Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011 - Kiket Island, Watmough Bay, Eagle Harbor

We finally get to take a trip longer than just an overnighter.  The kids got out of school at noon on Friday which is the start of winter break.  They donj't go back to school until next year.  Kathy had already taken Monday as a vacation day Monday so we have Friday afternoon through Monday night for a boat trip.  And guess what, the weather cooperated this time around!  Light winds for the whole trip and Saturday is supposed to be nice and sunny.  Yahoo.

Friday afternoon we took the short cruise over to Similk Bay/Kiket Island which is a good place to stage yourself for an early morning departure through Deception Pass.  Slack water is at 8:00AM and we intend to be there for it.
Sunset on Friday night at Kiket Island.

Friday night is very calm with virtually no wind to worry about.  It does rain overnight though which makes me doubt the sunny Saturday forecast a bit. 
8:00AM slack current at Deception Pass.

We head over to Watmough Bay on the south end of Lopez Island Saturday morning.  This is supposed to be a great sunny day.  There is a very nice hike to the top of the cliff that overlooks the bay.  It is pretty spectacular.
Having lunch at "the cliff" overlooking Watmough Bay.

Looking down on "Adagio" from atop up the cliff.
We have Watmough Bay all to ourselves.  Winter boating at it's best.

Up at the top there are a lot of trails that wander through the beautiful wooded forest.  Someone has built a really nice rope swing up there that has been here for several years.  After I give it a good test to make sure it's strong, the kids start their swinging frenzy.  They love this swing!
The swing is still here.  Who goes first?
Cindy catching some serious air!

Kevin gets up there too during one of his turns.  What fun.
Back down on the beach there are some really huge boulders to climb around.  Despite the kids getting bigger each year, these boulders don't seem to look any smaller  :-)

Huge boulders.
It was a spectacular sunny December day; cold and clear with no wind.  Perfect!  It rains quite hard overnight and we are pretty sure that the sunshine is now gone for a while.  When we wake up Sunday morning it is cloudy with some fog patches.  It is still drizzling a little.  Quite a change from yesterday.  We decide to head over to Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island.  There are a bunch of great hiking trails there too.  We hope the weather breaks so we can go for our walk and not get too wet.

It's an easy two hour motor over to Eagle Harbor.  The rain stops and there are a few patches of blue sky now and then.  We arrive in Eagle Harbor and grab a buoy only to decide that it might be just a bit too shallow when the low tide rolls around at 5:30PM (after dark).  So, we untie and move to a buoy in much deeper water.  We them put down the dinghy and head to shore to hike up to one of the little lakes on the island.

On our way up the road we find something we've seen here before.  In fact, we've ONLY seen this on Cypress Island and nowhere else in the San Juan's.  They are everywhere.  The kids must find dozens of them within a few hundred yards.  I'm sure you are asking what by now?  Little salamander creatures!  Needless to say, this is a SLOW hike.... but it's a lot of fun.
Cindy with her salamander

Kevin has a pair of them.

Close-up of one of these cute little reptiles.

We eventually make it up to the lake and take the lake loop trail.  It's a cute little lake and at one end we find a well built log shelter.  This would be a good place to hide from a sudden downpour.

The very sturdy rain shelter...

We find a lot more salamanders on the way back down, then we climb into the dinghy and motor back to our boat to warm up.  The diesel furnace is sure nice, but it is having one problem, and it's somewhat serious.  The furnace boiler refuses to "fire" when the engines are running.  After the engines are shut off it takes me a while of tinkering with it to get it up and running again.  I've discovered in my tinkering that the furnace will fire instantly when the generator is running, and it will also keep runnning just fine under gererator power even with the engines running.  So, I'm narrowing it down to some sort of issue with our old inverter, which creates 110v AC power from the 12v DC house batteries.  I need to do more testing.  Right now the net effect is we either have to run our generator when we are motoring somewhere, or we get cold and leave the generator off while motoring.

It is a perfectly still night with absolutely no breeze.  Monday morning we awake to overcast skies, but no fog or rain.  We get a fairly early start and take the dinghy over to Pelican Beach which has good access to the Eagle Cliff trail.  Pelican Beach is full of great flat skipping rocks and the kids are learning how to skip rocks.

Skipping rocks at Pelican Beach.
We hike up to the top of Eagle Cliff, which seems much easier this time around.  Maybe it's because the kids are older and we are having trouble keeping up with them?  Or maybe it's because we started our hike at Peilcan Beach instead of way back at Eagle Harbor?  The view from Eagle Cliff can be specacular, but it's overcast with some low clouds.  In fact, some of the clouds appear to be lower than us.

Great view from the top of Eagle Cliff, even on a cloudy day.

We hike back down to Pelican beach where the kids skip some more rocks.  We then dinghy back to the boat and pack it all up to head home.  It was a very quiet trip home with only one other boat on the water.  In fact we only saw half a dozen boats on the water the whole weekend.  It always amazes me (Steve) how few boats there are out there during the winter.  Another successful and rewarding trip.


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