Cruising in the NorthwestThings to Do and Places to SeeWaggoner eNews

The charming Village of Eastsound, overlooking East Sound.

Settled weather is a prerequisite for an overnight anchorage when visiting the village of Eastsound. Wind from the southeast has a long fetch before reaching the head of the body of water named East Sound, bringing with it some uncomfortable rollers. But the village at the head of this Sound shouldn’t be missed. It is one of those special places unique to the San Juan Islands.

The 40-foot day-use dock at Eastsound.

Eastsound Anchorage and Day-use Dock

Anchorage is doable in settled weather just south of the day-use dock in 40-50 feet of water, keep seaward of the dock to avoid any eel grass. Anchorage can also be found along the western shore of Fishing Bay and Judd Bay in 40-45 feet of water over a mud bottom, Judd Bay offers the best protection from south winds but does have a few hazards. North winds are less likely to pose any problems while anchored in the area.

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Wandering Eastsound on Orcas Island

We decided on Fishing Bay and had a comfortable night’s stay. Taking our dinghy to the public day-use dock on the eastern shore, we made the short walk into the village and enjoyed this charming community. The village is filled with wonderful boutiques and excellent cafes, sidewalks and pathways lined with flowering shrubs and trees create a private garden appeal.

The town bakery and the ice cream shop are favorites as is the Saturday Farmers Market held in the Village Green, May through September. A collection of log cabins from the late 1800’s makes up the Orcas Island Historical Museum. Located in the center of town, the museum includes the history of early pioneers who first came to the area. One of the first European settlers to Eastsound was Charles Shattuck, who built a log cabin and operated a store in the late 1850’s. Many of the early pioneers were employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company sent from Fort Victoria to hunt deer. Other pioneers were prospectors and trappers.

History museum in Eastsound on Orcas Island..
Orcas Island Historical Museum at Eastsound.

Some of the town’s early buildings remain in Eastsound, including the Emmanuel Episcopal Church built in 1885 which overlooks the Sound.

The Historic Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Eastsound on Orcas Island.

The Historic Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

While the right sea conditions are often required for a visit to Eastsound, this special community shouldn’t be forgotten when planning a trip through the San Juan Islands.

For more information visit Orcas Island.

~Lorena Landon

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