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Blake Island

March 29-30, 2014« More activities from 2014

20 Scouts and 9 adults met at the Harbor Island Marina docks by 7:30am to take part in a campout on Blake Island. We loaded our gear and boarded the "Baltic Sea", owned and operated by Jack Miller (of Husky Deli fame). We were underway and cruising through the Duwamish Waterway by about 8:15am. It was pretty cool to pass right under the West Seattle Freeway and lower bridge.

Though it had been raining all morning, the rain stopped by the time we got to Blake Island at about 9:15am. We unloaded all of our gear to the dock and watched the "Baltic Sea" head back out into Puget Sound. We then moved our gear to the campsite with the aid of 3 wheelbarrows stored at the dock. We had reserved the large group campsite (G1) on the northeast corner of the island just south of Tillicum Village. It was a very nice campsite with green grass, an adirondack that sleeps 8, 2 large metal food caches, lots of picnic tables, 2 campfire bowls, and a pit toilet. Potable water was easy to get from nearby water spigots too.

We setup our tents in time for a visit from the park ranger. He told us about the park rules, interesting things to see and do on the island, and the different kinds of wildlife we might get to see. He also warned us to be careful with our food and garbage as the many raccoons on the island are very aggressive. We made a plan to not keep any of our food in our tents or packs, and instead keep it all on the food caches.

We got our dining flies setup just before it started raining, and then got to work on lunch. Adults had a nice hot dutch oven vegetarian chili. Scouts had sandwiches and of course the infamous pizza bagels.

With a lucky afternoon sun break, we decided to head back down to the docks to try a little fishing. No bites that afternoon, but we did get a chance to see the resident Canadian geese and black-tailed deer hanging out near the ranger station. We also took the dry opportunity to hike some of the inner-island trails, and made it back to camp just as it began raining again. It rained on and off for the rest of the day, and with the amount of rain fall on and flowing through our campsite, our well-travelled cooking areas quickly became quite muddy.

The rain did not dampen our spirits however. The Allatuna and Spartans Patrols cashed in their prizes from winning the last two Troop Dutch Oven Cook-offs, so adults cooked their dinners and desserts. They were treated to dutch oven Jambalaya and lasagna as well as cherry berry cobbler and chocolate banana bread pudding. Three other Patrols made dutch oven desserts including banana bread, pineapple upside-down cake, and cinnamon rolls, so we decided to share all the desserts.

Raccoons rolled through camp looking for food once most people were in their tents. Hopefully, we did a good job cleaning up and stowing all of our food and garbage in the food caches.

We woke to a beautiful sunny Sunday morning and began working on breakfast. Adults ate a delicious dutch oven egg bake, while Scouts had eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, and bagels. After eating, we stowed most of our gear, cleaned up our food and garbage, and got ready for a 5 mile hike around the island on the beach. It took us about an hour and 45 minutes to circumvent the whole island, but we saw lots of cool stuff including shells, anemones, more raccoons, eagles, otters, and even a small cave.

After a late lunch back at camp, we finished stowing our gear and breaking down our dining flies, shuttling gear to the dock, and sweeping camp. The "Baltic Sea" arrived just after 3pm and we loaded our gear in record time so that we were able to get underway by about 3:30pm.

With the wind at our backs and the sun shining, we had a very pleasant trip back to Seattle and up the Duwamish. We were back at the dock by about 4:30pm to meet parents and unload our gear. We loaded up our cars and said goodbye to Jack just before it started raining again.

A brave few led by our Quartermaster drove the Troop gear back to the church, hung the tents and tarps to dry, and put gear away in the Scout room. – MHG

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