While walking into Friday Harbor on Monday I couldn’t help but smile as I crested the hill on Harrison Street and caught my first glimpse of town; it just felt great to be back.

Then, when I walked into friends John Neal and Amanda Swan Neal’s office at Mahina Expeditions to say hi, the first thing they asked was, “How does it feel to be back?”

Wearing that same smile, I enthused about how good it was to be in the islands again. It just is.

Jones Island is now a favorite, and we made it a point to get there with Jill’s mom before she left. She lived with us for a month, most of which was spend in Bellingham, so it was nice to finally get her out into the islands again.

From Jones it was a quick but damp hop over to Deer Harbor on Orcas Island (see map below). The staff at Deer Harbor Marina generously allowed us to borrow their massive passenger van to drive to the village of Eastsound for Magnus’ one week doctor’s visit. Porter loved it.  And I deeply regret not getting a picture of the van because the whole way I was imagining being a camp counselor driving kids around the island. Next time.

Speaking of Porter, he was our deckhand today while we changed out our 70% jib for the bigger genoa. It’s fun to be on deck together. He always wants to lend a few small hands and is getting noticeably more comfortable with what handholds to use and where to step, though, sometimes not gracefully. As we say, “One hand for you, one for the boat, Porter.”