vendovi island?

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vendovi island?

Postby cklamp » Tue May 14, 2013 3:44 pm ... rthwest%29

Anyone been here? looks like a nice little cruising destination...

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Vendovi Island: A great day cruise!

Postby jeffd » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:46 pm

A cruise to Vendovi island has been on my list of places to go for quite some time. Earlier this summer, I finally decided to cut out a day and check the place out. The island is currently open to the public May through September, from 10am to 6pm (no overnight stays). So I made a long day trip out of it, launching from Washington Park in Anacortes, on a Wednesday. Here is my GPS track, motoring to Vendovi (8.5 nautical miles) and sailing back (10.8 nautical miles), most of the way:

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One reason I purposely chose a Wednesday is the dock is only 60 feet, and you're not allowed to anchor in the cove. When I got to Washington Park, it was foggy. Another sailboat was getting ready to launch, and I spent a bit of time talking with him. He had been out in the fog previously, and had a harrowing experience: he almost got T-boned by a fast moving powerboat, in thick fog with less than 50 foot visibility. He decided to wait till the fog cleared. I decided to take my chances, and by the time I left the dock, visibility was up to about 200 feet - but I still could not see Cypress and Guemes Islands, and I was crossing Guemes Channel, which has tug and ferry traffic. So I proceeded with caution. By the time I was about halfway up the channel between Cypress and Guemes, the fog was lifting and visibility was pretty good.

I was aiming at getting to Vendovi Island as close to the 10am opening time as possible, to get a place at the dock. I ended up getting to Vendovi Island about 10:50am, and there was already a large powerboat at the dock, with the caretakers' sailboat in front of him. I pull up to the dock, and shortly after I arrive, another small powerboat pulls up. Gee, I'm glad I didn't wait much longer. The large powerboat leaves, but another one comes and takes his place. So maybe this place is pretty popular, even midweek.

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The caretakers greet us, and made themselves available for any questions. I chatted with them a bit, then departed to hike the trails. The Island has few miles of trails, mostly flat, and there are some good viewpoints. Here is a link to a map of the hiking trails on Vendovi Island: ... or_web.jpg

My first stop was Sunset beach, on the west side of the island:

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A very nice beach - I'm sure there are some good views from here at sunset. I then took the trail to Jack's Back Overlook, then to the northeast side of the island, past the cemetery, and to Sunrise Beach. I had my lunch here on this beach - a nice shady spot on a log. The trails on Vendovi are well marked, and nicely shaded. Most of the island has been left in its natural state, so you are hiking through the forest.

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After finishing my lunch, took the trail to the southeast side of the island - to the Paintbrush Point Overlook. Vendovi island is kind of in the middle of Anacortes and Bellingham, and so it is kind of surrounded by the shipping lanes. While I was there, I saw several ships and tugs pass by.

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The caretakers had alerted us of this, but one bonus we got was seeing this baby sea lion:

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I got to sail most of the way back to Anacortes. There were some great winds, and not too much chop. It was good sailing, until I got about halfway across Guemes Channel. Then, the wind died! Bad timing too. Here comes the Washington State Ferry. Bummer, I can't just sit here blocking the channel waiting for the wind. So I crank up the motor and get out of the way. As I approach the boat ramp and Washington park, the offshore wind picks up. Oh well, it was a good sail . . . most of the way!

Here is a link to the San Juan Preservation Trust web site, describing Vendovi Island: ... -preserve/

A visit to Vendovi Island makes a great day trip from the Seattle area, and if you have a bit more time to stay another day, a stop at nearby Cypress Island would make a nice multi-day cruise. Cypress island has mooring buoys and good anchorages, and some very good hiking trails also.
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