Blake Island State Marine Park is a tiny island in the middle of the busiest part of Puget Sound. Just an hour by sailboat from Seattle, and with Bremerton to the west, it feels both primitive and developed. Which makes sense, if you consider its history.Continue reading →
Category / PNW Trips
Sucia Island: A land of fossils and rocky dreams
The flood brought us to Sucia Island, pushing our speed over ground to 9 kts for most of our trip north.
Our goal was to grab a mooring buoy in Fox Cove. It’s a smaller and slightly more exposed anchorage near Sucia Island, but the forecast for the next few days was sunny and very light wind.
At high tide, Little Sucia—the tiny rocky island just a few hundred feet away from Sucia—works with its sister island to create a south entrance to Fox Cove. It’s a deceptive welcome that hides the abundance of rocks lurking just under the surface. We opted to round Little Sucia instead and entered from the west side of the cove.Continue reading →
Finding culture and crowds at Roche Harbor
About a week before we got to Roche Harbor, I found an announcement on San Juan’s paper of record that the resort was curtailing its Fourth of July festivities this year.
There would be no games or parades. No bar entertainment, and attendance was being limited in a variety of ways to reduce the crowd size for the normally packed July 4th weekend. The tone of the announcement was full of regret and apology, blaming the party-pooping on COVID, of course.
Honestly, the idea of smaller crowds at Roche Harbor for the 4th was just fine with me.Continue reading →
James Island stays quiet when the San Juans are busy
We didn’t plan to stop by the very first Washington state marine park we saw after crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca. But when you come across an empty mooring in the San Juan Islands less than a week before the Fourth of July, you don’t hesitate to slow the boat down and pick up a mooring ball.
That’s how we ended up making James Island our first stop in the San Juan’s this summer. At first, we were lured by the lack of crowds here, but now I’d say James Island is worth a stop, no matter how many boats are in the moorage park.Continue reading →
Summer 2020: First stop, Port Blakely Harbor
On late afternoon of Tuesday, June 23, with a lingering list of boat projects, crap still piled up on the settee looking for a permanent home, we shoved out of our home marina in Elliot Bay and pointed for Bainbridge Island’s Port Blakely Harbor.
Seattle was warm and blustery, a rarity on a Seattle summer day. After I took us out of our slip and motored us out of the marina, C and our 12-year-old daughter, A, raised the mainsail. With the wind coming out of the north, we enjoyed a lovely beam- to broad-reach sail with A at the helm for most of the time.Continue reading →
Favorite sailing spots in south Puget Sound
It’s quiet, teeming with marine life and has epic mountain views. It’s home to about a dozen state-managed marine parks that make it easy to bop around from place to place and explore by kayak or on foot. And it gets little to none of the commercial shipping traffic seen between Tacoma and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
After spending two lovely, quiet, very socially distanced weeks in South Puget Sound recently, the only question we could ask ourselves was: How soon can we head back?Continue reading →
Mystery Bay Marine State Park: A bird-watcher’s paradise
Mystery Bay Marine State Park is a little bay outside Marrowstone Island, just east of Port Townsend. The park and the greater Killisut Harbor between Marrowstone and Indian islands are gems. Mariners willing to navigate the tricky, yet well-marked, shallow entrance to the harbor are rewarded with a protected bay teeming with birds and aquatic life easily explored by dingy or kayak.Continue reading →