Enjoying the country scene at Stuart Island

After our internal clock adjusted to the time change from Venice to Anacortes, we repacked and loaded the boat to head out again in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. In our opinion, these home waters are among the best cruising grounds in the world, offering spectacular scenery, a wide variety of coves and marinas, and enchanting sea life.

We arrived in Reid Harbor on Stuart Island. Stuart Island, one of the northernmost islands of the San Juan’s, has long been a favorite of ours, with memories of our children (now grown with children of their own) hiking the trails and country roads to the adorable island schoolhouse and the attractive Turn Point Lighthouse overlooking Haro Strait.

Yes, children can still find the “treasure chest” at the schoolhouse, and another chest is now located at the head of the country road from the municipal pier in Prevost Harbor. The treasure chests have coloring books and T-shirts for purchase; payment is mailed back in the envelope provided, based on the honor system.

The large bays of Reid Harbor and Prevost Harbor have ample anchoring space for a large number of boats. Buoys, a linear-tie system, and a public dock are located in both harbors with an additional municipal pier found in Prevost.

The trails and narrow gravel country roads can be accessed from both locations. For a shorter walk to the school and the lighthouse, anchor or moor in Prevost Harbor and take the dinghy ashore to the Municipal Pier, where you’ll find a dinghy dock. We took this advice and day-anchored in Prevost Harbor the following morning. We enjoyed walking the lovely country road from the pier, turning southward for the schoolhouse, a relatively easy one-mile hike. For those wanting to visit the lighthouse, it’s a 1.4-mile hike, continuing northwest.

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