Allan Island – Two Talented Owners

Exiting Deception Pass aboard a 16-foot Safeboat, we skirted Allan Island on a day trip to circumnavigate Fidalgo Island, home of Anacortes. This small town with its several marinas is known as the “gateway” to the San Juan Islands.  Allan Island and Burrows Island sit on its western doorstep within sight of Skyline Marina. This is a photo of Cap Sante Marina with Anacortes in the background.

Seattle billionaire and Microsoft co-founder, Paul G. Allen, purchased Allan Island, a 292-acre private island in 1992 to build a vacation home, but he changed his mind four years later when Sperry Peninsula, a larger parcel, on northeast Lopez Island became available. Unfortunately, the market took a downturn and his original asking price slipped from $25 million in 2005 to $13.5 million in 2009. He sold the island for $8 million on December 20, 2013 to space travel entrepreneur, Eric C. Andersen.

Paul G. Allen
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

This summer, I was invited by a good friend to visit Lopez Island on July 4th and enjoyed the islanders’ fantastic firework show—courtesy of a few Lopez Island residents, including Mr. Allen. My photo doesn’t capture the sophisticated, colorful display choreographed over Fisherman Bay at Lopez Village!

A Seattle native, Mr. Allen, is the owner of two professional sports teams, the NFL Seattle Seahawks and NBA Portland Trailblazers. He also owns two ships, the Tatoosh and the Octopus. To give you some perspective regarding their size, we saw the Tatoosh in Victoria, BC, several years ago and learned that the motorboat on the starboard side amidships is approximately 35 feet long. A sailboat of identical size and color is on the opposite side of the ship. See its mast? Both vessels can be launched at a moment’s notice.

Tatoosh (left) and Octopus (right)
(Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Allan Island’s current owner, Eric C. Anderson. is the co-founder and chairman of Space Adventures Ltd., the first commercial spaceflight company promoting space tourism. The company has arranged for several people to visit the International Space Station since 2001. In addition, he is the president and CEO of Intentional Software Corporation as well as co-founder and chairman of both Planetary Power, Inc. and Planetary Resources. Mr. Anderson is an aerospace engineer and a trustee of Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Raised in Colorado, he now resides in Bellevue, Washington, with his wife and four children.

Eric C. Anderson
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

But what about the island itself? Allan Island was named during the 1841 Wilkes expedition to honor navy hero, Lt. William Henry Allen, who was killed while commanding the USS Argus (1803) during the War of 1812.  The relatively undeveloped island has a caretaker’s log-style home, complete with water, septic, and a generator for electricity. Six beaches adorn its two miles of coastline and access is by small plane landing on a grassy airstrip or by boat or seaplane mooring to a dock. Mr. Anderson plans to build a small community with 10 to 12 homes for family and good friends.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 – NKJV)

Thank you for reading!



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