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Test Lab Hike–San Juan Island Kayaking, part 2 of 6

Posted by joeabbott on October 21, 2011

Day 1

Kayaking - San Juan Islands 012image_thumb6This is the second of six parts:

Part 1: Intro
Part 2: San Juan Island to Jones Island

Part 2: San Juan Island to Jones Island
Part 3: Jones Island to Blind Bay and back
Part 4: Jones Island to Griffin Bay Park
Part 5: Walking tour of San Juan Island NP
Part 6: Going home


Yup, that’s me, in all my goofiness! I was sporting my “tilly” hat, some wrap-around shades, a life vest is just smart (aside from being the law), some gloves, and was carrying a camera, my SPOT, and a GPS. Wow … you’d think I was out to conquer the Congo or something!

But, it was all stuff I wanted or thought I needed … and, I’m happy to say, all stuff that came in handy.

While I’d like to think Dan was shooting my best side, I really think he was trying to photograph the girl in the background! We ultimately got to know the girl (Anne) and her husband (Danny) but that’s a story for “part 6”. Now we’re talking about part 2: our first leg to Jones Island!

Before we get into that, let’s take a look at the four oarsmen:

Kayaking - San Juan Islands 019

That’s Dan on the left, Tim next to him, Ron is right next to me, and (again with the puffed up chest) me.

While I’d like to argue the life vest made it look like I was puffing up, I think it was purely a camera and someone saying, “say cheese” that did it.

Anyhow, we were all smiles on the first day after the ferry ride in from Anacortes.

Backing up just a bit, I do want to tip my hat in thanks to Dan and Lynne (his wife) for the hospitality of putting us all up for the night. We all crashed at his pad after work to shorten the ride to the docks and minimize the number of vehicles left for the long weekend there (the docks). Thanks, Dan and Lynne!

But, upon getting to Friday Harbor, we boarded a couple of vans and were driven to a beach just to the south a bit. There we went over safety techniques and proper handling of the boats. While I don’t wish to make light of it … “blah blah blah blah”. Come on! I wanted to get out there!

After the talk, we were off!

The water was glass smooth on the trip from San Juan Island to Jones Island. I’m not sure what happened but we had astonishingly beautiful weather! It was in the mid-70s or so the entire time and, until the last day, we had blue skies throughout. So, we didn’t get to experience much in the way of arduous paddling or big waves, but that was just fine by me.

Kayaking - San Juan Islands 033

Kayaking - San Juan Islands 030The image to the left shows my view for the majority of the trip. I took the rear position for all legs and wouldn’t have minded ceding that to someone else, but found no one interested in swapping. And really, that was just fine.

imageWe stopped once at a little cove off Point George on Shaw Island; my SPOT positioning shows us to be as indicated to the right.

While there, Ron either decided to not only pick Tim’s pocket but abuse him in an unkind way, or we were learning how to deal with layering that included life vests. I’m not sure which but clearly also not abiding by the “what happens in the San Juans, stays in the San Juans”. I will be happy to provide Tim with the original photo if he wishes to press charges.

Anyhow, we had a small break, a little sandwich, and were then off to Yellow Island. You can see it as the island dead in front of Dan in the above left photo.

You can read about Yellow Island here but it’s under the Nature Conservancy and has a rich history. A fine place to visit but we only stayed long enough to walk around the Island … a short mile or two trek.

Then, back into the boats and onto Jones Island.

Now I think it’s safe to say that we got the absolute best spot on the entire island. Without exception. And we flat out stumbled on it by rowing up to a pebble beach, strolling up a short rise, and having a beautiful, spacious site all to ourselves. It was wonderful. Here are a few pics. The first is of the beach and the small rise:

Jones Island Campsite from the beach

Then views of the morning waters from the site:

Morning view from Jones Island

And then a couple of the site itself.

Kayaking - San Juan Islands 079Kayaking - San Juan Islands 080

Kayaking - San Juan Islands 081In all it was a wonderful spot.

Kayaking - San Juan Islands 066After we’d setup camp, Ron and I rowed around the Island for some late night exercise and got to see some of the marine life clinging to the sides of Jones Island.

I also got to enjoy the stroke Ron had honed by reading a book on kayaking: stroke-pause-stroke-pause-… where the “pause” was just a fraction of a second and, I was told, allowed the rower to generate a power stroke. I feel badly for criticizing him for it, but mostly because on subsequent outings where we paired up he was a machine who could stroke-stroke-stroke-stroke-stroke-… endlessly! He wore me out!

And after the evening paddle we were done for the day. In past years we’d play cards and hoot into the evening but this night we all broke up with our respective books (I was reading this gem) and evening beverages and found a quiet place to enjoy the setting sun, the lapping waters, and the peace that can be found once your day’s labors are over.


One Response to “Test Lab Hike–San Juan Island Kayaking, part 2 of 6”

  1. Momma said

    sounds like a really fine way to start your trip – wonderful scenery (I’d like to see Yellow Island some Spring). Momma

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