Thursday, July 9, 2009
Sucia Island Rendezvous
This weekend begins the annual Sucia Island Rendezvous. Doryman has been invited to crew on Full Gallop, a Phil Bolger Chebacco built and owned by his friend Chuck.
For the first three days of this event, small boats gather in the San Juan Islands at the northern extremity of Rosario Straight in northwestern Washington State. Friendships are renewed and news exchanged from the past year, then for the remaining week Full Gallop, in company with other hearty small vessels rowed and sailed, completes a RAID of sorts with destinations to be determined each day by consensus. The entourage may even venture into Canadian waters, since there will be Canadian citizens in evidence.
Doryman plans to chronicle this event (along with mopping decks and cleaning bilges), so expect to read about it here in a week or so!
The isolated coves and bays of Sucia Island are the site of the rendezvous. This island was once used by the seal hunting Lummi Indians. They later provided excellent hideouts, in the 1800's, for smugglers of illegal Chinese laborers, as well as for hiding illegally imported wool and opium. The islands also played a role in "rum-running" during the liquor Prohibition of the 1920s and 1930s.
The cluster of Sucia Islands was purchased in 1960 by the Puget Sound Interclub Association and later donated to the State of Washington for protection as a Marine State Park.
The Spanish Captain Francisco de Eliza, in 1791 named this island group Isla Sucia.
Sucia in Spanish means "foul" in a nautical sense, describing a shore defined by reefs and hidden rocks.
(click on the link above for the NOAA chart.)
A great place to hide out, it seems.
Promises to be great fun!