Cape Flattery lies at the northwest point of the contiguous United States. Launching at Hobuck Beach in Makah Bay, it's a ten-mile round trip to Tatoosh Island which lies just off Cape Flattery, or a little further to continue to egress inside the Strait of Juan de Fuca, at Neah Bay. We chose a return trip.
Launching through small surf at Hobuck Beach with a group from Seattle Mountaineers Club, we turned north along the coast toward the steeper cliffs and stacks of the Cape. Whales spouted from the shallower water close to shore. Eagles soared above the tree tops.
Carol approaching the rocks and stacks of Cape Flattery
Mike Kennedy cruising, looking for action
...watching for more spouts of whales
Kim calm and accurate between the rocks
Carol, hiding her face!
Mist rolling in from somewhere...
...gradually obscuring our view
Kristin enjoying the drifting veils...
...that seem to cling to to the trees as if snagged
Mist and blue sky
Life and death with the razor-sharp shells, prey and the predatory starfish
Inside the caves, cool, damp and noises like the breathing of a monster
In the dark the salt-splattered camera takes a salt-splattered picture
...to vanish as if into snow
Tucked away, there are sandy coves...
...or at least there are when the tide is right!
However, on some days it's more of a carry..
(Mike, left, and Steve)
...to reach the beach.
Mike and Carol
Cape Flattery in the background beyond the flooding tide
with Kristin and Didi making the final yards to Tatoosh Island
The play of light into water underneath Southwestern Tatoosh Island
Didi floating on green
....and some inviting channels
Not all channels are attractive... here the sea lions spar for domination, and challenge the unwary kayaker
When there's a watery way without sea lions, Mike will surely find it....
Three immature bald eagles on the wires, looking small
More enticing entrances...
leading to cool caverns
with a hole in the roof, fringed by dripping vegetation
and huge pillars like trees or monster legs holding up the roof... Kristin in foreground
....low light, weird effects....
and sunlight reflected from the water onto underside of flying buttress creating bright moving ripple patterns
The mainland visible again in the background, our circuit of Tatoosh almost complete
while a fishing boat enters the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Mike, with Tatoosh in the distance
back to the dim cool channels between the walls or rock where the water runs and gurgles with the gentle swell...
and a place for a late lunch
It was Didi who admitted she was afraid to go into caves, even walking! But she enjoyed kayaking deep into the caverns today...
judging by her smile!
With so many a watery way, it's temptation to forever stay...
...but it's homeward bound at the end of the day, and save the rest 'till next time.
So, back to the bay! It was the perfect day for this trip, followed by an evening around a fire, and a day of riding waves in surf kayaks, with sunshine, warm water and big smiles!
Nigel runs trips and teaches classes for Seattle Mountaineers several times each year. Please contact the Seattle Mountaineers for membership details. It's a great club with a lot of friendly people and fun events!