Sucia Island: China Caves & Echo Bay

August 30, 2021

Fossil Bay

The previous day we promised Mayli & Boris’ son Michael that we would hike with him to explore the China Caves. This is something we had done with him a few years ago and it’s still his favorite thing in the San Juan Islands. We set of from Fossil Bay and hiked over to Shallow Bay. Once there, we traversed the shore rocks to the China Caves because it was low tide. We had a great time climbing around and squeezing thru all the areas.

Can you find all the climbers? 😉

Once we were able to extract Michael from the caves, we headed back to the dock so we could feed them lunch and say bon voyage to Ships N Giggles. They needed to travel back for work or school or some nonsense like that.

We also moved the boat from Fossil Bay over to Echo Bay and took up one of the linear ties. We did this because the upcoming low tide over night was going to be a foot lower at Fossil Bay and we didn’t really want to risk the already shallow water by the dock. Plus, Echo Bay is a bit more central to hiking the other half of the island.

After the short trip we decided to take another afternoon hike. We had never done the trail on the other side of Shallow Bay that went by the Lawson Bluff so that was the choice for the hike. It was a beautiful hike and we found some more climbing spots for Michael for future trips. We also got a bit camera happy so…

Tonia was thrilled to spend this time with her sister Emily and so happy she could make the trip out.

Turn Point Lighthouse & Back to Sucia: Fossil Bay

August 29, 2021

We started the day by finding a new crew member camped out on our kayak. A seal decided that flipping our kayak over made a great resting place.

In the morning we did the Turn Point Lighthouse hike before boating to Sucia. Boris and Mayli also joined in the fun. Partway into the hike is the Teacherage Museum so we checked that out. Also nearby is the honor-system treasure chest that had Stuart Islands t-shirts and gear for sale. Pretty neat. The hike to lighthouse leads you past the grass airport and then you arrive to a beautiful view of Boundary Pass and Canada in the distance, which was full circle as we passed this lighthouse coming back into the states.

Tonia and Emily decided to hike around and see a beach so I hitched a ride with Boris and Mayli. We found out that their dinghy fuel tank was not 5 gallons but 3. Therefore, we ran out of gas on the voyage back to the boats. Since we didn’t know how long it would be for Tonia and Emily, we called Steve and he came to the rescue and towed us back. Tonia and Emily got back before Steve arrived and laughed at us as they passed.

Once back we said our goodbyes to the Tyee cruise and prepared to travel back to Sucia. Emily had never been, so we wanted to go over and show her the splendor of the island. We also convinced Boris and Mayli to extend their vacation and stay just one more day.

We broke up the five-boat raft, and after we got all the anchors up, we motored over. Boris does not like to travel slow, so they jetted over and found that there was enough dock space for us in Fossil Bay. I was a bit concerned with the dock because the water in that area was just not that deep. After consulting the depth and tide predications, we determined that we were good for the evening and settled in.

After a wonderful charcuterie al la Mayli, a few of the crew went on a short kayak/hike around Fossil Bay, which is spectacular. You can quickly see how it gets its name. Fun fact: UW’s Burke Museum has a dinosaur bone from Sucia Island!

Back in the US & Sucia Island

August 25, 2021

The day has finally arrived to head back to the US. But the trip isn’t over yet! We’re going to spend another few days in the San Juan Islands for the Tyee Yacht Club’s San Juandering cruise.

The trip from Ganges across Boundary Pass was nice and smooth. We crossed over the border as we were passing the Turn Point Lighthouse and submitted our paperwork via the CBP Roam app. Having already done it going into Alaska, we now had our verified traveler and decal info readily available. The border officer called us within a few minutes and cleared us to enter without having to go to Friday Harbor. Yay! So we changed course and headed directly to Echo Bay at Sucia Island.

The evening was grand. It was awesome catching up with all the Tyee members that we usually see throughout the summer. For some reason we didn’t get many pictures that day but here is one of us anchored in Echo Bay.

And, finally, we were treated to a nice colorful sunset.