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Boat Camp at Blakely Island

Blakely Island, Washington


Added by Rose Freeman

Overnight "boat camping" on a boat in the Blakely Island MarinaAmazing sunsets and views of the San Juan Islands!Day adventures to the nearby islands - James Island, Lopez Island, Orcas Island, & San Juan Island!

From Washington Park in Anacortes, Washington we launched our 19' Beachcraft with a deep hull into Puget Sound on a beautiful blue sky morning. The weather and water was favorable for an overnight adventure to Blakely Island!

We made our way across Rosario Straight and toward James Island (20 minutes of boating), where we made our first stop for a short hike. The views of Mt. Baker and the North Cascades were unforgettable around the island! We also saw several ferries go by.

From James Island, we traveled north between Blakely Island and Decatur Island and turned southwest, or left, around Lopez Island. To our right we saw Shaw Island. On the horizon we saw the Olympic Mountains and the north side of the Peninsula. After 45 minutes of boat travel from James Island, we arrived at our lunch destination - Friday Harbor. If you visit Friday Harbor by boat or ferry, make sure to stop for ice cream and tasty food!

Next, we crossed the waters between Lopez and Shaw Islands and traveled north into East Sound to visit Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. This was a beautiful place to explore!

After Rosario, we boated south to Blakely Island Marina where we made reservations to stay the night. We chose to stay at Blakely Island rather than Rosario or Friday harbor for several reasons. This harbor is more secluded and sheltered, there is a small gift and food shop, clean bathrooms, a picnic area and outdoor bonfire pit, green grass, a small beach, and amazing sunsets since the island has a stunning view to the west.

We cooked honey lime chicken, rice, and veggies on our Coleman stove in the picnic area and watched the sunset! Our dog, Joey, also loved the adventure.

That night it was predicted that the Northern Lights would be visible in Western Washington. We didn't see any, but the stars were bright and it was fun to see the ferries travel from island to island in the night! We slept under the canvas cover in our 19' Beachcraft boat and woke up to a calm morning in the San Juans.

After enjoying a breakfast of Starbucks coffee and homemade scones (baked before the trip, of course!) we packed up our sleeping bags and made the boat ready for travel.

We chose to travel north between Obstruction Blakely Island, east across Rosario straight, and south behind Cypress Island back to Anacortes.

If you're planning a San Juan "boat camping" adventure, make sure to call ahead to the marina you plan to stay at to reserve a spot. Not every marina has clean bathrooms & showers. Make sure and call and ask all questions before arriving so you have the right gear! Also, check the weather.gov forecast for both days you plan to travel through the islands! The weather can change rapidly and you will want to be prepared for rain, fog, and heavy swells from wind, currents, and ferries.

The San Juan Islands have so much to offer! I hope this post inspires you to plan an adventure there, whether you travel by ferry or your own boat!

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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