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Cape Flattery July 2007

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

Tatoosh Lighthouse

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....

...however narrow!

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!