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Laura Domela
Portland, OR
On the road in a 2010 27'FB Airstream International
Recent Activity
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Tonight, looking back toward downtown from Elliottt Bay Marina (Space Needle on the left): Our first night at the marina (Thursday) we ran into our friend Sam and hung out with him on his Nordic 37 and had some wine/beer, and then he came over for a late dinner...really a fun evening. This boat show business is serious up here! We went to the boat show in Portland a few weeks back and it took us about an hour, max. Not so here at the Seattle Boat Show. This is just part of one of the halls: We signed up for Car2Go before we left Portland, figuring it would be super helpful for us getting around Seattle while we're in town. So far, it's great! That's the front of our first cute little Smart car. For those of you unfamiliar with Car2Go, you sign up online for something like a $35 initial fee. They check your driving record and give you the green light, and then with a simple iPhone app (from wherever you are in cities that have Car2Go) you can see where the cars are. You can click on one and reserve it for 30 minutes (that means... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Riveted
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This morning was soft and pink and quiet in Blakely Harbor, with a beautiful view of downtown Seattle: We worked there until just after noon and then pulled up anchor and headed up to Winslow (Eagle Harbor, one harbor north of Blakely) for some fish & chips at the Harbor Public House, a stop at the market, and now, more work. The fish & chips were very good, but not as good as the Bandon Fish House's fish & chips. We had a pint of Sound Poundage Porter from the Sound Brewery in Poulsbo, which was fabulous! It was only a half hour cruise up the east coast of Bainbridge Island. Here is our route, on a larger map, so you can see where we are in relation to Seattle: Tomorrow: Seattle ... Elliott Bay! Related articles Sluy's Poulsbo Bakery Slow Day in Langley Happy New Year! Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Riveted
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We headed south from Poulsbo this morning down the back side of Bainbridge Island and made a quick stop in Port Orchard. That's us, wayy out there in about the middle of the picture: We walked the main street a bit then stopped in the Port Orchard Public Market, where we picked up a bag of Penn Cove Mussels, some smoked halibut spread, a couple bottles of beer, and a little bit of spicy Italian sausage to go in the broth for the mussels. (We actually ordered three pounds of Manila clams, but when we got back to the boat we noticed we had a bag of Penn Cove Mussels instead. Okay well, cool! Totem Pole on shore: Port Orchard is directly across from Bremerton and all the navy activity over there: Here's a cute little ferry on its way into the harbor at Port Orchard: Leaving Port Orchard: We headed through Rich Passage and around the bottom of Bainbridge Island, getting some great views into Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, and downtown Seattle on the way. Downtown Seattle, straight ahead! Now we're anchored in Blakely Harbor for the night, with a gorgeous view of downtown (and our neighbor's sailboat): I'd... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Riveted
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So, you know how sometimes you go to a new place, and people who have been there before all enthusiastically tell you "OMG you HAVE to go to such-and-such place and get the thingamajigger! It's the best one of those thingamajiggers we've EVER had?" (Come on, we've all done it, trying to share the things we love with new people.) Sometimes those places that people recommend are bakeries. But t thing about bakeries is that they're filled with sugar and simple carbohydrates. Kevin and I usually try to avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates. (Neither of us has a very big sweet tooth either, so bakeries are never very high on our list. Fish markets? Farmer's markets? Craft distilleries? Yes please.) But so many people told us about Sluys Poulsbo Bakery, that we stopped in yesterday after a large lunch (so add to the non sweet tooth, we were full). It looked like every other bakery: donuts, pastries, brownies, cookies, breads, more donuts, you get the idea. We picked out two things to share and assumed we'd be sugared out after one bite. We were wrong. Very wrong. The first thing we tried was one of these powdered sugar covered "Rosette".... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Riveted
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The weather was gorgeous this morning as we left Langley and headed south to Poulsbo. Langley Marina as we left our dock: The water was mostly calm for the whole trip today: I got a bunch of work done this morning in Langley before we left, so I was captain for this trip while Kevin worked on an article (sitting up in the pilot house with his laptop). Approaching the Port of Poulsbo marina: Our Nordic Tug in Poulsbo. Poulsbo is also known as "Little Norway on the Fjord" I think we'll fit right in! :) Velkommen til Poulsbo! Founded by Norwegian immigrant Jorgen Eliason in the 1880s, Poulsbo was settled in its early years by a large number of Norwegian and other Scandinavian immigrants because of its similarities to their native countries. In 1886 I. B. Moe, one of the early Norwegian settlers, suggested that the community should have a post office. Moe suggested the town be named Paulsbo (which translates as "Paul's place"), after the Norwegian village where Moe spent his early years. The community's petition for a post office was granted, and Moe became the first postmaster, but the authorities in Washington D.C. misspelled the town's name,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Riveted
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Last night I was in bed reading and I heard a little "clomp clomp clomp" above my head so I bolted up to go see what it was (didn't sound like a bird). From the pilot house I looked out toward the bow and up pops the little head of an otter! I could see his breath against the darkness, even! He came around to the dockside pilothouse door, looked in at me, and then hopped down onto the dock. I quickly grabbed my camera but it all happened too fast to get a good shot. (Also, I tend to look at the thing happening far too long with my eyes before I think to grab the camera...I know, some photographer I am!) Otter, looking left: I stood outside and watched several of the otter clan splashing around on and off the dock with their midnight snacks. They hopped off an onto the swimstep of a nearby boat...I figured that's how they got onto our boat as well. Here's a blurry heron a few pilings over: This morning I got up and was taking a couple photos of the bay here (those weren't blurry), and I noticed about ten feet... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Riveted
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(We're there on the outside dock on the right, inside the breakwater) We left the boat and headed into town about 45 minutes after the Seahawks playoff game had gotten underway (a big deal around these parts), and the streets were deserted. ("They're all dead inside!") We wandered over to grab lunch at Kalakala Co. Mercantile, where we shared a bowl of ramen and an Italian panini -- both were great. Kalakala is super cool inside. All the stuff is handmade and for sale (most if not all of it by local artists/artisans, I believe): I love these twig/branch square tables: After lunch we walked around town a bit and then met up with our friends Rose and Eric and their three boys for some catching up. Here's their youngest with his Seattle Sounders scarf and matching glasses (Seahawks? What Seahawks?): We had a great visit and now we're back at the boat. It's raining a bit and the wind has picked up again, but it's supposed to be calm for our cruise down to Poulsbo tomorrow morning. Related articles Happy New Year! We're Back in LaConner LaConner to Langley Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Riveted
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We left LaConner early this morning around 9am. I know, that's not super early, but by the time we left we'd both showered and cooked breakfast and made coffee and topped off our water tank, so considering all of that, it was early! On our way through the lower part of the Swinomish Channel we saw many, many geese flying in cool formation overhead: And then just out from Maple Grove Beach on the northwest tip of Camano Island, our sonar was picking up SO MANY FISH! For about 10 minutes we had solid lines of fish showing up at about 75 ft, like this: Wouldn't it be cool if it just showed you the orcas, like this, just once? We got into Langley (on Whidbey Island) at around 12:30pm, washed off the boat, paid for two nights, and headed up into town for some food and some wandering. We had lunch (and delicious espresso drinks) at Useless Bay Coffee Company. Look at Kevin's latte art: We shared a jalapeno burger and some fish tacos and both plates were excellent! After lunch we stopped at Callahan's Firehouse to watch some glass blowing. Next we stopped into The Star Store and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2015 at Riveted
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We left Anacortes late this afternoon and cruised Airship through the Swinomish Channel over to LaConner. As we were casting our lines off, I tripped on a cleat (dur) and bit it on the concrete dock (skinned knee, no big deal) but my RayBans decided they'd take a dive off my head and down to the harbor floor. Bum. Mer. Once we were docked at the marina in LaConner we walked to town to find a pair or replacement sunglasses (non Ray-Ban, but they'll do the trick). I know, it's shocking that we need sunglasses in the Pacific Northwest in the winter, but it's totally true. We stopped for a beer at LaConner Brewing and now we're back at the boat working a bit. We'll grill up some salmon with pesto sauce for dinner in a little while, and then head south early tomorrow morning (to, maybe, Langley?) to wait out the projected higher wind and windwaves on Saturday afternoon and Sunday before heading to Poulsbo on Monday. (That's us on the far left, in front of the bigger boat on the guest dock, if you didn't spot us already.) Map of this afternoon's route through the Swinomish Channel to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at Riveted
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On Sunday (the 27th) we headed north to the boat with our friends Jake & Patti (visiting from San Diego) to do a little cruising in the San Juan Islands. The weather was supposed to be great except for Monday (25-35 kt winds, wind waves 5-7 feet), so we left Portland early on Sunday morning so we'd have enough time on Sunday to cruise from Anacortes over to Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. We could happily wait out Monday's wind by staying put at Rosario through Tuesday, kickin' it at the spa. Rosario mansion from the water: Airship in its slip at the Rosario Marina: The outdoor pool, viewed from the Mansion museum: View into the bay: This was a great first stop. We all got some great chill time with gorgeous scenery and good food and conversation. Here's what the windy Monday looked like in our little bay: On Tuesday morning all was calm again in the channel, so we headed out (after a second round of delicious eggs benedict in the Mansion Restaurant). The weather was gorgeous, with a nice clear view of Mt. Baker: We stopped at Fossil Bay on Sucia Island for a little hike: Fox... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2015 at Riveted
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On Christmas Eve we headed out to Zurbrugg Farms to get our tree. We found a perfect one pretty fast and managed to get it cut down and hoisted on top of the truck to take home. We all think it's the best and biggest tree we've ever had, but we say that every year. Christmas Eve was very casual...pizza and prosecco and lots of laughing. On Christmas morning we opened a few presents, had some bagels and lox, went for a hike in the arboretum where we all got super muddy. I like this photo I took of my mom on the redwood deck (in the redwood grove of the arboretum) with her white shepherds, Pirate and Journey: Our friends Jake and Patti arrived and Christmas dinner was festive and delicious (and I took zero photos of it because I was too busy stirring risotto). Yesterday (Boxing Day!) we all piled into the truck and headed up to walk in the snow at Mt. Hood. It was grayish on the drive up, but on the mountain we got a few nice patches of blue sky. We walked around, threw some snowballs, and Jake made a snow angel. Last night... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2014 at Riveted
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We're at our home in Portland for the holidays. Soon, our houseguests will arrive and the brief period of holiday traditions will begin. We are not a religious bunch, but we embrace it all and pick the parts we like best for our own traditions...like this naked headless Barbie wreath, for example, which hangs over the fireplace as I type: Here are some of our other holiday traditions: Christmas Tree We usually wait until everyone is here to do the tree thing. The past few years the tree has been procured and decorated on Christmas Eve (I know, it's late, but it's a fun Christmasy outing). We all pile into the truck (or if there are a lot of us, the truck AND the Camry) and drive out Zurbrugg Farms on Germantown Road, where we get all muddy hiking over sometimes snowy hill and dale to find the perfect tree. We always pick a pretty large Douglas Fir or Grand Fir (and Kevin usually says, "That won't fit in the living room" and sometimes he's right and we end up cutting a bit more off the bottom, but not always). Kevin is normally the one who does the cutting, as... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2014 at Riveted
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Kevin's mom is a member of the Woman's Club of San Antonio, and before we left she wanted to take us by to show us this interior of beautiful building. The Woman's Club has been here in the Woodward House since 1926. This 2 1/2-story Neo-Classical revival home was designed in 1904–1905 by architect Atlee Ayers for San Antonio business man David J. Woodward (1864–1925) and his wife May Bock Woodward (1866–1942). The Woodward couple flipped twenty-three homes during their married life. David built the houses, and May decorated them. Each property would eventually be sold for profit when the couple moved upward to a more expensive residence. After David Woodward died, his wife sold the house at 1717 San Pedro in 1926 to the Woman's Club for $47,000. The first floor of the house has the interior parlor, library with fireplace, butler's pantry, office, kitchen, powder room and dining room. When Ayres designed the house, the second floor served as living quarters with five bedrooms, bath and sitting room. The Woodwards intended the top floor to be a ballroom and had it designed with window box seats. [Wikipedia] The inside is filled with period-appropriate furniture and what looked like... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Riveted
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We've been in San Antonio for a couple days visiting Kevin's mom. It's been a great trip so far. Lots of visiting, lots of exploring, and lots of eating. We had breakfast tacos at Taco Cabana for old times sake (because there's no Tacodeli in San Antonio, only in Austin, and those are the best breakfast tacos in TX). We took Kevin's mom to dinner for her birthday on Saturday night -- Restaurant Gwendolyn down on the Riverwalk. It was great! We had the charcuterie board to start (highly recommended) and the 5-course tasting menu and we all really enjoyed the food. The concept of Restaurant Gwendolyn is extremely old school, using what they had and doing as they did before the break of the industrial revolution: approximately 1850. There are no blenders, mixers, choppers, ice cream machines, deep
fryers, or anything else with a motor--nothing with a plug. 

"No perishable ingredient may travel further than a good, strong horse.

 The menu will move absolutely in lockstep with the seasons, as okra and 
eggplant taper off and leafy greens move in, we must change ourselves to 
suit the product--not the other way around. What is outside is inside." Old school tableside... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at Riveted
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After following out boating adventures for a couple months, one of our friends (a friend who travels frequently in an Airstream) asked us that question. It's a good question. From the perspective of RV travel it probably seems like a lot of moving. When we're on the road with the Airstream our goal is usually to travel to a great spot, set up camp and enjoy that new place for a while. Driving from campsite to campsite is not really the best part of road travel. Sure, it can be scenic and pretty, but I believe that the majority of our enjoyment on the road is getting to set up camp and stay put for a few days, exploring the new place by foot or bike or car while our cozy little home awaits in the pretty spot we found for it. With the boat, so much of the enjoyment is moving and being on the water. I'd even say it is often the best part. Yes, finding the cool anchorage or quaint marina and exploring the harbor or hiking the hills is also great, but...well....whales, and seals, and eagles, and the sound of the water swishing past as we... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Riveted
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While in the cute little town of LaConner, WA a couple weeks ago, we stopped in a shop I wouldn't normally go into: The Wood Merchant. It's not that I don't like hand crafted items made out of wood, it's just that...I don't know. There are so many of those kinds of stores and they all seem to have the same stuff. Something caught my eye in the window though, and we ended up going inside, and they have a whole bunch of cool things in there! There were two things that stuck with me, that I kept thinking about since that visit. So when we found ourselves with a little extra time on our way back to the boat from Lummi Island last week, we made a detour back out to LaConner...mainly for one of these endgrain cutting boards: It doesn't stay on top of the stove, that's just where the light was best to get a photo of it. I'll use it mostly as a serving board for charcuterie and cheese. Also, this long wooden, um, bowl? to use for serving bread or crackers. It's about 3 inches wide, and about 12 inches long, and I love it:... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at Riveted
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This was the sunrise yesterday morning from our anchorage in Griffin Bay (off of San Juan Island): I know, I was awake for another sunrise. It's not that weird though, since sunrise was at 7:54am yesterday. Right behind us, the moon was slowly setting. Seriously, these were taken within minutes of each other: We had some coffee and waited for it to get a little lighter out before taking the dinghy ashore to explore some before heading back to Anacortes. Airship, anchored: This end of San Juan Island is made up mostly of San Juan National Historic Park, so we did some hiking around in the park, made our way up Mt. Finlayson, and had this incredible view. Looking north(ish) into Haro Strait: Looking south toward the Cattle Point lighthouse, Lopez Island, Whale Mummy Rocks (!!!) and to the right, the Straight of Juan de Fuca: The trees up here show evidence of some rough weather, don't they? This is called Third Lagoon, and you can't see it very well, but the teeny tiny white dot way off in the distance on the right side of the photo is Airship, anchored in the bay: Back at the boat: We pulled... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Riveted
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This morning it was rainy rainy rainy at our moorage in Blind Bay. It had not been a super calm night, so we ended up sleeping until about 10am to make up for the other non-sleeping hours...the ones when we were out on the bow in the dark with headlamps, trying to reposition our mooring lines so the buoy quit bumping up against the bow (aka, our headboard). Anyway. After breakfast we took the dinghy over to Blind Island to explore a little. Blind Island is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail and a Washington State Marine Park. There are four campsites on the island (along with a ton of goose poop, and this tiny spine part): The campsites are all gorgeous though, with beautiful views toward Shaw Island and Harney Channel. Each one has a fire ring and a picnic table, and plenty of soft grassy mossy stuff for tent-pitching. Next we headed over toward the Shaw Island ferry landing to check out the highly rated Shaw General Store, but when I looked up the hours and it said open on Saturdays, I didn't realize that they close up completely from October until sometime in the spring. Oh well.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2014 at Riveted
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This is going to be a mish mast post of the past two days...because, why not? We spent Kevin's official birthday moored at Spencer Spit. We had some champagne, snacks (duck rillette, cheese, crackers, caper berries) and then a dinner of linguine con le vongole (with the clams) that turned out pretty darn yum. Totally boring photo of cooked pasta, because the first photo was too busy next to the third photo: Waiting for the clams to open: I worked from this recipe from Mario Batali, and it came out great! Coast Guard helicopter overhead on our way back into Anacortes yesterday morning (I told you it was going to be a mish mash): We got back to the marina, packed an overnight bag, and headed (by car) north to Lummi Island. A few weeks ago, I made a reservation for us at the Willows Inn -- for the "present" part of Kevin's birthday. We tend to do events as presents more than things as presents. We arrived at the inn around 3:30pm, checked into our room, and headed out to soak in the hot tub for a little bit before getting ready for the 6:30pm dinner seating. Relaxing in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at Riveted
Ta-da! Kevin's finished aerial video from around Patos Island (watch in HD if you can): Shot with an FPV Quadcopter. Filmed with GoPro Hero 3+ aboard a Team Black Sheep Discovery Pro quadcopter. Launched from a Nordic Tug 34 anchored in Active Cove on Patos Island, WA. The music is Isaac Albéniz: "Suite Española No. 1, Op. 47: Asturias" played by Ivan Kalcina. More about the quadcopter here if you're interested. Related articles Patos Island (and Humpback Whales!) Birthday Cruise More Around Patos Island Patos Island to Friday Harbor Birth of a New Drone Roche Harbor to Patos Island Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Riveted
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Today is Kevin's birthday! We left Active Cove this morning and headed for Friday Harbor, where we thought we'd have some lunch, and pick up some seafood for dinner tonight at the little fish market down on the dock. Active Cove lived up to its name last night, and was pretty dang active. Our first night there was nice and calm, but last night the north wind caused the swells to come straight into the bay and we rocked and rolled all night. Kinda crazy, and we did not get much sleep. But I did get to snap this shot of the moon as it was setting...sometime around 4am: It's super grainy becaused I cranked the ISO on my camera as high as it would go, but it still gives a pretty good representation of how it felt. In real life of course it was much clearer and a little softer. :) We picked up some clams at the fish market and a few items at the grocery store in Friday Harbor for tonight's dinner: linguine with clams, and asparagus. It was another gorgeous day in the islands, and we decided to moor at Spencer Spit State Park tonight on... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2014 at Riveted
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We took the quadcopter and hiked out to the lighthouse on Alden Point for some more fun aerial footage. Oh hey seals! In this photo, there's one seal looking straight up at the copter. You might have to click for an enlargement, but it's pretty cute. Another cove-side campsite (Patos Island is a Washington State Park): The remains of an old car or truck, beside the trail out to the lighthouse: Kind of funny to have a car on a very small island where there are most definitely no roads. Hey! The new mooring buoys match the boat's paint job: Earlier today Kevin did his first from-the-boat launch and it went great! Can't wait to see the footage he got out here! Taking off from Airship's top deck: Smooth, successful top-deck landing: Sunset looking out of the cove: Related articles Patos Island (and Humpback Whales!) Roche Harbor to Patos Island Orcas Island: Rosario Resort & Spa Circling San Juan Island Patos Island to Friday Harbor New Drone!! Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at Riveted
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This morning as we were working and having coffee, I noticed out the back window what looked like a pretty big boat heading toward the cove. This is a pretty small cove (only two mooring buoys), and this boat seemed, um, large. It showed up on AIS as a vessel called Thunderbird, and it was designated a pleasure craft. I don't think so. Pretty soon the bow of the boat dropped, drawbridge-style, and we could see that it was filled with mooring buoys. Ah! Time to replace the mooring buoys in Active Cove. A couple of guys were soon suiting up in what looked like wetsuits and then drysuits (because, you know, it's like 30something degrees out there). They got in the water and went down and hooked the crane line onto the concrete block on the bottom. Divers in the water: Succesfully hooked the line, divers back on deck: Pulling up the old buoy (and a bunch of kelp): And here's the new (larger) concrete weight heading down to the bottom. They have some other corkscrew anchoring things, but they said they don't work in all this rock out here, so they use big concrete blocks to anchor the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at Riveted
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The inside of Airship was bathed in the most amazing light during this morning's sunrise: pinks, oranges, yellows...a nice way to start the work day! (That's Orcas Island, in the far distance.) Kevin just said "People are going to think that photo is fake." Me: "Why??" Him: "Because, you? Up at sunrise?" Related articles Roche Harbor to Patos Island Today on Sucia Island Patos Island (and Humpback Whales!) Hiking Around Sucia Island Fisherman Bay to Spencer Spit We're on a Boat! Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at Riveted
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Roche Harbor this morning was frosty cold and sunny! We went up to the Lime Kiln Cafe for a little breakfast, and then filled up the water tank on Airship before heading out. Frost on the Flemish Flake (look mom, just like grandpa taught me!): We decided to go to Patos Island, via President Channel (the back side of Orcas Island) again, in hopes of catching the humpbacks. No whales this time, but a gorgeous day with smooth water and no wind. This is such a fantastic area for boating! At the Eastern end of Spieden Island there were a whole bunch of sea lions lolling about on the shore and in the water, fins flapping around while I assume they were eating a late breakfast: We decided to prolong our cruise and go around Sucia Island before settling in at Patos. Here's our track: I'd done most of my work for today last night and early this morning, so I piloted (or, autopiloted as the case may be) while Kevin worked on an article. Not a bad office view, eh? Bird on a log, with mountains: Layers: The lighthouse, as we approached Active Cove on Patos Island: Once at... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at Riveted