help_outline Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List
  Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation

News / Articles

Turn Island

Published on 10/24/2018

August 24-26 2018   (Trip Rating: SKIII)

Type: Kayak camping 2-nights,


Jim Bernthal

Gail Mitchell

Duane House

Laura House

Peter Babler


My trip began Thursday evening car camping in Washington Park.  The smoke from the BC wildfires created a stunning crimson sunset. Concerned about wildfire smoke I bought everyone a N95 respirator, glad to say it wasn’t needed.  


Friday morning we caught the 9:35 am ferry to Lopez Island, stopped off at the Lopez bakery in the village. We continued onto our launch location in Fisherman’s Bay at public beach access located in Lopez village off weeks road.


Our weather on Friday was partly cloudy west southwest 6-8 mph and the flood just began perfect conditions to cross San Juan channel from Lopez to Turn Island Marine State Park. As we got closer to the island we saw a bunch of buzzards…. That can only mean one thing, something is dead. We later discovered it was a baby harbor seal.


Once we arrived at Turn we set up camp on site #12 which has views of both directions of San Juan Channel from the west side of Turn.


We paddled over to Friday Harbor for dinner. I was surprised to see that they took out the wood kayak dock and replaced it with a floating sharp metal dock. I contacted the marina and asking them if they plan on returning the kayak dock in the future. They stated it is out for repair. No ECD date on when it will return.

Our dinner choice ended up being “The Happy Clam” located next to the ferry. I have been there for breakfast while waiting for the ferry but this was the first time for dinner. A few of us had 1 pc grilled cod and chips which was a steal at $10.99. I will most definitely order that again. It was amazing.


We very carefully launched our boats off the sharp dock and headed back to Turn. One our way we found a little red plastic bucket. If you look hard you will see it behind Peter on the deck of his kayakJ.


Once we returned to Turn we watched a beautiful sunset about the same time we were greeted by the raccoons who came to check us out. Since we were the only people on the island the raccoons stayed with us till we launched in the morning. ALL night long they played at our camp.

I was the first up, I walked through the camp to the boats about the same time Peter stuck his head out of this tent. I said “Hey Peter, How many raccoons can fit into your cockpit? (6)” There was a mama and 5 babies all inside the cockpit of his kayak. There was 3 more in 2 other boats. All our boats looked violated by raccoon. My poor new Romany never seen salt water before I bought it, now it looked like every raccoon on the island was on it.


We all got up without an alarm, had breakfast and launched on Ebb crossing San Juan Channel heading for Shaw Island. Weather was a bit windy South Southwest winds.


Lucked out and we were the only kayakers in the Marine Trails campsite. The camp host replaced all the picnic tables in the covered day use area. There was even nails to hang our gear from. Peter discovered the best cooking surface on top of the stove. All the times I had been there never thought about cooking on it. Shaw has fresh water, porta potties, and even trash/recycle cans all in the day use area adjacent to the Marine Trails camp site.


We opted out of day paddle back to Lopez to just relax on Shaw. Jim did a solo paddle in Indian Cove, Gail & Laura took a nap, then they went on a day hike while Peter caught up on his book while just unwinding.

Once the sunset, we watched an incredible beautiful moon rise on Shaw.

Sunday morning we checked the ferry schedule and planned our departure after the 7:30 ferry. We hit the bakery before getting in line for the 10:35 am ferry. We had time to hike up above the ferry to find the Upright Geo-cache. We were back on Anacortes by noon Sunday J


Group feedback:




Thank you for making my first BEWET/WKC kayak camping trip a great adventure.

Trip report by Tina Marie (Trip Leader)


Photo’s of our trip:


Looks like we just missed seeing (2) Orcas near Fisherman Bay on Lopez Friday. They showed up after we launched… Darn it !

WKC Calendar

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events