Why am I happy?

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I woke up at 4 am–early enough to pack the car with my pillow, toothbrush, a couple of books, garden grown cucumber salad, beet salad, green beans, and potato carrot pancakes with applesauce, made a quick stop to water the flower pots at the Langley Whale Center, and head out in time to catch an early morning ferry up to Orcas Island. For the last two weeks, Chris has been sailing from island to island in our new 24-foot sail boat. Of the 175-plus islands that make up the San Juans, some of the islands have small towns and others are marine parks with no residents.

Chris left from Whidbey Island about 12 days ago and sailed from Oak Harbor up to Orcas Island. During the course of the trip, he’s spent some time moored at San Juan island, in Friday Harbor, and in secluded coves off of Jones Island and further north of Orcas on Sucia Island (one of the boundary islands), both of which are State Marine Parks–no one lives there. Sucia is his favorite spot so far.

I’ll be meeting him at Deer Harbor, an elbow of an inlet tucked into a bay west of West Sound on Orcas Island. We’ll sail a short way over to Jones Island. We can get out and hike around.


We were magically blessed to see the resident Orca whales (J pod) swim off of the west side of the island.


This is my second trip up in the last two weeks. Last weekend I joined the throngs of walk-on passengers migrating to the San Juan islands for 4th of July weekend. I spent a few nights on the boat with Chris in Friday Harbor, arguably the capital of the San Juans, the city has a population of about 2000, and the island itself 8,000–more than half of the population of all the island combined. We were magically blessed to see the resident Orca whales (J pod) swim off of the west side of the island, we watched seaplanes take off and land, saw two Baby Eagles through a spotting scope, and ate breakfast at the same place three mornings in a row! By the way, Chris’s movie Dancing with Thoreau was accepted into the Friday Harbor Film Festival, so we’ll be back in November for that event!


The road ends but the ferry is there to take you further.


From the time I arrive at the Anacortes ferry landing, my whole being relaxes. The smell of the sea, the call of the gulls, the road ends but the ferry is there to take you further and into the maze of rocky islands rising out of the Salish sea.

I’m already leaving behind thoughts that normally fill my days–subdivision/co-housing development, community process, royalty management, and publishing agreements.

I look forward to two days of staring at the water, having good conversations with my guy (my bestie), finishing the book I’m reading, (Naked Wine — a book about the radical risk taking vintners that make wine with no yeast or other additives) and practicing some art exercises from Lynda Barry’s Syllabus.

Relaxing, on the ferry sipping a double latte and chomping a breakfast English muffin, I am disappearing into the mist on the rumbling ferry, every once in a while stepping out on the deck to breathe in the cold and wet July wind.

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