The Many Moods of “White Rock”

SandiGravatarSM CROPPEDPosted by Sandi

You’ve read our posts about Indian Island, the curious tiny island in Fishing Bay, Eastsound. Well there’s another tiny island off the west coast of Orcas Island that I’m curious about: White Rock.

Located halfway between Flattop Island and Waldron Island, White Rock is just one of 172 islands in the San Juan archipelago. But I happen to look out upon it every day. And therein lies its magic: Depending on time and type of day and season, it takes on a completely different mood. Take a look:

When we first got a boat a few years ago, one of my first requests was a closer investigation of this magical rock, actually the tip of an ancient submerged mountain.

Nautical chart of White Rock, Orcas Island

The red arrow is pointing to White Rock, southwest of Disney Point on Waldron Island. Part of the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, boaters need to stay 200 yards away – no landing ashore.

White Rock, Orcas Island

The Rock is more interesting than I thought — some vegetation and lots of orange stuff — a lichen perhaps?

White Rock, Orcas Island

To give you an idea of scale, note the harbor seal hauled out on rock

Soon we’ll be moving higher up the hill when our house is finished. While I won’t miss our current cramped quarters, I’ll miss gazing upon an ever changing face of White Rock, my trusty friend and focal point through all seasons.

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty – we’ll help you find your way home.


Filed under Boating, Nature

5 Responses to The Many Moods of “White Rock”

  1. How cool that it’s the tip of a mountain! I love little facts like that!

    • Yes, it gives a whole different perspective when you look at and see these rocks appear to be floating but they’re all really tips of ancient mountains carved by glaciers. My husband likes to scuba dive here but it’s way too cold for me!

  2. glenn

    Used to commercially dive this rock for sea urchins …. must have been used as target practice at one time, cause there are bomb fragments there, the kind you see dropping out of planes in old WW2 footage

    • Hi Glenn, thanks for that tidbit. Someone else told me he believed White Rock was used for target practice in WW2 but I wasn’t sure if it was just island folklore. Now it seems indisputable. Thanks for adding history to the story!