If you are looking for a quiet stopover that is off the beaten path, you may want to schedule a stop at Stuart Island during your charter. It is not serviced by any of the ferries, and there are very few residents, so you are guaranteed a peaceful stay at the island. There are two sheltered bays with public moorage to choose from. Prevost Harbor, on the northeastern side of the island, features 7 offshore buoys and 256 feet of dock. Reid Harbor’s entrance is on the southeastern side of the island. It offers 15 offshore buoys and 572 feet of dock space spread over 3 different docks, two of which are offshore. Potable water and pit toilets are available on the island. Either of these harbors allows easy access to Stuart Island State Park. The park features 3.5 miles of hiking trails as well as access to fishing, clamming, and crabbing. The park is an access point to the island’s only road. Since there are no cars on the island and because the road is nothing more than packed dirt, it makes an excellent walking trail for visitors who would like to venture beyond the park and see more of the island. At the northwestern tip of Stuart Island stands the Turn Point Lighthouse, part of the San Juan Islands National Monument. The lighthouse has been in operation since 1893 and has been automated since 1974. In addition to guiding boat traffic through Haro Strait, the lighthouse is also used by the University of Washington as a site for studying migrating orcas. If you have the time, stay a while and watch over the Strait to see if you can spot any of the orcas yourself! After exploring the lighthouse, also make sure to stop by the Teacherage Museum, a one-room schoolhouse original to the island.
Lastly, on your way back to your boat, you may come across a wooden chest along the trail that is stocked with souvenirs and t-shirts. You may be surprised to find out that this is the only “store” on Stuart Island. The chest is regularly stocked by a local family. Envelopes are available for you to mail payment for the items you’d like to take with you, and it operates on the honor system.