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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 is kayaker favorite
The pic looks big but from the water the sign is small and easy to miss.
Kraken at Lummi Island Campground cove
For spending any time here you will want to tie to shore or drop a stern anchor

       The next perfect cove in this two place post is in Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island.  Many of you have undoubtedly gone right by and not known you can anchor and go ashore.

      This is a vehicle accessible preserve known as Fisherman Bay Spit Preserve, aka "The Spit"
       Once again you must follow my directions because there is nothing on shore to help you, and your charts are for keeping you off rocks, not visiting local attractions.  Begin by heading in the narrow no wake entrance to Fisherman Bay, on your right is the spit on your left are waterfront homes and Lopez Village.  At the first corner on your right is a small cove followed by a second small cove, the two coves are separated by  rocky outcrops.  Between the first two outcrops is a small thirty foot gravel dinghy beach with a well used trail leading up the bank.

     You can anchor anywhere you want in Fisherman Bay, but be forewarned that it gets windy out in the middle in front of the two big resort marinas and you will have wakes. We anchor in the no wake zone close to the dinghy beach I just described and paddle to shore to hike and use the bathroom next to the parking lot.

The Spit preserve at Fisherman Bay cove
If you squint you can see the dinghy beach and a kayak. Up on the rock are hikers.
Fisherman Bay Spit preserve on Lopez Island, WA
As you can see, boats are anchored willy nilly. That small headland on the right blocks some of the wind and creates a nice deep pool for anchoring
Fisherman Bay Spit preserve on Lopez Island, WA, San Juan Islands
This is the end of the road and the parking lot for "The Spit" preserve.  Nice manicured grassy trails run to the end of the spit and over to the dinghy beach beyond the far trees.