Blind Island – Hiding in Plain Sight

Why would anyone name an island, visible from the sea on all sides, Blind Island? I don’t have an answer. But as a mariner, I always enter Blind Bay with my eyes open!

Slow that vessel speed down to a snail’s pace, monitor the depth sounder as if navigating in fog, and stick close to the east side of Blind Island, the side nearest the Shaw Island ferry dock. And avoid the drying rocks at low tide, submerged at high tide. Especially when piloting a sailboat or deep draft powerboat.

Several years ago, we watched a novice boater enter Blind Bay on the west side of Blind Island. Big mistake! Skippers throughout the anchorage tried to warn him on VHF marine radio—others shouted and waved—but he continued inching forward and found himself aground on underwater reefs. Everyone had a front deck seat, listening to the radio as the Coast Guard orchestrated his rescue with some of the same boaters who’d tried to prevent the mishap. Fortunately, the wind was calm so there weren’t waves, dinnertime boat wakes were few, and the embarrassed skipper motored off the reef at high tide in the middle of the night with minimal damage. A happy ending!

Three-acre Blind Island is a Washington State marine park situated at the mouth of Blind Bay and is a part of the Cascadia Marine Trail system. The latter designation means that boaters arriving by human- or wind-powered watercraft may stay overnight at a group campsite or one of four individual campsites, but those arriving by dinghies with outboard motors are permitted to step ashore and picnic on a day use basis. Either way, bring the crab traps. You won’t be disappointed at the harvest in Blind Bay! Click here to see photos of this inviting island.

In the early 1900s, a hermit squatted on Blind Island, building a small house and storage sheds. The man fished, tended a garden, and planted apple, cherry, and filbert trees. He dug cisterns to catch water and built a concrete retainer around a natural spring. Today, the buildings aren’t there and the water is unsafe to drink, but visitors may enjoy an abundance of fruit.

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17 – NKJV)

What work has God called you to do? Is it fishing, crabbing, or gardening? Or something else?

Thank you for reading!



Note: Blind Island is the little oblong circle beneath the word Blind I.. Each asterisk denotes a submerged rock.








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