Spring/Summer 2007 on Commencement Bay

I say that those of us with kayaks make it a point to join the sailboat club on Commencement Bay this spring & summer on Wednesday nights. As often as possible, drop your boat in the water down on Ruston Way. The Tacoma waterfront is a great place to paddle around. This would be a great concept to merge with the Tacoma Photo Gang.. Many great photos of Tacoma to be had from the surface of the Bay.

Who’s with me??

5 thoughts on “Spring/Summer 2007 on Commencement Bay”

  1. How strong are the currents out on Commencement Bay? We are still getting comfortable in our boats…

  2. From what I remember the currents arent too bad. However if you high tail it northwest to the strait of Juan de Fuca, you could experience a more severe tide.

    I remember getting blown back twenty yards in Chambers Creek. Tough currents there, but still manageable if you’re a strong swimmer.

  3. The currents aren’t bad on Commencement Bay unless the weather is really terrible. Around the corner towards the bridge/U.P./Day Island gets much stronger. Anyone is safe along the shores of Ruston Way, and you can beach it just about anywhere if you are uncomfortable and want to be on land in a hurry.

    Chambers Creek would require a much different type of kayak than I have….

  4. I think the idea of getting some paddlers together on a regular basis is brilliant. Sailboaters have been doing it for years. Why not build a little camaraderie and maybe even build up to trips and other activities.

  5. The key to mastering currents in the Puget Sound is understanding the tides. I know a little about this subject as a life long sailor in the Pacific Northwest.

    When the tide changes in the Puget Sound the currents actually change location. A tide that is flooding (known as “coming in”) moves the strongest currents to the shorelines. Obviously the majority of water is flowing down the center of each channel thus creating the most friction on the outsides or shorelines. When a tidal flow is draining (“gowing out”), the opposite occurrs. There is more current in the middle of the bay as the majority of water fights to exit the narrow passages and waterways. So remember to watch the tides and use them to your advantage.

    Also, one more tidbit of info. The currents in the passage between Vashon Island and the Gig Harbor/Port Orchard shoreline, known as Colvos Passage, always runs North. No one knows why this happens but if you are ever traveling from Tacoma to Seattle or anywhere North by water, it takes less effort to move up that passage than going around the outside of Vashon Island. Remember to go around when traveling South though or you’ll be very tired by the time you get home!!!

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