Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spencer Spit and Doe Bay weekend

What a wonderful weekend of nearby exploring. We ventured over to Spencer Spit on Lopez Island just for a change of pace from Jones Island and had a wonderful time. My last time there was with just the boys last August, and this time was no less special. Remarkably, on this fairly warm dry spring day, we were the only boat at the park. It never ceases to amaze me how few people are in the San Juans outside of July and August. I'm happy it is that way, but stunned.

We went through the narrow passage between Frost Island and Spencer Spit just for fun, and then came back and grabbed a buoy on the north side of the spit. We normally anchor out, but Amy knows this area has eel grass and we do our best to never anchor in it for the sake of the important habitat it provides. We went to shore for the usual walks and beach time and while digging holes in the sand and losing ourselves in self-directed play, I noticed that Elliott had been building a cool and unique sort of wood sculpture. He stuck a bunch of sticks into the sand and then built a web of sticks horizontally connecting the vertical pieces. It was intricate, and really beautiful. It would collapse, and he would rebuild it, and kept trying until he got it right. I did my usual favorite thing of balancing wood on top of pieces I had driven into the sand.

We enjoyed a nice dinner where we used my new cockpit table for the first time. Worked great! As I said to Amy, it isn't perfect, but for $25 in parts we have a table worth probably $150, and the tables you can by for boats that all seem to cost $300 are really only worth $175 anyway. They are marginally nicer, but not for more than 10X the price!

We got up this morning after an especially quiet nice sleep, and decided to head out and up to Doe Bay on Orcas Island. We had never gone through Obstruction Pass and knew it would be fun. It is only about an hour from Spencer Spit to Doe Bay when motoring as this day had no wind.

We dropped anchor just off the main resort area in about 30 feet of water. You dinghy to the little beach in front of their decrepid boat house and then go where you like. The cafe has a nice feel, with the usual funky youthful touches and friendly staff. There were a surprising number of people in the cafe and we had a delicious breakfast. As much as we wanted to enjoy the hot tubs we decided it wasn't worth figuring out what to do with our boys. Once again we sacrificed our own happiness for the sake of our children-Oh that balance sheet is real nip and tuck. This photo is of leaving Doe Bay headed back south.

Coming back we hit a perfect stretch of wind in a predictable place. Right as we came out of Obstruction Pass heading West, the winds coming down Eastsound were piping up as normal, and we enjoyed a heavenly beam reach right across the bottom of Orcas. In probably 15 knots of wind we did a steady 5 knots of speed with lazy sail handling. The wind died once we passed the mouth and stayed dead until we reached the bottom of Shaw Island where we were able to sail most of the way toward Friday Harbor.

Another amazing experience of time distortion on Aeolus as being away only one night to nearby places felt like we were gone for many days to exotic lands. There are so many nooks and crannies in these islands that even living here and sailing all the time, you can't visit them all too often and so most of them keep a real novelty to them. It's wonderful.

Home safe and sound and exhausted. Perfect.

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