In between houseguests we took a quick trip with the family this weekend. We have some very nice friends who own a house on Harstine Island who let us stay at their place while they were vacationing in Colorado. We had a fabulous time!
Thursday afternoon we loaded up the car with kids, clothes, and sleeping bags. Hitched up the fishing boat full of crab pots, and fishing gear and headed south on I-5, west on 101 and north on Hwy 3. We arrived just in time to unload the car and eat our pre-made dinner of BBQ pork sandwiches before heading out on a nice hike around the northern tip of the island.
Dave had been to the house before and had taken the opportunity to hike the area and knew exactly where to take us. We walked down to the waters edge (high tide--no beach to walk on) and then back up to the bluff overlooking the water. We hiked along the bluff enjoying the beautiful eastern views of the Key Peninsula, soft twittering of the birds and the occassional deer on the trail. The kids LOVED seeing the deer who would just stand there and look at you if you were still enough. They were beautiful. Our hike ended at the very tip of the island where we discovered a lagoon and small park where the kids played on swings and did pull ups and races across the monkey bars. We walked the road back to the house to have cake and presents for Heath who turned 13 earlier in the week.
Friday morning the three youngest kids and I spent a few hours on the beach- me reading, them searching for crabs and digging in the muddy sand- while Dave and Heath hunted down a bait shop and launched the boat. While on the beach Kirkham spotted a weasel in the bushes!
Dave and Heath picked us up from the beach and unfortunately pulled the boat a little too close to shore, a big problem when the water is shallow and the tide is going out. The boat got stuck for a short while but we were able to wiggle and push and turn and slide the boat back into the deeper water before our day was destroyed by the fast retreating tide.
We took a nice ride around the island, dropping our crab pots along the way. We also spotted a few Sea Lions playing in the kelp and seaweed floating on the waters surface. The water was calm and the sun was bright, it was a very enjoyable ride.
As we approached the southern tip of the island Dave spotted some dorsal fins popping out of the water. We slowed the boat and waited to see them again. We were rewarded for our patience with a really great show of Harbor Porpoises. We were never able to get really close and they were much to fast to get a picture of but it was great fun to watch the water for the fins and count at least 8 different porpoises in the waters surrounding the boat. VERY COOL! We all loved it.
After the drive we spent some time at the community pool. The kids played, Dave and I read. We went back to the house for dinner and then went back out on the boat to get our crab pots and do some fishing. We caught one measly red rock crab (I think someone pulled our pot and jacked our crabs) and one teeny minnow (can't blame that on anyone) but we had a lot of fun.
Saturday we did some more boating, beachcombing, swimming and of course cleaning up to go home. We had a great time out there. We enjoyed being together, seeing wildlife, and having fun. Objective accomplished, time to go home.