Not only did we have a great time in Olympic National Park, we were also right by the ocean! We made the most of it with sea kayaking and a couple days on the beach. I’m trying to play catch up on my blogging game and make sure we tell you about all this cool stuff.
We went sea kayaking on the northern edge of the Olympic peninsula, outside Port Angeles. We had all our own gear (dry suits and PFDs, most importantly), just no sea kayaks or sea kayak paddles! We rented those and headed out to Freshwater Bay, a protected spit of ocean that would be good for our first time in non-flat, non-river conditions.
It was pouring rain when we set out, but it wasn’t stormy, so we were good to go as long as we didn’t mind getting wet. It was certainly different for these whitewater kayakers to go out in the open ocean! There was a big tidal exchange due to the full moon, so the swells took some getting used to. Different from rivers, but not difficult. We saw river otters, harbor seals, and what we think were a pair of sea lions. Whales are sometimes seen in the area, but not the day we went. The animals were really cool. The shore was mostly rocky cliffs and we saw a lot of black cormorants nesting in the rock face.
After we got back and returned our rentals, we enjoyed wine tasting from the winery next door! (Side note: I can’t drink red wine- migraines- so I was really excited that they had a grape-free raspberry wine. It tasted like raspberry preserves and it was a nice break from white wine.)
Our other ocean adventures were a few days later in Ocean Shores, WA. We actually didn’t mean to go there at all! We broke down again (catalytic converter this time, all is well, I refuse to write another break down post) and got towed to the town on the western coast of Washington. It’s a little vacation spot for summer weekenders. The feeling of the town actually reminded me a lot of my family vacations to Destin, FL as a kid. We were there after peak season (and during the week), so it was very quiet and pleasant. We happened to find the most beautiful beach that we have maybe ever visited! It was hard-packed sand, enough that they allowed people to drive on it. The beach was super wide and went as far as the eye could see. There were lots of sea gulls, of course, but also lots of shells/mollusks (mussels, clams, oysters, crabs, sand dollars).
We were bummed we broke down again, and it made the week kind of crazy, but it really worked out for the best, I think. We never would have visited the seashore at all, and it was so beautiful! It was just serendipity, I think. 🙂