Friday, July 24, 2009

Boat Camping at Stuart Island

Our computer is working again!

Last weekend we had five days off and spent it camping at Stuart Island in the San Juan Islands with Sallad, Grace and their 15 month old daughter Bri. We had an amazing and beautiful time! The Mr. and I are really hoping this camping trip is going to be a yearly tradition because we enjoy it so much. So far, we've done it two years in a row, which is a good start if you ask me!

Last year we piled all our camping gear into Sallad's boat and launched in Anacortes, but this year we have a boat of our own so we launched in Blaine as usual and met them at Sucia Island. The others hiked on the island for a bit while I fed Bri some lunch and relaxed in the shade. After that we headed over to Stuart Island where Sallad and Grace chose their camping spot and set up camp.

The Mr. and I were quite disappointed to find the 2 state park docks at the island completely full and were wondering what to do about it when a nice gentleman at the campsite close to where salad was beaching his boat (to later tie it up using an Anchor Buddy) offered to move his boat so that we could take his spot. He would then tie up to our port side and raft for the night. We were so thankful! We could have tied up at a mooring buoy or mooring line for the night, but it wouldn't have given us very good access to land as we wanted to share Sallad and Grace's campfire. Being tied up to the dock made it easy for us to transfer our supplies to the campsite.

Preparation for camping is fun. Some may not think so, but I love it. I am a person who loves to make lists, and when you are planning a camping trip there are lots of those. One thing that I really strive to do while camping is keep things simple. This year, I got all our miscellaneous camp supplies into one large Rubbermaid tote. It really helped that we were going camping with Sallad and Grace because they were bringing the camp stove, lantern and other bulky things that would not have fit into my tote, like roasting sticks! Next year I even want to try and use reusable plates, cups and utensils because this year we used disposables once again and I really dislike having an overflowing garbage bag at camp to lure the raccoons in. We were glad once again that our boat has a icebox because it saved us from bringing a cooler. I would just take food up to camp each morning as it was needed.

Patos Island Lighthouse

On our way to Sucia The Mr. and I saw a ton of porpoises, both dalls and harbor porpoises I think. I'm also pretty sure that I saw a pacific white-sided dolphin about 25 feet away. They have We probably saw around 40, and a few times they were within 20 feet of the boat. They are beautiful as they swim through the water and it makes your heart flutter to see them close.

Meeting up with Sallad, Grace and Bri.

Headed for Sucia.

Bri is her "Daddy's lil' Skipper." We spent a little bit of time showing off Sucia (as I have said over and over, we love it there!) and then we headed over to Stuart Island.

Bri playing peek-a-boo while "helping" set up camp.

Camp Nor'Wester on Johns Island. Last time I posted about this I got all the info wrong (a year ago) but I am too lazy to go change it. Oh well!

After the campsite was set up and our boat was docked, we set out in Sallad and Grace's boat to get ice cream from Lopez Island Creamery at Roche Harbor. The Mr. actually tipped the ice cream scooper dude- he was pretty generous! That is the most ice cream I have ever seen someone eat in one sitting. I think it took him over 20 minutes to finish it.

At Roche Harbor there are lots of miniature shops to visit that are only open during the summer.

This is a very cool place to pick up ice for your cooler and anything you forgot to bring with you. They are a tiny little store with just about everything you would ever need. Everything from fresh produce to fishing lures.

Grace and Bri. Bri loved this Harbor Seal statue and when sitting on it she fit like a puzzle right into the curve of it's back.

Very blurry photo, but a neat sunflare.

Almost a mirror image of last year.

You could see our boat from the cliff at the campsite. It is the one closest to the walkway with the aluminum boat rafting alongside it. We have never seen Stuart island this busy, look at the end of the dock- there are SIX boats across the end of it. Three rafted together on each side.

Marshmallows are gluten free!

Our sleeping quarters. Very comfy! Most nights I sleep better on the boat than I do at home.


  1. Very cool, I'm with ya on keeping camping simple. I have a big rubbermaid lidded container that houses all our camping stuff. I wash it all and repack it when we get home, and it's ready for the next time!

  2. Wow, you got some really good shots! I love the one of Bri peeking out of the tent and the one of the marshmallows! Fun times.

  3. Looks so relaxing and beautiful! I love the island life and pace, it's just so different than the mainland but I couldn't say exactly why. Bri is so cute, and she's really changing!
    That was the biggest hard ice cream cone I've ever seen! Wow! Steve would be envious! :) My brother used to get these extremely tall "large" size cones at this little joint in Cascade Locks, Oregon but they were soft serve ice cream (DQ style).

  4. Bri looks a LOT like Julia in the picture of her peeking out of the tent! Oh, I miss all you folks so much. Glad your computer is better. Also glad that marshmallows are gluten free for your sake : )

  5. I've been wondering where you are! The first picture- of the lighthouse-could be on a calender.
    All the pictures of Bri are just too cute. Sorry you had computer troubles.
    IF scooper dude's boss sees how much icecream he is giving away, he just might not be working there next time you go.
    Good pictures.


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