N 48° 22’ 080
W 124° 36’ 659
Tatoosh Island, Neah Bay, Cape Flattery – all places that mean we are at the very far northwestern tip of the continential United States. Cape Flattery is the northwestern corner of Washington state, and marks the U.S. side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Tatoosh Island is a rocky piece of land, just off the tip of the Cape. It is capped by the Cape Flattery light house. We have passed it on three separate occasions, but always in fog. Despite its geographic and navigational importance we have never actually seen it. So we bought this postcard.
We rounded Cape Flattery around eight this morning in fog again, at the end of a twenty-six hour trip from Astoria. We were lucky with the weather, and sailed all of yesterday in sunshine and a brisk southerly wind. Overnight, we motored over a calm sea, our path illuminated by the bright full moon.
We’ve stopped in Neah Bay, which is just around the corner from Cape Flattery. There is a perfect harbor here and a fine marina built by the Makah Tribe, who have gained some notoriety in the past dozen years by resuming their traditional annual hunt for gray whales using open canoes and hand wielded harpoons. Animal rights activists insist that this is cruel. Speaking of cruelty, the marina is inhabited by huge sea lions and many sea gulls. The sea lions catch fish among the boats moored here, then torment the sea gulls. Cruel to the fish, and the gulls, but natural, not unlike the whale hunt.