T’was a truly angry looking wind that would be arriving from the south by Saturday morning and we had no protection from the south at Doe Bay. With land directly to our north nothing would be less comfortable than spending a night or two with heavy winds pushing us towards shore with no idea how well maintained the moorings are here. On Friday, we chose to tuck tail and run back to Peavine Pass where the small Blakely Island Marina would protect us from the winds.
The marina seems to be un-used by anyone but a few locals on the island. Now in the off season, the general store and cafe were closed and even booking a slip required an email (phone went unanswered) and a day wait for a reply. Nevertheless, we did get in to a slip and settled in for a two day stay. Quite literally, we were the only ones in the marina. The shore power was still working, and so too were the hot showers. Moose even had some grassy areas to explore – finding a squirrel to chase on day-1. We would want for nothing else.
Sunday morning we would turn the key and motor to the East to get one more night of “wild” in before our scheduled return to Bellingham. The next island to our East was Cypress Island, a Natural Area Preserve and left – almost entirely – in it’s natural state. With no utilities, no roads, no ferry service, and a completely empty mooring field but for us, we had the entire island to ourselves for the day.
We have been here earlier in the year and hiked a few of the trails. The one Kerri really wanted to do (Eagle Cliff) was closed during our last visit, but was open now in the off season. So we all set out to check it off the list. Moose in the lead as usual, and happily able to run as much as he wanted over the course of the 4+ mile round trip hike. The pay off at the end of the mostly-up-hill-hike (both ways!) was a 360 degree view of this region of the Puget Sound. We could see weeks back in our travels from this single vantage point – a fitting final hike of 2019 in the San Juans.
The following morning would start our final sail of the year. Actual sailing (not motoring!!!) ensued, with winds gusting from single digits to over 20 knots. Barely in the 40’s with off and on drizzle, it was cold, but we were happy to have the wind. We planned our sails accordingly to ensure it would be a comfortable ride in the blustery weather, even if a bit slow. The crew was in no rush to finish off the day/year of sailing, so no need to raise all the canvas for maximum speed. That day’s 13 mile trip took nearly four hours, but we sailed all but for a few dozen minutes. Pulling into our home port in Bellingham, we filled Meriwether’s fuel tank at the fuel dock, and finally pulled into our slip without incident (smooth as any veteran I might add). This was exactly how we both wanted to finish off our 2019 season of sailing.