Look what we found

We finally saw Mount Baker.  Who knew it was lurking there in the clouds, 68 miles away and just beyond our vision, for the past 3 weeks.


This shot was taken from the mainland. Protection Island is to the right and Mount Baker is to the left. Striking! I guess it was cloudier than we thought.

IMG_1221The weather is supposed to be sunny this week, but we are hunkering down for a gale tomorrow. We’ll stay on the island and wait it out. I love windy weather when we are safely ashore, especially when it’s sunny.

Yesterday began with dense fog. I thought we might have to delay our pre-play swim until after the performance but it cleared at 9:30 am as predicted.


So we made it ashore and gassed up the boat, with 82 gallons of gas!!! rode our bikes to the YMCA, swam, ate lunch out, saw the play, The Gin Game, shopped and made it home by 6:30. Quite a day on the town.

Today I had a chance to use my new Sami rigid heddle loom to work on pick up weaving. This is a northern Swedish style of weaving and it seems like pick up weaving with training wheels since the pattern threads are threaded separately.

I tied myself off and these two sat down to watch me in action.


They are building a nest just above the picnic table on the porch and are less than happy to see me. They chirp, twitter and make clicking sounds, but I am here to stay for a few months.IMG_1224

Another craft to learn. Lucky for me I have some time on my hands. Durhamweaver has some great blog posts and youtube videos demonstrating this. Thank goodness for unlimited data.


Just breathe

I am preparing a talk about our lighthouse caretaking adventures and have been poring over photos, videos and sound clips.

This is what we heard all day and night in Alaska.  We had our own meditation instructors swimming around the island.  If only I had remembered this my first few times in the pool. I recorded it in a high tech fashion.  I put my iPhone in a metal bowl.

WARNING: Listening to this clip may cause you to either fall asleep or become so completely relaxed you find it impossible to do anything for the rest of the day.

Another whale of a day

Ho hum.  Tim has told me he is tired of my unending good humor.  But he’s not seeing straight.

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The whale songs began the moment I woke up ( notice I don’t say at dawn, when they probably did) and continued all day.  It was impossible to get anything done because there would be more action somewhere around the island.

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They were swimming, sleeping, playing and feeding, solo, in pairs or in groups of up to ten.  What fun.  Noise and blow spouts all around us.  The otter swam peacefully by as well and I found the fledgling eagle.  I heard him clumsily clamber up a rock when I found my own perch on the heliport.  He sat there for an hour and wasn’t disturbed by me, whale activity, other birds or salmon leaping right in front of him.  When he looked like he was about to take off, I began shooting video only to catch him dropping a load.  Sweet.  But a boat of visitors from one of the local fishing lodges stopped by and they got to see him fly off to the little rock offshore the older eagles have occupied since we have been here, and probably for all time.

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Any dreams of returning to one of those rustic lodges were shattered when we saw the rates.  Oh my!

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After our visitors left, the last of the whales swam off into the sunset.

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Preparations begin

Our departure is a month away and our thoughts point west to Alaska. I was googling Five Finger Lighthouse and came across this link about our temporary home.

Just when I have embarked on a regular running regimen, we head out to a three acre island. Three acres! 130,680 square feet or 361.5 x 361.5 feet! Oh my. That’s a lot of laps – 3.6 laps to run one mile. Luckily the island’s size doubles at low tide. I’ll have to watch out for slippery rocks.

We’ve asked the three most important questions: Is there internet service; is there cell phone service; and is there hot water? Happily, the answers are yes, yes and yes. There aren’t mosquitos or gnats but spiders were mentioned twice. Can’t be as bad as Australia’s huntsmen spiders. I hope.

We will miss prime boating season on Lake Champlain so yesterday we boarded our sailboat, Boreas, and headed up the Otter Creek in grey, misty weather to Vergennes, VT. We only hit one log in the water but this one is waiting to make the dive over the falls!


We could hear the falls before we saw them and I’m glad we approached from the downside.

Very dramatic.