Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Destination: Chuckanut Bay

If you arrived here by searching for a chart, please see this page.

Chuckanut Bay
Excerpt from chart 18424
In answer to your first question, no I don't know where the name comes from, but Wikipedia says, "from 'Chuckanut', a native word for 'Long beach far from a narrow entrance'".   Um, OK.

Chuckanut Bay is located just south of Bellingham Bay, a nice sail up from Anacortes.  There are no tricks in approaching the Bay, and the only hazards are those well-charted and quite visible rocks...  and little Chuckanut Island, both of which serve to partially guard the entrance from swells.

But the bay's best protection is from the surrounding land.  It is very high and steep, heavily wooded terrain, and serves as an effective wind block from the north or the south. 

There are Burlington Northern/Santa Fe railroad tracks near the water and which pretty much completely surround the bay, including passing over an artificial causeway at the north end.  Expect to see trains. 

Anchoring is easy - the bay is a near-uniform 40 feet deep with a sticky mud bottom.  You can anchor just about anywhere. 
Looking down the length of Chuckanut Bay from the north

The northern bight is nearly free of development, especially on the western shore, tho there are a series of McMansions perched high up on the steep hillside (they must have spectacular views, but they are built cheek by jowl).

The southern bight offers two especially nice spots: Pleasant Bay and the unnamed bight just to the northeast.  There are a few boats on buoys and the development is much more tasteful.

And since the bay opens to the west, the sunsets are spectacular!



Ben McKee said...

Anchoring right at the C in Chuckanut to sit out a blow from the north, or up in Pleasant Bay (a bit like anchoring in folks front yard) when it comes out of the south.

Robert Salnick said...

Thanks Ben for the anchoring recommendations. We have also anchored in the bight just northeast of Pleasant Bay when sheltering from a southerly.


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