Ideas For Adventurous Small Boat Day Trips Around Port Townsend

This will be like a day hike trail guide, but for small boat explorations around Port Townsend

It all started with a question. What small boat adventure have I never done, but could do today? I have never… sailed my dinghy around Marrowstone Island. Really? What the hell, why hadn’t I done this? It is so close to home. So I did. It was awesome, complete with “Oh Shit” moments, a renewed respect for standing waves, peaceful wildlife sightings, new skills learned, ideas for boat improvements, a better sense of my local coastline, sore knees, and a great sense of satisfaction as I rowed into port near dark. I have now done lots of these, some multiple times.

Sure, it is very fun to aimlessly mess about in boats in Port Townsend Bay, I do it all the time. But these adventures are exciting and push you to learn more about the area, weather, currents, your abilities and your boat. Overnight boat trips are also full of unique experiences, and these day trips are excellent training for overnighting. But just like a multi-day hiking trip, overnighting takes a lot more organizing and gear. One of the joys for me in these day adventures is how easy they are and how they don’t constrain your travel to the next safe anchorage or campsite. Your comfy bed awaits.

There are many of these little day trips close to Port Townsend that I will be adding through the spring/summer of 2022. Some start from the PT waterfront. Others are a short drive away for trailerable and car-toppable boats. Depending on the route and weather, these can be done in a small sailboat, rowboat, kayak, paddle board, or small motor boats.

Hopefully the maps, routes, tips, cautions, personal stories, pictures and videos will help you get out on your own adventures!

Rat Island

Just across Port Townsend Bay, Rat Island is one of my favorite small boat destinations. It’s easy to get to, full of wildlife and scenery, offers a little excitement navigating some currents and shallow waters, and even has a nice beach!

Chimacum Creek

About four miles south of the Port Townsend Boat Haven marina is a little creek that is very fun to explore on a high tide. It’s a great place to see waterfowl.