By Julia Otani
The October 4th – 6th Blake Island weekend trip began with partly sunny skies and variable winds. Tina, Julia, Jim and Gail met at the Southworth Ferry launch site at 9:30am, packed our kayaks, and by 11am began our 1 NM crossing to Blake Island. Adding excitement to the beginning of our trip, we unintentionally launched our kayaks while a series of wakes approached the shoreline. Water poured over the sterns of our kayaks filling our cockpits with water. Emptying the water out, we quickly got into our boats paddling away from the shoreline. The wind kicked up creating a bumpy paddle to the campsite.
Tina is a regular year-round camper on Blake Island. Rangers Paul, Steve and Gavin know Tina by name. We set up our tents on one of Tina’s favorite campsites by the shoreline. With a spectacular panorama of the Puget Sound and the Seattle skyline, it is a million dollar view.
Run Amok Racing Inc. was coincidentally having the Hippy Half Marathon on the island Saturday. The organizers were setting up the course and post-race event. Approximately 55 participants were expected to arrive on the Argosy boat Saturday morning to attend the race. Food, 60’s music and a beer garden were planned after the race. The marathon shirts were so cute, Tina and I had to buy one for ourselves.
Even though it is Rut season, the Bucks did not display sparring behavior. The docile deer roam freely around the campground going about their business napping, grazing on grass, unfazed by humans around them. I guess you would say seeing all the deer is a hunter’s paradise. Fortunately the resident deer do not have to worry about such things.
Saturday morning after breakfast, we watched the marathon runners begin the race. The sun was shining, the water was perfectly calm for paddling. Tina, Julia, Tim and Gail paddled back to Southworth to escort John and Trina who were joining our trip. Arriving at Southworth, John was packing his kayak. To practice his towing skills, John towed a smaller kayak filled with firewood. Trina arrived full of energy and excitement. This was her first kayak camping trip with our group. Trina’s youthful enthusiasm was a delightful addition on our trip.
With the sun beaming warmth upon us, we paddled back to Blake Island. Along the way, a sea lion popped his head out of the water to check us out. On our return to camp, a flock of Canadian geese feeding on grass greeted us. After lunch, Jim and Gail paddled around the island while the rest of us spent the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the scenery. By afternoon, the marathon ended and the runners departed on the Argosy boat. The island was peaceful with the exception of a stray raccoon looking for scraps. Saturday evening the sky was clear. You could see the stars in the galaxy, downtown Seattle illuminated in the background, ferries sailing back and forth across the Sound.
A beautiful sunrise welcomed us Sunday morning. A lone kayaker was paddling at sunrise. We prepared breakfast, and packed our kayaks to return to our urban lives. If you ever need to escape from your daily routine or to decompress, spend some time camping on Blake Island. Blake is a stone’s throw from Southworth. Tina offers this trip a few times a year.
Enjoyed a wonderful weekend with Tina, Jim, Gail, John and Trina. Thank you Tina for leading a fun, relaxing trip.