The Pass was hidden, a treacherous rift of currents that didn’t want to shoot strait – at least from the perspective of Captain George Vancouver. Back in 1792, while exploring the Pacific Northwest, he sent Joseph Whidbey sailing northward along the east coast of a strip of land that now bears Whidbey’s name. Whidbey made it up the Saratoga Passage and explored eastward into Skagit Bay, but didn’t make it far enough west to find an outlet. It wasn’t until they changed their practice and explored up the west coast of Whidbey that they found the strait, making Whidbey an island rather than a peninsula. Captain Vancouver was so annoyed being fooled by that hidden rift of roiling water he called it Deception Pass.
226 years later, another group of intrepid sailors headed up to that deceptive pass to pursue a different set of practices. I was one of them.
Ok, maybe “sailors” is a bit of a reach. We do spend a lot of time in a boat on the open ocean on these excursions. We do pay attention to the tides and tidal currents. We do navigate from point A to point B – and no commercial sea captain to take the responsibility. I guess that makes us sailors. But we weren’t there to sail.
We were there to scuba dive.
The thing is, I retired my underwater camera years ago, so you’ll just have to settle for pictures I took at days end.
But hey, talking about one thing and showing pictures of something else is a deceptive practice, right? What else would I do at Deception Pass?
Besides, what would you rather see, a picture of a Ling Cod and a hunk of sponge, or pictures from the golden hour?
I could tell you about driving a 20-foot power boat through the ripping tidal currents of a narrow passage that tries to flood or ebb a whole bay’s worth of water; the standing waves, the eddies that yaw the boat left or right as we pass through. But a sunset is more peaceful.
After a day of bounding across the open ocean, breathing in the sea air above and compressed air below, a leisurely evening watching the sky put on a show of pastel colors is just the way to end the day.
And if I exaggerate the colors the camera sees, just a little, does that count as a deceptive practice?
It doesn’t hurt to spend times like these with old friends; diving, camping, sharing meals, sharing stories around the campfire. And proving you’re never too old to attempt skipping rocks.
If to top it off, such a weekend provided gorgeous weather and views to forever, you could not blame us for thinking the whole affair was a sublime outing with nature.
Would I deceive you about that?