Sunday, September 05, 2010

Deception Pass September 3, 2010

The Town of Anacortes is located on Fidalgo Island.  Just South of Fidalgo Island is the Island of Whidbey.  A narrow pass separates the two islands.  This pass is named Deception Pass.

A "local historian" gave me the lowdown on how Deception Pass got its name.  He said that a greek by the name of Fuca wanted to go exploring in the new world and he asked the Queen to sponsor him.  She said we only send Spaniards.  He said then call me Juan....thus Juan de Fuca went exploring.  He mapped the area along the Washington coast and when he mapped the pass, he saw the tidal flow ebbing at 7 to 8 knots and called it a river.  Later the British explored the same area and came by the "river" mapped by Juan de Fuca.  They passed at flood tide and found the pass.  Since they were deceived, they named the pass Deception.  I have not been able to verify all of this story, but some of it seems true, the rest may just be a good story.

The currents in Deception Pass can be very interesting to boaters.  A fast power boat can over come the tidal flows, but a small trawler such as Willie's Tug needs to excercise extreme caution when traversing the pass. Our top speed is only about 8 knots and with flows up to 8 knots we could be in trouble trying to go the wrong way at the wrong time.  Our best time to go would be at slack tide.  The period when the tidal flow starts to reverse.

A bridge built in the 1930s spans from Fidalgo to Pass Island and from Pass Island to Whidbey Island.  Willie and I walked this bridge and took some pictures.  I have to tell you that after walking this bridge so far above the water with large trucks shaking it, I feel safer in the boat in the water below.

It was a clear day, and we could see Mount Baker, the third highest mountain in Washington.

Walldog, Willie and Jake

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