At Anchor

At Anchor
Whiskyjack at anchor in Garrison Bay, San Juan Island

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Quick Visit of the San Juan Islands

We have been avoiding the San Juan Islands for the last several times we have been in the area.  Mostly because of the number of people.  Toward the end of June, while transiting the area, we decided to stop into some places that we either had not visited or had not visited in a long time.
English Camp, San Juan Island
Our first stop was Garrison Bay on San Juan Island.  We entered the bay on a Friday afternoon just to have a look, expecting that we may have to move on if the bay was crowded.  We were surprised to find just a few boats anchored.  We found a lovely spot to anchor, north of Guss Island, not far off the southern bluffs of Bell Point.  We spent the afternoon exploring English Camp followed by a dingy ride around the bay.  In the morning before breakfast we hiked the loop trail around Bell Point.  This is a lovely trail.

The Dingy Captain

The following morning we weighed anchor and made for Echo Bay on Sucia Island.  Arriving on a Saturday afternoon, we expected that we may  not be able to find a spot to anchor.  Boy, were we surprised!  There were plenty of spots to anchor, even close in.  We spent the day hiking some of the trails on Sucia.  The 2 mile Lawson Bluff trail is absolutely outstanding!  We hiked it in the late afternoon and the views to the west and north are fabulous.  The trail meanders from the edge of the bluff into the forest and back again.  Looking down from the precipice of the bluff to the water's edge at the weathered sand stone, you can see all manner of shape and form.  It makes the imagination run wild.

Alden Point Lighthouse on Patos Island

Sunday morning we left Echo Bay and made for Stuart Island.  We turned north out of Echo bay going between Ewing Island and Clements Reef to view Lawson Bluff from the water.  We also wanted to see the lighthouse on Patos Island at Alden Point.  Looking at the lighthouse reminds one of the strength of the Light Keepers to be able to live in such surroundings.  We transited Boundary Pass to Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island.  Over one half of the Start Park mooring buoys we vacant, so we took one, just east of the park dock. 

The New School
The Old School
From the State Park dock in Prevost Harbor, we walked a well maintained trail southwest to the county road, then northwest to the Stuart Island School.  We toured the school, being fortunate enough to meet with last year's teacher of the two students that attended the school.

The sunrise over South Pender Island

Monday morning we were underway at first light to catch the ebb tide as we made way for Port Angeles.  Our trip across the Straights of Juan de Fuca was uneventful with the exception of fog on the south side of the Straight.  Closed hauled on a single tack from Discovery Island to Ediz Hook with wind of (Beaufort) Force 3 to Force 4.  Does it get any better than this?

1 comment:

  1. Read your blog with interest, especially since we used to own the original Island Drifter, the wood one. We sold it a couple of years ago and now own an Eagle 40 pilothouse trawler. We just returned from a two month trip circumnavigating Vancouver Island, and I thought you'd enjoy reading our blog. (go to: I understand that our Island Drifter had been around Vancouver Island twice before we owned it, so maybe you'll be inspired to try it! I'm impressed that you made the trip up the coast, but I have no doubt it was worth it!