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Back to the USA

JULY 20, 2017 | Tuesday morning was calm enough to choose Cabbage Island Marine Park for our destination. It is actually a couple of sandstone reef islands right on the edge of the Strait of Georgia near the US-Canada border, rather exposed, with just room for a string of buoys. Our route took us through Active Pass at max flood for another wild ride, while avoiding the huge BC ferry. Once out in the Strait, conditions were pleasant, and it was dead calm and sunny all day. Grabbed a buoy, and rowed to the smaller Cabbage Island first to explore the varied geology and fascinating reefs. Then over to larger Tumbo Island to hike the trails past the marsh and through the woods. Lots of wildlife here – otters, several kingfishers, eagles, pileated woodpeckers, and a flounder that swam under the dingy in the shallows.

We set out for Suchia Island on Wednesday morning, but with a breeze, and some major tide rips and waves to get through while phoning in to clear customs as we crossed the border. We choose Shallow Bay as most likely to be sheltered from the weather. Beautiful hike around the bluffs over to Ewing Cove on the other side with a stunning view of Mt. Baker. Clouds moved in for the walk back, and we had to resort to making brownies again to counteract them. We have had wonderful weather on this trip, and hadn’t seen any rain at all, but during the night, it finally rained.

We were braced for a bouncy run from Sucia to Watmough Bay on Thursday out in Rosario Strait, but it turned out to be easy going, although still cloudy. Our last day in the San Juans, we wanted to do one final hike, to the top of Chadwick Hill, which overlooks Watmough Bay, some 400 feet straight down a near vertical cliff. Perched on a ledge of the cliff right near our boat was a turkey vulture nest, with a huge, funny looking chick. White fluffy feathers around the neck giving way to the smooth black adult feathers. Once we returned to the boat, cold air from the Strait of Juan de Fuca blew in, and we hid inside for the rest of the evening. We’re planning to be underway early tomorrow, to make Deception Pass at slack around 8am.

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