Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 3 Shatoosh: Penrose State Park to Jarrell's Cove

Day 3
10 June 2012 Sunday

We depart Penrose State Park at 0710 hrs after coffee, oatmeal, blueberries and almonds. The morning looks good, but overcast, seas calm. It is a good day if there is no wind or rain.  We maneuver around the markers that alert us to the Wycoff Shoals and cross Pitt Passage to pick up our red channel marker off of Pitt Island.
Pitt Island

Campsite In Pickering Passage

Across this channel is where Puget camped in a driving rainstorm. The officers had a tent but the men had to cover up with sails, get out of the wind and rain by staying under the trees. I can’t imagine how they were able to cope with all the hardships they had to endure, day after day, months and years of hard situations. I suppose relief came with their daily rations of grog and spruce beer.

At 0814 we reach the point where the decision was made to cross to the eastern shore or stay and follow the continental shoreline to starboard. Looking ahead to the continental shoreline seems so easy to follow.
Devil's Head Continental Shoreline to Starboard

From this turning point we can not see Long-Ketron island, but Pigeon-McNeil Island is to our port, Eagle Island is ahead and Anderson is to our starboard. We turn Shatoosh hard to port and head towards Eagle Island and beyond to Long-Ketron Island.

Pigeon and Eagle islands

 A nice Devilan designed 30 ft cruiser is on a buoy. We cruise by and compliment the owner on his vessel.

Then we head straight across Balch Passage to Long or Ketron Island. And take a bearing and latitude that Whidbey so desperately wanted.  47 deg, 10 minutes, 122 degrees, 37 minutes. We use our GPS and Too Tall Tom’s smart phone and I use my  IPhone to get the reading. It is now 0930 hrs.

There is a large house on the point with a long pier and dock. He has a view north to the Narrows Bridge. I wonder if he knows that Lt. Puget and company had dinner on their property but also, Captain Vancouver and his company spent the night in the same location. Too Tall answers by saying, “ I wonder if they even care?” I hope so, as this is an important event that took place on their property. “Location, Location, Location---what a selling point! There should be a Historic Marker here for certain.

We cruise close to shore and meander south along the long island. The water is deep and we stay close to shore. This side of the island is high banked and void of homes. It is beautiful and quiet as we soak in the peacefulness.
large erratic rock-western shoreline is without homes

Southern tip of Ketron

From here we cross over to Anderson Island and into Oro Bay. I have never been here before by boat. Years ago I use to come to Anderson Island, packing my bike onto the Ferry and riding the hills. I loved reading the book Anderson Island. I love to live on islands and visit them. I am pleasantly surprised by what a beautiful little bay this is. Several Yacht Clubs have huge docks and facilities as an out post for their members. An old ferry boat is anchored in the back southern section. This large point is where Puget pulled into to get relief from another storm and the Indians brought them salmon. Their village was near the fresh water creek at the back section. This place is lovely, peaceful and offers good protection for some anchoring in the future. I like this a lot.

We depart Oro Bay at 1010 hrs and rather than venture down to the Nisqually Reach, we make our way over to Devils Head  and pick up their course into Case Inlet. Devils  Head is on the western mainland Pennisula. We cruise close to shore and stop at Joemma State Park for a lunch break. I have made an ETA of noon and told Too Tall he can be eating his sandwich by 1205 hrs. This guy can eat all day long. We arrive at 1153 and our lunch break is perfectly timed.
Hungry Again

We arrive at Wednesday or Herron Island at 1330 hrs  and after reading the journals realize the explorers stop further on the lee shore to avoid the direct hit by their driving rainstorm. Notes, also state that even Menzies did not venture out of his tent that afternoon to collect flora samples. We, on the other hand did not have rain and while overcast it was light. Their campsite is well protected from the south easterlies. The water is very deep close to shore. There is a private ferry that brings the land owners over to their homes on this small island.

Wednesday-Herron Island campsite 

We decide to short cut the upper reaches of Case Inlet and proceed to Jarrell’s Cove so Too Tall can experience this delightful place.  Again the explorers did not stop here, but we will. We pull into the private marina first at 1500 hrs and take on 13 gallons and ice cream bars. We enjoy nice warm showers, meet some interesting folks on the dock and land and the sun appears. Hurray. The camp hosts own a porta bote and he built a metal box under his fifth wheel and slides his folded bote into it. Very clever.
Relaxing in the late afternoon sun Jarrell's Cove

Too Tall decides to take Pashmina for a spin.

At 1915 hrs I spot a male merganser swimming past Shatoosh and grab my binoculars. There on shore the mother is escorting her brood of very little babies . There are so many and so closely clustered that we can’t come up with a count, but there are at least 12. With this number in tow, they are very young. Most are consumed by frogs, fish and birds. The merganser  babies are known for jumping on their mother’s backs and going for a free ride, which these have already learned. They scurry across the cove and out of sight. I love it when we get to see nature at her best.

Day’s run: 31nm
Total run 112nm.