Evening stars shone brighter with every stroke of the oars as we circumnavigated the 70-acre island after sunset. Rowing around Frost Island in a 9-foot dinghy in the middle of winter is possible, if the wind and waves are calm. Bundle in warm clothing, keeping a sharp lookout for passing ferries and powerboats. They can leave steep waves behind them and it’s prudent to cross their wakes at a 45-degree angle. Sailboats, like the SV Dirigo below, leave a much smaller wake astern.
Photo courtesy of San Juan Classic Day Sailing
Lean over the side of a small boat at low tide, but not too far, and discover the invertebrate sea life inhabiting the San Juan Islands. Thirty species of starfish live on the seafloor covered with rocks, shells, gravel, and hard sand in the inter-tidal zone of the Pacific Northwest. These sea stars, as they are becoming more popularly called, sport a variety of colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. And various shapes, from the Sunflower Star with an abundance of legs—to the lacy Basket Star that resembles a doily—to the web-legged Bat star shown in this photo.
This photo was taken underwater through a dive mask. If this photo had been taken on the beach, each of these creatures would’ve tucked themselves out-of-sight inside their shells.
Tony, my nature photographer husband, captured these photos. Didn’t he do an amazing job taking the above close-up photos of God’s creation?
Frost Island was named for John Frost, the boatswain of the Porpoise, a vessel of the Wilkes Expedition (1838-1842). The private island consists of 15 waterfront properties whose owners share a 12-acre common area, water system, and dock. Access to the island is by water taxi or private vessel. No electricity, motor vehicles, or small planes here! Most residents have built vacation homes or cabins, heating their showers and lighting their lamps with propane. Others own a yurt, teepee, or tent platform. All have outhouses.
At the lower left of this aerial photo is the tip of Spencer Spit and the narrow channel that separates Frost Island from popular Spencer Spit State Park situated on the northeast corner of Lopez Island. At high tide, small runabout motorboats transit this small passageway to and from Lopez Sound to the delight of those ashore. Vessels anchor or moor to the park buoys on either side of Spencer Spit, giving boaters easy access to the picnic shelter, historic clam-shelling shack made of driftwood, and an opportunity to beach comb.
Photo courtesy of the Washington State Dept. of Ecology
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 – NKJV)
Thank you for reading!