Monday, May 30, 2016

Fisherman's Bay

When we visited with Chris at Cypress Island he told us about another sailboat family he is friends with and how we should meet, so Jason had an email exchange with Adam from s/v Tuwamish and a meeting was on. We knew good things were in store when Adam's email reply was, "Right on! New friends!"

This is how we found ourselves in Fisherman's Bay on Lopez Island. Drawing seven and a half feet, we've always avoided the shallows of Fish Bay but Adam assured us we'd have no problem. We went in on a rising tide to make sure that if we grounded we wouldn't have to sit there in embarrassment and shame as the tide painfully went out and then ever-so-slowly came back in. I wasn't so sure we would come out with our pride intact as the numbers on our depth meter sank lower and lower.....2.1....1.8....0.8...0.2....0.1.....0.0! I almost had a heart attack but Jason looked confident and I bit my tongue as I silently and desperately wished he would put the boat in reverse so we wouldn't get stuck in the mud. I know it's something that every sailor experiences but I am not quite mentally prepared to run aground. Happily, we we didn't hit anything and arrived at Adam's dock unscathed and drama-free.

Adam met us on the dock. Within five minutes of our meeting, he had generously offered us the use of either one of his cars and we had a plan to meet up in the evening. We parted ways and walked the road into town. We were happy to find that the Lopez Islanders lived up to their friendly reputation. We got a wave from every single person who drove past with only the exception of a few who we decided must be mainlanders. We walked through the quiet main strip, checked out the outdoor portion of the closed history museum and stopped by Blossom Natural Grocers which was awesome. They had a great selection of local and organic stuff and we walked away with lots of yummy goodies.

After dinner Isaac took a swing from Tuwamish's mast and then Adam and his son came over to hang out. While we talked with Adam, Aaron taught his son a card game below. Unfortunately Adam's partner was recovering from surgery and we didn't get to meet her. We're wishing her a speedy recovery. They are two families blended together as one happy family of five and have an amazingly romantic story of how they met and merged. Seriously, think Sleepless in Seattle type story. Cruising families are few and far between in this part of the world so they were happy to meet another cruising family. They have big dreams and plans in their cruising future and it was so fun to hear about it. This summer they are planning to sail around Vancouver Island so Adam was excited to hear about last year's trip. We talked late into the night, marking up his map with our favorite stops.

The next day was Dump Day. We knew this because Adam and his son had told us several times as they showed off their acquired-from-the-dump-holy sweaters that they had been wearing over the winter. Sounds like Dump Day is the highlight of the week for a lot of Islanders and Adam says he always finds what he needs there. If you bring something to donate, you are free to take anything you want. When Aaron asked him a question about Dump Day, Adam's response was, "We never leave the island, man. The dump provides." This is now one of our favorite sayings and we've put it to good use.

Adam had told us about a hike out to Iceberg Point, so we took him up on his offer to borrow a car and the drove out to the trailhead. We had to be vigilant about our waving. Every time we slacked off we would drive by cars of waving islanders without noticing or returning a wave and would feel like big time slackers. It was a treat to see what the island looks like on the inside. Normally we just see the edges near the water and as far inland as our legs can take us. Lopez is really a very picturesque island. It's so pastoral and farm-focused, it's hard not to love it. After the drive, we parked at the "trailhead" as described by Adam as, "you'll come to the end of the road and there will be a 'no parking' sign. Go ahead and park there." I love it. Spoken like a true Lopez Islander. Along the trail we munched on salmon berries as we passed under arching berry brambles out to sweeping views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Cattle Pass. The views were beautiful and I am a sucker for that gorgeous golden grass blowing in the breeze so I took way too many photos.

After the hike, we made a quick stop at Blossom Grocers for just a few more goodies, including chocolate beer and chocolate cookies as a thank you to Adam and family for all of their hospitality. Mid-afternoon we pushed off the dock on another rising tide with our fingers crossed. Thank you Adam for your warm welcome and generosity. I hope our paths cross again soon.

Click here for photos.


  1. I was so excited to meet another cruising family. There's just not that many of us up here. We shall hang again! Thank you for the kind words. Your family is great.

    1. It was great meeting you guys too! We will catch up again on our way back down. Have a great summer!