Tuesday, March 13, 2012

President's Day getaway: Jones and Stuart adventures

For the three day weekend we escaped to our two favorite San Juan Islands spots yet again and enjoyed some adventures. On our way up north I asked Amy what she was looking forward to and she responded "Something unexpected". It seems every time we go to these very familiar places we still have wonderfully unexpected experiences. And this time was no different.

Elliott on Stuart displaying his Moss hat!
The weather was cold and gray, and yet the two heaters aboard Aeolus kept the cabin at a steady 65 to 72. Quite comfortable really, given the ambient temperature of 38. For that matter, Aeolus is often warmer than our own house!

We went to Jones first and grabbed the buoy on the south side because there was a rare forecast for north winds. The ongoing windlass project required us to go only to places where we could grab buoys or tie to docks because the anchor is out of commission until the windlass is reinstalled. It was fine because we might have only gone to Jones and Stuart anyway with the South Pender Canadian Customs dock closed for the winter. You otherwise have to go to Sidney, which is convenient to Portland Island, but not the eastern Gulf Islands. Our next BC trip will almost certainly be to take Amy to Tumbo Island as my trip there with the boys last year was so magical and she has yet to see it.

Elliottus Windropii in its natural element
Anyway, on this trip we got out at Jones and did our usual frolicking around. We played frisbee a while in the big field and hiked around exploring. The most meaningful thing we did was to clean trash off the south cove beach. It is fairly pristine, but frequent southern winds blow the trash from San Juan Channel onto this beach. With the four of us gathering plastic trash for maybe 10 minutes we had essentially returned the beach to a pristine looking wild state. I would say we gathered about a trash can full of various items.

Owen feeling brave

The boys had enormous fun climbing the tree that hangs over the water at high tide. I got a few pictures of them in their adventure poses.

The next day we had the most perfect sail you can have in the San Juans, at least on the inside. We raised the sails at Jones and then sailed on one tack all the way into Reid Harbor. This may not sound like much, but the currents in Spieden are quite strong and often contrary, and the winds are never quite right you know. Besides being always on the nose, they are quite fickle around the islands as they form eddies. But on this day we were on a beam reach more or less the whole way and it was wonderful. You can see Amy here at the helm at the same heel we had the whole trip. Did about 5 knots in the 10-15 knots of wind.

On Stuart we hiked out to the lighthouse and really enjoyed that walk deeply. Stopping along the way at the school the boys rode those swings like they were wild dragons. Elliott and I had a good long talk on the way back as Amy walked with Owen. Later that night he said his favorite thing that day was talking to me, and let me tell you, that meant all the world to me.
Looking out over the lovely Ericson farm on Stuart to the south

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