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Decatur Island, Hope Island, and Deception Pass at Max Ebb

We left Jones Island early on Saturday morning so we could pick up Anna (Sam’s girlfriend) in Friday Harbor. She was flying in from Seattle by float plane, but her flight left an hour late from Seattle so we went out to breakfast and shopped for some more groceries to kill the time. Gorgeous light on our cruise from Jones Island to Friday Harbor:

We left Friday Harbor and headed for Decatur Island. Decatur Island is a private community and only homeowners and their guests are allowed to use the mooring balls. Sam’s family has a cabin there, and we were the guests!

We moored in Sylvan Cove and then did some work before going to shore with Sam and Anna to check out the frozen lake. The big chunks of ice floating in the foreground are about an inch thick, and we had some fun picking them out and throwing them onto the frozen part of the lake. Makes a great sound as the shards slide across the ice!

Icicles on the rocks:

Airship and Safe Harbour, in Sylvan Cove:

We cooked dinner on Safe Harbour…I made this Mexican beef recipe in the Instant Pot, and we made tacos and black beans and zucchini for dinner. In the morning, we dinghied to shore and took advantage of the community hot tub and had a nice long soak before breakfast. Not a bad way to start a Sunday.

Early morning light:

On Sunday we cruised down to Hope Island, just inside Deception Pass. Nice view of the mountains:

We knew we were going to arrive at Deception Pass right around max ebb, and that it would likely be 5-6kts of current against us, but Sam’s been through before at max and wasn’t worried. Here’s where the semi-displacement hulls come in handy! We increased power to about 64% and were mostly making about 4kts over land (with 6-7kts against us). Deception Pass has fairly even laminar flow, so it wasn’t much drama. Kevin took the helm and was a good “pass pilot” while I took video and photos:

We rafted with Safe Harbour on the north side of Hope Island and recorded two more of our “Gates of the Inside Passage” series of videos we’re doing for Slowboat. (See, it’s not all fun and games…we’re actually working out here!)

Dinner on Safe Harbour: salmon that Anna brought back from Alaska this summer, gnocchi with a homemade alfredo sauce (this was so good Anna!), garlic bread, and caesar salad.

This morning, Sam and Anna took off for Seattle, and we moved to a mooring ball and slept in a little bit more. After breakfast we headed for Swinomish Channel and then on to Anacortes.

LaConner, looking charming as ever:

Our original plan was to stop for the night in LaConner, but starting tonight it’s supposed to get super windy (30-40kts) so we thought it might be nicer to be in a protected slip, so we carried on.

We saw quite a few eagles today! (We also saw a tree on Goat Island with maybe a dozen herons in it!!)

We’re going to hang here in Anacortes for a couple days (since Portland appears to be iced over at the moment) and get the boat all cleaned up (Well, if the water ever gets turned back on! Enough with these cold temps and no water at the marinas!)


  1. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    Thank you for the sea-level video of Deception pass at full ebb! Always wondered how a trawler would handle it. No backcurrents to work with, so you’re committed. Safe Harbour does not seem to show up on my web-based AIS consistently, if at all, but Airship does. I am trying three different apps, with marine traffic the best, but it does suffer some gaps in Canadian waters. Welcome home!

    • Sam Landsman Sam Landsman

      Yeah, my AIS transmit isn’t working well. Probably an antenna problem…I’ll sort it out one of these days.

  2. […] We took the Swinomish Channel route since it was an hour before max ebb at Deception Pass and well, we’ve done that before. We had a nice easy cruise down to Langley, with winds in the 5-10kts range, and only one spot with […]

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