We meet at 0900 at the campsite, gear on and ready to launch. There were 9 of us: the three trip leaders (all L3 ACA certified instructors), the wives of 2 of them, another experienced couple, an older gentleman in his 70s, and myself.
We did a brief introduction, a check to see who had first aid and CPR certification (mine is good through May of 2020). a safety gear check (tow lines, VHF radios, first aid kits, helmets, etc), and a reminder that while we weren’t far from civilization, we’d be on our own if something happened.
The nearest Coast Guard helicopter would be coming from Port Angeles, more than 61 miles out. Putting that into perspective, we’d be looking at 35 minutes from response to rescue. Then we’d still need to get offshore for any rescue to be possible. In conditions where help would be needed, getting it might not even be possible.
Bail out points are something we keep in mind on these types of trips, both for emergencies and needed breaks. While there would be no way to know where we could land, low tide meant we’d likely have plenty of shoreline if needed. And still, surf conditions along the rocky shores could still make them inaccessible.