Gettin crabby with James
Another short motor – not even an hour long – would get us around Decatur Island to the tiny Marine State Park of James Island. The primary reason we dropped in was for our impending crossing of the Strait of Juan De Fuca the following day – this would shave an hour off that long trip. James is a tiny speck in the greater San Juan Archipelago, not really known as a destination or of any real consequence. The west side looks back on to Decatur Island, while the east looks across the Rosario Strait towards Anacortes. We pulled into the east side of James and took up a mooring ball – which we are getting damn good at I must say. I recall, back in January during our lessons, just how daunting this simple task felt, but now it seems so mundane even in a fair amount of current like this day.
With Meriwether resting pretty on the ball, the three of us set out to the island to register and get in some hiking. The island has only 1.5 miles of trail on it, and Kerri wanted to hike every meter of it. This required a little bit of back-tracking along one leg of the trail to finish off the entirety. In the end we hiked a little over 2 miles to cover the 1.5 miles of trail on James Island. Moose seriously appreciated the hiking mileage, something he doe snot get enough of now that he lives on a sailboat.
That evening Kerri put together her crab trap and we were on our way to set it not far from Meriwether when she realized the traps coiled line is still zip tied and neither of us brought a knife. Back to Meriwether to get a knife while the mooring-neighbors made fun of us. We eventually set the crab pot and within an hour we had numerous crabs trapped, but all were questionable if they were large enough to keep. The bait – a raw chicken carcass – was plentiful so she decided to drop the pot back to the sea floor to take another stab at it. A few hours later the crab-prison was completely empty. The gamble did not pay off. Again, we dropped the trap and set about our afternoon routines for a while. Not long after dinner, we raised the crab trap one final time and Kerri was rewarded with a one nice big crab, which she promptly cooked and ate. Personally, I have no interest in eating them, so one was the perfect amount.
We stayed one more day at James Island due to the weather being so calm that sailing across the strait would have entailed no actual sailing. That day we did something we rarely get to do – nothing. Nothing at all. And finally, the morning after our second night we stowed everything and set out to the south to cross the strait with more ideal weather for some sailing.