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Ben Ure
Ben Ure is a figure from late 19th century Pacific Northwest. He was a smuggler and operated out of what is now called Bur Ure Island just to the east of Deception Pass. It's about 1000' long and 500' wide and about 80' at it's highest point. It site right at the entrance to Cornet Bay. There's a smaller island, Strawberry, farther out in the channel.

Ure was not a nice guy. He not only smuggled liquor but also Chinese workers, kept in burlap bags on deck so if the Government boats approached to board him, he could rapidly toss them overboard and let the currents take them to Deadman's Bay on San Juan Island.

However, his island is a very nice place. It's mostly owned by the Washington State Parks as part of Deception Pass State Park and there is a cabin on it the Park Service rents out. It's only 12' x 24' and there's no potable water and no dock. In fact, not much of a beach either to land a kayak or canoe on. That's a requirement, you can only visit the island by human or wind powered craft. The cabin is limited to two occupants. There are 6 other cabins, privately owned, on the island and they are off limits as is most of the island. But the State Parks cabin is really nice. It does have electricity and there's a complete kitchen and a small toilet room, the show is outdoors. Heat is provided by a wood stove and a couple of electric heaters. There is water but it's not potable and smells like sulfur. That's one of the downsides. The other is the awful futon. Best to just lay the cushion on the floor. You do have to bring, in addition to your own drinking water, your own bed linens and blankets. As well as your own wood.

But the views, from both the huge deck and from inside out the large sliding doors, are amazing. And it's so quiet. And there's no one to bother you. The residents of the other private cabins are not supposed to enter the State Park land associated with the cabin.

It's a short paddle over to the island from the boat ramp, about 500 yards. Strawberry is another 350 to 400 yards to the north. There's really no good place to land, though there are a couple of flat places in the rock at high tide below the 10' to 15' cliff. From those it's a couple hundred yard long walk to the cabin, which all the stuff you need to bring with you complicates some. Still, it's one of the best places I've ever stayed. The cabins at Waianapanapa near Hana on Maui might be a bit nicer, they do have running potable water and their views are at least as good.

There is a lot of current in the channels. A lot of current. Not the place for anyone not an expert with boating and especially not with kayaks or canoes. Up to 8 knots and with a stiff wind off Juan de Fuca Strait, up to 6' high standing waves and lots of very powerful eddies and whirlpools.

The park itself is also very nice. And the bridges over the Pass are gorgeous. It's one of the most scenic sights in a State with an abundance of scenery.

We spent two nights there two weeks ago and are going back for four nights next June.
Are we there yet?

Re: Ben Ure
Reply #1
Sounds like fun. I love Deception pass. Made many trips there, mostly on the motorcycle, while I was there.