The San Juan islands are located 2 hours or so north of Seattle, probably faster if the traffic isn’t bad. Bri, one of my co-residents and her boyfriend Ian were so sweet and invited us up to his family’s cabin on Decatur Island to spend the weekend. Even though the trip was too short we had an amazing time! A little time outside the city seemed to exactly what we needed.
There are no bridges to the islands so we drove up after work on Friday evening and took a ferry over in the dark. The next day Bri’s dad came up and took us crabbing on his fully outfitted, customized fishing boat. It was so much fun! Jeff and I’ve watched The Deadliest Catch for years and it was neat to live it out in miniature (and minus all the dangerous conditions of course).
The islands in the morning from the boat
Hauling in the first catch
Helping to pull in a crab pot
Jeff pulling in a crab pot
Sometimes we found creatures other than crabs hitching a free ride on a pot
Many legged star fish
I married him for his inner biology nerd 🙂
If this was an octopus instead of a starfish and beer you might think we were at a certain hockey game
We can’t thank Bri’s dad enough for bringing up the boat and teaching us how to crab – what a fun day! Seriously we own that man a couple of packs of PBR. After dropping us back onto dry land we furthered our crab knowledge by getting a first hand lesson in cooking and cleaning the wild beasts. One had gotten a claw around my finger while on the boat and I was determined to cook him personally (they’re all “hims” – you must throw the females back).
I think these crabs are the first food I’ve “hunted’ and then eaten. Somehow the many gallons of fresh blackberries I’ve picked in my life and fistfuls of basil I’ve collected from the garden over the years don’t really compare to pulling a live creature smack out of what was probably a pleasant crabby morning and then devouring it. It just made the delicious fresh crab taste even better.
We spent the rest of the evening cooking, eating crab, learning to play bridge and cooking s’mores over a campfire (how can I have s’more of nothing? you’re killing me Smalls). The next day was gorgeous and Bri, Jeff and I walked around the island looking for otters and poking around in tide pools.
View out from Ian’s cabin
Its so much fun to explore a totally different Nature after spending years climbing around the foothills of Tennessee. There you used to have to worry about snakes and ticks, but here you’re just trying to keep your eye out for an otter, seal or sea lion. Both have lots of deer though!
What a wonderful, much needed getaway! Thanks Bri and Ian for being such gracious hosts!
Our amazing hosts – Bri and Ian and their dog Lola on the beach waiting for the ferry back
We can’t wait to go back and do some more exploring!