Monday, May 4, 2009


The first thing I saw when I woke up after that first night sleeping in the boat was a bald eagle. It was just sitting on a rocky point at the opening to the bay. It is incredible how close you can get to animals when you are are the only humans for miles. I forgot to mention it in my last post, but when we first pulled up to the dock at Sucia there was a sail boat and a yacht docked there already. As we were getting out of the boat to go check out the island, a lady on one of the boats warned us not to get alarmed when we walk down the dock, because there were sea otters! We turned to see one otter swimming away from the dock and another dripping with water making it's way across the end of the dock. It was amazing to see them so close, as we were only 10 or 15 feet away. They are smaller than I thought they would be. I guess the otters at Aquariums might be a little out of shape!

So back to day two of our trip. There were bright blue skies just like the day before and we were thrilled. Once again we fired up the cook stove and had hot food. Scrambled eggs with pork sausage and bread with peanut butter and jam. We ate out on the picnic table on the dock and enjoyed the morning rays and having our morning Bible readings.

After the dishes were done and I was done wandering around the island taking photos of flowers in the morning light, we were off once again. This time we were headed for Stuart Island. You might recognize that name because we have camped there before. Sallad and Grace took us there with them last summer. Going back to Stuart island brought back so many good memories of that trip.

I think one of the things I miss about boat-camping is the fire. The cool thing is that just because we didn't have a fire this time, doesn't mean we can't in the future. At Sucia there are fire pits that do not belong to tent sites, they are for picnic use. Next time I would love to take some brats to roast and some marshmallows for dessert. One nice thing about having a cook stove on the boat, is that you won't get rained out and you don't smell like smoke. Not smelling like smoke is a good thing if you want to go to a nice restaurant out on the islands somewhere during your trip, or if you just want to stay clean longer.

We decided to go for a hike on Stuart Island. We hiked for a few miles and our destination was an old one room school house and teacherage that has been turned into a museum. Little did we know that school is still carried out on the island! We couldn't believe it. Below you will see photos of the old buildings as well as the new one room school house. We could hear the teacher talking and it was such a neat thing to think that these kids almost have a homeschool experience, even though it is a state run school. The teaching position is the only full-time public job on the island. A teacher's aide, custodian and lighthouse grounds keeper are part time positions on the island.

The bald eagle keeping watch in the A.M. about 100 yards from the boat.

Some beautiful flowers on Sucia.

Cormorants and seagulls at the "bird hotel". A few times as we passed this place to tie up boats there were so many birds you couldn't count them. This time I only counted three but by the time summer comes, the birds will be hard pressed to find a spot to rest here. Sucia is the most visited island of the San Juans and it will be interesting to see how crowded with boats it is in the summer months.

Off once again!

I quickly snapped a photo of quite a few Harbor Seals sunning themselves undisturbed as we zoomed by.

I found 8 or 9 Calypso Orchids or "Fairy Slippers" during the hike on Stuart Island. They are an orchid and it is incredible to see such a beautiful flower growing in the wild.

Strange Madrone tree formations on a large root.

Lots of steps.

Here is the modern one room school house complete with antique rope pulled school bell and solar panels.

At first we were dissappointed that we couldn't go and see the historical buildings, ("campus is closed") but it was so neat to see the tiny school and imagine what school life must be like for the 30-40 students that were probably inside. We could hear a teachers voice, and soon she came outside with the students from the school and they headed off down the road. There were THREE STUDENTS. Can you believe it? Since the school was now empty we were able to go see the rest of the "campus."

Side view of the one room schoolhouse that was also used for Sunday school.

The school house is now the island library. This "modern" school opened in 1904. It cost them $10 to clear the forest and $98.55 to build the building. Can you imagine? What's even crazier is that school was in session in this building until the 1980's!

The teacher at the school would use part of their salary to pay for room and board at the home of one of their students before this teacherage was built in the 1940's. The teacherage is now the island museum.

An organ with hymnbook "Gospel Hymns No.5." This organ was made around 1908 and purchased by islanders around 1920 with Sunday School offerings and money from basket socials.

On the wall, there were two papers that outlined what a teacher's life was like:

1872 Instructions to the Teachers

1. Teachers will fill lamps, clean chimneys and trim wicks each day.

2. Each teacher will bring a scuttle of coal and a bucket of water for the day's use.

3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs for the individual tastes of children.

4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.

5. After ten hours in the school the teacher should spend the remaining time reading the Bible and other good books.

6. Women teachers who marry or engage in other unseemly conduct will be dismissed.

7. Every teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intentions, integrity and honesty.

8. The teacher who performs his labors faithfully without fault for five years will be given in increase of 25 cents a week in his pay - providing the Board of Education approves.

Rules for Teachers, 1915

1. You will not marry during the term on your contract.

2. You are not to keep company with men.

3. You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.

4. You must not loiter downtown in any of the ice cream stores.

5. You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.

6. You may not ride in a carriage or an automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.

7. You may not smoke cigarettes.

8. You may not dress in bright colors.

9. You may under no circumstances dye your hair.

10. You must wear at least two petticoats.

11. Your dresses may not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.

12. To keep the schoolroom neat and clean you must:
-sweep the floor at least once daily
-scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water
-clean the blackboards at least once a day
-start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m.

The outhouses are still the only form of restrooms at this school!

More photos of day two are on their way. :)


  1. That looks like so much fun! And so relaxing! Sucia Island brings back fun memories. Finding new or just different flowers that are in bloom now is so fun. The diversity of God's handy work is always amazing!

  2. Wow! Those two set of instructions to teachers are outrageous!! What's wrong with a shave in a barber shop or having an ice cream at the local parlor? Very strict guidelines--I've seen similar ones in the Little House Books. The pictures are great-beautiful flowers and scenery.

  3. Wow looks like a fun trip! When are you going to take me on the boat?!? :)

  4. Love the photos of everything - just beautiful! I can't wait until we can go to Sucia Island! The whole schoolhouse thing was pretty neat, especially the fact that you could go right in. I'm glad the weather was awesome for you guys (despite what I may have said previously). :) Looks like such a fun trip.

  5. Love the schoolhouse/library - how awesome! You've made me want to go there...can you get there by ferry or just private boat? Where is it, anyway?


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