From the Spit to Blind Bay and a Bit…5/14/21

We are anchored in Blind Bay on Shaw Island. We will put the Spit, that we recently disembarked from on our list of places to return to. That, and Hunter Bay, a very special anchorage, relatively removed from the madding crowd as the Islands go and quiet beyond belief. Ear ringing quiet… Well… except for the eagle shrieks and the ravens utterances and aerobatics that attempt to keep the eagles them away from theirs…

The anchorage at the Spit, at least on the South side, has great holding in sticky mud, and there is plenty of room to wander about in the skiff, circumnavigating Frost Island, a lovely repast, and a delightful walk on the gravelly, sandy beach until we tired of that and sat amongst the driftwood to contemplate the grandness of it all. Did I mention that there is a saltwater lagoon to boot. Birds fly thither and yon, scratching out territories, hunting for the little bits and bots that make up their daily fare.

Upon arrival at Blind Bay and shortly thereafter… I commenced upon the creation of another fragrant batch of Pollo Affumicato y Fungi con Orrichetti. It was Marya’s suggestion after all. We concocted a potluck repast with Brad / Marya, John / LuAnne, and usn’s… (Blair, Les, Leo). Marya and Brad brought the most gastronomically excellent dish; an Italian sausage, pasta recipe to die for, shared at an anchorage amongst newly found friends. We’d brought a simple Tamale Pie that seemed to go over well and both LuAnne and Maryna wanted the recipe. Well… I’m more than happy to reply with that requestas always, only I do not have a recipe as of this typing. I made it up on the spot based on what I had in our cruising larder. That being the case, I promised to send the recommendations for the recipe out, and suggested that I could send my Pollo recipe in its stead to assuage my guilt about not having a pie recipe at hand. Ah… the cruising life.


As I mentioned, we are now at Blind Bay on Shaw Island, just a long hour away from the South side of Spencer Spit (5 whole miles). So how did we make our way here from the Spit? I’m sure to find you caring deeply about that matter. First we had to conquer a bit of fog:

Yes we have radar. Yes we have AIS. Yes we have multiple chart plotters. What we don’t have is radar vision that can see logs meandering about in the brine. So we waited a bit, made a breakfast scramble of bacon, red potatoes, green onion fresh from my glass garden, garlic, a dash of Umami spice, a dash of Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning spice, with a blop of sour cream topping it all off. Ole! We sipped some coffee, Checked email, and basically lollygagged. Why not? Blind Bay was only an hour away (another 5 miles).

The fog mostly dissipated in an hour or 2. I looked up and saw a ferry passing with just of bit of latent mists still floating about. Time to haul anchor and disembark.

So we were off and made our way around Frost Island for starters, and waddled our way into the passage where Thatcher Pass and Lopez Sound merge and squeeze between Blakely Island and Decatur Island. The deep water passages then continue on separating Orcas Island, Lopez Island, Leo Reef, Humphrey Head, Hankin Point, Point Hudson on Shaw Isand of course, and then squirts the unwary or well traveled into Harney Channel… that leads to, of all places, Blind Bay and West Sound on Orcas Island. Phew! The sites and waters just blew past us… or we blew past them… well, really we just trundled along at 6 knots minding our own business and staying out of the way of a few ferries.

And then there are the currents to deal with… willy nilly glacial spawn that they are.
The Northwest corner of Decatur Island with Blakeley Island to the left. With just a glimpse of Thatcher Pass
Just as we round Frost Island we find the lovely and inviting Leo Rock.. with the North side of Spencer Spit in the background. So who was Leo anyway? not our dog certainly. He’s way to young to have caused a grounding. Give him time.. It was probably the name of a hapless sailor who ran into it in the fog… I do know that Odyssey, a veteran whale-watching vessel ran aground on it a while back and its 80 passengers had to be evacuated. Such is the life in the San Juans. There are rocks everywhere ready to snare the inattentive.
A few minutes later we glide past Swifts Bay and Shoal Bay and the Upright Head Ferry Landing on the tip of Lopez Island. This is a picture of Upright Head, the tip of Lopez Island
Just after passing Upright Head the view opens up to Upright Channel, The West coast of Lopez Island and the East coast of Shaw Island.
Poor snap, but it’s a phone man! Looking down Upright Channel you an just the the Olympic Mountains in the distance on the other side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Not just any old ferry landing, the THE landing for the world famous Lopez Island.
With its very own pocket beach just next door adorned with a no trespassing sign I presume. As it should be… The Islands are mostly private and are inundated with curious visitors who sometimes appear to have little respect for private ownership. So if you visit… be understanding. In the summers residents are inundated with visitors. In the winter they probably hanker for them. During the shoulder seasons, spring and fall they are quite welcoming…
Our view looking out Blind Bay to the South shore of Orcas Island. The ferry is the Tillicum and the little island, Blind Island to the right, is a state park.
Our veiw to the NE.

A thriving metropolis of a bay, especially in Mid May, Blind Bay has collected a few interesting denizens at anchor:

A maritime tiny house, replete with outbuildings…

Blind bay is a delightful anchorage. There can be a bit of wake action from the ferries, but mostly they are going slow while landing and not causing too much of a problem. There is a neat little store that has basics for sustenance just the other side of the Shaw Island ferry landing and just across Harney Channel on Orcas Island next to the ferry landing is an unbelievably stocked grocery store, restaurant, cidery, gift shops, and roads to wander… I’ll cover Orcas Village next.

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