Cruising the San Juan Islands: Eliza, Vendovi, Cypress, and Jack Islands.

We really packed some travel in for my Mother’s Day cruise. Mother’s Day weekend and we headed out with no particular plan in mind other than to fish for some Ling Cod, sail when the wind blew, and forage for some cattails, nettles, and hopefully some mushrooms. My favorite kind of trip, trusting to our own capabilities to provide us with our food and no particular place to go in mind. We got started on Friday evening, tide was out with the water calm and…

Sea Cucumbers, Oysters, Cattails & other Wild Foods

Last weekend, Sherrie & I took off with no particular destination nor itinerary in mind. It was mid-May, Mother’s Day weekend and the weather was great. Multiple fishing and harvesting opportunities were present, with Ling Cod, Halibut, Shrimp, Clams & Oysters (check the red-tide hotline: http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm ), Cabezon, and other seafoods available for the catching. Ok, our fishing luck was pretty poor, with a total of one nice rock cod (not allowable and thus released unharmed), and a few sea cumbers. Winds and tides were…

Sucia Island, Cruising the San Juan Islands:

I thought it would fun to share some of our more favorite destinations in the San Juan Islands.  We have been cruising here since 2008 so we have many “favorites” but Sucia Island is a regular and we try to make at least three or four visits a year there. Incredible scenery, miles of shoreline, excellent facilities, and solid holding grounds.  With docks, mooring buoys, camping, hiking, fishing, crabbing, clam digging, diving, sea kayaking and more.  Sucia offers it all.  No wonder this park is consistently ranked…

The Gnomes of Stuart Island

cruising, sailing the san juan islands, hiking, boating, fishing, boat camping,

I know it must be hard to believe but there are gnomes living on Stuart Island. Stuart Island in Washington state, named in honor of Frederick D. Stuart, the captain’s clerk of the Wilkes expedition in 1841, is the Northwestern most island in the San Juan archipelago. Home to two communities of full and part-time residents, two airfields, and Stuart Island State Park. Most of the island is private property and although there are no stores or accommodations on Stuart Island itself, it is still…

TIME WARPS–Mid-week sailing

Time warps do exist!  Or maybe the water is a parallel universe.  Whatever the explanation, a few hours on the water sailing and I feel like I have been out for days Dawn breaks clear and sunny with a light breeze. The birds are up and singing, the coffee smells so very good, and the first thought is “Man! I wish I could be on the boat right now”. I have to willfully resist this urge, must get dressed for work, it’s okay; only ten hours…

Square Cove – Guemes Island

Square Cove opening

We did a short day trip today. We thought we might spend the night out and had prepared for such, but with 3 grand-children and neither of us feeling all that healthy, left the options open. We weren’t sure where we were going when we left the dock. It was Vendovi, Saddlebag Island, or someplace in-between. We departed our slip at Cape Sante Marina with supplies for lunch, dinner, s-mores, and more. As we were transiting Guemes Island en-route to Vendovi Island, we looked at…

San Juan Islands Kayaking: Saddlebag Island

san juan islands kayaking

This article describes an easy, beginner San Juan Islands kayaking trip to Saddlebag Island Although I’m not much of a kayaker, I know many people who are. The San Juan Islands are a sea kayaker’s paradise, particularly in mid to late summer when the winds calm down and the water becomes smooth as glass, like in these photos from Randy Reese. One easy, beginner sea kayak trip that is really popular are short trips to Saddlebag Island, which is a Washington State Park. The easiest…

Maritime Safety – Best Practices

Maritime Safety Balance

While my wife and I were at Watmough Bay on Lopez Island, some spring weather caught us off guard. The forecast when we left the dock on Friday was for calm, sunny weather all weekend. However, on Saturday afternoon the winds started picking up and the forecast had changed to 25 mph over night. We were OK. In fact, we were hardly inconvenienced, but the fact that I let the weather surprise me was bad boat safety. I foolishly didn’t check the weather forecast on…

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