September 24, 2017: Celebrations in Eastsound and ferries at Spencer Spit

Braesail is rocking gently in swells generated by periodic Washington State ferry crossings outside Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez Island, we’re having some Mukilteo Mud chocolate ice cream, cookies, and tea, clouds have assembled for a camp-out in the skies above us, and we’ll be in bed soon. I’m writing this post as Walt works on the Scholar Priests’ websites and other online projects.

We launched Coracle at about 9:30 this morning under sleepy skies and Walt rowed us to Fishing Bay’s small dock near the road leading into the village of Eastsound. We tied and locked the dinghy and walked up and down a hill into town in the bracing morning air, catching glimpses of the bay on our left. We arrived at the picturesque Emmanuel Episcopal Church,


set in a flourishing garden with a stunning view over the bay, just in time for the 10 am Eucharist, and found that there would be a baptism of a four-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy that morning–their parents had been married in the church 14 years ago and were celebrating their anniversary. The church was full, the pipe organ music and singing were very good, and the sermon by the parish’s Puerto Rican rector about God’s unmerited “crazy-generous” love, for everyone, including enemies, was especially meaningful for me, given the rancor and fear and division in our country and the devastation wrought by natural disasters around the world and particularly in resource-poor Puerto Rico (the rector had JUST heard from his sister there that his family was safe but recovery from recent hurricanes will take years–restoration of power will take months and a huge dam may break any moment and obliterate several towns). We were able to visit during coffee hour with several parishioners who remembered us from Walt’s time at Emmanuel as supply clergy, and who told us that the parish is doing very well (we are thankful to hear that!).

After coffee and treats, we walked to a great little bakery where we bought a huge loaf of fresh bread and some lunch (a slice of quiche for Walt and a vegetarian open-faced sandwich for me), and then we picked up some groceries at the market across the street. We transported our purchases back to the boat as the sun shooed the clouds from their overnight campsite, and were ready to weigh anchor by about 1:30 pm. A seal emerged from the bay to bid us farewell as we motored down East Sound, and I had an easy time at the helm as we traveled south to Lopez Island apart from a short stretch during which I had to guide Braesail around two large Washington State ferries, one approaching from one side and the other from the opposite direction.

We were able to catch a mooring ball quite close to the shore at Spencer Spit at about 3:30 pm; I held the helm and sneaked very slowly alongside the swaying buoy, whose top ring Walt caught with the boat hook. Once all was secure, Walt rowed Coracle a fair ways to the long, curving, driftwood-edged beach that surrounds the anchorage to register our presence with the Parks Department, assuming that the registration/fees payment kiosk was at a reconstructed log cabin near one end of the spit,

The reconstructed log cabin on Spencer Spit

so he beached the dinghy, walked to the cabin, and found a good deal of information about the park there, but he did NOT find the pay station. He therefore trudged ALL the way to the other end of the beach, whose soft sand made quick movement difficult, filled out our registration slip, walked ALL the way back to the dinghy, and rowed out to Braesail, having gotten more exercise than he’d anticipated! During his absence, I had some tea and read and wrote as I do daily.

Walt was very ready to nap by this time, and I sat up in the “sun room” to continue writing, to enjoy the warmth, and to watch the huge white Washington State ferries gliding from east and west across the waters to the north of our anchorage

Two Washington State ferries pass one another on a subdued afternoon at Spencer Spit; anchoring ball in the foreground at right

and creating a slow, soporific swinging of the boat and soft, suspiring waves on the beach and the bluff nearby. VERY relaxing! We enjoyed “happy hour” late in the afternoon and a great spaghetti dinner later in the evening, after which Walt returned to his online tasks and I completed galley and saloon cleaning and more reading and writing. Braesail should prove to be a comfortable cradle tonight!

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