Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Blake Island Day 3-4

Blake Island Day 3-4
A little Wind and rain but it was short lived and you would not even know it on the West side of the Island.
Friday evening a storm was heading North for Blake Island.

An Argosy cruise ship brought over 100 Scouts and parents to camp out for the weekend.

As the wind picked up to 20 mph+ and rain began to fall the campers set up camp on the most exposed point. 

While all that was going on we went hiking on the Blue Trail.

It's not windy on the West shore.

One of the high points, the Elevation app is handy in the PNW.

What! Another one?

Must be a fun loving Park Ranger

On the Northwest corner of the island is a small beach where kayakers camp on the beach.

We talked to this Kayaker, he paddled all the way from our marina, Shilshole! He Also has a Catalina 36 similar to ours just one dock over on N

Years ago the Trimbles owned Blake Island.


We met one of the guys on the trail who had his moored next to ours. He told us about the sitka Spruce on the Island and pointed one out to us. He siad they were the preferred trees for making ships mast for wooden vessels since they were so straight and tall. He told us about one on the Southeast corner of the island that could esily be worth $20,000 or more so we went to find it. This is it in the center.

The Sitka Spruce get 100+feet tall and they are very straight!

Three day sailors pushed their boats up high on the beach above high tide.They pitched their tents near the Boy Scouts and later the next day I saw them sailing ooff to the South. 

A Dad tows his crew.

The storm passed to the North.

Sunday, all the Scouts are packed up and have their gear waiting on the Argosy to come pick them up.

Cub Scout Pack 144 from Seattle holding their closing ceremonies. These PNW scouts are pretty tough. They have four overnight camping trips each year and the next one will be camping out in the snow!:
We have four overnight camping trips each year. The first in September is to Blake Island where we sleep in tents near the beach. In January, the Pack goes winter camping in Leavenworth with some families sleeping in the lodge and some tent camping in the snow.  In March or April there is a spring camp out, usually to either Millersylvania where we sleep in group cabins or Fort Flagler where we sleep in barracks.
The last camp out of the year is to "Camp Shelton" where we stay in group cabins on Cornet Bay near Deception Pass. Each Cub making the trip for the first time is initiated into the secret order called the Secret of Shelton and is entitled to wear a special insignia on his uniform.

The winds have been from the South all month long, zi was really looking forward to the sail back to Shllshole, but the winds were 0-3 at most. The Sound was Flat Calm.That $5K we spent getting the engine fit again was worth it.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Journey to Blake Island

Journey to Blake Island

Well, not quite a Journey but it could be for some. Blake Island is just under 10 Km. South from our Shilshole Marina. We had South winds that day so I figured we would be motoring all the way there. As we motored out the channel from Shilshole in a Westerly direction it was tempting to put out a sail or two, but I knew as soon as we turned South I would just be putting them away again. It was a sunny 55 degrees and we enjoyed the view of the Olympics, As we cleared West Point and turned a bit South I noticed that we got a lift and again was tempted to at least put the genoa out, but again we would be turning due South in a few moments. When we were well clear of the shoals off the Magnolia Bluffs we turned due South, and we continued to get a lift. I was puzzled and wondered if this was just a temporary wind change., Finally I could not take it anymore and rolled out the 140% Genoa and we actually motor sailed the rest of the way to Blake Island. I now realized the geography in this part of the sound, especially off the huge Magnolia Bluff provided a lift all the way across to the Island. Still learning local knowledge for sure.

Day 1: Perimeter Trail
Blake Island where you can feel far away in a densely populated region.

The small channel leading into the marina at Blake is narrow and shallow. For deep er draft vessels it is wise to enter and leave at higher tides. 

The Harbor Master met us and made docking simple in the small marina. We felt very lucky to get a spot in the first come first serve marina. 

We arrived around 1400 so there was plenty of daylight left for hiking the almost 4 mile Perimeter Trail.

You start at sea level and then have several ups and downs.

This tree wanted to take the place of what must have been a grand old tree.

Just checking our location on the trail.

There are lots of mooring balls all the way around but the West side seems to be most popular due to winds and waves I'm sure.

The Madrona's always add character to all trails in the Northwest.

What! I had to wonder if this was just a fluke of nature or something else. The pumpkin face on the leaf was certainly a October Welcome sign.

So I read that you climb about 450 feet on the perimeter trail, but the highest elevation is about 200. Like I said there are lots of ups and downs along the way.

Lots of Maple trees in the Northwest.

Great views, here to the South of Bainbridge Island

Trees fall every winter in the high wind storms due to the shallow root systems. Or as the trees die of old age and those in protected forest become
 Nurse Logs

Glacial Erratic

Seattle is just right over there.

A wooden Schooner anchored in calm seas

The Longhouse feeds and entertains guest brought here year round on the Argosy Cruise line.

Day 2 Beach Day
Just learned Mt. Rainier is the 3rd most dangerous volcano in the world.

Natural beauty is the art of the PNW

Add caption

Low Tide offers seabirds and Raccoons a fine dinner.

Life on the Rocks

The seabirds and raccoons share the same beach trail.

The deer like the beach too!

A range marker for the ships coming from Tacoma.

Some Human Spirit

Our Contribution, a first rock stack for us.

The Argosy

Add caption

We hiked the Cross Island trail for the afternoon

Deep in the Forest

Blake Island has been on the Admiral's short list ever since we acquired SNOWBALL. We were grateful there was dock space available with shore power for our heater. Soon we will install a diesel heater so we can take advantage of mooring balls and anchorages...very different from the Gulf of Mexico where we had to have two air conditioners on board.