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On the Water: Best Northwest places to visit


This week on KIRO Radio’s On the Water, Captain Bob is joined by Ron & Don’s Tony Miner to talk about some of their favorite Northwest boating spots. Take a look at the list of must-visit locations these guys came up with.

Hunter Bay

Captain Bob says he discovered Hunter Bay when he was there on a shoot for the film “Free Willy 2,” where he played a sheriff.

“There was so much wildlife. There were bald eagles and stuff, really one of my favorite places. Easy to get to and usually you can find a spot,” said Bob.

Tony seconded, saying, “Every boater needs to know those places in the San Juans or the Gulf Islands where no matter what time of day it is, you can always pull in and drop the hook […] Hunter Bay is one of those places.”

Blind Bay

“If I had to pick one special place to anchor: Blind Bay,” says Tony.

“Blind Bay is a real cool place. It’s a nice, wide open place to go in and anchor. Nice muddy bottom again. You can always get the hook down and set it easily. The view in there is terrific. You’ve got the state ferries going by. You can see over to Orcas Island. You can see Mount Baker from there.”

Mackaye Harbor

“One of my favorite places that I found because I got the flu one night and I had to go in somewhere is Mackaye Harbor,” says Captain Bob.

“Once you get around in there even off the Straight, you’re actually pretty well protected. It’s amazing how far you can get in there.”

“Watch out for the rocks,” warns Tony.

Garrison Bay

“Garrison Bay is of course a great place to go where the English camp is, where the English were during the Pig War with the United States,” says Tony.

“You feel like you’re totally away from everything, but Roche Harbor is right around the corner, so that’s a great spot to go, too.”

Prevost Harbor and Reid Harbor

“I’ve stayed at both many times,” says Tony. “I’d have to vote for Prevost. These are two great harbors on either side of Stewart Island, which is one of the best marine parks in the San Juans. I think Prevost would get my vote because it seems more open, the view is better, you can see out to Canada from there and there is a lot of mooring buoys.”

Sucia Island

Captain Bob and Tony disagree on this one.

“I’ve been there so often I almost think it’s overrated now,” says Bob.

“I happen to think it is the best marine park in the San Juans,” says Tony.

Bob’s complaint is that it’s too busy, but Tony says there are bays to check out all around the island.

Tony recommends staying out of Fossil Bay, which he says is always crazy, and instead going around the corner to Shallow Bay.

Matia Island

“Matia Island also is a really cool place. It could be the prettiest San Juan Island, which is right across from Sucia,” says Tony.

Roche Harbor

“We love, love, love Roche Harbor,” says Tony. “There’s nothing like Roche Harbor.”

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