Pos: 46.6600, -124.0571
Loc: Leadbetter Point
Dist: 15,1 km
Start: 10:45 End: 12:50
After leaving the house this morning with my kayak and gear loaded, terry and Bruce were so nice to drive me once more to the southern end of the south jetty of the Columbia River to have a look at the surf this at morning’s very low tide. But it was so dense fog, I could not even see the water from the top of the jetty. I walked down, and just my hearing told, me, this should be very different to what I have seen (and heard) by last time being here…it would be tomorrow best to cross the Columbia River mouth just from tip to tip of the two jetties on slack high tide around 3 pm, and land behind the jetty on hopefully also calm-ish conditions? The swell will be as today, only low 1 m. Or will it be running worse again on high tide? Not sure yet if I will land inside or outside. Getting out again on Thursday will be also to consider…
We also stopped by Tim Kennedy’s carpenter shop, where he volunteered to store my kayak over the winter on a high shelf. I hope it will not fall unintentionally down and hit a running table saw! Thanks for that, Tim! Hope to paddle with you one day.
Arriving back at the beach where I stopped, the tide was running up for the next 3,5 hrs. I had some good speed with more than 10 km/h without paddling on the first section, getting flooded upstream in the main channel. all easy going, the fog was moderate. As soon as I turned a bit around the corner to the right and out of the main current, the water became a bi choppy, and it even felt at times I paddle in an eddy, over some already flooded shallows. I saw the first exposed sand bank quite soon, but still stayed away from it. The second one, I skirted by having to turn left in again for a while, before I could paddle across a narrow deep channel to the last round sand bank which had some grass on top. I rounded this one on the sea side, and crossed the last channel to the main spit. From each sandbank, I got out and had a bit of a lookout, all good!
Sure, the main Leadbetter Point sand spit was nature reserve with signposts every 500 m, here meant for the nesting Snowy Plover. But as nesting time was obviously over, and I did not see a single bird, bird’s nest or resting seal anywhere, and I did stay quite outside the sign posts just on the water’s edge, my bad conscious was not too much worrying me to camp here.
I had a walk around the dune to check the surf, but fog prevented again to see the outer breaker. There was a channel between the low inner and higher outer breakers anyway, so if tomorrow morning there will be fog again, I may simply stay in between there. I had a dip in the clear water, snacked on some delicious artichoke, jalapeno and Parmesan cheese dip with sea salt crackers with black- and raspberries and cherries as a desert, read a bit and fell asleep in the warm afternoon.
When I woke, it was the similar tide time when I will be starting tomorrow morning, and I was positively surprised to see the sea was DEAD calm everywhere I could see! Usually, on the ebb, breakers in the river mouth entry are bigger, but either the unusual all day south westerly calmed down the swell and breakers, or the main outer break is so far out on lower tide, that I cannot see it in the moderate fog…in any case, going out tomorrow morning even in dense fog should be doable, if I simply stay close to the shore on maybe very low breakers.
I had already covered many coast lines by simply paddling inside the breaker zone somehow, but as soon as the fog will get to show me what is going on out there, things may be easier! Tomorrow will be again low south westerly and low sea, so getting out from here and the crossing of the big Columbia River mouth should be done well! I hope…