In September 2019, we got to take a week’s vacation and visit some of the more remote islands in the San Juans in Northern Puget Sound. We enjoyed a fantastic sail from Stuart Island to Sucia Island and picked up a mooring ball for the night in Shallow Bay.
Ultimately, we spent 2 nights at Sucia Island and we just fell in love with the island. We will DEFINITELY be back next year!
Our first night, we sailed in from Stuart Island and picked up a mooring ball in Shallow Bay on the NW corner of the island.
Our first night at Sucia Island Marine State Park: Shallow Bay
We pulled into Shallow Bay in the early afternoon on a Friday. We weren’t sure what to expect for the availability of a mooring ball, but cruising guides indicated that there should be about 8 state park mooring balls in Shallow Bay. When we pulled into the bay, there were 4 or 5 balls available so we grabbed one near the entrance in hopes of getting a nice sunset view that evening.
Of note, definitely be sure you stay between the entrance buoys when coming into Shallow Bay. At low tide, you’ll see why it is so important that you respect these aids to navigation!
We knew we were likely to stay in Shallow Bay the one night, so we dropped the dinghy and headed to shore. There is a nice sandy/small pebble beach for landing.
We wanted to hike over to fossil bay and try to find some of the famous fossils. Unfortunately, we knew that less favorable weather was coming, but we didn’t know that we would actually be caught in pretty heavy rainfall for the last hour+ of our little walk and would get back to the dinghy and then the boat just completely drenched!
Poor Planning: check!
As we were briefly checking out Fox Cove it started to rain on us. Soon, it was raining heavily and we had an hour+ ahead of us to get back to the boat. So we abandoned the fossil hunt for the day and headed back.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a map of the island and had no cell service so at the light blue arrow mark we further complicated the situation by taking the wrong turn and heading toward the beach. We thought we would be able to trek along the beach to where we’d left the dinghy, but it was impassable that way and we ended up just adding a significant distance to our rain-hike.
Our second night on Sucia Island: Fox Cove
We decided to get up early the next morning and make the 15-minute hop from Shallow Bay over to Fox Cove where we were, again, able to pick up a free mooring ball.
Thankfully, the rain had stopped and we were able to head ashore again to get in more exploration in Fossil Bay. And, this time, we found fossils!!
Fossil Bay fossils!
We stayed out exploring the fossils for several hours. The kids LOVED it, and really we did, too! We will definitely be coming back to spend more time at this amazing and rural island.
Interested in more of the history of Sucia Island?
I took this information from the Washington State Parks website: https://parks.state.wa.us/594/Sucia-Island