Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

NW corner of Fossil Bay, Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.
Two favorite anchorages, back to back that couldn’t be more diametrically opposed. False Creek, Vancouver BC was totally urban, and we were right in the heart of it, between a stadium and a massive geodesic dome housing Telus Science Museum. We left False Creek to make way back to the USA, tying off at a mooring ball on lovely Sucia Island.

Kelp circles. Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.
Sucia can be reached only by boat or plane. It’s an 814 acre marine park, primitive, with a couple docks, mooring balls, potable water, outhouses, covered pavilions, a small bunkhouse, and an attractive trail system. It’s very calm and quiet. We came there to ride out a blow.
Intriguing rock formations and madrone. Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.
Even though the skies were leaden, I couldn’t resist a kayak.  Two bays over, in Echo Bay, I startled a harbor seal as I rounded the corner into the bay.
Harbour seal pup, not much more than three feet long. Echo Bay, Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.

Turns out, he (or she) had lots of company!

Another seal pup — there were three in the area. Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.
Working my way down the finger of the bay, I came across three seal pups hanging out on the rocks. The adults kept close eye on me and my kayak from the water. I’d turn around and as many as three would sploosh back into the water behind me. I couldn’t tell if they were playing with me, or keeping guard on me because I was closer than they were comfortable to their pups.
River otter swimming, Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.
Back at the boat, two river otters were having a great fishing day. They came as close as five feet from out bow. There were part of a family of five otters, which we watched scramble up a hill ashore.
Yum yum. River otter feasting. Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.
The otters had a voracious appetite, coming up for air with a new fish each time, which they made short work of. They must be the hummingbirds of the water – eating their own weight in food!
Heron takes off. Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.
There were several herons, each staking out a hunting spot, standing stock-still until they speared a fish. They are generally rather skittish if they believe anyone is approaching their area.
Floating feather. Sucia Island, San Juans, Washington.
The gulls made a surprising array of sounds, from the usual screech, to a cry that sounded like dogs barking. While not the most beautiful bird, seeing a seagull feather float across the water struck me as especially elegant.
Location Location
Fidalgo Yacht Club filled Sucia Island Fossil Bay’s Western dock with their rally.
We’re tied off to a mooring ball at Fossil Bay, Sucia Island in the San Juans (N48 45.028  W122 54.109). Sucia due West from Bellingham, close to Canada’s Gulf Islands.

During the summer season until past Labor Day, most of the balls are taken. There was only one boat besides ours on one of the many mooring balls. It was a sailboat, and it  left early morning. The docks, however, were full, one cruising rally on each.
Sucia Island, courtesy Google maps.
This was not our first trip to Sucia, and hopefully not our last, either.