Relatively narrow passages between the small islands immediately NW of Shaw Island and some well documented rocks not shown on official charts render Wasp Passage, and the Wasp Islands in general, one of those areas where a “no-go” decision is often the best. It’s entirely possible to navigate Wasp Passage without slamming into a rock, and the majority of boaters attempting to do so succeed. Washington State Ferries use Wasp Passage, with expert captains in command. At the same time, commercial tow operators and salvage companies do a lot of business in and around Wasp Passage every summer. A number of charter agreements specifically prohibit attempting to navigate in Wasp Passage.
A prudent alternative, only slightly out of the way, is Pole Pass. A boater in too much of a hurry to use Pole Pass could be likely to run through Wasp Passage at a higher than reasonable speed and compound the risk to his or her vessel.
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