I couldn't have asked for a better day to go to the Pass: dry and clear, no wind or waves, and a 7 knot ebb running through at late morning. I left home at 0800 with Necromancer, got to Burrows Bay at 1030, after making a quick stop at Haggens grocery in Burlington for some eye glasses retainers, since I left mine at home. I saw a couple trucks parked at the beach with kayak racks, and a woman getting her plastic rec kayak out of her truck. It takes about 15-20 minutes to paddle to Canoe Pass, the smaller waterway where the kayakers usually play that runs parallel to Deception Pass proper. I launched right about 1100, just in time to get there when the ebb was really moving.
There were a couple guys in an Explorer and and Explorer HV -- obviously trained by Shawna and Leon! I paddled into Canoe Pass right into the current. Necromancer is so light (24 lbs) and carries no inertia so the current just jerks her bow right around. I brace downstream to keep upright. In the main current it works, but in the mushy random boils and whirlpools I capsized a couple times but rolled up OK. Some of the whirlpools were big. They turned Necromancer right around so I'm left facing upstream. It was a struggle to get back out of the current along the rocks.
I got the attention of the guys in Explorers, Steve and Earl. Steve is an instructor and a 4 star BCU paddler. He liked the Pass so much he moved here and lives 3 miles down the road. He has a Greenland paddle on his foredeck. Earl lives close by too. He's wearing a helmet. We talk about Shawna and Leon. They are building a new house! Apparently Dubside shows up once in a while with Shawna and Leon at the Bellingham pool sessions. Greenland style is gaining in popularity. After about an hour the current died down and Steve and Earl left. Steve told me to go to the Sea Kayak Skill Building group on Yahoo (SKSB-NW). He says it's a forum where all the serious local paddlers hang out and plan trips.
I played around a little bit longer in the current, then headed around Deception Island and then back to Burrows Bay. On the way back I saw someone else in a kayak heading toward me. It's Josh the Kayak Dude and he has a Greenland paddle! He said he just had to get out today. I said yeah, it's great that it cleared up after all that wind and rain. He seemed like he wanted to move on so I said bye and headed to the beach. While I was packing up Necromancer I saw him heading back and then he started rolling in the Bay. I walked back to the beach still wearing my drysuit and said, "Hey you've been practicing!" He showed me his paddle and norsaq that he just finished. He did a great job on the norsaq and fitted the ends with HDPE, but it's really short. We talked about rolling and Dubside. I wanted to get Necromancer back down off the car and do some rolling with him but I was too tired. He kept practicing in the Bay as I left. In the car on the ride home I regretted leaving so early -- it would have been fun to practice rolls with him.