This site has oodles of information about boating and the San Juans, it helps to use the search box BELOW to find what interests you.
Search - "things to do" or try "places to go"
search - Sucia Island
search - Friday Harbor
search - hiking or bicycling
try - kayak - try CAMPING - try Anchoring

++++ ============================= All Posts Below

Current Posts Below

Artificial Intelligence and Cruising the San Juan’s

I am dedicating this series of postings to AI created content.  However, it is apparent that AI is subject to missinformation and missing information so I will try to fill the gaps with my own comments at the end.

Note: I'm having a difficult time choosing  chat bot created articles.  Just about all that I look at are so full of mistakes that I fear people may be fooled into doing something they regret.

Chatbot created   -    Patos Island Essay (the images are mine and real but the text is AI created followed by my attempt at making corrections)

Patos Island is a small, uninhabited island located in the northern part of the San Juan Islands archipelago in Washington State, USA. The island is part of the Patos Island State Park and is accessible only by boat or kayak.

Patos Island is known for its natural beauty and rugged wilderness, with rocky shorelines, secluded coves, and forested hillsides. The island is a popular destination for hikers, bird watchers, and kayakers who come to explore its many trails and waterways.

One of the most distinctive features of Patos Island is the Patos Island Lighthouse, which has been guiding mariners through the treacherous waters of the Haro Strait since 1893. The lighthouse is a popular spot for visitors, who can tour the historic building and climb to the top for stunning views of the surrounding islands and waterways.

Patos Island also has a rich history, dating back to its use by Native American tribes for fishing and hunting. Later, the island was home to a small community of settlers who farmed the land and fished the surrounding waters. Today, visitors can still see the remains of some of the old buildings and structures, including the ruins of an old homestead and a long-abandoned fish cannery.

In addition to its natural beauty and historical significance, Patos Island is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, harbor seals, and a variety of seabirds. Visitors are advised to respect the island's fragile ecosystem and to practice Leave No Trace principles when visiting this remote and beautiful island.

My take:

Having been to Patos many times, I agree with the above but must mention that I have never seen the abandoned homestead and cannery, however, I have not explored (no trails or easy landing beaches) the far south end of the island. The area around the lighthouse does have some concrete foundations to explore that are left over from when the coast guard had a active duty station.

The hiking at Patos is minimal and somewhat disappointing, especially when compared to other places. The lighthouse is a very worthwhile visit.  In the summer season, volunteers open the doors and you may climb the stairs to see the light up close.

There are no docks, the cozy little cove between Patos and Little Patos Island is where you should anchor. Several gravel beaches invite your dinghy to the picnic area and campground.  The level trail to the lighthouse is ten minutes and very easy walking.  We use Patos as our closest jump off point when heading to Vancouver and we want an early start to cover the forty five  miles.

I recommend cruisers stop by even for just an hour or so.  People overnighting at Sucia Island can make Patos an easy half day outing and be back at Sucia early.

Looking south across Patos anchorage, that's Sucia in the far distance

 Chat bot created article  about Matia Island:

I generated and regenerated this article about a dozen times.  In each new version chatgtp put in goofy things like lighthouses and boat launches.  Matia is my favorite place to visit and is easily overloaded with boats so I was tempted to simply delete everything and hope the crowds overlook her.

Matia Island: A Hidden Gem in the San Juan Islands ( unedited chat box article)

Located in the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington state, Matia Island is a hidden gem that many travelers overlook. This small island, with only 145 acres of land, is a natural paradise that offers visitors a chance to experience the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Matia Island is part of the San Juan National Wildlife Refuge and is accessible only by private boat or charter service. Visitors can anchor in the protected bay on the island's west side or use the dock on the south side of the island.

One of the most popular activities on Matia Island is hiking. There are several trails that wind through the island's forests and meadows, offering stunning views of the surrounding water and neighboring islands. The trail system is well-maintained and ranges from easy to moderate difficulty.

In addition to hiking, visitors can enjoy a variety of water-based activities, including kayaking, fishing, and beachcombing. The island's rocky shores and tidal pools are home to a variety of marine life, including sea stars, anemones, and crabs. The waters around the island are also popular with boaters, who come to fish for salmon and explore the area's many coves and bays.

For those who want to spend the night, Matia Island offers several primitive campsites. These campsites are located on the island's west side and offer stunning views of the water and neighboring islands. There are no amenities on the island, so visitors need to bring their own food and water.

Matia Island is also a great place to experience the San Juan Islands' unique flora and fauna. The island is home to a variety of bird species, including bald eagles, great blue herons, and black oystercatchers. Visitors may also spot deer and other small mammals while hiking the island's trails.

One of the best things about Matia Island is its peaceful and remote atmosphere. With no roads or cars on the island, visitors can truly escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature. The island is a perfect destination for those seeking solitude, relaxation, and natural beauty.

In conclusion, Matia Island is a hidden gem that offers visitors a chance to experience the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest. With its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and peaceful atmosphere, the island is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. So, if you're planning a trip to the San Juan Islands, be sure to put Matia Island on your list of places to visit.

more to read

My take on Matia:

All reviews reflect the writers opinion, this sums up mine.

 We all have our favorite place, trail, or experience we remember fondly.  I conveniently forget the rainy foggy times, recalling just the good stuff. Matia has always been that place for me.  I once said to a fellow boater that if I was stuck somewhere due to bad weather or rough seas, Matia was where I wanted to be.

I wrote those words a long time ago.  While the chat bot article is well written with lots of fluff and adjectives like stunning, it leaves me feeling as if I was just sold something. Oh btw, chat bot may have the compass directions wrong.

I remember our first visit to Matia, there was one large size power boat taking up the entire side of the small dock .  We snuggled our smallish sailboat next to another sailor on the other side.  Out in the bay were two empty buoys.  The view westward from Rolfe cove was of Sucia and we could see the lights of boats anchored in Echo Bay about a mile away.  On shore were two campsites and a composter that the state parks are known for.  The trailhead sign said “no pets” which means dogs. We walked the one-mile circle trail that really is the only trail and were so immersed in the rain forest feeling that we found ourselves whispering so as not to disturb the island.  That night, the couple from the power boat invited us to share their campfire in the empty campsite.

Today, campfires on Matia are not allowed making it the only San Juan Park that is restricted. The two campsites are often occupied by kayaker groups, at times we have counted thirty kayaks pulled up on the gravel beach. Often boats pull into Rolfe cove and glide by a full four boat dock and two occupied buoys only to continue to Sucia. Maybe they know what they are missing, maybe they don’t. The quiet trail beckons me like an old friend. I have found that I can squeeze in and anchor if I really have my heart set on a walk in the woods.

click here for  Pictures of Matia by land and sea

Eastsound - the city  (chat bot created article)

Eastsound is a charming and picturesque village located on the eastern shore of Orcas Island, one of the largest and most beautiful of the San Juan Islands in Washington state. This quaint community offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, small-town charm, and a vibrant arts and culture scene.

At the heart of Eastsound is its bustling Main Street, lined with an eclectic mix of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Visitors can browse local crafts, sample artisanal foods, and enjoy a variety of live performances and cultural events throughout the year.

Beyond the village, Eastsound is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Pacific Northwest. The island's rugged coastline, lush forests, and pristine lakes and streams offer endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, including hiking, kayaking, fishing, and whale watching.

One of the most popular destinations in Eastsound is Moran State Park, a vast wilderness area that covers over 5,000 acres of forested hills, lakes, and waterfalls. The park features miles of hiking trails, several campgrounds, and two of the island's most iconic landmarks: Mount Constitution and Cascade Lake.

Mount Constitution, the highest point in the San Juan Islands, offers sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding islands, the Cascade Mountains, and the Canadian Rockies on a clear day. Cascade Lake, a crystal-clear mountain lake nestled in a pristine forested setting, is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing.

In addition to its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, Eastsound is also home to a thriving arts and culture scene. The village is home to several art galleries, a theater company, and a music festival that attracts world-class performers from around the globe.

Overall, Eastsound on Orcas Island is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable experience in the Pacific Northwest. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, or simply a chance to relax and unwind in a stunning natural setting, this charming village has something for everyone.

My take:

I think the artificial intelligence chat bot article is good but I am learning they lack specifics. Or it gets the specifics wrong, for instance Eastsound is better described as located at the north end of East Sound because it is certtainly not on the east shore of Orcas Island. I will list off some more visiting cruiser type information.

All San Juan County docks seem to be the same size and have the same no over-nighter policy, the little two boat float at Eastsound is no different.  Our visiting experience has always been very positive, even the night we broke down and got a police warning at midnight turned out well. 

Eastsound county dock

Cruisers should always plan on anchoring. The dock is easily overwhelmed by a single thirty-footer and the usual group of dinghies crowding the inside.  You may anchor very close by but stay out of the well-marked eel grass patch.

The walk into town is a short and easy one block hike on a paved road. The well stocked grocery store is on the right and impossible to miss.  The level downtown core area is about the size of Friday Harbor but without a marina or ferry landing it seems more laid back and artsy crafty.  Eateries and shops are everywhere. You will have no problem getting breakfast, lunch, dinner or just coffee, minutes from the boat.

Moran Park and Mt Constitution are too far to walk, bicycle yes.

It is good to know, there is a Napa store with big batteries in stock that saved my trip and an Ace store that I have yet to need.

The Village Green park and Farmers market are popular all summer.  Scheduled entertainment may make your trip more memorable, hopefully in a positive way.

I suggest that you plan a visit. You will not regret it. If anchoring overnight is not your strong suit you may simply run the 3.5 miles back to Rosario and get a slip.

Odlin County Park
Chat bot instructions: write an very short essay about Odlin county park on Lopez island in WA focus on boaters needs

Odlin County Park on Lopez Island in WA is a boater's paradise. With its well-maintained facilities and prime location, it offers everything a boater could want. The park has a boat launch, dock, and mooring buoys, making it easy to get in and out of the water. Boaters can also take advantage of the park's convenient amenities, including showers, picnic areas, and campsites. With its serene surroundings and calm waters, Odlin County Park is the perfect place for boaters to relax and recharge. Whether you're looking for a day trip or a longer stay, this park has everything you need for a great boating experience.

County dock at Odlin park

My take

First let me vent my frustrations. My first AI generated essay was one big fib after another. From full-service marina with helpful dock hands to a historic lodge and a gem of a beach. I chose to include the above variation because it was much shorter.

We use Odlin for its good location and the county dock, that’s pretty much everything good about Odlin park from a boater’s perspective. Ouch!

The float is a standard county small float where you can offload but not stay the night. The cove is not really a cove at all and offers no protection from Upright channel wakes of those heading to and from Friday Harbor. Your boat will get pummeled for sure, at the dock or tied to one of the four park buoys. This is one of few places we have dragged anchor overnight after what I thought was a secure set. Getting to the beach by dinghy opposite the nice campground is difficult due to shallow water. The boat launch is shallow, sandy and only suitable for small skiffs and four wheel drives.

Okay, now the positive. The bike ride to Lopez Village is twenty minutes or less, so is the ferry terminal. The modern flush type bathroom is a short walk from the dock. The campground has on site rangers and takes reservations. It is an excellent meeting place for extended family or groups that are both cruising and car camping.

Lopez Village - Fisherman Bay
chat bot instructions: Write an article about Lopez Village and Fisherman bay on Lopez Island, WA

Lopez Village and Fisherman Bay are both located on Lopez Island, which is one of the San Juan Islands in Washington State, USA.

Lopez Village is the largest town on Lopez Island and serves as the main commercial center of the island. It offers a variety of services and amenities, including grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, and shops. The village also has a post office, a library, and a community center. The Lopez Island Farmers Market is held in the village during the summer months.

Fisherman Bay is a small bay located on the eastern side of Lopez Island. It is home to a marina and several restaurants, as well as a number of private residences. The bay is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and kayaking, and there are several public access points around its shoreline. The bay is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, seals, and sea otters.

Overall, Lopez Island is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

My take:

Okay, let’s get right to it.  You need to know that Lopez Village is the only town center on Lopez Island.  It is near the midpoint of the island and on the west side facing towards Friday Harbor less than five miles away.  Fisherman Bay is immediately opposite the village and is a smallish shallow bay with a very restricted channel leading out to San Juan Channel.


There is no public dock at Fisherman Bay or the Village.  Fisherman Bay has two fair sized private marinas with slips available.  The walk from the marinas into the village and the grocery store is about 3/4 of a mile so bring your cart.

The access channel leading into Fisherman Bay is narrow and around three feet deep at low low tide.  Some boats that don’t pay attention get stuck inside until the tide comes up.  Right at the entrance dolphin marking the channel is a steel stairway leading up to the village center.  You may anchor and dinghy ashore, but your boat will be subject to waves and wakes of those heading into Fisherman Bay and watch out for an uncharted rock somewhere near the stairway.  I recommend anchoring in deep water just inside the entrance channel on the right side and coming back by dinghy.  Once on shore it is only a block from the store, restaurants, shops, museum, and a public bathroom with free hot showers.  If you go ashore at the stairway, be sure to tie your dinghy to the stairs and do not wander left or right onto private beach property.

Click this link for  going ashore at Lopez Village

more later

 more later