Tag Archives: kayak

Students ride the wind during salmon kayak tour

When 60 students from Central Kitsap High School took off in double kayaks to look for jumping salmon, they had no idea how the changing weather would make the trip more exciting.

Bill Wilson, who teaches environmental science, organized Tuesday’s trip on Dyes Inlet near Silverdale. Lead guide Spring Courtright of Olympic Outdoor Center shares the story in her words.

Reminder: Free stream tours from land are scheduled for Saturday. See the story I wrote for Tuesday’s Kitsap Sun.

Wind pushes the kayaks along, as 60 Central Kitsap High School students return to Silverdale Tuesday after watching jumping salmon. / Photos by Spring Courtright

By Spring Courtright
Program Director, Olympic Outdoor Center

At 9 a.m. on election day, anyone peering through the fog at Silverdale Waterfront Park would have seen 35 bright kayaks lined up on the beach and 60 high school students preparing to paddle.

Central Kitsap High School environmental science students study salmon in class, then are given the option to paddle with jumping salmon on an annual Salmon Kayak Tour with the Olympic Outdoor Center (OOC). For the last two years, 60 students have jumped on the opportunity.

This trip started about 10 years ago with about half that number of students. I have been one of the lead guides for nearly all of these tours. It’s always an adventure, but this year was one of the more memorable trips because of the beautiful clouds and quick change in weather.
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Paddle adventure will circle the entire Kitsap Peninsula

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.