Posted by Sandi Friel
If you take the simple life on Orcas Island and dial it down a few notches, you might end up on Crane, a 250-acre private island paradise dangling south of Deer Harbor on Orcas’s west side.
This quiet, pedestrian-friendly island is accessible only by private boat. I had the opportunity to get to know Crane when I sold a waterfront home there a few years ago. And on a beautiful day recently I got to visit again, this time bringing a contractor to look at a vacant lot I have listed for sale.
We landed at the community dock on the north end and took a 20-minute stroll to the property on the south side, seeing only deer and listening to bird songs along the way. We passed by the community beach, the airstrip and tiny community hall that also houses a fire truck.
Circling around the 50-acre nature preserve, we arrived at our destination – a pristine 2-acre waterfront lot purchased in the 1960s when Crane was first platted.
Many Crane properties are held for generations as a summer getaway. There are only a few full time folks on the island, and residents are affectionately known as Craniacs. I asked one full-timer what’s the best part about living on Crane. Her answer was multi-faceted:
Five Reasons To Love Crane, as told by a Craniac:
- Surrounded by natural beauty
- Nature preserve
- Sense of community – we train for fires and first aid together. One of the most organized fire protection efforts on an outer island.
- Feels remote but it’s quite convenient to Deer Harbor and Orcas Landing groceries, restaurants and ferry.
- We have a community center with a new ping pong table!
If you feel tempted by the simple life on Crane Island, and think you have what it takes to be a Craniac, contact me!