We're back in the San Juan Islands and the weather is lovely!
We came up on Sunday with some family in tow and took a quick little two-hour excursion in Airship over to Cypress Island and back in the rain. It was still fun, but we're happy the weather has improved since then. On Monday morning we all took a little cruise on the new Nordic 44 that's at Cap Sante right now and almost ready to head off to its new owners. Nice boat!!
Then on Monday afternoon we headed over to James Island to meet our friend Sam for some cruising. Once we got there, we all decided that it might be a little exposed for the winds, so we moved over to Brigantine Bay at Decatur Island for the night. We rafted onto Sam's Nordic Tug 37 and had a nice time catching up.
A dusting of snow on Orcas Island:
Rafted at Decatur Island:
Our route: Anacortes to James to Decatur (with a little detour before mooring to finish up a phone call while in cell range):
In the morning, we dinghied into shore and hiked up to the top of Decatur Island (well, almost the top).
Headed back down:
After our hike and some breakfast on Airship, we headed over to the south side of Jones Island State Park and we each grabbed a mooring ball in the South Cove.
Our route, Decatur Island to Jones Island (about 12 nautical miles):
Airship in South Cove:
Safe Harbour (Sam's NT 37):
Sam launched his (fast) dinghy and we headed across to explore Yellow Island (about a mile from Jones Island). Yellow Island is an 11-acre nature preserve in the San Juan Islands, accessible only by small craft.
"In 1979, Joe and Sally Hall chose to sell Yellow Island to the Conservancy because they wanted it to be preserved as it was when Sally's parents, Lew and Elizabeth "Tib" Dodd, homesteaded in 1947.
For 30 years the Conservancy has honored the Dodd and Hall family legacy, preserving, restoring and expanding what the Dodds began.
When Lewis and Elizabeth Dodd bought the island in 1947, they were determined to live in peaceful coexistence with nature. An avid reader of Thoreau, Lewis Dodd strongly believed in self-sufficiency. After living in a tent for two years, he and Tib moved into a house, a small rustic cabin they built with beach-combed timber and rock. This distinctive landmark remains basically unaltered to this day.
As the Dodds cultivated a small garden, planted a few fruit trees and grape vines and raised chickens and pigeons for meat, they left the island’s wealth of animals and plants largely undisturbed. Their years on the island were testimony to a lifestyle in harmony with nature." [From nature.org. More here.]
Lew Dodd memorial plaque:
Looking across at Jones Island…the dark spot on shore is South Cove, where our boats were moored:
We hiked all over the island (which doesn't take all that long, because…11 acres):
He's here all year:
We took the dinghy back to Jones Island and then we all just hung out and visited and I cooked us dinner: pappardelle carbonara, with a fennel and blood orange salad. Fun evening!
This morning we went ashore on Jones Island and hiked across to the North Cove. The tide was high, so we "logged" the dinghy, rather than beaching it:
Lots of wood on the beach this morning:
View from North Cove, mountains (way) in the distance:
Back at South Cove:
After our short hike (and some breakfast), Sam headed back to Anacortes, and we headed for Patos Island. Unfortunately, there was a boat just ahead of us on our way to Active Cove on Patos, and they got there first (and there's STILL only one mooring buoy!), so we headed over to Sucia instead. We're moored in Shallow Cove, with a pretty good view to the north. The chance of Northern Lights is really high tonight and tomorrow night, so maybe we'll have some aurora photos to post next! For now, here's the sunset from our spot:
We've got crab traps out, so maybe we'll have some New Year's Dungeness!
Here's today's route from Jones Island to Patos Island to Sucia Island (about 14.5 nautical miles total):