Wednesday, September 12, 2018: Up and down on Stuart Island

Swollen clouds in sullen skies gazed dolefully upon us as we left the Rolfe Cove float at 9:30 am. I managed to back the boat away from the dock safely, and we motored for about three hours to Reid Harbor on Stuart Island, circling through Fossil Bay on Sucia Island on our way so that Joy could see more of the vast variety of sandstone formations that line its shores. Taking advantage of sufficient connectivity, we caught up on e-mail and news while we traveled and the running of the engine recharged our depleted batteries. By the time we had pumped out the holding tank (using a long pump handle and some muscle power to do the job) and docked on the State Marine Park float, the sun had beaten back the morning’s gray-clad cloud troops,MatiaCloud091118
a light breeze had come out to play, and we were ready for a quesadilla lunch. I trudged up the steep ramps from the float to the bluff overlooking the harbor and registered our presence in the park while Walt cooked, and after lunch Joy and I took showers using the hot water generated by the running of the boat’s engine.

We decided to brave the ramps to the shore while Walt napped and to make our way over the “saddle” separating Reid Harbor from Prevost Harbor, where Walt and I had docked earlier in the summer. We walked along some short trails that wandered through campsites above Prevost Harbor and its dock, IMG_20180627_171038575_HDRand while Joy rested for a bit at one of the picnic tables, I made my way down to the rock-and-gravel beach, being careful not to slip while crossing the sea lettuce beds that padded the rows of rocks stretching beneath the tree branch tents that shaded the shore. I picked my way to a spot where I could plunge my hands into the COLD water and then found an excellent stone bench on which to sit and watch the boats and paddle-boarders in the harbor. I clambered back up the bank to join Joy in our walk back through the camping areas and past the tall, imposing composting toilet structure nearby, and at last we returned over the saddle to the bluff above Reid Harbor. Joy, whose knees are quite arthritic, had been dreading the walk down the ramps, but I said some prayers for her comfort, and she suffered very little during the downward journey! Back at a picnic table on the float beside Braesail, I worked on hiking-shoe-cleaning and chatted with various passers-by who inquired about the boat (Moody sailboats, built in England, are relatively rare in our area and boaters are quite curious about our beautiful example of the “breed”). After his nap, Walt enjoyed speaking with the builder of a pretty little wooden sailing dinghy, since Walt would like to build one himself someday as a tender to Braesail. After doing some work on Braesail’s engine (he wasn’t able to determine why it wasn’t charging the ship’s batteries as quickly as it should), Walt made a great shrimp curry, served with broccoli, for dinner, and after doing some galley chores and some reading and writing, Walt finished a book in preparation for a class he’ll be teaching in October, and Joy and I enjoyed playing Yahtzee (she won all three rounds) until bedtime.

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