Holly has declared that Hope Island is her favorite island. Of course, just this morning she grabbed the stool the girls use to reach the head sink and declared “this is my favorite stool” so I think that she may be using the term generously. Nevertheless Hope Island really is our favorite south Puget Sound island destination. The entire island, over 100 acres, is a State Park accessible only by boat. There are mooring buoys on the west and south sides but the anchorage is so easy that we prefer to drop our hook. If you anchor on the NE side, between Hope and Squaxin Island, both shores surrounding you are devoid of any buildings or evidence of human existence; it feels like a glorious British Columbia anchorage much farther north. (Watch out though for the current here; it runs swiftly. Set your hook well.)
Breakfast on Saturday was a dutch baby smothered in maple syrup, which warmed our bellies and the aft cabin from baking in the toasty oven. We piled in our dinghy for a trip ashore. We’d barely set foot on the sand and the girls were already captivated by the tide line ripe with sea stars, hermit crabs, sea urchins and all sorts of interesting rocks and shells. Our pockets quickly filled and we coaxed the girls into the trees for a hike around the island. An easy 2-mile long trail circles Hope Island and we set off into the brilliantly spring green woods. As usual, we saw no other humans on our trek; even in the height of summer the island is never crowded and we were all alone exploring our very own island wonderland on this visit. We eat our snack by the caretaker’s cabin which is set upon the island’s original homestead, near the perpetually empty campground. Continuing on the loop path, Leah says hello to our old friends Face Tree and Onion Tree. Our trail meanders through towering douglas fir and cedars; it looks like it was mowed by fairies through bright green moss. We arrive back to the beach where our dinghy awaits and another Hope Island circumnavigation via foot is complete. We return to Wondertime for a late lunch and spend the rest of the day lounging around our true island home.
After a long night’s sleep on moonlit millpond waters, Sunday morning arrives. We are always a little sad on our last day of a weekend getaway but we are determined to enjoy the day before thinking too much about the return sail back to our marina and another work week. The sun is actually shining in a brilliant blue sky. It is glorious. Another hearty breakfast and we are off to the beach again. Michael and I watch as the girls run around the beach gleefully, throwing rocks in the water, climbing on logs, finding raccoon prints, turning over rocks to watch crabs scamper around. We draw out the easy morning as long as we can.
We eat our picnic lunch on the beach, then return back to the boat to put Holly in her bunk for her afternoon nap. Exhausted from her beach adventures she falls fast asleep. We tidy up below then Michael begins cranking in our anchor chain. With a light north wind blowing it’s the perfect chance to unfurl the genoa and start sailing home. So I do and Wondertime is on her way. The wind is perfect all the way back to Olympia, we zoom down Budd Inlet with 15 knots pushing us the whole way. It’s bittersweet though, the returning to port, when it doesn’t really feel like home anymore. Home is where the heart is and our hearts are definitely “out there” already.
(Hover over photos for a description, click for full-size.)