Blind Bay, Shaw Island
It took three hours to reach Blind Bay, motoring the whole way from Skyline in Anacortes. I had calm weather and a significant flood tide helping me. Entering Thatcher Pass on a flood tide or leaving the islands through it on a ebb tide works great. Try that with the opposite tide, and it can turn into a nasty piece of water. All the passes are like that though, but Thatcher is probably the worst because of all the traffic. The sheer rock walls rebroadcast the choppy waves without absorbing much of the energy at all. Even in the best weather conditions, the chop from traffic can make it feel like a pinball machine.
I’ve owned Solace for nine months now, and finally have a depth sounder and ground tackle that I trust. Up to this point, I’ve only sailed her to destinations I know well. Now I plan to take her to new anchorages, and I decided to start with Blind Bay on Shaw Island.
The video above pretty much says it all. I anchored between the two little islands on the southeast shore. The mud gave a solid holding and the location kept me out of the southerly forecast. There was a significant southern wind the next morning, and I think it was generated localy. I imaging a stiff southern wind is common in the morning during the summer. Good to know, as these local wind patterns are great to anchor in and top off the batteries with the wind turbine.
I took the dingy over to Blind Island and was litterally overjoyed to find it convered in blue camas. Seriously. These plants were a staple food for the Native Americans and the species was taken to the brink of extinction by American settlement. The only other place I’ve seen this wild flower thrive is Watmough Bay.The majority of flowers have already been fertilized. The plants were all bulging with undeveloped seed pods. I’m planning a return trip in a month to Blind Island or Watmough Bay to collect seeds. I have a few plots in Anacortes where I’d like to foster a wild garden. The bulbs are harvested just like onions. The natives would slow cook them for two days in makeshift ovens; basically a primal version of the modern crock pot. Natives would cultivate huge fields of this spindly blue flower and weed out the yellow death-camas. These two plants are identical, except for the flower.
Saturday found me in Friday Harbor where I met up with friend and wildlife photographer, Katie Jones. On the way out I ran into Stormy and Chloe of ArtOfHookie.org. I had a beer with him and caught up on his latest adventure. Apparently, I had just missed Adam Nash, who gets credit for recognizing my boat at the dock and telling Stormy.
I rode a monster ebb tide out Cattle Pass, hoping to catch a forecasted south-westerly to slingshot me around the south end of Lopez and home to Anacortes. The Strait of Juan de Fuca was a placid lake. With a limp mail sail raised hopefully, I motored home.
I have to apologize for the lack of pictures. I have lost my camera and am in the process of replacing it.