By Shawn Altman – Alder Creek Staff
As the days start to get longer, just a tad nicer, I find myself waking up wishing I was inside a tent. Six months have passed and I already miss the salty air, beaches made of perfectly shaped skipping stones, and the chance sighting of an orca whale. The San Juan Islands hold a new place in my heart after moving here from Bar Harbor , Maine. Bar Harbor and the San Juan Islands are listed in the top ten places to kayak in the USA, but I would say they are so far my two favorite places.
Shawn McClure – Tow Head Island near Pelican Beach at Sunset
What I enjoy the most about camping out on the beach is just being away from the city, cooking over an open fire, and exploring by water each day. Each time I go Sea Kayak Camping with Alder Creek kayak & Canoe the groups are fantastic, willing to make the most out of each day, but also looking to relax on the beach.
Pelican Beach Camp
San Juan Group Sept. 08′ – Hanging out a Camp
Since we camp out at Pelican Beach – on Cypress Island –there are hiking trails that lead to a cliff face looking over the east side of Orcas Island and Rosario Straits. What An amazing view at Sunset.
Cypress Island Sunset
San Juan Group Sept. 08′ – Sunset on Eagle Cliff
Paddling during the Day is wonderful but paddling at night is something not to miss. The days tend to be warm, the water is cool, and the views are spectacular. I would say that my favorite section to paddle is heading from pelican beach to Toe Head Island and then south to Strawberry Island. Wonderful section as we paddle under large cliff faces.
Paddling around rocks Cypress Island
San Juan Group Sept. 08′ – Heading to Strawberry Island
Even with the tidal current we can use the shore to have a relaxing paddle and search for porpoise, eagles, nesting falcons, and a mix of other water fowl.
The night time paddling is just amazing! The bio luminescence is something that you will never forget if you have never paddled in it. I was telling a few of our guest about the chance to paddle at night. They just looked at me like “yeah, sure… probably just really dark”. Well, the dark part was correct, but they didn’t plan on the water glowing with every stroke, splash, and ripple. We tossed water across our spray skirts and watched the ocean water sparkle like the Milky Way was in our hands. We could see glowing fish zipping under our boats, eddy lines sparkling, and the reflection of the stars in the water. This is truly hard to forget from the view of a kayak. With all this in my mind I am excited to get back to the ocean and re-visit the charm of the San Juan Islands.
Group resting on West side of Cypress