For cruisers finding their usual destinations in the San Juan Islands closed (e.g., Friday Harbor Marina) or crowded (e.g., Echo Bay on sunny Mother’s Day), my simple suggestion is to visit places you have never been to. Get out the Waggoner Guide and start reading … not just looking at popular destinations you have visited or heard about. Read it like a book. I’m pretty sure you will find new destinations that spark your interest. Then go check them out.
Keyport Docks – Photo by Jim Norris
For us that meant cruising in central and southern Puget Sound. We’ve been cruising around Puget Sound for over 40 years; but in the past few weeks, we have managed to visit several new destinations. The Waggoner descriptions have been spot-on.
Here are a few specifics we can share…
- Manzanita Bay. At high tide, take a kayak or SUP up the creek near the mouth of the bay.
- Blakely Harbor. Go ashore at the head of the bay and walk around the park.
- Ostrich Bay. The wooded western shoreline is actually NAD Marine Park (NAD stands for Naval Ammunition Depot). There’s 1400 feet of waterfront with trails leading up to some old bunkers.
- Port of Silverdale. OK … it’s not the most scenic and there’s no power, but the docks are great. There’s a nice waterfront park and hiking nearby on the Clear Creek Trail. Monica’s Waterfront Bakery, located upland in Old Silverdale, is open for take-out and is an excellent choice.
- Port of Keyport. The Naval Undersea Museum is closed, but the Mercantile store is open for take-out lunches. Keyport has guest moorage for 4-5 boats, and the price is right: flat rate $15 per night for boats over 28 ft, and that includes 30-amp power!
Ostrich Bay trail. Photo by Jim Norris
Olympic Discovery Trail. Photo by Lorena Landon
Here are a few other destinations that we like:
- Sequim Bay State Park. No overnight moorage, but you can stay all day at the dock (no power) and use the hiking trails, including the beautiful Olympic Discovery Trail. Then just move the boat to a mooring buoy or anchor for the night.
- Crescent Bay and Pillar Point. If you’re a sailor, you might consider a trip out the Strait of Juan de Fuca when the weather is right.
We have discovered that reading the Waggoner Guide like a book opens up new possibilities; if you gloss over the lessor known destinations; you may be missing out on some fun adventures.
Jim Norris and Anita Fraser