The Sandy Point Marina has served many boaters as a quick gateway to the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. Unfortunately, it has gotten more dangerous as the years have gone on.
To quickly sum it up; If you want to lose your lower unit, come in on step at a low tide.
The winters have not been kind to our beloved entrance, washing all sorts of sand, rock and gravel into the mouth. Many years ago we had an option to dredge it along with the Army Corp of Eng., but that was passed on and we must now deal with the wrath of mother nature and take extra caution in passing through this area on any tide less than 5.0.
I have a perfect vantage point to watch the many unfortunate boaters try to risk a low tide, only to have their keel, motor, or boat’s hull hit the submerged bar of rocks. It is not getting any better. You need to know exactly where the water is deepest and just how much water your boat takes up in order to pass at a low tide. There are a handful of boaters that know the small channel that gives you 1 extra foot of water going through the opening, but that is a rare handful. Ultimately, you need to SLOW DOWN! Boats are going through the marina with a wake, which only washes up onto the beach and brings the rocks down into the water.
What can you do?
- Don’t ‘risk’ it. If you don’t know the water like the back of your hand… hold off until a later tide.
- Go slow! It is VERY shallow. Let me say that again; VERY SHALLOW!! The tide pushes hard through there and the rocks are waiting for you.
- Know your boat and keep your prop out of harm’s way. If you spin your prop, the tide is going to have its way with you on the barnacles.
- If the idea of dredging ever comes up again, get behind it! Our Marina is a wonderful amenity and it would be nice to not make it a lake.
Here is an image of the opening, compliments of Google. I have shaded the dangerous areas in red, that I’m aware of. Don’t take my word for it, as this is only a quick guide to give you an idea. Use your own judgement and play it safe. If it is a minus tide, know that you can walk from one side to the other without getting your knees wet.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to let me know if you have any questions.