11

A Knitter in Crisis

On November 7, 2015 I uttered the words I thought I’d never say: “I think I need to stop knitting.” And I was dead serious.

Earlier that day I had picked up the sweater I finished this year for Loopy Academy, Freshman Year, Semester 2: Slipped Stitches and was stunned to find a small moth hole in the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater. Don’t believe the hype – they DO ABSOLUTELY eat new yarn.  I only wore this sweater for a few minutes to take photos. That was it.

Suck Factor: infinity.

As I looked at it I thought, well, maybe I could repair that small bit.  It was only a couple stitches, I caught them in time, and any knitter worth their salt should be able to fix something like that, right? Thinking I’d catch those motherf*&%^$ing moths while they were sleeping, I decided to soak the sweater first to drown any remaining munchy perpetrators. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Modest Sweater with more holes the size of reindeer. It’s probably good I gave it a bath and saw just how much damage was caused, or I might have tried to repair it first and realized later it was a lost cause. I wasted enough time knitting it, I didn’t want to waste any extra time repairing it.

After the sweater debacle in the morning, I was decidedly (and deservedly) down. What was the point of it all? Why should I continue to knit if this kind of thing is going to happen (it’s happened on a smaller scale before)? Why why why? What a waste of time and effort.  There were tears in my voice when I told my husband I should just quit knitting. He looked at me with as much sympathy as a non-knitter, non-hand-knit-wearer could muster and said, “But you love it.  It’s not about finishing things for you. It’s about the process.” Does this man know me or what? Everything he said rang true.

I haven’t given up on knitting, but I am taking a small break to regroup and fortify my spirit against the evil moth hordes. I am …gasp… crocheting with perle cotton and purchased acrylic (ick) for two projects. There are reasons for those things not entirely related to the wool hell I’ve been in, but there’s definitely a correlation. I’ve been burned.

But like a moth to a flame…. or more like a moth to wool….. I’m sure I’ll be back.

In the meantime, please answer me this: Why do you knit/crochet/create? I absolutely need to know the meaning of (knit)life!

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4

I’m Gonna Knock You Out!

Mama said knock you out! 
 
This is my moth eradication anthem (maybe you remember 90’s L.L.?).  Unnnnh!  Take that you dirty mothy mofos!  We’ve been busy waging the moth wars in our bedroom.  Step one was to take every single item out of our closet, throw it on the bed or any other surface that was available (including the bath tub), and not allow it back into the closet until it had been washed, dry cleaned, frozen, thrown out, or sent to Goodwill.  I would have shared a photo, but it’s kind of creepy how much crap our closet vomited out onto our bed and frankly, I was afraid that if I did someone might call the people from Hoarders and turn me in.  I think I did at least 6 loads of laundry today and I have at least 8 more before it’s all done, not to mention the stuff that’s going to have to go to the dry cleaners and the freezer.  I called the pest people a couple days ago and they told me this was the first step we’d have to take before we called in the big guns.  Trouble is, we didn’t really find the source of the “infestation” as the bug guy kept calling it.  I know that’s just professional jargon, but I don’t like the idea that we might have an “infestation”.  Gross.  I noticed something especially alarming today as I was putting things into the clear plastic bins I got from The Container StoreThere were dead moths already in two of the containers that had been sandwiched together during shipping.  This makes me suspicious that our infestation may have come from the stupid stuff I just bought to get my life organized.  The time frame is pretty right on.  What the crap?  I guess that’s one way to get people to clean up their act.  Send ’em some pests so they have to get their shit together and actually clean once in a while.
 
In knitting chit chat, I am currently re-obsessed with Stefanie Japel’s “Fitted Knits”.  I remember buying this book and loving pretty much everything in it.  And then, in true Knittymuggins pre-process style, I never completed a single project from it.  I got a little dejected after my Textured Tunic fiasco and just moved on, though I still have yarn for at least three of the sweaters in my stash.  I think the next thing I’m going to cast on after Little Momo is finished (I’m 99% there) will be the Two-Tone Ribbed Shrug.  I need a little shoulder warmage with summer dresses and tanks.  I am also monomaniacally into the Crisp Rectangle Tunic Top, even though there is no way my squatty body can pull off a top like this.
 

Hey Monkey!


 
Knittymunchkin continues to charm me every single day.  Friday morning we were playing in his room letting R.Darling sleep in, and we were laying on the floor next to each other just giggling and giggling and I thought, “This is it.  This is what motherhood is all about!”  His newest most awesome trick is to jam his finger as far up his nose as possible, sometimes with excessive snorting, and wait for a reaction.  Of course I try to be stern and tell him to stop, but then he only snorts harder and starts to giggle.  I am powerless against him!  I do believe he has inherited the ham gene from his Mama ;)

6

Well, It’s Cheaper Than Eating Rocks

Mister Dog

Ah, Thanksgiving.  Family, turkey, and all the good stuff(ing).  As we sat down to our late afternoon repast, our typically beggarific Jack Russell, Nelson, charmed and astonished us by waiting patiently outside the dining room while dishes clinked and food was passed.  Anyone who has ever owned a terrier, or been around one, will probably be as astounded to hear of this behavior as we were to witness it.  Did someone slip him a Prozac while we were sleeping?  No matter.  He was being the best he’d ever been and amidst exclamations of, “what a good boy you are!” we rewarded him in kind with bits of turkey as we finished carving up the carcass.

Fast forward to Saturday morning.  Our perfect pooch ate his breakfast and then proceeded to recycle it on the back porch and carpet throughout the day.  Terriers are nothing without their bounce, and our little guy’s spring had definitely unsprung.  By Sunday morning he would do nothing but stay in his crate, head bowed, and refused all food and water.  When he couldn’t be enticed with food, we knew something was most definitely wrong.  Besides his tennis ball, food has always been his biggest obsession.  So we took him to the doggie ER and awaited their diagnosis.  Turns out, he had pancreatitis.  And it was all our fault.  All that fatty turkey overloaded his system and his pancreas was working overtime to get rid of it.  We felt awful as we drove him home, dehydrated and drugged, and with pockets about $400 lighter.

Come Monday morning, he still refused to eat and I was truly worried he was still dehydrated.  So, off to the regular vet I went, with poochie in my arms.  As a sidenote, another sign that our dog was seriously ill: he actually let me pick him up without growling at me.  They continued to treat him over yesterday and today and he’s now eating on his own and seems to have recovered quite well.  We’ll probably have to manage his diet for the rest of his life, but we are so glad that he is still with us.  Although, if you’d asked me about 3 hours ago I might have told you something different.  After hours of worry and a total $800 worth of vet bills, the ungrateful bastard bit me.  I guess I’m going to have to forgive him eventually, but it may take a few days.  Good thing he’s cute.

But it’s not all bad I guess.  While we were waiting in the doggie ER on Sunday, our friendly neighborhood celebrity (think: Whose Line Is It, The Drew Carey Show, and Two And A Half Men) came in.  Such a nice guy.  He asked us about our dog and we treated him like a “normal” person, as if we had no idea who he was.  I swear that guy is always “on”.  He had us laughing from the moment he stepped in.  When we told him what happened he shook his head and said kindly, Well, I know better than to feed my dog turkey.  But my dog, he eats rocks.  $1700 and one surgery later, he was presented with the stone as if it was a trophy he might like to keep on display.  I guess we should consider ourselves lucky.  That was one expensive rock.

14

Babymoon

The view from our porch


 
Why hello!
 
Yes, sadly, we are back to normal life once again.  Our 6 days in Maui almost seem like a distant memory already, though it was only a mere few weeks ago when we set foot on that sun-kissed isle.  Every time I arrive on Maui, or any of the Hawaiian islands (and yes – I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to say “every time”) I am instantly transported by the tropical sun, palm trees, white sand, and bronze-skinned locals, to a timeline that could have been.  Once there was a girl who dreamed of a carefree life not her own; if only she had the guts to make the leap, the confidence to turn wishful thinking into reality.  I entertain these thoughts quietly upon each visit, wondering if we could make it work even now.  I could get a job at a luau shakin’ it for the tourists and R. Darling could spend his days at the beach spearing fish for supper and pretending not to look at the local hotties while working on his tan.  But under the mystique of island life and the glossy tourist facade, lies a place rife with poverty and an astronomical cost of living.  So we settle instead for an exotic sampling every few years or so and then make our way back home with happy memories, gaudy beach towels, and smatterings of sand packed in our bags to remind us of time well spent and much enjoyed.
 

An unusual rainbow


 
Given that I was just over 5 1/2 months pregnant during our trip, and that it was our second time in Maui, we didn’t plan anything too strenuous for ourselves.  We had chosen to stay in a condo this time instead of a hotel and were instantly pleased to have made the decision as it was quite like staying in an apartment but with many of the wonderful amenities that come with staying in a hotel.  Because our digs were so cozy, we found it easy to laze away our mornings and even our afternoons just dozing, sitting on our ocean-view porch (so glad we paid extra for that!), or reading inside when it got too hot outdoors.  The weather was somewhat uncooperative when it came to swimming as the winds were rather high while we were there, but the intermittent rain didn’t bother us at all.  With temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s and low 80’s, the rain was actually kind of a nice contrast to the heat.  We were rewarded with rainbows the first 3 days of our visit due to the showers and the one pictured above especially fascinated me.  It was situated directly over the surface of the ocean, quite close to the shore, and I can say I have never in my entire life seen anything like it.  Truly spectacular!
 

Giving the palm trees a haircut


 
One lazy mid-morning after breakfast on our balcony, there seemed to be a quite a lot of commotion going on down below on the grounds of the building.  Peering curiously, and vertiginously, over the edge we spotted several workers beginning their ascent of the assorted palm trees surrounding the pool area.  We watched them climb fearlessly up these palms, swaying in the somewhat stiff breeze, with nothing to keep them safe save the spikes on their boots and a single chain attached to their waists.  I watched, both fascinated and increasingly queasy, as each man swung his giant machete lopping off huge limbs and tossing them down to the velvety grass below.  Over and over they climbed up, chopped and hacked, then made the trip back down. And on each return trip I sighed with relief knowing that they would be safe on solid ground and their families would be able to welcome them home that night with laughter and a warm meal.  Until, there was one remaining palm.  The palm directly in front of our balcony, 9 stories up.  It swayed more heavily than the others, its rubbery trunk set in motion by the winds that picked up throughout the day.  The picture above shows the poor man whose job it was to trim this beast of a tree.  Did they draw straws to choose who would have to wrestle with this leviathan?  I could see him almost directly in front of us as he casually went to work sweating in the sunshine.  And once he made his trip back down I remembered how to breathe.
 

Can you see my baby belly?


 
As I mentioned, we spent a lot of our time lazing, but we did make it to the beach several days for some swimming and snorkeling.  Maybe you can tell by the face I’m making in my photo up there, but I was absolutely miserable this day.  It was the first day we went swimming and I was wearing a new maternity swimsuit that we purchased in Maui seeing as it wasn’t exactly the best time to find a swimsuit here on the mainland.  Without going into any TMI gross-me-out kinda detail, let’s just say my skin is uber-sensitive these days.  And what doesn’t feel so bad to the fingertips can be excruciating in other places.  I thought I could live with an itchy swimsuit, but it turns out, I really can’t.  I tried everything and frustrated, finally resorted to cutting out the lining on my tankini top.  Ah, so much better.  Who woulda thunk it?
 

Say "Howzit!"


 
Our best day of snorkeling came with an early morning and some crappy weather. This pretty much guarantees the tourists will stay home.  But not us – we love adventure!  By just before 9 AM we had found ourselves a nice parking spot in one of ten public parking spots near the Sheraton (where we stayed on our honeymoon). Black Rock in front of the hotel is one of the best snorkeling spots on the West side of Maui, or so we’ve been told, and we’re inclined to agree.  The wind made it difficult to spread out our mats and towels, and the lack of sun wasn’t exactly picturesque, but the water felt just fine and the fish rewarded us with plentiful attention.
 

A Pufferfish!


 

Unicornfish


 
The most wonderful part of the day was being able to swim with a turtle.  It made the whole $36 snorkel gear rental completely and totally worth it.  We had the good fortune to swim with one for quite a while when we were in Kona a few years back, and we felt incredibly lucky to get to do it again here on Maui.  Later in the day he apparently made his way back, quite close to shore, and the resultant swarming horde of snorkeling tourists made us feel rather sorry for Mr. Turtle.  We were glad to have had a more private glimpse of him earlier on.
 

Mr. Honu


 
On our last day we treated ourselves to a lovely dinner and show at the Hyatt called Cirque Polynesia.  We decided to splurge a little and pay for the show package that included dinner and, honestly, I almost enjoyed the dinner more than the show.  Though the show was quite spectacular, it really wasn’t nearly as glamorous and big-budget as the Vegas productions we’ve seen.  Perhaps if we hadn’t been spoiled with the “real” thing, it would have been a wee bit more exciting.  But having dinner on the veranda in front of the Hyatt with my sweetheart, while watching the sun sink into the ocean, was possibly one of the most romantic things we’ve done in a long time.  A fitting end to our Babymoon.
 
Though our traveling days aren’t over forever, the time with just the two of us is fast coming to an end.  It’s bittersweet because, as much as I cherish the trips we’ve taken and the time we’ve had as a couple, the arrival of our little one is going to be a journey that will outstrip everything else we’ve ever seen and done in our lifetimes.  And it will be wonderful!  But best of all, it’s a journey will be taking together, one step at a time.

10

I Think An Alpaca Slipped Me The Tongue

And it might have been a girl alpaca too.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last Thursday I mentioned that R. Darling was taking me away for a much needed surprise weekend getaway.  It was so nice to have that prospect to look forward to at the end of the week!  So when Friday morning rolled around, we put on our workout clothes and loaded up R.Darling’s kayak on the truck to take to Sterling’s shop.  R. Darling needed a few repairs done on it in time for his next kayaking foray (which happens to be tomorrow) and the shop is close enough that we could take it in quickly on our way to our workout.  Fridays are “long run” days on R. Darling’s marathon workout training schedule so after dropping off the kayak we headed for one of the amazing trails scattered around our town and put in a 6 mile run (I rode my bike).  After cleaning up, packing an overnight bag (and some knitting of course!), we left the house and made a beeline for our favorite coffee stand.

Cool, overpriced, tasty coffee drink in hand, we hit the highway.  All I knew about the day’s activities was that there were creatures involved, it didn’t cost much, and R. Darling had “no idea there was anything like this here”.  My first thought was a whale-watching tour, but since those aren’t cheap and there are tons of them around here, that was sort of out of the question.  Imagine my surprise when I found out we were going to The Outback!  The Outback Christmas Tree & Kangaroo Farm, that is, not the restaurant.  Creatures!  Hooray!  We arrived just in time for the 2 PM tour, paid our $8 each, and wandered around seeing what we could see before the tour started.
 

Awww.... what's more precious than baby duckies?

Awww.... what's more precious than baby duckies?


 
There were several peacocks in the yard, as well as these adorable little ducklings, and it was all I could do to resist snagging one and kidnapping it.  But cute little baby ducks grow into big ducks and we all know what that means – big poops and a lot of biting.  Nobody wants that.
 
The tour started with a cute little introduction and feeding of the resident lemur family, and then we headed back to the wallaby homes.  After everyone received a piece of bread to feed the wallabies with, we were led inside the enclosure and introduced to each wallaby in turn.  I wanted to tuck one of these little guys into my bag too, they were so adorable.  When you feed them they take the bread so gingerly and snuffle your fingers for more afterwards, sitting still for pets and cooing.  It was so amazing to be able to get so close to such an exotic creature!
 
A sweet boy wallaby

A sweet boy wallaby


 
Next, our tour guide tried to wake up “Kangaroo Jack” a young male kangaroo that had been born at the farm.  After poking, prodding, and even good-naturedly wiggling his appendages (gently of course), he finally stood up for us and allowed us to come over and feed and pet him.  Amazingly, kangaroo fur is even softer than wallaby fur and dense and downy like a rabbit’s.  I expected it to be more coarse than that, and was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t a bit like I’d imagined.  We also learned that kanagroos have developed a permanent squint due to the bright glare in their natural environment.  What I mistook for a sleepy roo was actually how he protects himself from the sun.  I learn something new every day!
 
Not sleepy, just squinting

Not sleepy, just squinting


 
Next, we were introduced to their Patagonian Cavy (or Mara) which is a large relative of the guinea pig.  This creature was a bit more shy and would come close for bread, but wouldn’t tolerate any petting or too much closeness.  It had the skinniest legs I’ve ever seen on a creature of this size.  No idea how it supports itself on those!
 
Meet the Patagonian Cavy

Meet the Patagonian Cavy


 
After the exotic creatures we met some more pedestrian creatures, though they were no less fun to feed than the exotic ones.  There were miniature donkeys, pygmy goats, regular goats, emus (too mean to feed!), and a variety of other farm animals.
 
Hey, does that shirt look familiar Ravelry fans?

Hey, does that shirt look familiar Ravelry fans?


 
Last but not least, me met Fuzzy Butt and Mr. T, the farm’s friendliest alpacas.  We were told to take a food pellet, place it between our lips, and kiss the alpacas!  I missed one critical part of the instructions though – pick a long pellet.  Needless to say, mine was rather short and Fuzzy Butt got a little familiar.
 
Aren't you going to buy me dinner first?

Aren't you going to buy me dinner first?


 
Not one to be outdone, Mr. T decided he needed a kiss too.  The tour guide assured me that Mr. T would be much more gentle to me than Fuzzy Butt, and he was right.  I barely felt him take the pellet from my lips.
 
Aw, Mr. T., you're so sweet!

Aw, Mr. T., you're so sweet!


 
And with that last alpaca kiss, we said goodbye to the creatures and made our way to our final stop for the night.  I still hadn’t guessed where we were going to stay the night, but once we reached the off ramp I had a good idea where me might be headed.  In sleepy Anacortes, WA we checked into the historic Majestic Inn & Spa.
 
majestic sign

The Historic Majestic Inn & Spa

The Historic Majestic Inn & Spa


 
R. Darling had booked us a package which included 1 night’s stay, champagne and chocolates in our room (which we ended up just bringing home with us – I know – we’re lame), dinner at the hotel, and a massage the following morning.  Truly maximum spoilage!  We checked in, took a peek at our room, then went to the dining room for dinner.  We were hesitant to eat in the dining room, feeling underdressed as we were, but we were assured that we were dressed appropriately enough and ushered to a well appointed table.  Dinner was served by our blonde Miley Cyrus look-alike waitress and we both felt completed sated after an appetizer course of fresh steamed clams, salads, and a main course of prime rib for R. Darling and razor clams strips and chips for me.  Afterwards, we got our things from the car and settled into our room for the night.
 
What a stunning room!  How I wish it was mine!  It reminded me of a summer cottage with shuttered windows and a cheery yellow and white color scheme.  I would love a yellow and white bedroom, or just a yellow and white room in general; it looks so crisp, clean and cheerful.  But I’ve been told that yellow’s not restful so I always shy away from it.
 
Our bright and lovely room

Our bright and lovely room


 
We curled up for the evening with books and knitting, pausing briefly to make some coffee and take a glance at the sunset.  Then we turned in for a wonderfully peaceful night’s sleep and the next morning woke up ready for our massages.  The spa in the hotel is a sister spa to one we’re familiar with up here where we live called The Chrysalis, so we knew we were in for a relaxing visit.  We each had a one hour swedish massage which was lovely, though I found out later that R. Darling got some special heated stone action thrown into his that I didn’t get.  Bummer, since I’ve always wanted to try that. Maybe next time.
 
After checking out, we walked down to Ana Cross Stitch where, if you can believe it, I didn’t buy a single thing.  Then to the Island Cafe for a greasy spoon breakfast, and off to our final activity of the weekend which turned out to be a jet boat tour of Deception Pass.  It was a beautiful day to be out on the water and R. Darling was so pleased for me to be able to see what he sees when he goes kayaking there.  Though we didn’t see as many creatures as I’d hoped, we did get an amazing view of the area in the pass and learned something about some of the history of the islands and pass area nearby.
 
Driving home after our lovely getaway, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband who does such unexpectd and thoughtful things for me.  Thank you honey, for everything!  You’re the best :)
 
Because I can never resist hamming it up for the camera....

Because I can never resist hamming it up for the camera....

7

**Our Gulf Islands Trip: Day 6 – June 12, 2008

Our trip route - Day 6

Our trip route for Day 6

(click for larger image)
Image courtesty of
KayakSuccor (aka R. Darling)

 

Our last day.  Though I desperately wanted (needed) a shower and I was ready to go home, there’s always that small desire to stay on vacation and run away from everything else in the “real” world.  I knew that when we got home, there’d be chores to do, gear to clean, and Father’s Day preparations, and I really wasn’t very keen on rushing back to that.  We had some paddling to do first!

After a little breakfast we got our gear on and the kayaks in the water with the plan to discover more of Sucia’s wonders.  As we started out of Fossil Bay, the weather was much nicer than what we’d encountered for most of the trip, but the wind was picking up a little as we reached less protected water.  I’m not a hugely experienced paddler so this made me a little nervous, but I tried to swallow my uneasiness and follow R. Darling’s lead.  From Fossil Bay, we paddled across the mouth of Snoring Bay (love that name), peeked around Johnson Pt. and then headed towards Echo Bay, passing the Finger Islands on the way.  There were seals, beautiful wooded islands, eagles, and astonishing cliff faces to draw our eyes up and away from the choppy water.

 

 

(click for larger images)

 

Doesn’t that last photo look like a skull?  Creepy!  After reaching Echo Bay, we pulled the kayaks ashore and had a little break.  A granola bar and plain old water never tasted so good!  The sun was getting warmer despite the wind still blowing a bit, and it had turned into a really lovely morning.  Sucia Island has several spots where very small spits of land separate one side of the island from the other.  We had happened to land very near one of these narrow spots separating Echo Bay on one side and Shallow Bay on the other.  Taking a look at Shallow Bay, we saw that the water was nearly glassy calm on that side and decided it was feasible to carry our kayaks over land to the other bay.  I happened to be all for calmer waters. 

From Shallow Bay we paddled on down towards Little Sucia Island where we caught sight of a very regal bald eagle perched in a tree.  He seemed very unconcerned as we floated on by down below him snapping photos as he sat there.  It was wonderful to be able to get so close to such a majestic creature. 

 

(click for larger image)

 

After seeing our share of Mr. Eagle, we paddled across Fox Cove (this was where we’d watched the sunset the night before) and headed out around Ev Henry Pt. and Wiggins Head on our way back into Fossil Bay.  It was a good 3 hours or so of paddling and we were starved!  While FIL got us under way for the trip back home, we heated up spaghetti from the night before and chowed down.  Then, complete with hot chocolate, we headed up to the flybridge for the rest of the trip home. 

 

Goodbye Sucia!
(click for larger image)

 

So all in all, it was a fantastic trip, even if I didn’t get as much knitting done as I’d hoped ;)  Thanks for keeping me company as I recounted my memories and shared my photos.  It was fun to look back on everything with all of you.  We may not have found Sas and snapped that million dollar photo, but we definitely made million dollar memories.  I don’t think I’m quite done with my Sas dream though.  R. Darling and I decided that there are plenty of hairy Sasquatch-looking guys living around here.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if we bombarded Field & Stream with photos of hairy dudes?   There’s got to be a prize for Honorable Mention or something.  A girl can dream.

Hope you all had a Happy 4th of July!

6

**Our Gulf Islands Trip: Day 5 – June 11, 2008

Our Trip Route - Day 5

Our trip route for Day 5

(click for larger image)
Image courtesty of
KayakSuccor (aka R. Darling)

 

This morning dawned cold and grey (again) as we prepared to leave Ganges and return to the U.S.  By law, you are required to check into US Customs as soon as possible after entering our waters, or you may suffer up to a $10,000 fine.  Yikes!  So you can bet our first stop was Roche Harbor since none of us happened to have that kind of cash just sitting around.  And anyway, if I did, I sure as heck wouldn’t be spending it on customs fines!  Fine customs, maybe.

We reached Roche Harbor (on the northwest corner of San Juan Island) after about an hour of travel and tied up to the Customs dock to await clearance.  My FIL took all our paperwork up to the booth while we waited on board the boat and then came back with a Customs Agent in tow.  The agent asked us if we purchased anything in Canada and when we answered, “Some soap,” I think my FIL almost had a mini-stroke right there on the dock.  “And a bottle of wine,” he quickly interjected as we were laughing with the Customs Agent about the importance of being clean (not like we’d know anything about it, having only had one shower in 5 days).  “Oh right.  And some wine,” we said.  Turns out, FIL had told the Customs Agent about the wine, but didn’t know about the soap, so when our stories didn’t match up he got a little nervous.  ‘Cause you know, R. Darling and me, we look like some pretty shifty characters.  But luckily the Customs Agent didn’t think so and we were free to go.  I’m sure if he’d decided to detain us though, we could have easily overpowered him with our collective stink and gotten away.

As we approached the fuel dock, not a soul was in sight except for Sarge, The Fuel Dog (R. Darling gets credit for that one), who greeted us rather nonchalantly and then via some secrety doggie signal, alerted his human peeps to our need for fuel.  While FIL fueled the boat, we snapped some photos and walked up to the historic grocery building for some refueling ourselves.

 

Sarge, The Fuel Dog

Sarge The Fuel Dog
(click for larger image)

 

Church in Roche Harbor

I loved this adorable white church
(click for larger image)

 

Hotel de Haro

Hotel de Haro
(click for larger image)

 

Roche Harbor Grocery store

The historic grocery building
(click for larger image)

 

And I do believe I mentioned in a previous post that I’m about as mature as an 8 year old and anything to do with poo, or funny names for its disposal is guaranteed to make me laugh.  So for all you fellow 8 year olds, here’s a funny shot of something I saw cruising around in Roche Harbor:

 

The Phecal Phreak

Gotta love that tagline!
(click for larger image)

 

With customs and fuel out of the way, our next stop was Sucia Island.  I decided to ride out the trip in the cabin again because it was just too cold on the flybridge with the boys.  How cold you ask?  Well, when we were in Roche Harbor a local newspaper headline caught our eye:  “Colder Than Siberia!”  It was a sad day to read that headline.  How often is it 61 degrees in Siberia vs. 59 degrees in Seattle?  Brrr…..

By the time we arrived at Fossil Bay on Sucia Island it was starting to warm just slightly.  We tied up to the dock and decided it would be fun to have a look around the island.  It’s a large, hospitable island and I could envision people settling here at the turn of the century.  We did read at some of the vantage points that there had been sandstone mining, homesteading and logging here at various points in time.  In fact, we saw quite a few massive stumps that bore the signs of early logging techniques.  What struck me most was the sheer number of eagles populating the island.  I remember a time, not that many years ago really, when seeing an eagle was a rare and wondrous occasion.  Here, their presence was constant, from massive wingspans soaring across the horizon, to whistling cries in the distance.  I was sorely tempted to take a feather home with me, but it’s illegal for someone non-native to possess one here in the U.S.  Though I am of native descent, I don’t have the proper paperwork to prove it and figured I could do without a fine and a black mark on my record, so I refrained.  But we did take a photo for posterity.  I have to thank FIL for this one as it was his idea to hold them so artistically against the wild roses.

 

Eagle feathers from Sucia Island

 

We saw so many other lovely things on our walk around this charming island.  Sucia was, by far, one of the most enchanting places we visited during our trip.

 

A really interesting rock formation

Hamming it up under a giant madrona tree limb

R. Darling

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But I have saved the best for last!  After our walk, we relaxed at the boat a bit while FIL socialized with the newcomers.  The Park Ranger had arrived and was chatting with him when we noticed something moving around in the water.  Since I love the creatures and all, I had to get closer to investigate and R. Darling busted out the “good” camera just in case.  Swimming around the boats was a river otter.  He appeared unfazed by all us humans hanging out watching him, and seemed very intent on having himself some lunch.  We watched him, fascinated, for quite a while as he swam around catching fish (at one point swimming under the dock beneath my feet and then surfacing so I could hear his breath under my toes) and later, as he climbed onshore to roll in some mysterious ecstasy on a muddy patch of land.  It was really amazing to see one so up close and personal like that.  Sooooo cuuuuuute was all I could say the rest of the day.

 

Mr. Otter

Mr. Otter

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After a nice dinner, we ended our day the way any good day in the islands should end:  with an island sunset…..

 

Sunset on Sucia Island

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