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9/30/2018

Two Perfect, Almost Secret Coves

     Throughout our cruising area are literally thousands of places one can poke a boat into, drop the hook and go ashore - WRONG. Most places are private property and you will be trespassing on shore.  We as boaters are limited to parks, preserves, resorts, etc.

     The problem is that our charts do not show all there is to know.  

     Lummi Island Campground:
This is a small five site  waterfront campground within the 650 plus acre Lummi Island Conservation Area. It is a very hard to find place, the picture posted and my description will be your best resource for finding your way.

   For those of you new to the area, Lummi Island is that big land mass blocking your way to just about everywhere when you put in at  Squalicum Harbor  in Bellingham. 

     The campground is near the south end of Lummi on the east side.  Your NOAA based chart will show Smugglers Cove, Inati Bay, Reil Harbor in that order, just south of the small Reil inlet is an even smaller cove.  There is no name but your chart should have a little boat symbol which is the icon for a mooring area but don't get your hopes up, this is a dinky little cove that will require a stern tie or anchor to keep you from swinging onto the rocks. You can pull off a 2 to 1 rode lunch stop if your lucky. It is unlikely two boats can coexist unless they raft.

     By now you should have figured out this place is perfect for kayakers, but you can squeeze in.  The dinghy beach is gravel. Use the campfire rings and composter outhouse.  There is even a loop trail to hike.

Look for this sign as you coast along the shore, it is high up on the bluff on the right side of the cove facing somewhat southward.
Lummi Island Campground
The pic looks big but from the water it is small and easy to miss
Kraken at Lummi Island Campground
For spending any time here you will want to tie to shore or drop a stern anchor


9/10/2018

Excellent Eight Day Cruise Over Labor Day Weekend 2018



       In an earlier post I made a wish list for my summer travels, this is a follow up. But first a link to my earlier post so readers may see what I wanted to do and compare that with what we really did.   Ideas for this summers cruises posted in January 2018

      Because of a hectic summer with two weddings and a Boston trip we almost stayed home, but just before Labor Day I said lets go or forever wish we had. On the morning of our departure we were battening down and about to hit I-5 north when a neighbor came walking by.  He is also a San Juan traveler so we ended up talking for two hours.

     Finally heading out, we immediately stopped to fill the trucks 33 gallon tank, next stop besides the usual rest areas was Seattle where we picked up another 29 gallons.  It is always a shock to find out we only have a few gallons left when I am hauling 10,000 lbs.  Next stop was Winco in Tulalip where we purchased our entire food and beverage supply. No shopping list for us, we just walked the aisles and filled the cart with everything we liked, except we forgot to get a sack of ice for our drinks even though we talked about it in the check out line.

     We arrived in Bellingham about two hours before sundown, took the port of Bellingham exit and went straight to Fred Meyers for the forgotten ice.  I am thinking, I hope this 30-40 minute delay doesn't bite us, especially after losing 2 hours gabbing at home. (see, no stress for me!)

      Splashing the boat and parking in the free lot was a breeze as it always is, but hosing down my salty trailer got me all wet because the water hose is full of holes. ( zero kudos to Squalicum Harbor staff in charge of  wash down hoses.)

       Staying at the transient dock and paying the tourist per foot fee just didn't interest me this trip, I wanted to get underway.  I said to Linda, we have one solid hour of daylight and I can anchor in the dark at Inati Bay  if I have to, so off we went.  We arrived at Inati Bay on Lummi Island almost exactly at sunset. I set the anchor in fifteen feet, thirty feet from shore, opened the first box of wine and broke out the barbecue as darkness settled around us.  I remember looking at the ink black water and the nearby shore cliffs blending together and thinking how anchoring in the dark would have meant dropping the hook a lot further out.

       Day 2. Got the coffee dripping first thing. Last night was great, stars were out. Actually slept in a little.  We listened to the weather radio for conditions expected if we head for Victoria. Sounds like a go but I'm not sure. With deteriorating conditions expected that evening we might be headed into a gale if the front blows in early, but at this point I am set for going to Victoria.

       We up anchor and head south around Lummi so I can get a better picture of the Lummi Island Campground sign (takes two minutes), when we clear the south end and head northwest, I'm staring right at Clark Island, Clark is another on my bucket list of places I need new pictures for my planned updated Cruising Guide.  We grab a buoy at Clark and dinghy ashore.  I haven't changed my negative opinion of Clark but I did get the pics I wanted. Linda thinks I'm unfairly maligning Clark but I am more convinced than ever that putting a state park in the middle of Rosario Strait is a dumb, bordering on dangerous idea.

Clark Island campground
This is the view of the trail leading off the beach at Clark to the well hidden six site campground. To find this trail, anchor or use a buoy in the cove  on the east side of  Clark.  Now walk all the way to the very far south end (left end) until you are blocked by boulders and cliffs. There it is, you can't miss it. All the other dozen or so camp sites are waterfront along the beach.