Find a map and stick a pin in it where you find Anacortes, Washington.
Now, imagine that you are floating on a boat nearby. You can turn north and explore the San Juan and Gulf Islands, poke your nose into dozens of interesting ports along the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, and eventually find yourself in the Broughtons or Alaska.
Or you could turn south and visit, well, Seattle.
Actually, choosing the southern Route is not nearly so bland as I make it sound. Puget Sound is a large place with many marinas and marine parks in cities large and small. There are really just two arguments against in my book. First, by heading south you are boating into increasingly populated areas. So lots of locals, lots of day boaters. Second, we live here and have already seen a lot of what’s to be seen.
So, why head south? One reason, which we decided on last year long before COVID-19, is because we have not explored these waters by boat and have heard good things. Second, thanks to our freedom-loving fellow citizens, we have no choice. Canada has closed the border and, if they’re smart, won’t be opening it for quite some time.
So, here we go on our first excursion to the south. This will be a loop only as far as Seattle, then across to Bainbridge Island and back north to Port Townsend – roughly two weeks. Later, we’ll return to explore the areas further south.
We set out on a calm, grey morning heading for Deception Pass. This narrow body of water separates Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands. One generally wants to transit near slack because a very large volume of water moves through a very small channel Current can run above eight knots at full flow with consequent rapids and whirlpools. I always ask Mary Anne to drive.
After a long but uneventful ride down the eastern side of Whidbey, we arrived at the very friendly, but very cramped marina at Langley. The sun came out as we were settling in so we walked up the steep marina access road to the village for a drink and a snack.
The next morning after breakfast we set out on a two mile walk to the Whidbey Island Winery.