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Lime Kiln Lighthouse on San Jaun Island

Published August 5th, 2011

We took the ferry from Anacortis to Friday Harbor to photograph the San Juan Island which is situated between Seattle and Canada. The island takes about an hour to drive across and is manageable as a day trip. The ferry terminal is 1.5 hours from our house meaning we had to get up at 0400 to catch the 0620 ferry. Morning is not my favorite time of day, but we saw a spectacular sunrise as we drove north to Anacortis. The ferry ride is about an hour and drops you off at Friday Harbor that is really the only town on the island. Many folks were biking the island or had rented these 3 wheeled bike/cars.

Our first stop was the Cattle Point Lighthouse at the most southern tip of the island. We had planned on hiking to the lighthouse to photograph, but you needed a Discovery Pass to park at the "interpretive center", but there was nowhere to buy a pass. Before you reach the lighthouse, there is a turnout with a spectacular view and this is where we go the shot of the lighthouse from.

Next we stopped at Jackle Lagoon on the east side of the island. It wasn't a planned stop, but there was a nice 1.5 mile hike into the lagoon where the paths were wide and under the cover of trees. The hike was easy until the last 30 feet where high seas had washed out the trail leaving a steep path to the lagoon. Going down this I tore the medial head of my gastrocnemius in my calf. It is a weird to feel your muscle pop into two pieces. It is the third time for me and it is getting pretty old. The lagoon was quite nice and I limped around to get a few nice shots, then limped up the hill back to the car.

Pelindaba Lavender farm in the central part of the island was our next stop. It is an active, organic farm that has the largest amount of lavender planted of all of the farms we have visited. The lavender is planted on a slope and makes for grand pictures. There is a store on site where I bought some lavender tea, chocolate sauce, honey and culinary lavender.

Last was a visit to Lime Kiln State Park. The discovery pass was required here, but you could pay at the site. Orca watching, the lighthouse and some historical ruins are the highlights of the park. We hiked from the lighthouse down to Deadman's Bay to get some shots of this dread site. In the past a human smuggler would put Chinese into burlap sacks for transport. If he was close to being caught, the unfortunates would be thrown overboard and many of their bodies would wash ashore in Deadman's Bay.

The shot below is of the Lime Kiln Lighthouse where I limped around trying to get a good shot from some rocks on a prominence south of the lighthouse. Again trying to shoot without people in the shot is almost impossible. With my injured leg I didn't have the patience to wait and had to clone out one bozo who stood in my shot.


  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
  • 58mm / f/22.62 / 4819/10000 sec


  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
  • 80mm / f/32 / 1621/5000 sec


  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
  • 70mm / f/32 / 781/50000 sec

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