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08/28/17

Permalink 07:24:56 pm, Categories: Adventures, 1980 words   English (US)

August 18-28, 2017 – Annual Isle Royale trip

We arrived at the marina late on Friday evening with preparations to make before we could get underway. There were provisions to load, water to take on, things to do. After a buzz of activity, we were finally ready for bed, excited to be off on our adventure at some point on Saturday.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny. We needed to drop Bug off at the kennel for his week-long stay since dogs are not allowed on the island. We knew it would take quite a while to get there, 100 nautical miles, and decided to hold off leaving until the afternoon. This would allow us to sail through the night and arrive bright and early on Sunday. We departed the dock by 2:00 in the afternoon and threaded our way through the islands before reaching open water. The winds caused a rolling wave which resulted in the boat rolling 15-20 degrees. Though we had the jenny up to help with the roll we ended up a few miles to the each of the Rock of Ages Light. We shifted course and headed to Washington Harbor arriving at the Windigo Dock by 6:00am on Sunday. The boy surprised me by popping up in the cockpit and turning off the key to the engine as Troy and I tied off. After the long trek, we all headed back to bed to catch a little more sleep before checking in.


Sunday we all awoke refreshed and headed up to the Ranger Station to check in. We bought some books and settled on a float plan for the week. The intention was to stay at Washington for only a day or so before heading off to other destinations on the island. Dylan wanted to go for a walk so he and Troy went to the Moose Exclosure and got a chance to see the changes that the Moose had made on the island during their time there.

On the way back the boys went through the Ranger Station and picked up the Junior Ranger book so Dylan could work on getting his Badge for Isle Royale. That evening, Dylan and I worked on the book together, though he did all of the work, mostly needing to be nudged to finish it.

Monday Dylan awoke excited to bring his book up to the Ranger Valerie to show her the work he had done and get his badge. We left Troy aboard the boat and headed up to the Ranger Station. Valerie reviewed his work very carefully and solemnly walked him through his pledge. While I am a bit biased, I have to admit it was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Dylan was so proud and immediately showed every other person he met his bright and shiny badge. He even had a Junior Ranger vest to pin it on. Good thing he remembered to pack it!

After showing Dad his badge we set up chairs to watch the eclipse. The rangers had glasses for everyone to view it. Dylan found the process a little bit boring and the day was a bit overcast but we were able to view the eclipse until it was about halfway through before the cloud cover completely obscured our view.

Next, Dylan wanted to show me the Moose Exclosure. Since he had gone with Troy the day before he was anxious to show me. We followed the exact same path the two boys had taken the day before including walking to the airplane dock first followed by the Exclosure. He showed me all they discovered the day before. The path took us past the two new camper cabins that they had added to the island, which is an awesome addition for those who want to see the island but aren't quite up for camping out.

While Dylan and I were on our walk, Troy did some maintenance on WhymC (our dinghy), replacing the drain plug since the one we had would leak on us. Since we needed to test the dinghy the boys climbed in and went for a bit of a row. After ensuring they wouldn't sink, they picked me up and we went for a row in the harbor. I had always wanted to take a look up Washington Creek, Troy headed in that direction and we went up the creek about as much as we could in the wide dinghy before turning about. It was amazingly peaceful in there with the birds singing and grass blowing lightly in the breeze. The campground flanks the river quite aways in with the camping enclosures dotting the river along the way. We returned back to the dock and talked about the rest of our stay on the island. Perhaps we would just stay in Washington Harbor. We never spend much time there since it was typically just a jumping off point to the rest of the island (and a place to check in). There were things to explore that were new to all of us after all. We grilled chicken pizza on the boat and had dinner on the dock.

Tuesday was another beautiful sunny day. The temperatures were just perfect in the mid-70s during the day dipping down in the evening. Some nights were getting cold (50s and 40s) but it was helping keep the mosquitos in check. We hoped to rent a canoe to continue our exploration of Washington Creek figuring the canoe would get father along. Unfortunately, there was too much wind and we were denied. Before we could come up with another plan, a familiar looking boat appeared at the dock. It was Bear and his Dad! We met them last year in Rock Harbor. Bear is two years older than Dylan, but they hit it off so well and both remembered each other immediately. Though there are other kids on the island, they all keep very much to themselves and their parents. The other kids we saw were staying in the camper cabins and really hung around that area.

After Bear and his dad departed, we decided to take a hike up the path along Washington Creek to see how far we might be able to canoe up the river. We explored the camping area, saw plenty of fox scat and a few moose prints along the way. Though we saw no moose, we were pretty sure one was nearby since some of the signs were on the trail on the way back that were not present when we hiked out. The boy was a bit loud so I am not surprised that anything that heard us hid.

We returned from our hike and the boys decided to set up the jenny on the dinghy and go for a sail. I stayed behind and chatted with a hiker and got some good pictures of them out there. The boy was at the helm the entire time and I was able to snap a few good pictures. It was getting late in the evening and even though Troy wanted to add the mainsail, they decided to come in and enjoy the evening.

Wednesday dawned beautiful and bright once again. We took another trek up to the Moose Exclosure. This time the three of us went. Wednesday was also a bit windy so we didn't even try and rent a canoe, instead the boys bent on the mainsail on the dinghy and headed out with Dylan at the tiller once again. Three times the boy steered back to the dock to ask me to come out with them and on the third time I relented. I joined them for an awesome sail. We went around Beaver Island under sail and touched at the dock so we could do a little exploring. I was very surprised to find three camping enclosures! We headed back to the dock for another beautiful evening. We enjoyed an awesome dinner of grilled chicken breast with roasted potatoes and carrots and another beautiful sunset.

Thursday and finally the wind was right for us to rent a canoe! We paddled up the Washington Creek as far as we could until the trees and overgrowth became too much. The creek is so very peaceful and quiet. We returned to the cock and ran into Connie and Dan, marina mates from Washburn Marina. Dylan went swimming and spent hours playing in the dinghy. He played 'man overboard' jumping from the dinghy into the water and climbed back into the dinghy. He is getting very familiar with the boat. So much so we now refer to it as 'his' boat! We enjoyed a wonderful dinner of steak, brussels sprouts and potatoes along with some wine we picked up at the store. We spent a nice evening visiting with Connie and Dan and finally saw a moose. A big bull moose was wading on the shore across from the dock and we could see him eating grass through the binoculars. It was nice to finally see a moose after a few trips without a sighting.

Friday and another day of beautiful sunshine. Three fishing boats came in loaded with kids of all ages. 18 kids total from the age of 4 to probably 18. It was pretty amazing. The boy spent the day swimming and playing in the dinghy. He spent a lot of time learning to row and while we had the dinghy tied to the dock, Dylan had enough line to allow him to row out and back over and over again. He played man overboard again and again. We were able to visit with Steve Martin, the ranger, and talked with him of the benefits of the Walker Bay dinghy. He is apparently considering picking one up for emergencies on the island as it would be a lot more stable than the canoe they have been using. We ended the relaxing day visiting with Dan, Connie and Steve. After they departed, we met a hiker named Scott who talked with us for quite a while. Eventually we were joined by the airplane pilot who was spending the evening on the island. The amount of air traffic we saw during our trip was fantastic. We had never seen that many visits. We learned that they changed their jumping off point from the airport to the Houghton area and the parking lot is full during the summer. They had so much business they expanded to two airplanes. Pretty wild.

Saturday, we departed the dock by first light with the boy still sleeping. There was a bit of a roll to the lake resulting in the need to have someone at the helm during the entire trip. We thought we would try and do the trip in an entire day instead of overnight. When we were within sight of Outer Island the rain started and continued during the entire trip back. By the time we were in the channel on the west side of Madeline, Troy had already changed clothes once, his first set having gotten soaked through and through. Though we thought about anchoring out for the evening, the forecast for Sunday was for more rain so we decided to press on for the marina. We arrived around 8:00pm on Saturday. Not bad!

Sunday would be a maintenance day in the marina. Since we could not get Bug until Monday we took the opportunity to clean the boat and offland more things that we no longer needed. It felt relaxing and a good way to get ourselves back into 'real life' once again. We ended the evening with a pizza from town with Troy and I planning our next trip to the Big Island!

Monday, we awoke early, picked up Bug and headed home. Somewhat bittersweet to be leaving especially as our drive would reveal spots of color among the trees signaling the end of the season.

05/31/16

Permalink 06:53:53 pm, Categories: Adventures, 846 words   English (US)

Memorial Day 2016

What a beautiful weeekend.

It was to be the first long weekend for the season and our first starting from Washburn Marina after years at Knife River. We had a few extra days and hoped to get out to the islands before the rest of the boating community and securing a dock for the night. We knew our radar was having issues and that the marina hadn't had a chance to look at it yet and looked with trepidation at the fog as we drove through to Washburn.

Friday morning dawned with a little fog, but enough we could see across the bay, so we decided to head out. Radar or no radar. The clouds looked amazing on the crossing to the island, coming across the sky like waves. Given the wind direction and speed, we motored out to Stockton and secured a place on the dock for the evening. The boys were excited to be back at the beach again and we spent time chasing sticks and throwing rocks into the water. I swear, the boy is planning to fill up the lake on his own. It was a little cool that evening, but no one minded. We were on the boat and on the water. Where we are meant to be.

Saturday morning and we saw that the new dinghy was full of water! Apparently the plug had popped out during our crossing. So we brought her ashore and emptied her out. While we were ashore, the other boats in the harbor left so we thought we would move to the other dock as it is more comfortable. No dice. The engine wouldn't start! Troy spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what was going on, but we were not able to get her started. Now we would need to formulate a plan to sail out of the harbor and back to the marina. It is very disheartening to have diesel problems so early in the season. It isn't like this is our first time without it, but this shouldn't be happening. We are bummed. But the boys made the best of it with playing around with the dinghy. Dylan got his first lesson as coxswain and was doing really well.

Sunday morning dawned bright and clear which is awesome given the forecast to date! The boys decided to take out the dinghy out. First Troy with the sails up and then he and Dylan. Poor Bug got left behind and was very disappointed by it. But he got over it. They had a great time sailing about the harbor and even got yelled at by the Park Rangers for 'sailing in the harbor', even though they are the ones who honked at them and sent them in! Oh well. The wind picked up during the day and we helped a few folks to dock that day and even got a chance to meet some new people which is always good. We decided to stay another day as the weather would not be right for sailing out of the harbor anyway.

Monday and the weather is grand! Others came in throughout the day yesterday and filled up the harbor but by early morning, most folks were gone and it was just us and a couple from Washburn left at the dock. We decided to turn WhimSea around on the dock, making it easier to sail out of the harbor and avoid both the big rocks at the end of the dock and the shoaling in the bay. Given we had pulled a boat off the shoal in previous years, it was a big concern. But we sailed out without issue and soon had both sails up and were heading towards the marina.

We debated about the idea of sailing into Washburn marina. Troy being of the opinion we should, me, not so much. It is a little scary to think of having no propulsion and having to stop the boat. We called Black Warrior Marina and arranged for a tow in. We were lucky to get wind the entire way back, even though we had to beat the entire distance, the sun was shining on us at least!

Black Warrior brought us in as pretty as you please and got us to the dock on the wall. There were storms predicted for Monday evening and into Tuesday so it is good that we decided to cut our vacation a little short, especially without a running diesel. Now we can only hope that the marina finds the problem soon and resolves it without a huge bill at the end!

I have to say that I am very lucky to have Troy. Not only did he bring us back without any concern, he kept everyone's spirits up, acting as if having no diesel was no big deal, even though I knew it frustrated him to no end. The boy didn't even realize anything big was happening. There was still plenty of fun on the beach, in the forepeak wrestling and in the dinghy.

07/25/15

Permalink 07:08:04 pm, Categories: Adventures, 1828 words   English (US)

Isle Royle, July 10-20, 2015

Friday … We left the marina a little after 2:30 on Friday afternoon after packing her up with ten days’ worth of provisions, clothes, and of course, toys. We were all missing Bug already but were excited to be heading out on a new adventure. Departing the marina we thought we might have a favorable wind for our trip, but it turned out to be a land breeze, we motor sailed when we could, but would end up using the diesel for most of the trip.

We motored past the outskirts of the apostles, having dinner as we passed Outer Island and shaped up our course. We would take shifts throughout the night, with Troy taking the first shift so I could get the boy to bed. I had the 1:00am-4:00am shift. The night is particularly amazing on the lake, especially in the middle like that. Before heading to bed, there was a spectacular sunset. A bright orange ball descending into a dark purple blue hue of the sky. Because of the haze the sun didn’t color the clouds like it usually does which was remarkable. When I came topside, Troy pointed out the Northern Lights, playing off Minnesota and the weather buoy to our stern. We’d never seen that before.

A few freighters passed and the moon rise was a sight to see. An orange fingernail slice that appeared over the horizon before being hidden by a fog that would envelop us bringing with it a dampness. Thankfully the boat has radar and I knew we were leaving the shipping channels.

Saturday … We arrived at the island around 8:30 in the morning, the island shrouded in the fog that had arrived the night before. As we got closer, the top of the island, the Greenstone Ridge became visible, but only briefly. We spotted the first of the buoys marking the Siskiwit entry. After passing the last buoy the fog cleared, like the Island opened her doors for us.

We had decided to spend a day or two in Hay Bay, planning to approach the dock (if it was open) and anchoring if we found it not approachable. All the books and maps indicate we should have plenty of water, but we were skeptical. As we entered the bay, two sailboats were leaving, leaving it wide open. We approached the dock and were pleasantly surprised to find plenty of water for WhimSea. Another first for WhimSea! And what a wonderfully excluded place with the only approach via boat, though there is a campsite, you need a boat to get there and no hired vessels

WhimSea at the dock in Hay Bay

Troy and I relaxed and settled in. Dylan stripped naked and pulled out his fishing pole. After a quick lunch of hot dogs and corn on the cob on the grill we convinced Dylan we all needed a nap when it’s really Troy and I that did after our night long trip.

Dylan fishing in Hay Bay

After our nap Dylan continued playing with his fishing pole practicing his casting, though we did convince him to put clothes on after a sliver in his foot made him consider what would happen if got one in his bum. Periodically we heard the moose crunching through the woods with the telltale snapping of twigs. We waited breathlessly for an appearance, but were unfortunately disappointed. Perhaps another day.

Sunday … We slept late and enjoyed our coffee and carrot bread on the dock while Dylan continues his fishing practicing. We played no music and the quiet was so amazing. We heard the birds and gulls, woodpeckers pounding away in the forest, the ducks fishing nearby. We heard the wind as it rustled the leaves in the trees and caused the water to lightly lap at the shore.

A rabbit munched his lunch nearby and butterflies alternated between playing nearby and resting and soaking the sun.

Boys on the dock

Sunday afternoon would bring a rain squall that chased us below, but we didn’t mind. Time has shifted and returned us to a place that matches the rhythm around us. I am in heaven, unplugged and disconnected with those I love most near me (though I admittedly miss Bug).

The rain extended through the night so we had a dinner of spaghetti Bolognese and garlic toast, listened to a story and put the boy to bed.

Monday … The rain continued through the night with thunder and lightning added. The morning dawned foggy and very wet, which would continue for the day. Today was destined to be an inside day. The rain would continue through the day with the wind coming up in the night increasing to 20 knots, pushing us against the dock. I could feel the boat heel against the dock, breaking my sleep.

Tuesday … Tuesday morning dawned clear but very very windy with the gusts of 20 knots continuing from the northeast, making it cold as well. We wiled away the morning practicing our casting while the wind blew itself out.

We listened to the weather, had a sandwich and decided to head for Rock Harbor intending to stay either at the Daisy Farm dock or at the marina at Rock. We figured we may arrive before they close, but could settle up in the morning. If we found the marina full, we would backtrack to the dock or anchor in Moskey Basin, another beautiful bay. We arrived at the marina and found an available slip and were surprised to find the marina still open, as well as the restaurant. What luck

We enjoyed dinner followed by our traditional walk to the America dock so we could take a picture of WhimSea in the marina. We have done that every year we’ve visited Isle Royale and stayed in the marina.

WhimSea in Rock Harbor, traditional photo

We returned to the boat and hung out in the cockpit for a short while before we were chased below by the mosquitos. It has been a wet year and they are thriving this year. After putting the boy to bed, Troy and I returned to the cockpit for some star gazing. A chill to the air meant we shared a blanket. Despite the lights from the marina and the Ranger docked nearby, the milky way was clearly very visible along with millions of stars. I spotted at least three shooting stars and wished on them all.

Wednesday … The Ranger blew her horn before departing in the morning. It was a beautiful sunny day. The breeze had a slight chill to it, which countered the strength of the sun very nicely. A lazy morning of coffee and carrot cake combined with sailing of the Endeavor, Troy’s R/C Sailboat. Troy and Dylan participated in the ranger-led nature walk while I took a call from work, the only break in our vacation routine.

That afternoon we met some fishermen that were over from Minnesota, Neil and his son Bear come to the island frequently and did some trout fishing while on their way to Rock Harbor. Bear is a couple of years older than Dylan, but they got along famously, sharing a movie and having a great time playing with the fish in Neil’s live well. Lucky for us, Neil wanted to do more fishing between Rock and their campsite, which meant we were treated to some freshly caught trout. It was pretty easy to change our plans for dinner after that. We soaked a plank and put it on the grill that night.

Dylan & Bear

Thursday … Thursday would find us taking a hike down Stoll Trail before returning back to join the ranger-led nature hike to hear about lichen. We followed it with fish sandwiches at the restaurant for lunch.

Troy picked up a game for Dylan from the Park Service on fishing that we all enjoyed playing. We spent time playing the fish game followed by a balanatined chicken on the grill. And since we had a fire going, finished with s’mores with some folks that were staying at the lodge.

Dylan at the dock in Rock

Friday … Friday would find us leaving Rock Harbor for another dock. Showers and a fuel up and despite the fog, we decided to head toward Caribou Island hoping for another new dock to visit. Troy had read about it and its proximity to Cemetery Island and thought it would be a great place for the night. Alas, we would find the dock full so we pressed on to Daisy Farm. Dylan got in more beach time and some wading before a dinner of steaks on the dock. We tried to get in some more star gazing, especially hoping to show Dylan the stars completely unobscured by the lights of the harbor or nearby boats. Though the mosquitos were quite vicious, we spent a little time above deck gazing at the Milky Way with him before the fog returned and the force of the mosquitos chased us below.

Saturday ... We were now faced with the need to return to Washburn. We had to be back on Monday to get Bug from the pet boarders but felt we had time to do some hiking before heading out. We hoped to make it to the fire tower and find that the fog would be less dense farther up, but made it about halfway before turning around, realizing not only that it wasn’t going to lift, but also that weather was heading our way. Now would be the time to depart.

We left the island shrouded in fog once more having to navigate with the radar through the harbor. The fog would stay with us much of the way, but eventually would open up showing us a lake blue and clear and storms on the Michigan shore. The wind built through the day eventually increasing to 20 knots as the night came on.

We pounded into a 20 knot headwind most of the way home. Since it was on the nose we motored the whole way with the bow rising and falling in loud thuds as she hit the building waves. They would build to 5 to 7 feet during the night, throwing things around the boat and loosening the shelf in the forepeak taking it completely off the wall.

Sunday … We navigated through the apostles and pulled into the dock at Washburn in a fair amount of wind. After arriving in the marina, we went out for pizza before doing some work aboard, packing things up for the trip home.

Monday … We headed out to get Bug almost immediately after waking. We all missed him during our vacation, but the island does not permit dogs, for good reason. The wolf population is already decimated and couldn’t take any outside contamination. It’s hard to be home among civilization again, but it was a wonderful trip. We’re already talking about how to get back out there.

06/11/15

Permalink 07:22:14 pm, Categories: Adventures, 1119 words   English (US)

June 11-14, 2015 Apostle Islands

We arrived at the marina late on Wednesday evening after packing and driving up. We got to the marina very late and went to bed almost immediately. A late arrival means a late morning, but by noon we we had fueled up, pumped out and departed the marina. We were on our way. The weather was bright and sunny. We hoped to be able to sail about the islands as we made our way to the dock, but in the end only got in about an hour of sailing, though that hour was AWESOME!

The dog, unfortunately, might not agree with me. He had been having an issue with his back leg and unfortunately took a tumble down the companionway during a puff of wind and he was looking forward to reaching an island and a good long soak in the restoring waters of Lake Superior. Lucky for him, we arrived at the dock at Stockton in short time (around four hours) and found plenty of room for WhimSea.

We arrived in plenty of time to spend time at the beach, soaking Bug (with multiple stick throws and plenty of swimming). He was obviously feeling much better after just an hour at the beach. He was shivering with cold and ready for a break when we headed back to the cockpit to think about our plan for dinner.

We spent some time watching Troy sail his 'little boat' about the safe harbor. It always surprises folks to see it.

We retreated to the dock by the boat and pulled out the chalk. We all had a great time drawing with chalk. During the afternoon a boat from our new marina in Washburn pulled into the dock. They got settled and joined us on the dock for a drink and some good conversation and storytelling.

Here's some of our chalk drawings

After a relaxing dinner of chicken breast and vegetable couscous we retreated below decks as the evening got a little cool. Dylan and I had an early night of it, admittedly because I fell asleep putting Dylan to bed.

Friday morning and Troy awoke feeling poorly. He had been fighting a bug for most of the week and it clearly had caught up with him. Dylan and I sent him back to bed.

While Troy slept, Dylan, Bug and I spent some time at the beach. We threw sticks for Bug, rocks in the water, sand in the water. We just played. I am amazed at how easily both Dylan and Bug play in the water. I put my feet in and had to run back out, it was so very cold! But I have to say it was awesome playing with them. Being completely connected from all electronics, in the sunshine and fresh air, doing whatever our imaginations dreamt up. Dylan created a game for us to play that used his water shooters to get rid of all the sand in the cockpit. Then we got rid of all the sand on the dock. Eventually turning our attention to the chalk drawings we had made the night before. It didn't take long before we were both soaking wet from squirting each other, but the sun had come out nice and warm so the cold water was a welcome shock to our systems.

Troy got up feeling much better and the three of us had lunch and lazed about the boat. Since the campsites were all empty, we hoped to be able to have a fire and s'mores so the boys went to investigate. Unfortunately the trails were all muddy and wet, so no fire. Instead, we had a dinner of pork chops, sweet potatoes and pea pods below decks, followed by popcorn and a movie.

Saturday morning dawned beautifully. We had coffee and homemade cinnamon bread while making our plan for the day. We thought we'd try and sail-fish our way to the next dock so we put out the poles and prepared to depart the dock. We decided to head over to South Twin, the forecast being favorable for that dock and hoped it would be open. There was not enough wind to fish on so we took a straight route to the dock. Lucky for us it was open so we got settled and did some exploring on the island. We were hoping to find the air strip that used to be on the island but could not make it very far inland the fallen trees and foliage was so thick.

We enjoyed ourselves playing on the beach and throwing sticks into the water for Bug and rocks into the water just because. We decided to have a fire at the beach and have dinner there as well and set up for a relaxing dinner of grilled steak, red potatoes and broccoli. While we were getting things ready another boat pulled up and docked. Though not exactly without Troy's help. The owners strolled about a little and then did something so very weird. They grabbed a bunch of wood from the beach and walked over to the fire ring and through it on the fire. Course they apparently didn't realize that it was already LIT! I think they were trying to claim the firepit as their own, which is weird since there was another place to do a fire, they just need to turn right instead of left from the dock. We invited them to join us for a fire later, especially since they dumped wood on ours, but they didn't join us. Weird.

Regardless, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and s'mores and Dylan had his very first toasted marshmallow (without the chocolate and graham cracker).

Sunday morning and was absolutely beautiful. Our dock mates had apparently gotten up early and left (before we had even poked our heads up). So we were able to enjoy the beach, coffee and coffee cake before heading back to the marina. It was another windless day so we motored around the north side of the island (since we hadn't seen that side in a few years), and made a path for Washburn. We went to the east side of Madeline (first time), getting a good look at Big Bay and the homes on that side of the island.

We arrived at the marina and decided to run into town for pizza before we pack up the boat and drive home. We went to a local restaurant, packed up the boat and began the long drive.

It was a great weekend. We extended Sunday a little longer with the roundabout way we returned to the dock, but it was worth it to extend the time we spent on the water.

06/02/15

Permalink 07:04:09 pm, Categories: Adventures, 489 words   English (US)

May 30-31, 2015 South Twin Island

Posted by Karen A. Brown

Friday evening found us heading up to the new marina at Washburn in rain. It had been gray and dreary most of the day, but we were all looking forward to getting up to the boat and having a new adventure on Saturday night. After arriving, we packed up the boat and sat down to relax after the long day, and long drive. It didn't take very long and both the Boy and the Dog were sound asleep each on their own settee.

Saturday morning we awoke early. It was safety day at the marina and we planned to attend at least some of the talk sponsored by the Washburn Yacht Club. They offered information from the Border Patrol as well as from the Power Squadron. The best part was the information from the National Park Service where they information on the state of the islands after the long winter. It seems many of the docks were damaged with the heavy wind and waves and a number would require repair. Some were closed for the whole season including the docks on Sand Island.

Shortly after listening to the National Park Service, we departed the dock for parts unknown. As always in the Islands, the wind was not constant, but we had a pleasant sail nonetheless. The day started a little bleak and overcast, but become quite sunny as it progressed. It was one of those days when the spray from the bow jumped up and created diamonds in the sunshine. Beautiful!

We decided to spend the night at South Twin Island dock. We'd never been there before, but according to charts (and other sailors), we should have plenty of depth for WhimSea at the dock. They were right! We were docked by around 3:00 and had plenty of time to explore the island and play on the beach as is evidenced by Dylan's photo below. He had a great time burying his pirate ship and weaving a story of the adventures the ship had on the beach.

The weather promised to be a bit cold overnight with frost warnings predicted for the mainland, so we had a very short fire after dinner before retiring for the night. With all the sun and the wind (and the cold), everyone was ready to climb under a big pile of blankets relatively early. We all got a good nights' sleep that night.

Sunday morning dawned cool and clear with the sun quickly beginning to warm the air around us. We had the time for a leisurely pot of coffee and a full breakfast before we departed the dock on our way back to Washburn. A few hours later and we were pulling into the dock. While I miss the folks from Knife River desperately it is nice to enjoy our sailing adventures more, with more leisure time to return to port.

I look forward to the next adventure!

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