It doesn't matter what kind of craft you paddle -- sea kayak, canoe, white water kayak, SUP, or inflatable pool toy -- together, we all float! Individually, well... then you are really on your own out here and have to depend on your self-rescue skills. And the water in Puget Sound can be cold, even on August 17, 2014, the day of "Raft Up!", an event that was held to raise fund for Vashon Island Youth & Family Services.
"Raft Up!" was an attempt to beat the world record for rafting up kayaks and canoes. Katya and I paddled from Point Defiance in Tacoma to Quartermaster Harbor to attend. They needed around 2500 kayaks and canoes to beat the record, currently held by Sutton’s Bay, Michigan. In 2013, Sutton's Bay organized a raft up of 2,099 boats. I was a bit skeptical that the Vashon Island event would attract as many people, because it is simply not very convenient to get to Vashon Island. The event organizers advised participants to take the ferry across the day beforehand and stay overnight at the event campground. If they really expected a couple thousand kayakers then the ferries would have been crowded. Alternatively, you could have planned to paddle the six miles from Tacoma on the morning of the event like we did. The boat launch at Jensen Point where it was going to be held is not big, and certainly doesn't have parking for the two thousand cars or so that would be expected.
Honestly, in terms of logistics, I don't know how the organizers were thinking it would work.As you can see in the video, the attempt to break the world record fell a little short. Well, it still turned out to be a cool photo op anyway, and an awesome summer day to be out on the water. Just wait until the next year though when "Raft Up!" returns for another shot at the record! (Just for fun, see if you can count how many kayakers in the video are holding their paddles upside down.)