Monday, August 22, 2011

Back in the San Juan Islands

The sea continues to call to us and we found ourself back in the San Juans for an eight day sailing exploration of the islands and our skills, learning something new everyday and becoming more proficient along the way. Spending the first night in Rosario on Orcas Island, we set out for an evening hike, trying get as high as we could on Mount Constitution, the highest point in the islands, and running back down in the dim twilight. Our next stop was the fabled Sucia Island, one of the smaller remote islands not served by the ferry, completely dedicated to camping. From all that I had heard about it, I thought we would have the place to ourselves. Not so much. The cove where we anchored was very Virgin Island-esque in the number of people anchored there and on shore there were loads of happy campers. Sucia, geologically, is very different from the other islands with its dramatic undercut sandstone shores. With all of it's natural beauty, I can see why it draws a crowd. Prevost Bay on Stuart Island was our next stop. As we rowed our dinghy up to the dock here, we were greeted by a baby harbor seal resting on the back of a boat. She was the cutest thing I think we have ever seen (don't tell the chihuahua). Quick note on seal behavior. After a mother seal gives birth, she leaves the baby for up to three days to go hunting. In the meantime, the baby seal gets really lonely and hungry. As a result, this baby seal kept sucking on the back of the boat and then looking at us with the biggest, cutest eyes ever, breaking my heart every time. I really wanted to bring her home with us and have her live in the bathtub. After we tore ourselves away from this uber-cute distraction, we headed out on our hike past an insane "air-strip" complete with tiny airplanes parked amongst the trees towards our destination, a lighthouse perched atop a cliff. Between us and the lighthouse, however, lies the "car of doom." The car of doom is an old rusted out car crashed below the trail in the woods. Two year ago Captain Robert from Schooner Martha taught us the proper way to appreciate the car of doom, as he anxiously encouraged the boys to gather rocks along the way, in preparation of the rock hurling that was about to ensue. Having to keep with tradition, the boys giddily hurled rock after rock at the car of doom. It was the highlight of their trip. If we wouldn't have torn them away, they may still be there.

Click here for photos.