This information is designed to provide basic information to help you in choosing appropriate paddle trips for your level of experience. The information may be old and outdated and I would encourage you to use several resources when a trip in unfamiliar areas. As always you are responsible for the safe operation and navigation of your own vessel. Happy Paddling!
Launching from North Beach on the north side of Orcas Island is the typical jumping off point for this trip. Take great care in timing your crossing as there are strong currents and a shallow reef between Orcas and Sucia.
Sucia Island State Park is a 564-acre marine park with 77,700 feet of shoreline. Sucia Island is considered the crown jewel of the state's marine park system. Sucia is the largest of an archipelago of ten islands. Sucia in Spanish means "dirty" or in a nautical sense "foul". This word was chosen because the shore was deemed dangerous due to reefs and hidden rocks. These reefs and broken shorelines are from a geologic folding of the Earth's crust, which brought many interesting marine fossils to the surface and makes for fantastic kayaking. Sucia has 60 campsites including WWTA campsites, drinking water and toilets.
Matia Island sits just east of Sucia Island and is a National Wildlife Refuge. Wood collecting, and campfires (excluding liquid fuel campstoves) are not allowed on the island. Except for the Wilderness Loop Trail and the campground, all areas above the high tide line are closed to the public. Facilities include a 1.2 miles (2 km) loop trail, 6 primitive campsites, a picnic site and a composting toilet. There is no drinking water available and visitors must pack out their garbage.
Patos Island is a small island just west of Sucia Island, it has been home to the Patos Island Lighthouse, guiding vessels through Boundary Pass between Canada and the United States since 1893. The entire island is owned by the federal government and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission operates a small campground facility at Active Cove near the west side of the island, maintains a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) loop trail and has two offshore mooring buoys. There are 7 rarely used campsites and pit toilets, There is no potable water.
- If leaving from Fishermans Cove, the route has an exposed 5NM open water crossing subject to high winds, strong currents and commercial shipping traffic. There is a tide race between Matia and Sucia that should only be crossed during slack.
- If leaving from North Beach, while it is a relatively short crossing there is a serious tide race that develops right in the middle of the crossing over Parker Reef. Only attempt to cross during slack water.
- 2-15 NM
Charts: Launch: Radio Channels:
- VHF 16
Weather: Tidal Stations:
- Ship Harbor, Fidalgo Island (Tides)
- Green Pt (Currents)
- Burrows Bay, 0.5 mile east of Allan I (Currents)
- Burrows I.-Allan I., Passage between (Currents)