Daily Archives: August 2, 2015

Uncharted Islands – Chuckanet Island

Sunday morning we crossed to the south of Chuckanut Bay to explore Chuckanut Island. Chuckanut Island is the Nature Conservancy’s Cyrus Gates Memorial Preserve. We landed on the southern shore at low tide when a isthmus forms between Chuckanet Island and a protected bird sanctuary to the south. A perfect place to land the “dink”.

We walked the sandstone beach admiring Nature’s carvings the result of years of wind, rain, and waves which have shaped surreal designs into the cliffs. 

 As we walked around the island we found a easy way up the cliffs to a trail across the island. As we ascended the rocks we found a rather unkept trail which we used to meander around the island, from the northern beaches and tidepools to the southern cliffs. 

We explored the tide pools on the island before headed back to the boat for lunch.  

The local harbor seals of Chuckanut Bay and the looming slopes of Mt. Baker bid us farewell before we headed back to Anacortes and our workaday world. An adventuresome weekend of discovery in the San Juan Islands. 


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¬†Uncharted Islands – Inati Bay and Teddy Bear Cove

We motored north from Clark Island towards Cherry Point to round the north tip of Lummi Island. The bar towards the north end, coupled with a strong wind, and an ebbing tide created a considerable swell. We unfurled the headsail to push our way through and steady the rock of the boat. Rounding Lummi we were greeted by postcard views of Mt. Baker and a pod a seals sunning themselves and their pups in the heat of the first rays of August.   

Mt. Baker


Pod of Seals, North Lummi


We were headed to Inati Bay on Lummi Island. Inati is a small cove across from Bellingham Bay on the East side of Lummi. Anybody is welcome to anchor there, but to go ashore you need to be a member of the Bellingham Yacht Club or havea reciprocal as we did from Anacortes Yacht Club. Upon arrival we were greeted by a bald eagle and a great blue heron as we disturbed their peace. We dropped anchor and made a B.L.A.T.s for lunch before heading ashore for a little exploration. 

Eagle in Inati Bay


Exploring Inati Bay


Inati Bay


There wasn’t a lot to see or do on shore so we followed a logging road up into the hills. It was a steep climb that ultimately offered no views and lots of bugs but was littered with interesting old heavy equipment of logging efforts past. Exploring them made for eerie post apocalyptic conversation (mostly zombies). 

Along the old logging road


Old logging equipment


Inati Bay pose walking the log boom

Back to Pangaea for a sail across Bellingham Bay to Chuckanut Bay where we dropped anchor near Teddy Bear Cove. My father, who did his undergraduate studies at Western Washington University, mentioned “I helped haul many a keg to that beach over 50 years ago”. As we anchored nearby the beach the wee hours of night would prove that many a keg was still being hauled to Teddy Bear Cove on a hot summer night, and that college student  reveries and midnight swims hadn’t changed much in half a century. Although, Western Washington students on summer break wasn’t the only thing that kept us up at night. We had dropped anchor near the railroad tracks on the East side of the bay in order to optimize our 270. “I wonder how many trains use this track?”. We certainly found out, with half a dozen passing by before dusk and at least another half dozen through the night. 

But before we were kept up much of the night we first we decided the cold waters of the Salish Sea looked inviting enough for a swim as we headed into the dog days of summer on August 1st. My daughter was the first to inspire us to take the punge.  

First to commit!


Jumping into Chuckanut Bay


Cooling off in Chuckanut Bay


“Its not that cold!”


Mother/Daughter Polar Bear Plunge


“It really isn’t that cold”


I join in…”Its cold but it feels good!”


 As the shadows grew longer we treasured our perfect positioning across the bay to optimize our 270. We decided we had won the best anchorage because the last rays of summer sun fell across our bow as we ate our dinner in the cockpit.


Sunset across Chuckanut Bay


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