San Juan Islands sunset

San Juan Island All to Ourselves – James Island Marine State Park

When reviewing the chart, James Island Marine State Park located southeast of Thatcher Pass in the San Juan Islands looks like a jigsaw puzzle piece pulled right off nearby Decatur Head. The hourglass-shaped, rustic and delightfully unimproved island has all the makings of a gorgeous marine park. During the summer the park is popular with…

Stuff Box Basics

Stuffing Box Basics – Seal the Deal Between the Bilge and Sea

Since the year 2000, most new boats have come equipped with shaft seals that require no packing, but inboard powered boats built before then have traditional stuffing boxes with packing. All stuffing boxes work on the same basic principle: Rings of special wax-impregnated flax packing are wrapped snugly around the prop shaft and stuffed into…


The Oyster & Thistle Restaurant & Pub in La Conner, WA – Regional, Scratch and Classic Fare

While touring La Conner Country Inn, I had the pleasure of meeting the owners of The Oyster & Thistle Restaurant & Pub – Thomas and Danielle Palmer. As we talked, I discovered the pair had been a dynamic restaurateur duo in the Skagit Valley for over twenty years. Some of the names of their previous restaurants…


Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar in La Conner, WA – Locally Sourced and Always Delicious

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve written about Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar. So, on my recent trip to La Conner, WA, I went there for dinner. Usually, I sit in the bar area because it is first-come-first-serve and has Happy Hour, which is on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. This time, I sat…


Dripless Shaft Seals – May be Dripless, But Not Maintenance Free

Advocates of dripless shaft seals are quick to point out their benefits over conventional stuffing boxes – no leaks, no flax to replace, no shaft scoring. But, the zinger is always the same. While it’s true dripless shaft seals require less care than a traditional packing gland, nothing on a boat is truly maintenance free.…

DeLorme InReach

Stay in Reach with DeLorme inReach

Several years ago we replaced our satellite phone and SPOT 3 Satellite GPS Tracker with a DeLorme inReach Explorer Two-Way Satellite Communicator with Built-in Navigation. The DeLorme inReach takes satellite tracking/messaging to the next level with two-way and full global coverage through the Iridium satellite system. I’ll spare you all the details and the many options…

Eagle Cliff Viewpoint

Cypress Island – Hike One of the San Juan Island’s Last Undeveloped Islands

The aroma of brewing coffee filled the cabin as we enjoyed the morning sunlight on board our boat Easy Goin’ moored on a buoy in Eagle Harbor on the east side of Cypress Island. Although there are few anchorages on this island, it’s one of the last undeveloped spots to visit in the San Juans and…