Watmough Bay, Lopez Island

Watmough Bay on Lopez Island

Heading off into the Sunset, toward 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 rewarding as I have achieved several milestones. I just completed my first week at a new job – a software company that is close to ‘home’ and full of talented, motivated people. Bankruptcy has been averted (for now at least). The new job will be a great source of income to help me work towards getting debt free in the next two years, as well as provide the money I need to turn my boat into a self-sufficient home.

Solace has also completed several upgrades. The new batteries have been performing admirably. The fiberglass work has kept her bone dry so far this fall. I’ve also installed a propane heater, rebuilt my black-water system, got a dingy, and last weekend I installed a wind turbine. I’m prepared for some serious winter cruising!

coffee on a boat

Sitting in my sleeping bag, with just my head out the hatch, while sipping coffee is my favorite way to spend a morning.

Just in time too. With October drawing to a close, the winter winds will begin to pick up. November is a blustery month. As I sit writing this, I am anchored in Watmough Bay, sipping coffee, and looking on the calm, placid water. I feel a tinge of regret because I know these calm days will be rare until mid-January when the Halcyon days arrive. I plan to make the most of this trip though with a little fishing and a hike to Point Colville, with binoculars to see if I can spot any whales.

God it’s a good feeling to be out in the islands on a sea-worthy craft!

As the winds pick up this winter, I hope to get some experience with heavy weather sailing. At the same time, I’m hoping to spend more weekends within the sheltered water of Saratoga Passage – between Whidbey and Camano Islands – in an effort to explore new Gunkholes for a second book. I may go so far as to seek moorage for a month in Oak Harbor.

More Pictures

boat with wind turbine

Solace is loaded down and ready for the journey. Notice the new wind turbine and dingy.

US Yacht at anchor

The S/V Solace moored to a buoy in Watmough Bay with the wind turbine going.

Giant Mushroom

These giant mushrooms were popping out of the ground all over. I need to find out if they are edible or not.

Video About Watmouugh Bay

Related posts:

James Island Marine State Park
Shaw Island County Park and Indian Cove
Man Overboard!
4 Responses to “Watmough Bay, Lopez Island”
  1. So wonderful to be in the islands, even during the fall and winter! And nice that you found a job, too. It’s pretty hard to live without money, but this one sounds like you can work from the boat? That would be the best of both worlds.

    • Chris says:

      Can’t work from the boat, but it is only a mile down the road, so not much different. If you guys make any fall/winter/spring trips up the San Juan Islands, be sure to drop me an email so we can talk about a rendezvous!

      Did you hear that Mark, Katie, and Wylie are heading to our neck of the woods?!

  2. Alan says:

    You left out crabs, crabs, crabs, the season is wide open :). We were on Orcas and it was blowing 40, not worried but hoping you were safe and snug in Watmaugh. Great post!

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for thinking of me bro! I checked the NOAA forcast at 8PM on Saturday and noticed the gale warning for Sunday. Decided to head back that night while it was still dead calm. I slept like a baby and woke up at the dock! ;-p

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