Wednesday was Spectacular!

Outside on the boat in a survival coat
Outside on the boat in a survival coat

Last Wednesday I finally got to get into the San Juan Islands. It was pretty cool.

We left about 7:30 AM to go over to John Wayne Marina. There were several of us going – most of us were going to work on finish putting up three Wildlife Refuge signs on three small islands while the boat was going to other areas to do a property inventory for the Regional Office. It was quite a while after we left before we got up to the first island – Hall Island.

A crew of us were dropped off there and the boat and a few of the other people left to go do the first part of the inventory.

Hall Island - San Juan Islands NWR, Washington
Hall Island – San Juan Islands NWR, Washington

It was a rugged and tiny, beautiful, rock island that was covered in gulls, poop, and black flies. By “tiny” I mean it is an island not more than a few hundred feet across in any one direction.

We got that sign up in a few hours and waited for the boat to show back up and off to the next sign on another island.

Sign We Put Up on Hall Island - San Juan Islands NWR, Washington
Sign We Put Up on Hall Island – San Juan Islands NWR, Washington
This is a view looking NW from Hall Island in the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
This is a view looking NW from Hall Island in the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

The next Island we went to was Colville Island – an even smaller one NE of the last one. I was offered the chance to go to Matia Island up north since I had never been there. I jumped on that chance – it is one of only two island that allow people and it is quite far north.

We left and arrived at Matia Island 45 minutes later, going around the north side into a beautiful cove to tie the boat off and have a look and the other guys did the inventory. The cove is an amazing place in its own right. We got the boat tied up to the dock and went ashore.

What an absolutely beautiful place this island is. Nobody else was there but the four of us. I took a short hike on the trail and was in awe of the beauty of this amazing forest.

Trailhead on Matia Island - San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Trailhead on Matia Island – San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Campsite View of the Cove at Matia Island - San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Campsite View of the Cove at Matia Island – San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Trail on Matia Island - San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Trail on Matia Island – San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Trail on Matia Island - San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Trail on Matia Island – San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Campsite View of the Cove at Matia Island - San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Campsite View of the Cove at Matia Island – San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington

I would love to go back and spend a few days on that island. Not sure when I will get back since it is accessible by boat only, but… you just never know!

We left there and motored the 45 minutes back to the rest of the crew to pick them and the gear up and head back to the mainland. We got there and got the boat loaded up:

Landing Craft and Work Crew on Colville Island - San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Landing Craft and Work Crew on Colville Island – San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Starfish on Colville Island - San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington
Starfish on Colville Island – San Juan Islands, NWR, Washington

As we turned south to open water and into the Strait I had a lot of time to think about the day since it was probably an hour ride back (maybe even longer). What a great day it was, and this opportunity has exceeded everything I ever thought it would be. Sure, it is not the lifestyle for everyone, but it really has its rewards.

In parting, I leave you with this one last glimpse of my day…

Sunset over the Strait of San Juan de Fuca on the way back home after a long day
Sunset over the Strait of San Juan de Fuca on the way back home after a long day
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