As darkness settled over the still waters of Puget Sound I watched and waited for the lights on the far eastern shore to come alive. Twinkling like stars in a distant galaxy, the city lights danced across the water and refracted on my camera lens. Scrambling across the jumble of drift wood and beach logs presented it’s own set of challenges in the ever increasing darkness. Finally, my position was perfect, the camera was mounted to my GorillaPod, clinging to a log, and the timer was set…beep, beep, beep, click.
I mentally checked off another one of the several dozen images I was hoping to capture on this very unique urban adventure.
This year Susan and I were presented with a very cool gift for our combined Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations. Our children and their families hooked us up with a 3 day mini vacation in the lighthouse keeper’s quarters at Point Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island.
Way back some 40 years ago Vashon Island (Maury Island is connected to Vashon) was a very familiar home away form home for me. My good buddy Dave lived there in a cool old country farm house on Dockton Road. It was named Sunfield House, and many an epic adventure was launched from his barn or his basement.
Remarkably the islands have managed to hang on to their rural charm. Not so much for Sunfield House… The roof was undergoing some needed repair, the trees around the house had grown considerably in four decades, eliminating any evidence of why it was called Sunfield House in the first place. And the barn was painted BLACK! Who in the world paints a barn black? Still, image number one on my checklist was to… Send a photo to Dave. Done!
Our cottage at the lighthouse was delightful. Old and creaky wood floors, tall ceilings, 15 steep stair steps to the upstairs bedrooms, an antique range and oven -converted to electricity, and a marvelous front porch, adorned with a pair of matching rocking chairs, overlooking Puget Sound.
While we did drive all over the islands and go out to lunch everyday, most of our time was spent just hanging out around the lighthouse. The actual lighthouse dates back to 1885 and sits on a low bank sand spit that pokes into the sound. It has always been a favorite place for salmon fishing, and the parade of trolling anglers passing in review confirmed that hadn’t changed. In the early years of human habitation, the native Americans used to stretch nets across the narrow channel between Vashon and Maury Islands to catch fish, and suspend nets on poles into the air above the channel to snag birds. These days there is a land bridge connecting the two islands and protecting beautiful Quartermaster Harbor.
As we drove along the shore of Quartermaster Harbor I couldn’t help but be reminded of the sunny summer days where Dave taught me the finer points of small boat sailing in his Flying Dutchman Junior sailboat. Or when we’d just dash down to Tramp Harbor with a shovel and a bucket, then return in a flash with a whole load of steamer clams.
Most of this story was typed while I was sitting on the porch watching the commercial ships steaming past and listening to the VHF radio, eavesdropping in on the bridge to bridge chatter of the skippers.
I’m pretty sure I must have been an ancient mariner in a past lifetime, because I’d be hard pressed to come up with a better way to spend a few days.
I can hear you humming a little bit of Otis Redding’s Dock of the Bay
Here is a little highlight reel video I made of our adventure. The movie was filmed on the trip and completely edited and rendered at the lighthouse… Just to remind folks what can be accomplished when you don’t have a TV 🙂
… and here are a few sunrise images offered as an apology for the ukulele. By the way, “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”, was a John D. Loudermilk tune from the 60’s. The first version I heard was by The Casinos in 1966.
For Suzie and me, thanks for following along and much love and thanks to our family for setting this up.
Ok, that’s all for this edition of the Adventure Journal. Till next time, one last image. Kat