Mary Leach Natural Area, Sinclair Island

“Wait a minute… you guys! There is a piece of public land on Sinclair Island that I read about. Apparently there was a lady who donated her land to the public before she died. Let’s go find it!” …That’s how our little expedition got underway. My friends Andy and Izak will be joining me on my 250 mile sail to Texada Island in September. They will each have their own boats and our small regatta plans to storm Canada together. This weekend we rendezvoused at…

Sasquatch and the Wilderness Trail

When my brother proposed a camping trip, I jumped at the opportunity. We missed a previously planned trip on the boat, and we hadn’t done anything together since our journey to Alaska. With as much time as I’ve spent in the woods, I’ve never done a multi-day backpacking trip; certainly not in the Pacific Rainforest in the middle of February. The week before the trip was stressful. I knew that if I was not adequately prepared, the trip would be miserable. The two things I…

Sailing in Solitude

Bowman Bay Rocks

When I set out the water was as placid as a lake. The only ripples were those from my bow cutting through the calm, cold water. This weekend I was headed to Bowman Bay, just west of Deception Pass where Fidalgo and Whidbey islands meet. This is a great little bay with a floating dock, three mooring buoys, and another dock at Rosiaro park on the other side of the bay. It’s a tricky entrance though. The mouth has three rocks, one of which is…

Watmough Bay, Lopez Island

Watmough Bay on Lopez Island

I set off towards the sunset, the water as smooth as glass. Every time I leave the dock I get a high, a rush, from the sense of freedom; the sense of escape. It’s a confirmation that I am not defined by my life on land. I am a boater. My home floats. The islands are waiting to feed my body and my soul and my small craft can handle whatever they throw my way. I am one with this environment. This weekend feels especially…

Cypress Island Hiking Trail Map

I’ve written several posts on this blog about Cypress Island, and two chapters of my book are dedicated to it. This post contains links to all the GPS hiking trails that I’ve collected so far. I will update it as I hike more areas of the island and discover new, old logging trails. View Cypress Island Hiking Trails in a larger map The trails on the google map above was created from combining several hiking trails that I recorded with my GPS. You can download…

Planning An Extended Backpacking Trip

planning an extended backpacking trip

Backpacking is a great way to get away from it all and enjoy the the great outdoors. If you are planning an extended backpacking trip, it is important to remember a few things. Below, we will discuss some important considerations to planning your next extended stay hike. Initial Planning Steps First of all, you should gather your party together. Who will be hiking and camping with you? If you are going on a solo trip, be sure to take safety measures to ensure your safety…

Eagle Harbor Washington and Reed Lake Hiking Trail

eagle harbor wa

My wife and I spent a beautiful weekend in Eagle Harbor (washington), just off the coast of Cypress Island. We are truly experiencing the Halcyon Days here in the San Juan Islands. The weather is crisp, calm, and sunny. This weather should last on and off between now and the middle of February. Then the winds will pick up again until about May. Our trip this weekend was a bit spur of the moment. The weather was so nice on Saturday, we decided to head…

Gunkholing in the Salish Sea

gunkholing in the san juan islands video

From Wikipedia: Gunkholing is a boating and sea kayaking term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes. While not necessary, gunkholers typically seek out the serenity of isolated anchorages over the crowds of marinas and popular bays, and a minimal draft is preferred, since gunkholers tend to go…

Hope Island Marine State Park

The Victoria Clipper Shuttle

Labor Day weekend dawned and my wife and I were badly needing a get-away. Things have been just crazy at both of our jobs and stress had been running high for several weeks. Before setting out on the boat, we decided on some criteria our destination had to meet: Be calm and relaxing Have good crabbing Be somewhere we haven’t visited before Skagit Bay and Similk Bay, tucked between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands met this criteria nicely. To be fair, we had been to Hope…

Northwest Coast Clothing

DIY camping gear

One of the hardest things about trying to enjoy any recreational activity around the Northwest Coast is the inconsistency of weather that we have. While rain is extremely common, so is wind, cold, heat, sun, snow, and fog. Sometimes many of these conditions occur at the same time. It’s not uncommon to be standing in warm sunshine in the middle of a downpour, or hiking in a clear, sunny, but totally freezing January day. Along the Northwest Coast, fog is a common companion throughout the…

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