|Not an ideal photo of Freshwater Bay|
Actually that was precisely my intent. I've got the Olympic Foothills as a backdrop, trees and the bay. It definitely looks like we're in Washington State. I'd like to keep Mark posing until I get a Christmas Card shot. Unfortunately my muse has no intent of staying in Freshwater Bay, he has every intent of paddling west toward the Salt Creek Recreational Area. He's headed along a section of coast described in Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands (by Rob Casey) as "a taste of Washington's outer coast" and "magnificent sheer rock cliffs topped with cedar fir and madrona."
|Mark by Observation Point|
I don't have my Christmas Card shot yet, but Mark is right, we're here to paddle. So we edge around Observation Point and Bachelor Rock, delineating the western edge of Freshwater Bay, and begin our exploration of many coves.
|Rounding Bachelor Rock|
Again and again we'll cross beds of bull kelp as we dive into coves to explore. The kelp is thick, more than once I'll get stuck and need to yank myself out.
|Pretty thick kelp|
|Gooseneck Barnacles on the beach|
One has a ledge filled with seal pups.
Harbor seals pup all summer in this area. Not wanting to disturb the pups we take a quick photo then look away and paddle on.
Nick, of Adventures through Kayaking is guiding two new kayakers in the Bay. They're an adventurous couple, who came out to Washington on their honeymoon, moved out on their first anniversary and are celebrating their second anniversary with a kayaking lesson. Their lesson lasts until 12:30, and we'll be riding back to the store with them. In case they need to go back early, we head to Freshwater Bay with plenty of time left.
We spend our extra time finally getting some pictures of the purple sea stars that have been eluding us.
As well as a sunflower star
and green anemones.
It's an awesome time! I can see where an array of small coves and interesting waters could easily keep me entertained for days on end.
I can't tell you how many beaches we've walked looking for sea stars, how many docks we've wandered. The walks weren't unproductive, we'd seen otters, an elephant seal, harbor seals, porpoises, anemones, jellyfish. But only one small pasty pink sea star, no different from a east coast sea star. Now, at last I have a photo of the purple sea star. Yay!
|Nick loads boats while I check my photos. Bachelor Rock in the distance|
Summary: Rental: Adventures Through Kayaking. Boats: Valley Aquanauts. I found the boat very comfortable and secure. It turned easily and rode well on the waves and wind.
Many thanks to Tammi for renting us such wonderful boats and to Jory for telling us about the area and recommending we head west from Freshwater Bay!
A nice link for more information about sea stars of the west coast: http://www.seastarsofthepacificnorthwest.info