Enjoy Robinson Beach, A Priceless Gift to the Island

Posted in Community, Feature, More Stories, Nature

Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
March 30, 2016

How often does a gift unwrap itself, revealing benefits for everyone in Island County and all visitors to Whidbey Island?

A quiet moment for reflection (photo by the author)

A quiet moment for reflection (photo by the author)

Robinson Beach on Mutiny Bay in Freeland proved to be just such a priceless gift in 2013. The beach, which snuggles up to a boat launch, had been used with permission from owner Frank Robinson and loved by island residents for some time, prior to being formally gifted to the island in January of 2013. Frank Robinson, a South Whidbey native, went on to found the Robinson Helicopter Company in Los Angeles, where he currently lives. Robinson’s only conditions were that it remain as parkland, be named after the Robinson family and that the boat launch continue to be maintained.

When 300 feet of beachfront property become public, the incomparable feel of being close to the Salish Sea becomes a gift in perpetuity, offering unlimited visual, auditory and playtime possibilities.

Ernie, right, and "flat kid" (photo by the author)

Ernie, right, and “flat kid”  soak up some rays.  (photo by the author)

Robinson beach-goers enjoy midday sun on the west-facing beach, making the bay dance like sparkling diamonds. Children’s unique-to-the-beach sounds mingle with splashing waves and the cry of gulls, creating a meditative symphony.

The beach offers front row seating for cruise ships carrying passengers and beach-dreamers to Alaska. Larger-than-life container ships carry goods to ports in Asia, Europe or Africa.

If it's sunny, it's time to test the waters. (photo by the author)

If it’s sunny, it’s time to test the waters. (photo by the author)

Shore anglers line the beach, competing with resident eagles for salmon. Lone kayakers explore Mutiny Bay, even in winter.

Seeing sun-drenched Olympic Mountains staged by the sea rejuvenates even the moodiest of us. Sweaters wrap shoulders as the sun begins its descent. Nothing equals a beach’s ability to absorb daily stress, open hearts, heal wounds and create promise.

Even if it's a grey day, Robinson Beach is a place to "nang out." (photo by the author)

Even if it’s a grey day, Robinson Beach is a great place to “hang out.” (photo by the author)

Thank you, Frank Robinson and your family, from all islanders and visitors. Enjoying your gift will be easy. We vow to search its sand, salt air and waves for answers, and to listen to the messages. Then we will pass it to the next generation.

To enjoy the beach, take Fish Road out of Freeland. Turn left on Mutiny Bay and right on Robinson Road.

Marky Olson, a retired high school English and public speaking teacher, loves writing about and living on Whidbey Island.


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  1. Marky,
    What a treasure you have discovered and written about so beautifully. Thank you for including directions. Your photos inspire a visit this weekend!
    Susan Scott

  2. I’m impressed. I enjoyed your literary license in describing the charm and character of Robinson Beach. I did not know it had only recently been gifted to us, the public. Looking forward to reading more of your writing. db

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