For my 60th birthday I want to take on a challenge. I plan to row a boat across several miles of open salt water in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.click to enlarge
Here is the State of Washington, with the San Juan Islands marked in red.
My great-grandmother Mary and her husband Charles Henry Wiggins made a homestead on Sucia Island. They had more than a dozen children! My grandfather was the youngest. (More about the history is on the Washington State Parks website on the History tab).
Grandpa Sam was born in 1900 and grew up on the little island. There were only two families living there and the only business was a rock quarry. As a child I got to visit the place with him.
When the family needed groceries young Sam had to row across 2-½ miles of open sea to reach much larger Orcas Island. I imagined what that was like — and decided that one day I would like to try it myself.
Here are the San Juan Islands, with Sucia Island marked by a red box. We will have a gathering, camping for three nights. You can catch the ferry from Anacortes, on the mainland, to Orcas Island.click to enlarge
This is the route I intend to row between Orcas Island and Sucia Island (marked in red). You can cross by water taxi, private motorboat, or with a kayak, among other options.click to enlarge
The gathering will be held at group campsite G3-North Echo (circled in red). The North Echo Group Camp is located on the north end of Echo Bay above the stairs approximately 1.5 mile from the docks. There is a small beach at the stairs to land beachable watercraft. The site includes a log shelter with 4 picnic tables, a large fire ring and barbecue. Composting toilets and water are nearby.
There is a shelter in the campsite. There is a barbeque. But there may not be drinking water available.
There is a fire pit in the campsite. We will need to bring our own wood to burn.
There are several picnic tables to use.
We will be camping in tents on this kind of ground. There are no shops on the island!
To reach Sucia Island it is possible to:
For your reference:
I won't be the first one lately to row between Sucia and Orcas islands — Sucia Island Wedding | Adventure & Vow