Monday, March 23, 2015

Destination: Center Island, San Juan Islands

In Lopez Sound, tucked into the bight formed by the spit on the south end of Decatur Island, lies Center Island.  

Lopez Sound
Excerpt from Chart 18429
The island is all privately owned and is large enough to have an airstrip.  Tho there is no public access to shore, Center Island has one very important attribute for cruisers in the San Juan Islands:  it is the eye of the storm.  On multiple occasions when the wind was howling out of the west, down the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Hunter Bay, we found almost calm conditions anchored off the north east shore of Center Island.  And then there was the time when we came through Lopez Pass with 25+ kt on our stern and anchored in the same spot, again in calm conditions.

Center Island
Depths in fathoms
Approaching from Lopez Pass, we clear the last of the chain of small islands north of the pass, turn north, and round Center Island on its western side.  The area between Center Island and the Decatur spit is quite shallow south of the cable area, and so we avoid it in all but the highest of tides.

Approaching from the north there are no surprises.  We anchor in 4 fathoms, close to the island and just north of the edge of the cable area. 

Calm Morning
That is Center Island to the right of center, viewed from the north

It's not always this calm at Center Island, but it is a beautiful anchorage.


1 comment:

Bruce Kilen said...

I appreciate an anchorage I haven't used before. We usually anchor in Hunter or Mud Bays

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