Posts Tagged ‘island life’

IMG_1463Protection Island is only about 380 acres and the beaches are off limits during the summer due to nesting birds and seals. We try to walk as much as possible but sometimes we have too much to carry.  We mostly use a little S10 pickup truck that gets the job done.

Today we harvested 8 five gallon buckets of daffodil bulbs.  I may be broken but I took an aspirin and can’t tell.


Yesterday I got to drive the Ranger to meet US Fish and Wildlife visitors at the marina.


This morning we got to troubleshoot, and looks like we fixed, the 25 hp secondary motor on the boat.  We need it as a backup and it wasn’t running well. We checked and cleaned the spark plugs. A very useful tip I learned a few years ago is a credit card is 0.030 inches, which can be used to roughly check the gap on most spark plugs when you are on an island without an auto parts store nearby.  We checked the compression (look at us!) and tested to see if the motor was getting enough fuel by squeezing the bulb to see if it made a difference. Either the spark plugs were dirty or there was something that had to pass through the carburetor because we ran it at throttle and it purred. We’re back in business.

Rainy weather is coming so we may have to play indoors for a few days.




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I am trying to get better shots of the wildlife. We walked down to the marina and were greeted by this eagle along the cliffs.


Harlequin ducks took off when we got to the dock.

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A lone loon has been hanging out in the harbor. We haven’t heard its call because it probably gets drowned out by all the squawking seagulls.

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We’ve seen a couple of tufted puffins on the water. So cute.


Next week this relic of a truck is going to leave the island along with the van on the hill that serves as a blind for the researchers. They think the van has just enough brake fluid to make it down the hill to the marina one last time.



But here’s the real news. I wanted to be able to dock the boat in the slip before the end of the May. I used to be a sailboat snob. Sailors need to know about the wind, currents and of course the rules of the road.  I thought power boaters just had to turn a key and needed no real knowledge of seamanship. But it’s all about the takeoff and landing. Maneuvering in open water is a piece of cake. Docking, not so much.

Last week, I spent a couple of hours practicing docking in our little marina; no other boats, no observers. Today I tried, for the third time, to dock at the marina on the mainland (whose name I will withhold) in a tiny little slip with a narrow approach. The first time, I somehow ended up perpendicular to the dock and had to turn the helm over to Tim. I was disheartened. That prompted me to invest in an online course on docking a single engine outboard. It seems I had it easy with a sailboat. We had a keel, a big rudder and an inboard engine. Make a turn and that’s the way the boat tracks. Powerboats slip sideways along the water and are not as straight forward. And of course neither have brakes.

I would dream about my approach to the slip when I slept. The second time, I allotted myself two tries. I missed the slip both times, but in a more controlled fashion. Today I was ready to give it two tries again. But I did it smoothly the first try!  I let out a whoop as Tim tied us to the dock. Well it must have been heard by our slip neighbor a few boats away because when I took the boat out later in the day, he and a friend applauded my seamanship! I have to remember everyone had to learn sometime.

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