This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sucia Small Boat Rendezvous 2014 Day 2

Saturday morning, after sleeping in a bit late, I fired up the Kelly Kettle while Tim did some writing.  Our Kelly Kettle, by the way, was a big hit.  Just about everyone who saw it was impressed with the speed it could boil water.  Several said they were going to get one for themselves.
There was no reason to hurry because we weren't going anywhere.  This is what the perigee-syzygy  does to shallow Fossil Bay.
A -2.8 tide does provide an excellent opportunity to see parts of the island normally hidden from view.  Like Sucia's treacherous reefs for example.
"Boaters should use caution when in the waters around this park. The word "sucia" is Spanish, meaning foul or dirty in a nautical sense. It refers to the numerous rocks and reefs which surround the island. These rocks and reefs have grounded and sunk numerous boats since European explorers first named the island in the 1790s. Boaters should check their charts frequently and pay particular attention to Clements Reef on the north shore of Sucia, as well as the entrances to Ewing Cove, Fox Cove, and Shallow Bay. There is a long reef which extends to the west of Little Sucia Island. Reefs also extend outward from Ev Henry Point, North and South Finger islands, and the Cluster Islands".
A couple years earlier I discovered what remained of one unfortunate boater's yacht, claimed by the reef at the entrance to Fox Cove.  This morning's low tide would be a great opportunity to see if the shipwreck was still there.
As I was about to set out for some shipwreck and fossil exploration, James McMullen appeared, looking for someone interested in going for a hike.  I told him about my plans and he agreed to join me.

We found the rusted, barnacle encrusted remains of the engine block and the boat's windlass right where I remember seeing them years before.  They were straddled one on either side of the reef that obviously sank the boat.  We looked for evidence of exactly where the boat hit the reef but saw no obvious scratches or anything in the reef, but James found some other bits of metal nearby.

From there, we went on to explore the fossils on the southern cliffs of the point.  Every year they look a bit different as the cliffside slowly erodes away, replacing last year's fossils with newly exposed ones.  Fossilized clams are by far the most common.  We didn't see anything else this year, but James discovered an unusually large one.

Later that afternoon, when the tide came in, Tim and I finally had an opportunity to explore Little Sucia Island.  This is a completely undeveloped little island just outside of Fox Cove.  It is surrounded by reefs and swift currents.  There is only one small patch of beach suitable to land a boat. The little bay on the North side looks inviting, but it's a boulder field just below the surface. We anchored at the patch of beach and walked around the island.  The entire shoreline is covered with rocks and there are no trails, no campsites, and no indication that anyone has ever visited the island.  Quite nice, actually!
We returned to our campsite at Fossil Bay.  Tim went for another hike out to Ev Henry point.  As he came around a corner, he startled two bald eagles which took flight only a few feet from him. He said he could hear the wind whistling through their feathers and it scared the crap out of him!  Tim also came across a pile of white feathers, apparently the remains of a seagull eaten by something.  The park ranger we talked to later said it was probably a hawk.

Later that afternoon was Wine and Cheese night, a visit from my fishing buddy Ray, followed by an evening around the campfire with drinks and music.

Good times.

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