Turn Point, Boundary Pass

Turn Point, Boundary Pass

by | Feb 12, 2019

The Turn Point Light Station is an active aid to navigation overlooking Haro Strait and Boundary Pass from the western tip of Stuart Island, Washington State. Vessels traveling from the Strait of San Juan de Fuca to the city of Vancouver transit through Haro Strait and enter Boundary Pass at Turn Point. This is the main shipping corridor through the San Juan Islands with about 95 commercial vessels per week.

Stuart Island is one of the San Juan Islands in northern Puget Sound. The island is sparsely populated with two small communities, a state park, a one-room schoolhouse, and two airstrips. The island was named by Charles Wilkes during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838–42, for Frederick D. Stuart, the captain’s clerk of the expedition. Two sites on the island are public lands, the Stuart Island State Park near the center of the island, and the Turn Point Light Station. The station is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as part of the San Juan Islands National Monument.

The light station was first constructed in 1893 with a steam-powered fog signal and a two-story keeper’s residence. The station’s first light was a lens lantern displayed from a post located close to the point. In 1936, a square concrete tower was added to the site with a 12-inch (300 mm) light. The station was automated in 1974, and the keepers’ residence is now used by researchers from the University of Washington as a base for studies on whale migration. Read more here and here. Explore more of Turn Point here:

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This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2019 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

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