The purity of small
You grow up sailing small boats. Somewhere along the line you get a jones for a bigger boat. And so it begins, the slow progression to larger and larger vessels.
You get more room for guests, for dining and entertaining. Sailing a bigger boat is not more fun or, really, more challenging, but you can stand in your galley without bumping your head.
And you have something else those peasants in their tiny trailer-sailors will never ever be able to match — the knowledge that no matter how long you live or how rich you get, something in that muss of wires, hoses, gears and resins will always need to be fixed.
It’s a law that needs a name. Another law that needs a name is the one where the farther you get away from small boats, the more pure and magical they become.
When boaters gather for the Salish Sea Small Boat Rendezvous on Sucia Island, July 8-11, they will be glassy-eyed with the narcotic effect of their simple craft.
But without broken things aboard to discuss and ruminate over at length, who knows what they will talk about.
Sucia Island, north of Orcas Island in the San Juan archipelago and a stone’s toss from the Canadian border, is a near-perfect spot to host such a meetup, with sand to beach a vessel, campsites and firepits, as well as folks who love boats, sailing and the feel of wood.
The rendezvous is planned for the narrow strip of land separating Fossil Bay from Fox Cove. The focus of the meetup will be Fossil Bay, with good beaching opportunities and lots of room for small craft to anchor. There are park mooring buoys and a dock, but these cannot be booked ahead.
Plans could change in the event of strong southeast winds, though as this is written the forecast is for gentle southerlies.
The organizers will be booking the group campsite facing Fossil Bay where they promise to keep a fire going in the evenings for folks to gather. Otherwise it is very informal. Don’t forget to bring something to share for Saturday night’s wine and cheese.
There are other campsites nearby on both Fossil Bay and Fox Cove, with composting toilets. Drinking water is good. Garbage must be bagged out.
More information about trails and facilities in the Sucia Island group can be found on the Washington State Parks website.
If trailering, regional boat ramp information is available on the Salish Sea Small Boat Rendezvous website.
(Sucia Island is covered in Salish Sea Pilot’s Cruising Guide to the San Juan Islands.)