Wild Nettles on my menu!

What are nettles? We are fairly new to serious foraging for food. While I have been something of an outdoorsman for most of my life, I never really had a need nor a burning desire to fully utilize the natural bounty that wild food foraging can benefit us. For 40 or 50 years, I have known that wild nettles were edible. All of the books said so. Still, upon moving here 5 years ago and finding a nettle herb patch in our driveway, I had…

Why Live Aboard?

point wilson dart

Whenever I tell people about my plans to live aboard, the most common response I get is a half-cocked eyebrow and the question ‘why would you want to do that?’. This article discusses the reasons for our decision to move aboard and the life problems that we hope to solve by doing so. I have dreamed for several years now of living aboard a boat. There are really three big reasons why. In order of most importance to least important, I define them as: love…

Geoduck and Oysters — Sailing to Dabob Bay at Hood Canal

geoduck, clam digging, digging clams, hood canal geoduck, boat camping, fishing puget sound, clam fishing

When Ken and I purchased the Gwa’Wis, the entire San Juan Islands opened up to us.  I remember how exciting it was every time we slipped the lines and headed out of the Marina.  So many things to see, both close and far. One of our first long trips was an outing for geoduck, pronounced “gooey duck”,  and oysters.  Geoduck is the Anglicized version of the native “gweduc” which, not surprisingly, means “dig deep”.   I spent many days researching the best geoduck tides and places to…

Ken’s Story

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

I have been boating for something like 55 years. I remember going with my dad to buy our first boat, found dusty and bird coated in a barn. Wood, about 15′ or 16′ with a 40 hp ob. I recall my father fiber-glassing the hull and putting on a windshield during the first year of our ownership. Before that, my dad and his buddies would take me out with them on opening day of fishing in Eastern Washington. Somehow, I always got the pole with…

Clam Chowder Days

The sky is cloudy, the wind is blowing, rain threatens. Looks like today we are inside curled up with a book by the fire. This describes many of the days we have here in the San Juan Islands, some of my favorite days. Clam Chowder days. What better meal than a hearty bowl of clam chowder on a windy, wet day? I can think of none. That we harvested the clams with our own clamming tools, and canned them ourselves makes the chowder, to me,…

Chris’ Story – Part 2 – The Rock ‘n Row

Underway in the Cruise a Home

This article continues the story of my passion for living in the San Juan Islands. You can read part one here. Despite the fact that my first attempt was an epic fail, my passion for living in the San Juan Islands never wavered. From Orcas Island, my wife and I retreated to Anacortes, where we were able to find work and begin rebuilding our savings. We still had the Sea Muse and we were still able to enjoy life under sail on the weekends. For…

Water Mining for Clams

A helpful article on less labor intensive clam digging. Combined with the right clamming tools, this technique will ensure you leave the beach with plenty of clam meat. Easter Saturday and we are heading out to one of my favorite activities here in the San Juan Islands; digging clams! There is truly no more beautiful spot to be living than here. We are sailing out from Cap Sante Marina where we have the boat moored and heading to the North side of Guemes Island, where…

Chris’ Story – Part 1 – How It Started, The Sea Muse

Annie sailing the Sea Muse

This post describes my early childhood and how it led to my passion to live in the San Juan Islands The Early Years My first trip to the San Juan Islands was when I was seven years old. My Aunt and Uncle lived in Bellingham and they had convinced my father to haul my family up for a trip to Sucia Island. Over the course of several days the beauty of that island was seared into my little brain. I walked the beach each morning…

Sherrie’s Story

san juan islands, sailing, boating, cruising,

I am Sherrie Schmidt and my husband is Ken. I am a 53 year old woman married to a wonderful man who began cruising the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea over 50 years ago. In my background, I owned a bit of acreage and grew and preserved most of the food that my family of 5 could eat in a year. Vegetables, fruits, beef, chickens, goats, etc… We made our own cheese and sold cheese and eggs to buy the things we could…

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