25 August 1997

Whidby Island

I woke to an overcast morning but it was supposed to clear. I said goodbye to Dean and Linda as they left for work since I wouldn't be seeing them again before I left. After they left, I showered and breakfasted, packed up and left myself. I drove in rain to Mukilteo and caught the ferry to Whidby Island. I drove up the island to Keystone and caught the ferry to Port Townsend in a renewed attempt to get to Pygmy Boats. I found them and test drove a Goldeneye.

It was certainly an "adverse conditions" test. There was a lot of wind but at least it wasn't raining. I paddled it around the marina area and didn't get out into open water. It's a nice boat but seemed a little...flimsy. I'm sure the Osprey would be much sturdier feeling since the deck spanning pieces are narrower. They're nice boats but I think they're not for me and Iowa rivers. While they aren't overly fragile, I'd have to be much more careful than I'm used to with aluminum canoes. I'm sure they'd be fine if I stuck to lakes, though.

On the way back to the ferry, I grabbed an oyster burger at a seafood cafe on the waterfront. Interesting...

From Keystone I continued up Whidby Island to Deception Pass State Park. Another very nice park in the Washington system. There were lots of spaces available and I found one that suited me nicely. There were hiking trails around and I saw a path that lead to the beach. I intended to go for a hike after supper but by the time I figured out what time I'd have to go to bed to get up and catch the 6:15 ferry to Friday Harbor, I decided to forego the hike.

While I was setting up camp, I hear some low-flying planes and hoped hat they weren't commercial planes landing/taking off that would continue into the wee hours. Turns out there's a naval base or something on the island. They start very low fly-bys about dusk and the planes were never out of earshot for at least 30-45 minutes. The noise was incredible and I could feel the vibrations through the ground, my sleeping pad and bag. Some passes were so loud and rumbling that it felt like the vibrations were going to interfere with my heartbeat. It was most uncomfortable at times. Eventually, either they stopped or I went to sleep anyway...4:30 am was going to come all too soon.