have to do it all in one trip. You can go at your own pace — a day here and a day there throughout the coming summer. Olympic Kayak Club, which is sponsoring the event, has laid out a schedule for those who wish to travel as a group, starting in April. See Seabury Blair’s piece in the Kitsap Sun, or visit the Olympic Kayak Club’s Web site for details.

A $25 donation will get you a Challenge boat decal, a T-shirt and a reservation for October’s end-of-the-paddle celebration, plus $5 will go to the nonprofit Washington Water Trails, which is working in support of camping sites and other waterside facilities throughout the region.

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2 Responses to “Paddle adventure will circle the entire Kitsap Peninsula”

  1. Tom Rosendale Says:

    Wow. I’m up for that. Now all I have to do is find a Kayak or empty seat.

  2. John F. Williams Says:

    Sounds like a really great way to explore our shoreline!

    But I’m not sure about the idea of doing it an occasional day at a time. If I were to do it one leg per outing, the total miles driven to and from my home in Suquamish would be well over 1,000 — that’s if I had someone to drive the delivery vehicle to the pick-up point and hang out waiting for me to finish my paddling. That’s propelling half a ton or more of virgin steel, plastics and vinyls at least 7 miles for each mile paddled. It would probably be roughly the same distance for someone living anywhere in Kitsap.

    Clearly that’s a good argument for hauling around a whole team of people in a van — that reduces the overhead to about 1 mile of pushing a ton of automotive parts around for each mile paddled. Is it worth it? It at least ought to be a good conversation starter about the overhead associated with our recreational options.

    When I lived in Southern California many decades ago, I used to see surfers hauling their surfboards around on trailers behind their bicycles. Are there such things for kayaks?

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"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist