Friday, December 19, 2008

Sucia Island

Back at the end of November The Mr. and I took our boat out on the ocean once again. This trip marked our first "just the two of us" maiden voyage. It was the first time we went out alone, and it felt so good just go out on the water with what seemed like the world in front of us to explore. Being on the ocean gives you a feeling that is unlike any other feeling in the world. It's a feeling of freedom and independence, it clears your head and relaxes you.

This time we decided to head to an area that we had never been to before. Nothing like a little exploring to make your day exciting! We decided to make a visit to Sucia Island and as you can see on the map above, it is an island full of places to explore and underwater hazards to be sure to navigate around. I think it looks like an upside down hand print, don't you? The shape of the island makes it a little difficult to navigate on your first visit. Sucia is also part of a larger grouping called the Sucia Islands made up of ten islands. Sucia, Little Sucia, Ewing, Justice, some small formations called the Cluster Islands as well as several small unnamed islands.

We launched our boat at the Blaine Marina and headed out across the water. The weather was great for boating with small waves (no swells this time!) and blue skies dotted with white clouds. On our way, we passed numerous commercial fishing boats working on setting their pots or waiting in anticipation of their crab hauls. We could barely find a clear path through all the buoys!

And we're off! That's White Rock, BC on the left, with the Canadian part of the North Cascades in the background.

Mt. Baker in the center. On the right might be Twin Sisters but I am really not sure.

When we approached Sucia Island we were blown away by the curious shape of the island. We were so intent on navigating that I forgot to take photos of this part of the trip. Sucia island is an amazingly beautiful island and when you look at it with all it's fingers, inlets and bays you feel transported to somewhere tropical. I can't explain it better than these authors, so I will quote them. Their writings about the San Juan Islands are beautiful and I highly recommend reading them if you want to see the area through their eyes. I'm not usually into reading these types of journals, but I can barely "put it down" to use a book term. I can't wait to see if the library has the book.

"I've never seen such an awesome, beautiful place in my life."
The young man from New York stepped off his friend's boat onto the float in Fossil Bay, amazed by the madrona and fir trees reaching skyward from rocky bluffs above the beaches of Sucia Island.
"We just don't have this incredible sort of place back East." Wide-eyed, he spread his arms, embracing the beauty around him. Those of us who heard him realized how much we take the simple grandeur of this island for granted.
There's something very special about this island with its many bays, coves, beaches, forest trails and incredible beauty that inspires first time visitors to be unabashedly enthusiastic and keeps us returning. Whenever we return to Sucia we feel like we've come home, it's that kind of place. It is THE most popular of all the San Juan Islands, the cruising destination for over 100,000 boaters each year. But it doesn't matter how many people are here, we find our favorite spots away from the crowds, and how lovely it is.
-Jo Bailey and Carl Nyberg

Pulling up to the dock in Fossil Bay on Sucia Island.

This would be an amazing place to watch the sunset. We want to come back and spend the night sometime. There are docks and buoys where you can tie up overnight and we could either sleep in the boat or pitch a tent.

I wonder if Ansel Adams ever visited Sucia? So many of the trees were his style. (The funny thing is that I googled "Ansel Adams, Sucia" and read things like "Ansel Adams style trees" and "Eat your heart out Ansel Adams." I guess I wasn't the only one who thought of him!

What a perfect picnic spot! A cliff with a beautiful tree. I found several photos of this distinct tree around the web.

Madrona, or Madrone trees are plentiful on this island.

We hiked around quite a bit and next time we want to bring Petra, she'll love it there.

Juniper berries.

The Madrona has an outer papery layer that seems to be peeled off easily by the salty air, exposing an incredibly smooth and rubbery layer of bark underneath.

There were a few historical markers on the island. This one is for Henry point and is probably no bigger than 10" square.

Our boat all alone at the dock. For being the most visited San Juan Island, it sure is nice and private in November!


  1. Gorgeous group of pics. This Pacific NW girl really loves the San Juans. :-) They are spectacularly beautiful--I think God really outdid Himself on that group of islands.

  2. This looks like a lovely place to visit, especially in the summertime! It appears very peaceful and quiet...almost forgotten terms in today's busy paced world! Ah, I do love nature.


Your comments make my day, thank you!