Sunday, May 9

Change of Plans: The Favors Cruise to Cypress Island

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Jim and Lisa Favors are on the water again, this time on Cypress Island in the San Juans in Washington state on their red-hulled Ranger Tugs 29 Kismet. In this time of COVID-19, it isn’t the trip they had planned (they had originally hoped to get up to Alaska), but they are finding that it’s a beautiful cruising destination in its own right.

The Favors are one of the most experienced cruising couples we know. They’ve already completed the Great Loop, and they trailered their original Kismet, a Ranger Tugs 27, around much of the U.S. for six years, before moving up to a 29 in 2017. This year they wanted to trailer the boat from their home in northern Michigan to Prince Rupert, in British Columbia, before heading to Alaska. Then, as Lisa wrote on their blog,, “COVID-19 happened.”

Time for a change if plans. The border to Canada is closed until at least Aug. 21, so they trailered Kismet behind their three-quarter-ton GMC truck to Anacortes, Washington, and launched it there. On the dock, a neighbor told them about Cypress Island. They had cruised through most of the San Juans before, but had never been to Cypress Island.

Only eight miles above Vancouver, on the east side of Rosario Strait, Cypress Island is the historic home of the Coast Salish people. It was named (or misnamed, actually) by the British explorer George Vancouver in 1792; he thought the juniper trees there were cypress trees.

Cypress Island now is a favorite gunkhole because it’s still in a fairly natural state. While other islands in the San Juans have marinas and resorts, Cypress Island is still undeveloped. It has three mooring areas; the largest, where the Favors went, is Eagle Harbor, on the east side of the island; it has 15 mooring balls.

Cypress Island itself is known for its year-round beauty and seclusion, with 20 miles of hiking trails and nearly 200 species of mammals and birds. Eagle Cliff is a favorite lookout spot and popular hiking destination for visiting boaters.

Lisa said that Eagle Harbor “was a beautiful spot, with a view of Mount Baker. It has a rocky beach to land your dinghy on, and hiking trails through dense woods either along the shoreline or up the hill to several small lakes.”

The Favors celebrated their first night there with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and a game of mahjong. Over the next few days they adjusted to their new season of cruising life, went hiking on shore, and took lots of pictures. Read more:



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