A Perfect Blur

Teaching Plants

This is a picture of me teaching my oldest nephew how to identify Fennel, its distinctive look, and taste.

I hate sail bloggers that don’t post regularly. But sometimes, life is so good, it’s hard to worry about the digital world that may or may not be anticipating your next post. So, Dear Reader, I will attempt to bring you up to speed on what I’ve been up to. But it’s life. It has no simple narrative, no character progression, no arc. It’s a random jumble of experiences that does not easily flow onto a page.

I spent a week in Portland, my old home town. Now that I have the advantage of working remotely, and because I made the decision long ago to not have children, I try to be present in the lives of my nephews. I try to play the role of the fun and wise uncle that several of my uncles played for me, and to whose wisdom I will forever be indebted.

I spent last weekend celebrating Julie’s birthday. The weather was calm enough, for the first time this year, to brave the unprotected waters of Clark Island State Park. This is one of my favorite Marine State Parks, but it is so exposed, so forlornly abandoned in the middle of the Rosario Strait, that it takes perfectly calm weather to enjoy properly. Julie’s birthday was one such day. In the right weather, Clark Island is a tropical paradise with lush, lagoon-like jungle and white sandy beaches. We got a taste of the tropical, and as if that wasn’t enough, a small pod of transient Orcas went out of their way to cruise on by Solace.

transient Orca Whales

A small pod of Orca whales swam through the channel between Clark and Barnes Island while Solace was anchored about 300 yards away.

The following day, the weather was not so kind. Solace bobbed and pitched in the energetic chop. We retreated to Pelican Beach on Cypress Island. The next day we caught Greenling fish after a hike where I foraged some cattail and lady fern. We dined on baked fish and stir fry. It was Julie’s first time to Smuggler’s Cove, where we visited Elizabeth Hardy’s cabin. Mrs. Hardy’s tale, though brief, is an inspiration to me. An independent soul with an unquenchable love of Cypress Island. Her cabin and her life story never cease to inspire me to spend as much time exploring and foraging around Cypress Island as possible.

When a person is cruising, the days start to blend together. Many people find serenity in the unhurried pace of the blur of days. For me, last summer, the unproductivity of it began to bother me. It was exactly what inspired me to pursue the life I’m now living – working remotely, voyaging close to my home port, but spending as much time away from the dock as possible. I have an active work life, but plenty of leisure time to enjoy hikes around Cypress and the other San Juan Islands. I enthusiastically write software, yet struggle to keep track of what day it is. I’ve reached the perfect balance between ambition and relaxation; the days blend together perfectly. I have no desire to ever take a vacation from this existence.

Clark Island

Clark island has many vistas from which one can watch the water. The calm, sunny weather made Clark Island feel almost tropical.

In “Into the Wild”, John Krakauer comes to the conclusion that Chris McCandless was the type of person who enjoyed rigorous social intercourse, as if he was soaking it up. Filled with this social energy, he would then happily set off alone, into the wilderness. It’s a pattern that many nature lovers fall into, even Henry Thoreau.

I too follow this pattern. I’m going to spend the next week bouncing around various anchorages and moorages of Cypress Island. Spring is a magical time of year on this little oasis. I’ve soaked up the social energy of Portland family and Washington friends. Now I’m ready for a little alone time in the wilderness. I plan to hike the old logging roads and pay homage to many old homesteads around the island that I know of.

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2 Responses to “A Perfect Blur”
  1. Stormy says:

    Have you seen the weather report, summer is here…

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