As we approached Blind Island State Park near Shaw Island on Monday afternoon, the sun wriggled free from the clouds and a light mist fell. A bald eagle sat perched at the top of a tree and a rainbow arched overhead. For a December day in the San Juan Islands, the scene was nearly perfect.
After getting settled on one of the park’s moorings, I dropped Hornpipe (our dinghy) in the water while Jill woke the boys and got them ready to head for shore. Blind Island is small, so after landing on the beach we left Porter to dig on the rocky beach while we went to see if the eagle was still in his perch. He (or she?) was.
Porter was soon at our heels to look as well and we crossed the rocky, grass- and tree-covered island together before dropping back down onto the beach as twilight set in. With the sun setting early these days, Porter had just a little time left to dig and test the waterproof quality of his new bibs while Magnus played in the dinghy.
With a forecasted gale approaching, we moved Yahtzee farther into the bay for more protection and dropped the anchor as a curtain of darkness closed around us. On came our cabin heater and we made dinner, read books and cruising guides, and played with toys.
We were home.
For the two weeks prior, we’d been house and dog sitting for friends of ours in Anacortes. It was a great opportunity for us to have family come visit and to celebrate Thanksgiving and an early Christmas and birthday.
Magnus had lots of room to master his crawling skills and is now more mobile than ever. Also, his curious personality shined through as he explored every nook and cranny of the house — it’s hard to believe he’s almost a year old. Porter had a great time playing with our visitors; feeding the fish, birds and dogs; helping us with household chores like raking leaves; and watching football. Both boys loved the dogs, too, which is good, because there isn’t room for one on Yahtzee.
Having a car and out of town guests allowed us to discover the Anacortes area and visit some places that we probably wouldn’t have from the boat. We explored area parks (Anacortes has an amazing amount of hiking), took day trips on the ferry out to the San Juan Islands, ventured to small, quaint towns around the Skagit Valley, and enjoyed delicious cuisine both out and at home.
Settling in with a new perspective
When our time in Anacortes was up, we eagerly moved back on the boat in a few trips while waiting for the weather to settle and got back underway on Monday. When Porter slid Yahtzee’s companionway hatch open and stepped in for the first time in over two weeks he said, “Ooooh, it smells good!” What a boat kid.
He was home. And for him, settling back in has been easy. He’s found things he’d forgotten about, played on deck, “helped” me with boat projects and even found time to scrub the deck. Magnus, too, wasn’t fazed by the change of scenery one way or the other and his routines went largely uninterrupted. He continues to roll with what we do, and that’s pretty typical of life for him.
For Jill and me, it was a lot of fun to spend so much time with our family and to watch the boys interact with them, and each other. Time away from cruising also allowed us to gain a little perspective on what we’re doing, where we’re going from here and how things are working aboard Yahtzee. And after being back for just a short time, we’re more excited and content with our life aboard than ever, and look forward to a winter of cruising and beyond.
In all, we’re just happy to be home cruising on Yahtzee.