I had been wanting to kayak this route with my kids for well over a year. However timing and weather just did not work last year. However, everything came together in mid April and it happened to be Mother’s Day that weekend. We spent a few nights prior to the trip packing. Kayak camping, although similar to backpacking, was new to us.
The route was simple. We planned to launch from the Southworth ferry terminal and paddle one nautical mile over to Blake Island. We knew that there were two primitive sites on the Cascade Marina Trail.
After an hour of driving over to the peninsula, we arrived at the ferry and downloaded the boats. After repacking the kayaks, we finally took off at 2 pm. After a few minutes of paddling, we looked back and noticed our sunscreen still sitting on the beach. Bummer, and back we both went.
Arriving late to launch on this trip was reinforced by how much I struggled with the tide. If I needed to take a break from paddling, the tide would turn the kayak around in seconds. I was pretty whipped when we reached the island. Both primitive campsites were taken. At the time, we were pretty bummed. We climbed back in the kayaks and started around the island and arrived at the “not so primitive” camping.
Docking here was amazing. Camp sites everywhere. Kayaks docking on driftwood up on the beach. Lots of people hanging out. This was very welcoming. After docking, we headed up to pick out our campsite, payed the ranger, and began setting up camp for the evening. This place was amazing. From our campsite, we had a great view of Seattle, the Olympics and the South Sound. We watched the sunset and boats move about through the Sound.
This island being a state park meant the wildlife was very relaxed. That evening we saw about two dozen deer just walking throughout the campsites. Raccoons ran around and wrestled on the beach. We enjoyed macaroni (always the first night’s dinner when camping with Rosabell) and a few bites of corned beef hash before I dropped the hash on the ground.
As the wind picked up, we climbed into the tent for the evening. The four of us sat around joking and playing Go Fish. My BD lantern was so bright in the tent that it seemed like it was still light outside. Around 10, we realized the time and went to sleep. I slept so good that evening.
The next morning we slept in and lazily made our way over to the beach to cook oatmeal. I love oatmeal while camping. It was so enjoyable to enjoy the salt water breeze, let the sun warm us up and just be together as a family. This was one of my best Mother’s day. After breakfast, we played frisbee for a while. Although most of the time we were just trying to teach Rosabell how to throw a frisbee. After a while we decided to hike part of the island. We would have circled the island, but Jonathan was aware of the tide changing and we shortened our hike to a mere mile an a half.
By noon, our campsite was taken down and packed up. One really cool thing about Blake Island is that the rangers keep wheel barrels near the docks for the sole purpose of throwing all of your camping gear in them and transporting back to your kayaks. That saved us many trips. At 12:30 we said goodbye to this very unique place and began our journey back to Vashon. After an 45 minutes of paddling, we were back to the ferry terminal. What an amazing trip, especially for our first overnight kayaking trip. On the way back, we stopped in Southworth and stuffed ourselves with Mexican grub at Blue Agave Mexican Grill. Amazing trip.