Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013 - Cypress Island

Finally, we get a weekend out on the boat as a family.  With a road trip to Vancouver BC one weekend, several weekend birthday parties for the kids to attend,weekend Cub Scout activities for Kevin, and then end of soccer season for Kevin, not to mention my guy's boat trip last weekend, we just haven't had any free weekends, until now that is.

We got off the dock Friday afternoon right after school and made it as far as Skagit Island in time to set the anchor and settle in for the night.  Slack tide in the morning was at 7:20AM so we were up at 6:30 to pull the anchor and get moving.  It was almost pitch black when we started motoring, but it quickly brightened up as we neared the prime crabbing ground and the minefield of crab floats/lines waiting to snare one or both of my props.  Fortunately, I was victorious again, and the crab pots did not pose any issues for us. 

Motoring toward Deception Pass at about 6:45AM.

It was a beautifully calm morning.  A hot cup of coffee in hand and a fantastic sunrise to watch.  No other boats in sight.  This is just perfect!  I love boating this time of year!

Pretty sunrise.  Deception Pass behind us.  Smooth waters ahead.
We motored north to Cypress Island to grab a DNR mooring ball for the weekend.  There are almost no boats in sight for the 90 minute trip, other than a tug, a few commercial crabbers, and a Washington State Ferry.  The kids play some games in the salon, which is nice and warm thanks to the diesel furnace I installed two years ago.  I can't imagine boating in the NW during winter without a true furnace.  It was 32 degrees outside, yet almost 70 inside.  Toasty warm and dry.  A furnace adds 6 more months of boating here in the northwest.

After breakfast we put on some warm clothes and row to shore so we can go for a hike.  It's still below 40 outside, so warm clothes are a necessity.

Adagio swinging gently on a buoy.  Cindy and Steve.  Mt Baker behind.

We found this  strange hand-carved wooden boat-like creation during our

Beautiful Mt. Baker, where we will be skiing this winter.
We hike for about 3.5 - 4 hours.  We actually never made it to our destination (Eagle Cliff) because we took a wrong turn on the trail system.  I hate to admit it, but we were actually a bit lost.  We knew how to get back, but we certainly didn't end up where we intended.  Oops.  Lesson learned; we will ALWAYS take a picture of the trail map sign before we start our hikes in the future.

A beach full of great skipping rocks.  Nice find!
We walk around Duck Lake and also find an old "trapper's cabin" in the woods.  It was build in a very remote location.  It must have been a bit strange to live in the middle of a small island, in the deep forest, with no view of the water.  I can't imagine why they built this cabin HERE.  There are so many spectacular "view lots" surrounding this wonderful island.

The remains of an old cabin, deep in the woods.
The kids discover that Duck Lake is frozen solid.  Even some large rocks
tossed high in the air by Dad could not break through.  It has been cold
here this week....

Saturday night we start to decorate the inside of our boat for Christmas.  We hope to get out for some Christmas Cruising this year.  The kids cut snowflakes out of paper and made red and green paper chains.  We also hung some Christmas lights around the Salon.

It's starting to feel like Christmas.   Kitty Zappy ignores the fun by napping
on a chair.
Radar mast is back up.  The boat is looking good.  Some new antennas,
some new paint, new electronics on the mast, new navigation lights
and spot lights too.  Oh, we have a new swimstep this year too.
It was GREAT to be back out on the water, in the cold.  This is a magical time of year.  The crowds are gone, the water smooth and skies clear.  The low sun angle makes for some great photography too.  We had a lot of fun hiking around Cypress despite getting a bit lost.  But most of all, it is great family time, without the normal distractions of home life.  It's just us, doing the things we enjoy most; being together, playing games, being on the water, and getting out for some healthy exercise.  This is the life for me  US!

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