James Island Marine State Park

Looking for a great island to visit in the San Juan Islands? James Island is right up there with Sucia Island, but it’s a lot further south. James also makes an ideal staging spot for further exploration into the islands. James Island is a Marine State Park operated by the Washington State Parks. It’s located just east of Thatcher Pass, the ‘gateway’ to the San Juan Islands, so it makes an excellent staging island for boats planning multi-day trips into the islands or beginning a…

Matia Island State Park

matia island

High winds caught us by surprise while anchored at Matia Island for Memorial Day. Fortunately, I followed the steps listed in my marine safety article before going to bed and we were able to avert running aground when both anchors began to drag. Boating to Matia Island My friends Ken and Sherrie, my wife, and I had made plans months ago to redevous at Matia Island for Memorial Day weekend. I made a hard push in May to get my hands on the new Torqeedo…

Sucia Island, Cruising the San Juan Islands:

I thought it would fun to share some of our more favorite destinations in the San Juan Islands.  We have been cruising here since 2008 so we have many “favorites” but Sucia Island is a regular and we try to make at least three or four visits a year there. Incredible scenery, miles of shoreline, excellent facilities, and solid holding grounds.  With docks, mooring buoys, camping, hiking, fishing, crabbing, clam digging, diving, sea kayaking and more.  Sucia offers it all.  No wonder this park is consistently ranked…

The Gnomes of Stuart Island

cruising, sailing the san juan islands, hiking, boating, fishing, boat camping,

I know it must be hard to believe but there are gnomes living on Stuart Island. Stuart Island in Washington state, named in honor of Frederick D. Stuart, the captain’s clerk of the Wilkes expedition in 1841, is the Northwestern most island in the San Juan archipelago. Home to two communities of full and part-time residents, two airfields, and Stuart Island State Park. Most of the island is private property and although there are no stores or accommodations on Stuart Island itself, it is still…

A Hiking Trail Map of Cypress Head

hiking trail guide for cypress head

I’ve been digging around the internet on how to download track data to and from my GPS. I finally figured it out and decided that I’d share my GPS data on this website, as well as on Google Maps and Google Earth. The first hike I’ll share is Cypress Head. This is not my favorite hike in the world. It’s extremely vertical, making about 1000 foot of elevation gain for 4000 feet of horizontal distance. However, this trail is infrequently traveled for the same reasons,…

Square Cove – Guemes Island

Square Cove opening

We did a short day trip today. We thought we might spend the night out and had prepared for such, but with 3 grand-children and neither of us feeling all that healthy, left the options open. We weren’t sure where we were going when we left the dock. It was Vendovi, Saddlebag Island, or someplace in-between. We departed our slip at Cape Sante Marina with supplies for lunch, dinner, s-mores, and more. As we were transiting Guemes Island en-route to Vendovi Island, we looked at…

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