The San Juan Islands: Archipelago of Dreams

For more than 20 years, I’ve been visiting the secluded “Three Amigos” in the San Juan Islands:  Matia, Sucia, and Patos Islands in my sailboat, Elenoa. Each voyage is different: the seasons determine what sections of the fantastical sandstone formations receive glorious lighting, whether Madrone bark is colorful, and whether spring flowers or fall colors dominate. Weather conditions and tides determine access to seaweed formations and other often-hidden shoreline treasures. Storms bring new driftwood to explore, and calm winds create reflections in still waters.

The depth of understanding that has gradually been revealed to me by this decades-long affinity brings me great joy in connecting deeply with this special place and allows me to see deeper into both the grandeur and intimate details that make these islands so remarkable.


Lance Ekhart philosophizes aboard his sailboat Elenoa, surrounded by the fluttering birds of Flounder Bay. He searches for the meaning of life through his passionate nature photography and building boat things in his shop.



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