Brian--how do you launch and land with such large tide changes? Do you camp with those tide changes? Do you have an AI or TI?
Wrote a lengthy response twice today, hit submit, and never saw them again. Ahh computers. Anyway, I'll try again but shorter-- probably didn't have that much to say anyway.
First, a confession. I've never camped with my TI. Just day trips. Thus, big tide changes are not a serious problem. I also launch from a trailer and a boat launch. So the only problem there is the end of the ramp at low tide. Last week the water was 10 feet away from the end of my local ramp when my wife and I got there. I backed the trailer over the broken concrete right at the end and out onto the mud. A big shove slid the TI off enough to put the back into the water floating. Another shove and I could lower the bow by hand. And no competition from boaters with 4,000 lb boats.
Other times and other launches I've waited a few hours. One time while several of us were waiting, a man drove up in a pickup with an open boat filled with crab pots. Water was 30 or 40 feet from the end of the ramp. He backed down, then put on boots and walked around in the mud for 10 minutes feeling out the soft and hard places. Satisfied, he got back in the truck, backed out onto the mud - not in a straight line. Launched and drove back to the parking lot. Piece of cake. Not for me.
Current is the big tidal problem for me. Bigger the tidal change the bigger the current. Mostly that means careful planning to be going the right directions at the right times, and not go near the narrows with its 4 kn currents on a flood tide.
Pulling up on a beach on a day trip is not so much a tide problem as a wave problem with barnacle covered rocks grinding away at the bottom of the boat.
So here are my thoughts about camping. I'd be curious to know how other Hobie Island people actually do do it -- as well as sailing skiffs etc.
After kayaking and TI ing for a decade around South Puget Sound, here is my description of a typical shoreline. The landscape is mostly low coastal mountains that are flooded so that the valley floors are under water. Some old beaches are superimposed on this, but mostly steep forested hills come right down to the water. At high tide the waves splash around tree roots, fallen trees, tilted trees undercut by waves, upturned stumps, and logs that broke loose from timber company log rafts being towed by tug boats to a mill. Trees around here are often 3 to 6 feet in diameter -- sometimes much bigger -- but those days are mostly gone.
That's all a way of saying that walking along a beach at high tide is difficult to impossible. Walking inland would probably require rope climbing gear to go up the steep hills. If you came straight into the beach with a TI the person in the front would step out in 1 to 3 feet of water. The person in the back would step out in 2 to 4 feet of water. Perhaps you could pull into a tangle of trees and stretch a hammock between branches over the boat. But wave action would grind away at the boat hull.
Low tide will give you 30 to 100 feet of exposed rocks on a fairly steep slope. There are a number of sandy beach areas -- but I'd never count on just finding one in the next 5 miles. Put another way, pulling the boat up on the beach will not give you any advantage for camping in most places. Anchoring out would mean swimming in.
Another problem: Most land is privately owned, including the beach. Simply standing there is illegal. However, most water front houses are way up on a steep forested hill with no way to get down or to see the beach. So I think most boaters ignore the law for brief day use -- unless the houses are right down next to the beach. Those of course are the areas where there is more level ground, including level beaches and sand. That is, the good camping spaces were taken 100 years earlier.
Public land comments to come.
Sheltered bay comments to come.