2024 Sucia Small Boat Rendezvous - Small Boats Magazine
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2024 Sucia Small Boat Rendezvous

June 12 - June 14

Photo of Sucia

The 2024 Sucia Small Boat Rendezvous will be held at Sucia Island State Park on July 12-14

This year marks the 21st anniversary of this annual Rendezvous,  established in 2003!

Known as the crown jewel of Washington State’s marine park system, Sucia is almost the most northerly island in the San Juan island archipelago. It offers several bays for anchoring, and several camping areas. Echo Bay on the east side offers docks and is popular with big boat sailors, but this rendezvous is planned for the narrow strip of land separating Fox Cove from Fossil Bay on the southwest.  We will be using Fossil Bay unless a strong south-easterly wind makes it uncomfortable – it has the better beach for landing on. There are mooring buoys and two docks as well, but these cannot be reserved and may be full, so be prepared to anchor if you don’t want to beach your boat.  Fox Cove is an excellent place to beach too, with a large shoreline almost entirely clear of rocks, but the cove is a bit shallower and has less room to anchor.

There are campsites close to the beach, and plenty of them all over the island.  The prettiest sites face Fox Cove and Fossil Bay.  We try to grab what we call “The Campsite” (campsite #15) at the back left corner of Fossil Bay to serve as our gathering place, especially for evening campfires. If the first person to arrive could please claim The Campsite, that would be great (campsites are not reservable).  Tent campers typically share the campsite.  We’ll have a fire in the evenings so bring along your sticks and marshmallows. You’re not camping if you don’t have burned sugar on your face!

Composting toilets are located close to the campsites – these are clean and virtually odor free. There’s good water on the island but no garbage disposal — be prepared to take it home with you.

We have informal potluck gatherings around dinner time at the campsite (or at the picnic shelter if it’s available) and, if the usual light winds and strong currents cooperate, we will attempt a Round-the-island “race” Saturday at noon.  This is a unique race in that A) it’s not really a race and B) we never seem to make it completely around the island.  Those are the only two things that may distract from the main attractions, which are mingling, relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Sucia.  The hiking trails and views are spectacular.  Wildlife abounds.  Orcas, pelicans, sea otters, sea lions, blue herons, dolphins, harbor seals, deer, bald eagles, and gray whales have all been observed.  Explore the sandstone caves.  Look for fossils at Fossil Bay.  They’re easy to spot.  They date back 80 million years to the late Cretaceous era, when dinosaurs ruled the world.  We found an Ammonite fossil last year.  Take a little side trip to explore nearby Matia or Patos island.  Or just relax.

This is a Rendezvous, not an organized event. It is not sponsored or supported in any way by anyone.  Anyone with a “small boat” is invited to attend.  There are no signup sheets or dues.  Nobody is in charge of this rendezvous.  Your safety and well being, and that of your passengers and crew, is entirely your responsibility, just as it always is whenever and wherever you operate your vessel.  Seek advice if you’re unfamiliar with sailing in these open waters.

For more info or advice:

he SSSBS groups.io message board:  https://groups.io/g/sssbs

The Port Townsend Pocket Yachters Facebook page

More information about Sucia at the Washington State Parks website.

Read about Galen Piehl’s visit to Sucia.  Be sure to watch the video!

Sandy Point Marina – a nearby boat launch.  Caution: entrance to the marina is shallow and narrow with swift currents.  Best used at high slack tide.  Don’t even think about it at low tide.

Bellingham boat launches

If this Rendezvous  excites you, check out our sister rendezvous – the Montague Harbour Rendezvous


Sucia Island State Park
Eastsound, WA 98245 United States + Google Map
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