Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kilisut Harbor

Saturday morning I loaded up the boat, grabbed coffee, and headed for the Edmonds ferry.  Over the next few hours the almost-clear skies gradually disappeared - just the opposite of the forecaster's pronouncements.

I took the kayak up to Fort Flagler and spent several hours paddling around northern Kilisut Harbor - the narrow inlet between Marrowstone and Indian Islands. I went south, taking a break at Mystery Bay, before crossing over and heading back north along the wonderfully undeveloped shoreline of Indian Island.  One advantage of the Navy storing bombs there is that security is tight and opportunities for waterfront real estate and mega-mansions are nil.  I kept expecting guards to drive down to the beach to make sure I didn't land, but if they were watching, they didn't show themselves.  A lone coyote watched me from the top of a bluff for five minutes as I paddled by.  A seal popped up at some point and bald eagles occasionally flew over - but that was it.


A small line of planes, two Beavers and an Otter, motored all the way to the north end of Lake Union before turning and one at a time taking off back over the south end of the Lake. I was in the Otter, on the way to Friday Harbor.

Coincidentally, J was in one of the Beavers, heading for Roche Harbor.  A circumstance that neither of us could have imagined 40 years ago growing up in Maine!

Between the overcast and an inadequate camera for aerial photography, I took a remarkable number of fuzzy photos of every spit, landslide, and island we passed over.  Some of my best shots were taken in the first minute of the flight as we climbed over Seattle Center and headed out over Elliott Bay.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mount Vernon

This was the first time in a long time that M & I could get away together and we decided to head up to the Skagit to see the Tulips. My ideal tulip trip would be to run into them unexpected in the middle of nowhere with no one else around and this morning in Seattle, I had visions of gridlocked farm roads, overpriced parking, tour buses, crowds of gawkers, and low-flying helicopters. I guess all of those things were there, but somehow we managed to avoid most of it, and I came away reminded that just because something is overhyped and commercialized, it can still be a lot of fun!

The weather was great.  The timing was perfect, with most of the fields in full bloom.  The photography was both helped and hindered by the slight haze, and the photos themselves suggest that my camera does some weird stuff with bright, contrasty colors.

We ended up at Seeds in La Conner for lunch - which was good, but took about 40 minutes longer to arrive than it should have.  Blame it on the crowds.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


What is this - the third nice weekend in a row?  No whining!  Looking for something different than last Saturday's expedition to Dungeness, I found a counterpoint on the Foss Waterway.  Today it was by boat, and I was back by noon.  And yes, the shoreline was a bit more urban.

Like Lake Union (Seattle) and False Creek (Vancouver), the Foss has gradually gone from industrial to mixed.  "Mixed" meaning vestiges of the past, gradually overtaken by museums, condos, marinas, and public promenades.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dungeness Spit

The long walk out to the lighthouse has been on my list for decades - even before I started working on beaches professionally and long before I started collecting beaches as a hobby.  I've been to down the base of the spit numerous times, with and without family, and once I even walked out half a mile or so at high tide to watch storm waves spill over the top.

Saturday, I headed over to the Peninsula early, stopped at Port Williams to explore another beach and to wait for the tide to fall a little farther.  I began hiking around 11:30, spent an hour or so out at the lighthouse, and got back to the car around 4:30.  I walked four of the five miles back barefoot.

The day was perfect.  The only thing that might have made it better would have been for the Olympics and Mount Baker to have been completely clear.