1/15/2018

Seventy48 Race Training - 5 Books I'm Using to Plan for the Race

So much to learn, so little time. With the epic Seventy48 race looming a few months out, those interested in the race are sounding overwhelmed with info and aren't sure where to start - Currents? Tides? Which way to go? How to train?

In the next few months I'll be posting a bunch of blog posts and offering clinics in the Seattle area to help you figure it all out. We also have paddling classes in tidal current, wind and in applying on-water navigation.

Let's start with the 5 Books I'm using to plan my route from Tacoma to PT

Using Boating Guides for Planning Paddling Routes - Also, note that in using boating guides for research, they're great for most of what you need to know. But unlike a boat, paddlers can get into super shallow water so keep that in mind. For example, boaters will be surprised when I tell them we can paddle upstream in Deception Pass. What they don't know is that we can paddle 1-2' from shore in fin depth water using eddies to 'eddy-hop' upstream.

Where to get all these books?
In Ballard, one of my favorite bookstore is Captain's Supplies across from Maritime Brewery. You can order these and many other maritime guides from Starpath.com 

Tidal Currents of Puget Sound - David Burch / Starpath.com

This is an essential guide in figuring out how tidal currents work in Puget Sound. If you paddle rivers or in tidal rapids you'll know about how current wrapping around a rock creates a back eddy behind the rock. The same goes for current wrapping around a headland or point of land. A gyro or eddy is created in the bay behind the point or headland.

This current will swirl in a circle, sometimes up to a few miles wide. Often you can't see it, but will definitely feel it. In whitewater, it's called 'sticky water'. You're wondering why you were going 5kts but suddenly have slowed to 2 knots getting the feeling of paddling uphill. Then it releases you.
Puget Sound Currents

The book will show you how to avoid these spots on all levels of the ebb and flood.  You'll learn how to also use that back eddy to your advantage to get a free ride along the shore whereas 200 yards out you'd be 'bucking' or going against the current.  Order

After a while you won't need the book as you'll know through experience how currents work when planning trips.

Puget Sound Current Guide / Out of print / Island Canoe
Similar to Burch's book above, this guide has marine charts that show the basics of how currents work in the Sound. The current maps aren't as detailed but here you can see access points and more land details to work in your planning.

Gunkholing South Puget Sound / out of print / Jo Bailey, Carl Nyberg
This is one in an epic series of unfortunately out of print cruising guides to Puget Sound, the San Juans and Gulf Islands. Written by long time NW boaters, the book covers everything you'd want to know about every part of the Sound. For example, for the Colvos Passage, you'll learn about how the current flows north, where the rips are and whether there's a rock to avoid. You'll also learn about the
native, explorer, pioneer and maritime history about the area. Imagine this detail for every nautical mile of Puget Sound. Sections of charts are included to show all the details.

Find the books in maritime bookstores, used bookstores and Powell's in Portland.  Or Amazon link here.

Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips / Rob Casey / Mountaineers Books
I updated the 3rd edition of this classic NW paddling guide, first authored by Randal Washbourne. 
We added 10 trips and I tried to change the title to 'Paddling' but it was already established with buyers and distributors. That said, it's for all paddlers, canoeists and anyone else looking to explore the Sound from the water.

The entire 70/48 route is covered in the book. Check it out for learning how to paddle each section, where to camp (legally), which charts to use and some historical tid bits.  Order

If you use the book send me any access or other updates we can apply to the next edition.

Evergreen Pacific Exploring Puget Sound and British Columbia / Evergreen Pacific Publishing
To me paddling this race isn't just about getting point A to B. The scenery is pretty cool and is rich in history which to me enriches the route.

The guide is made up of marine charts but also tons of historical and navigation points about each chart. You'll learn about how the rock on the south end of Quartermaster Harbor was said to have been superstitious by the natives thus was avoided. And how Captain Vancouver dispatched smaller boats to explore each nook and cranny of the Sound sometimes having interactions with the natives who may of come from the 100' long longhouse at what is now Suquamish.

I was once paddling across Puget Sound to Blake Island when on channel 14 of my VHF, an incoming container ship alerted boaters to watch out for 150 indian canoes crossing from Suquamish to Golden Gardens. Part of the annual Tribal Journeys event, the canoes were headed down the Sound, picking up more canoes as they went, all headed to a final destination and epic party (potlatch). Knowing where their ancestors' villages where and how they got around is pretty cool.

Here's two other great books about pre-white contact native living in middle Puget Sound. Chief Seattle / Native Seattle. Native Seattle shows where the villages were in the Seattle area.

One more bonus book - Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation. Also by local navigation guru David Burch, this book is a great (all paddle craft) book using hands-on marine navigation methods.

Local Lingo - Not local? PT=Port Townsend. 

Other Seventy48 Posts:
Seventy48 - 6 Things to Know for your Success 
Seventy48 - Which Route to Take?



Salmon Bay Paddle / Paddle Smarter not Harder
Beginning to advanced SUP instruction in the Pacific Northwest
and PSUPA certification. www.salmonbaypaddle.com

And Seventy48 Training in-person or via phone


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