SEA KAYAK COLUMBIA
The Lower Columbia River at Skamokawa, Washington is excellent level one practice.
River flow runs at 3-4 mph carrying the kayak downstream into a fresh afternoon breeze with an incoming tide. with low tide levels, the river becomes a level 2 rapid with light pressure eddies and clapotis.
Moderate paddling in a Solstice Titan produces 6mph.
Given the current and tide available on June 26, bracing and turning practices are continuously probable without forward effort.
In the morning before afternoon winds begin around 11:30am, paddle upstream from Skamokawa at Vista Park county camping, a left side eddy carries the kayak upstream, paddle a calm wind river crossing from Steamboat Road to the Tenasillahe Island’s north end, turning right down into an incoming tide with the afternoon wind on the Clinton Channel over 1.5 foot waves.
Past Clatsop Forest point, paddle upwind then surf east downwind onto Red Slough. A beautiful channel, windblown, wildlife, quiet before a second river crossing for surfing upriver to Elochoman Slough’s mouth then turning west downriver to Skamokawa for 2.5 miles of level 2 water and eddies.
Trip total: 15 miles on a 3-4 mph current, offering continuous practice onto oncoming wave action with low forward paddling effort. Angle toward the wave, allow wave action to unbalance the kayak then balance knee up head down, brace and paddle.
Paddling Steamboat Slough into Skamokawa, the last leg escape from main river churn, is a pleasant cool down before surfing onto the beach at Skamokawa Creek.
Passing Red Slough for a turn east onto the Columbia below Tenasillahe Island extends the trip and effort.
Vista Park camping and the village of Cathlemet provide excellent support. The area is un-crowded and environment excellent. Rescue is probable before passing the 3 mile limit.
Natives ? People from Oregon say Washingtonians are obnoxious abusive snotty rich folk. People from Washington tells us people from Oregon are ignorant abusive rednecks. This is true.
But the river overcomes.