San Juan Island day 2: Griffin Bay and Haro Strait

(Don’t miss day 1 with a super pod!)

Our plan was to launch from Cattle Point but by the time we got through construction and found parking and unloaded we missed slack. And Cattle Pass does not seem like a place to mess with

So we quickly got over to Fourth of July beach and wish we’d started there since it puts us right into Griffin Bay.
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Almost immediately we saw something interesting in the water.
Blob underwater Blob above water
We paddled to Dinner island and found some harbor seals.
The harbor seals mainly hung out on a rock but a couple in the water seemed to start to follow us as we started our little circumnavigation of Dinner Island….
Later we found out it’s mating and baby season so they are more aggressive and they actually bit a couple kayakers on the arm when the kayakers tried to hit the seals with their paddles (instead of not making eye contact and moving on when possible).
Launch details: it’s a short carry through a small section of woods then across some logs and onto the short beach. There’s a bathroom and picnic tables.
If you do go from cattle point there’s a day use lot that requires a discovery pass and has steep stairs built into the cliff down to the beach. Doable but difficult.
Driving back to the campsite we stopped to look at beautiful False Bay (which a couple there warned us we should look up tides/currents before kayaking because it’s called false bay for a reason) and stopped by the West Side Preserve where we saw orcas swimming by!
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We got back to camp and decided we wanted to paddle more.
To launch from San Juan County Park you have to watch a short (12 minute) video on marine mammal safety and pay the launch fee ($14 for our whole stay at the campground, or $7 for one day).

We launched at Small Pox Bay then headed north to Mosquito Bay.

Day Two

We kept wanting to go around the next bend but knew we had to contend with sunset.

Day Two 2

Our campsite is right next to a cliff  that a lot of people have obviously walked down since you can see a small switchback trail. We decided to bring our kayak up the cliff. It turned out fine but because it was slippery and narrow we decided not to risk that again and stuck with Smallpox Bay.

Our site, 16, is only bested in location (for view and privacy) to 18, but the other campsites are closer to the campsite beach launching point (which requires going up and down a lot of stairs).
Continue the adventure into Day Three with Lime Kiln and friends for dinner of the furry and not so furry variety.

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