Instead of towing everyone through a day by day of our June trip, we figured we would just highlight the stops we made and what we enjoyed there. To that end, we start with what is often our first destination out of Bellingham – Sucia Island.
Sucia is – rightly so – a very popular marine state park in the San Juan Islands. Rumors and opinions abound about how crazy and crowded it gets during high season (although we did not have a problem with this on a short 4 day trip in June/July of 2016). Well, if what we saw was crazy and busy then I’ll take it any day. Despite being lead up to the weekend and a beautiful set of days in mid June, we found Sucia – while certainly occupied – to be a very pleasant place to spend a few days.
Pluses of this beautiful island include lots of walking trails (easy to get away from other folks), two large docks (docks make life a lot easier with the hound dog), crazy views in all directions, and a generally very mellow feel even when the docks are full and most mooring balls are taken.
We spent two nights on the “inner” or westernmost dock, including the first morning that featured a -1.1′ tide. We draw 5’2″ and never touched bottom, although I don’t think we had much to spare… safe to say there’s 6′ of water at the outer end of that dock at a zero tide (which is what we’d read previously on Active Captain, but happy to find the info was accurate).
Days on Sucia are spent pretty simply… long walks with the hound dog to various great view points, time in the cockpit or down below reading, perhaps an adult beverage in the afternoon. The weather was ridiculously nice: sunny, warm, just enough breeze to keep things from getting too hot… ideal, really. Brig managed to walk all the way around the point at Fox Cove at low tide and we had a nice loop out to Ev Henry Point.
The morning after our second night we knew was going to feature a -2.2′ tide, which would mean we’d be in something like 4′ of water… not good… so we woke early and moved out to one of the balls in the mooring field (note to other sailors, some of the mooring balls in close are still in pretty shallow water; we ended up near the eastern end of the mooring field to be sure we had enough water at a minus two tide). We spent a pleasant morning reading and watching the scenery, and Brig rowed Hobie in for a nice walk and to check out the “outer” or easternmost dock. We had heard this dock was even shallower, but we were just looking for another night on the dock and planning on leaving early the next morning anyway (the next morning was shaping up for a -3′ tide!). Once the tide came back up we moved onto the outer dock for the afternoon and evening and walked out to Snoring Bay and enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine.
Come morning we were out early as the outer dock only has about 5′ of water at a zero tide (so was heading to something like 2′ total of water at the big low!), and not much more than that on the approach from the mooring field, so we left ourselves plenty of time to sneak our way back out to deeper water before the really low tide hit.
Next post, a planned trip to Tumbo turns into a score at Patos Island.