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.