2021 PNW Summer Flotilla – Day 8 | NW Explorations

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2021 PNW Summer Flotilla – Day 8

Port Ludlow to Garrison Bay

Our stay in Port Ludlow was a brief one, and we would have been only too happy to hang around, but today we needed an early start to cover a longer leg. Up with the sun was our diligent and always-in-demand technical expert, Matt King. Through every anchoring, mooring, and fuel transfer (and at all hours of the day and night) his hard work has ensured each crew has the utmost confidence in their boat, and every operating system they use onboard. We spent the first few hours of daylight refueling, refilling water tanks, and pumping out. With the fleet and crews recharged we left the Puget Sound behind and began our Straits of Juan de Fuca crossing.

The thermometer has been steadily rising here in the Pacific Northwest and there wasn’t a more desirable place to spend the day than in the straits. Being a little over 5 miles from land when in the middle of the straits, this crossing felt more like open ocean cruising than the rest of our voyage. Thankfully, the sea state was excellent; a fresh wind blowing in from the Pacific kept the heat in check, and we enjoyed beautiful views of sailboat regattas, Vancouver Island, and the San Juans. After crossing, we followed the Haro Strait north by northwest up along the coast of San Juan Island.

Turning to starboard we entered Mosquito Pass. Although narrow and pocked with shoal water this popular channel between San Juan and Henry Island is well marked by navigation aids. Cliffs of golden grass, stout garry oak, and overhanging madrona give the approach a distinctly different feel from the towering evergreen forests we cruised through so recently. The fleet dropped anchor in Westcott Bay with immediate views of the San Juan Island National Historical Park on shore. The park is located at the site of the old English encampment, harkening back to the 19th century when Britain and America had yet to settle their national boundaries in the Northwest. The park features beautiful walking trails through forests and rare Pacific prairie habitat, as well as historical artifacts from the little known Pig War. After another brilliant day cruising in the PNW a night anchored in this storied bay was a fitting conclusion.

P.S. Missed this year’s Princess Louisa Flotilla? Not to worry, there’s always next year! Send us an email to reserve your spot on our 2022 Princess Louisa Flotilla. 

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