Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Favorite San Juan Islands Anchorages

Recently a friend asked what our favorite anchorages in the San Juan Islands were.

Before I answer, you will need some context.  First, these are anchorages... not docks, not mooring balls.  We don't like being tied to a dock, and Eolian is at the upper limit of what the State Park mooring balls allow, which makes me nervous about the condition of the mooring chain and anchor - we trust our own chain and anchor.  We are not usually fond of hustle and bustle, so Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor are not on the list (however we will stop at one of these for provisions if necessary, or to visit friends).

So here they are in no particular order at all.  I have written "Destination" posts about some of these before (links included)...  but this list tells me that I have more writing to do:

  1. Echo Bay, Sucia Island
  2. Parks Bay, Shaw Island
  3. Indian Cove, Shaw Island
  4. Blind Bay, Shaw Island
  5. Center Island, Lopez Sound
  6. Hunter Bay, Lopez Sound
  7. Brigantine Bay, Lopez Sound
  8. Reid Harbor, Stuart Island
  9. Westcott/Garrison Bays, San Juan Island
Now that we are Anacortes-based, we will have the time to explore the Islands more thoroughly.  In the past we have visited these additional places with smaller boats:
  • James Island
  • Spencer Spit
  • Jones Island
  • Turn Island
  • Armitage Island
  • Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island
  • Fossil Bay, Sucia Island
  • Shallow Bay, Sucia Island
but Eolian is uncomfortably large to fit in some of them,  and some are not suitable except in settled weather.

We have never been to Fisherman's Bay on Lopez Island.  Several of our friends have, and some of those friends have bumped bottom on the entry.  We will visit Fisherman's Bay, but we will do so on a rising tide when the tides are high.

OK readers, now it is your turn.  Where are your favorite spots?  Where should we visit next?


Anonymous said...

Yes. Fisherman's Bay is a great anchorage. Good holding and often a cool breeze on hot summer days. Even with our 4 foot shoal draft, approaching the entrance at low tide requires caution. Once inside follow the channel markers.
Another favorite is Garrison Bay. Great holding is shallow depth. A bullet-proof anchorage, we once spent 3 days there while it blew 30 knots off the Straits. Very interesting historical park.
I know Echo Bay is popular, but it seems like there is almost always wave action from wakes, wind, and/or the tide rips outside the harbor. Too rocky-rolly for us generally.
Jeff and Merle McKay
SV Esperanza
Morgan 321

Robert Salnick said...

Great reviews Esperanza - thanks!


Jason said...

I am feeling that this is the year that Eolian experiences Fisherman Bay. With any luck, we will be there to welcome you.

Robert Salnick said...

Could be Jason... could be...

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