Unexpected Afternoon with a Harbor Seal

Pleasant Harbor provides a protected cove with easy access for paddlers to view a huge variety of boats and the wildlife around them.

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Following an impulse to not waste the precious sunlight of a beautiful October day led to an unexpected afternoon with a harbor seal. Pleasant Harbor is an easily accessible and protected cove on the Hood Canal for a paddle with both “urban” and wildlife appeal.

Paddling Pleasant Harbor

Located just south of Brinnon, Pleasant Harbor makes for a wonderfully interesting paddle. If you plan to make a weekend of it, stay at Dosewallips State Park just down the road. Curious about other local paddles or adventures? Check out this story on the Duckabush Estuary Paddle and E-Biking the Dosewallips River Road.

Looking north from the boat ramp, paddle through the marinas on the left or next to more forested residential shore on the right.
When at dock, the Zephyr Research Vessel is a captivating boat to study. This 86′ steel boat was built in 1972 to work as a pilot boat in San Francisco. After 30 years of service, she was donated to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. The current owners bought her in 2013 and updated Zephyr to her current status as a vessel serving researchers in projects like underwater vehicle deployment, fish-tagging, acoustic mooring deployment, and general marine construction. Paddlers in the marina can view specialized equipment at the stern of the boat and imagine their own adventures at sea!


Most boaters access this cove via the boat ramp located off Black Point Road. Read more about the WDFW project to build out this site nearly 20 years ago to provide public access.

There is no public water access from neighboring Pleasant Harbor Marina. Although often overlooked, Pleasant Harbor State Park is a lovely place to moor your boat overnight. However, there is not a boat ramp at this location.

Bring your own kayak to the ramp or rent one from Hood Canal Adventures.