Sucia Island – Ewing Cove

Approaching Halloween in the San Juan Islands means solitude and open waters. During the work week we spent at Sucia (now our third time visiting this island) we did see a couple other boats anchor in Echo Bay, about a kilometer away. No boats joined us in Ewing Cove with it’s mooring balls placed in a narrow body of water embraced by Sucia Island, Ewing Island, and Cluster Islands on three sides. A small quiet beach was less than a quarter mile away for Moose to run a few times a day.

Although we already hiked this side of the island back in June/July, we were on the trail once more the first full day after arriving. The fall colors were out in force, but make no mistake, mushroom hunting is the biggest reason we are out here freezing our tails off. Kerri had been looking forward to this time of the year for months, and with these islands so irregularly visited this time of the year, mushrooms are all over the place. A short four mile hike took some time as Kerri explored many of the hundreds and hundreds of ‘shrooms we came upon. Moose was just happy to get to run like a mad dog for a few hours.

With the work week on us we tried to settle into our routine again after the trip and the week of chores. However, things would not be so easy for us both. Kerri and I are both suffering some bouts of insomnia, and then to top it off we had a wind storm spend a night with us. While pretty well protected from the winds themselves, the swells coming into the cove seriously rocked the boat – nose to tail. It went on all night, and sleep only came in the early morning hours. It ain’t easy sleeping inside a bucking bronco.

The days have become so short now that our solar can not keep up with the demands of even just one of us. I’ve been staying off the computer a lot but we are still forced into running Meriwether’s motor for an hour and a half each day, just to somewhat keep up. At higher RPMs the motor can bring in 70 amps per hour to the battery, but the racket is intense. Instead, we run it at a slightly calmer speed but have to run it longer to bring in enough power. It’s harder on Kerri as her work space is directly beside the old motor. I can at least move to the V-birth, a good 20+ feet away.

As the weekend approached it was being made very clear that sailing was not going to be happening. Absolutely no wind was being forecast for as far out as we could see. If we wanted to move to another location, we had no choice but to lean on the motor some more. At least the diesel fuel expenditure would serve two purposes; propulsion and battery charging.

The absence of even a single boat in Echo Bay

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4 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    I know people who have a Honda generator just to charge their batteries when the sun is not enough. Probably be a lot quieter…

    • Tim says:

      We did have one for the Airstream, for that very reason. However, the logistics (safety, storage, etc) of gasoline on a boat kept us from bringing it with us. Even a quiet Honda sitting up on deck would be very noisy, I bet. Plus, it charged at a 30 amp max while the Perkins can charge at up to 70. A diesel generator that feeds directly from the boat’s main tank would be the way to go.

  2. Duncan says:

    Hi, I am planning a secret proposal (taking a float plane up to Sucia Island, and probably landing near and pulling into Ewing Cove). I have not been there in person… based on your time there, do you have any recommendations on where to go from the beach for the best spot? Looking for a short walk to a spot with the best views/light, and hoping to plan it in advance. This will be in the afternoon, so looking for some perfect afternoon light! Thank you in advance!

    • Tim says:

      Hi Duncan,
      I am not sure the float planes go to Sucia. There are no docks for them and the beaches are pretty small as well. Honestly, I do not see Ewing Cove as a possibility for a plane as it is way too small with a fair current running through it. The big bay – Echo Bay – may get a plane in there, which is your best bet. The sunsets from Shallow Bay (north-west side if the island) are spectacular. Trails are all over the island with numerous bluffs looking out into the waters. It won’t be hard finding a pretty place.

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