When the tide is moving Shark Reef turns into what could often be referred as "a
River". The water moves through Shark Reef so fast it
carries drift wood through at about 10 mph. You can watch the rapids and
whirlpools swirling through the channel. Even when there is no tide moving, there
are still things to see and do.
The Sea otters and Seals will come off the rocks,
you can see them hunting for fish and being playful as they splash around in the
water. When there isn't a tide, the near water can be extremely clear and
enticing. The water can look clear enough to wade your feet in or take a swim,
but only wade your legs or feet, even though it looks like there is no tide, you
can still be pulled out to sea in an eye blink, so please do not try to go
swimming even though it is so inviting.
If you look over the trees above you can sometimes spot a perching eagle on
one of the limbs. Across Shark Reef, on the near island, you can see the
lighthouse on Cattle Point, San Juan Island. You will also see many boats
crossing through since it is a major channel between Lopez and San Juan Island.
Every now and then if you keep your eyes open upon the water, you will see
porpoises, which are a northwest type of a dolphin. Sometimes Killer Whales will
also make their way through.
Before you leave, a must visit is Agate Beach, which is located roughly on the
very southern part of the island. You will find Agate Beach on the south ending
of Mud Bay Rd. When you arrive, you should be able to
notice it with the long stretch of road just above the beach. Just to be sure
you will see the sign in the picture, in front of Agate Beach,
you can park your car in the designated parking areas and access it from the