top of page

PART 2 - Seattle to Heriot Bay

May 30th - Day 1

I took an uber ride to the Miami airport. My flight ended up being delayed for three hours, because of heavy afternoon downpours, and I did not arrive in Seattle until the early morning hours. The flight itself was extremely crowded and I was placed in the middle seat in between two obese fellows who barely fit in their seats and hogged the arm rests on either side. I closed my eyes to try and get some sleep and hopped the fat guy by the window would not need to get out and use the bathroom.

From the airport I took another uber ride to Lake Stevens to meet with David, get my kayak and finally start the journey. Surprisingly, the ride lasted almost two hours, even without much traffic.  I had not realized that the Seattle metropolitan area was so big.  

David was waiting for me outside his house. “Welcome to Seattle! I’m excited for your trip! I wish I could be doing that, but I’m afraid I’m getting married in July.”

“Oh, my condolences to you!” I said with a half-deadpanned look. Perhaps this was not the best joke to make with someone you’ve never met before who is giving you an enormous amount of help, but thankfully he cracked with laughter at my dark humor.

“Let us go to my warehouse and get a look at your boat. I didn’t open any of the bags, so I am curious to see what a three-piece kayak looks like.”

We had a quick drive to his warehouse where to my great delight I set eyes on my familiar kayak bags. Everything looked fine. “Here are the things you ordered,” David said as he handed me a box with the new GPS unit and fiberglass repair kit I had ordered.

I was immediately reminded of the missing GPS unit I had been looking for all over in Miami. I opened the Kayak bag with the cockpit section, found the dry bag with the electronics and poured out the contents. The missing GPS unit wasn’t there. “I was totally convinced it would be here.” I mumbled. It had seemed inevitable that I would recoup the $400 I had spent on the new unit. It felt like I had just lost $400, again. “It is what it is. Where could that GPS unit be?”

I started to unpack my other items.

“How are you getting to the water?”

“Oh, I marked a boat ramp on the Snohomish River. It’s about 6 miles from here. I figured that I would make a portage to get there.” I showed David the marker on Google Earth. He looked at the screen on my phone, and his expression was not encouraging.

“You guys in Miami must not have very steep hills. That ramp is a four hour walk with your kayak and is probably not the best place. It will be quite late by the time you launch. Let’s do this, I’ll drive you down to Everett. There’s a big marina there, and the waterfront has several hotels. You can then decide what to do there.”

That was very wise advice. Having barely slept the night before, my physiological condition had been running on fumes. We loaded the kayak on his roof rack and placed all my gear in the truck bed. As we drove down, my body started telling me that it would not let me do anything else before I gave it a few hours of sleep.

“You know David, I think I’ll launch tomorrow. I’m feeling tired, and I haven’t even decided how I’m going to arrange everything I have to fit in the kayak, probably best I don’t rush on the first day…”

“Yeah, it’s probably better. That’s when bad stuff happens. I’ll drop you off at this really good hotel. It’s where most of the folks at my wedding are going to be staying. I’ll tell them you’re a friend, and they can probably get you a deal and keep the kayak for the night.”