Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Highlight of My Trip: Vendovi Island

26 June 2013 Wednesday

I had met a wonderful couple while I was in Blind Bay. They had ventured over in their dinghy to see Shatoosh up close. They came aboard and we had a wonderful chat. They were on their sailboat on the next buoy over. They left a gem for me that immediately was tucked inside my planner. Vendovi Island was now open to visitors during the day. Oh my gosh, what an opportunity. Rachel, my old friend had worked with the San Juan Preservation Trust to purchase the island. She had gone to view the island before she died and loved it. I had seen her photos and had wanted to go, but it was closed to the general public.

see link

I am excited when I awake, even though there was rain during the night. Nothing is going to dampen my spirits on this day. Vendovi, here I come. It is a short hop over 4nm and  since I am early I pull off to look at some beaches on the west side that are so beautiful. Later I learn that it is called Sunset Beach. Most fitting, as  one would see Cypress Island to the west and Lummi Island to the north.

I see a mast of a sailboat over the breakwater, so figure someone is there early, too. I go ahead and enter slowly, as the big tide is ebbing again. The north cove, breakwater and dock are a dream come true with the caretakers house overlooking  the grand view. I tie up and organize my things for the day's adventure. The caretakers meet me. Shawn and Heather own the Westsail 32 that is docked next to me. They have cruised extensively in Mexico, but are from Bellingham. What an opportunity for them to care take this place. I sign the guest register and am on my way to Sunset Beach.
Vendovi Island with Lummi Island in the distance

Breakwater and cove

How beautiful is this?

Lummi to the north

What would make this grow like this?

Why this?

A cedar forest.

Lichen and Moss

What is this?

Looks Like Old Rock to Me

A Haida Mask?

A beach Warrior

Another Mysterious Piece of Wood

Sunset Beach

V for Vendovi

Its time to depart
The tide is out again and the ramp steep.

Reluctantly, I loosen Shatoosh's docklines, and gently walk her to the end of the dock, shove off and step into my cockpit. I turn her slowly placing her stern to the caretaker's house and the bow to Lummi. Heather and Shawn are on their porch, I blow my horn and wave to them goodbye. My new friends and Island are now like old comfortable shoes. I can't wait to return and put them on again. I know the island is in good hands, with the caretakers and the SJPT. This has been a grand day, Rachel, I have thought often of you today especially in the cedar grove.
While not on Vendovi
Rachel's beautiful smile

I remember the photo of you, smiling as you sat on a bench on Vendovi. I sat on
the beach smiling too. Vendovi, you are a rare gem in the archipelago of islands. I must return.

Did you ever wonder who or how Vendovi got its name? Was it the Spanish, the British, or the American ?
Who was Vendovi?

Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer are coauthors of Cruising Guidebooks for The Sea of Cortez and a recent publication on the San Juan Islands.

I continue my trip south to La Conner.
Days run: 18nm
Total: 323 nm