Friday, October 09, 2015

Summer Camp on Lopez Island

Chris has three siblings and a few weeks ago we got together for the first-ever Team J Summer Camp.

In true Seattle fashion it rained. Blast! Such it life, right? It wasn’t too big a deal but I was so hopeful for one last gorgeous summer hurrah.

Chris’ brother and his wife were the true champs of the weekend as they flew down from Alaska to join the party. I think next year we owe it to them to all head north or find a place that’s out of town for all of us.

We spent our weekend on Lopez Island in the San Juans. Megan and Eric brought their boat and the highlight of the weekend was hauling crabs for a magnificent feast on Saturday night.

Here’s Megan stuffing fish heads into the bait trap.

We got Ben his own crab license and he was proud to contribute ‘his’ crabs to the party.

This was the last weekend of Dungeness crabbing for the season so we weren’t sure if we were going to be successful. There was a lot of trepidation pulling up that first pot.

Success! Sorry little buddy. 

All hands on deck. And watch your fingers! Chris and Alex learn the fine art of detangling crabs from Eric. Ben (true to form) is supervising. 

Nope, that’s a female. Throw her back into the water. Go free little lady and make lots of new tasty crab babies. 

What about this guy?

He’s a male so he’s fair game for harvesting.

Measuring the shell to see if he’s big enough:

Yep, we have a winner loser! Into the bucket you go.

Katherine was one of our resident crabbing experts. She got to sit back and laugh at our newbie attempts to not get pinched. I’m happy to report we’re still in possession of all our fingers. 

This kid. He doesn’t know it yet, but he won the lottery when it comes to aunties and uncles. 

 I like this one best. What do you think they’re talking about?

World peace? Donald Trump’s domestic policy? The state of the Chinese economy?

 And then: we ate! And ate, and ate, and ate. And then we took crab home and ate it for two more dinners. Thank you crabbies, for providing us with a feast.

Greg ate the rest of us under the table.  The sun has set, the diners are gone, the dishes are washed, and still Greg is going strong. King of crab.

One thing we’ve started doing for vacations is assigning cooks to specific meals. So Chris and I took lunch, Eric and Megan did dinner, and Alex picked Sunday breakfast. Each person is responsible for bringing food for the group, cooking it, and then doing dishes. Everyone else gets to sit back and relax (and eat!). 

Greg and Katherine, for their meal, introduced us to the horrible-sounding but shockingly delicious breakfast pasta. Think noodles, eggs, and bacon all rolled into one. 

Actually scratch that. Don’t even think about it because there is no way it’ll sound appetizing in your mind. Just know that it was fantastic. 

The one thing we definitively proved is that little Emma is a champion lounger. The girl can relax anywhere. 

We took a day trip into Friday Harbor (on San Juan Island). It’s a nice little town to hang out in, have dinner, and eat an ice cream cone. Chris and I went there a few years ago (our first trip after Ben was born) and especially enjoyed our hotel, 123 West

Ben made friends with the resident harbor seal. 

Photo bomb!

Ben gets a little biology lesson courtesy of his Uncle Eric. 

We also met a sea urchin. 

I am of two minds when it comes to sea urchins. I stepped on one once and having someone dig the spikes out of my foot is one of the most painful events I’ve ever experienced. That, and giving birth. :)

I suppose it wasn’t a fantastic day for the sea urchin, either.

All too soon it was time to pack up and hit the road. 

We were one of the very last cars on the ferry boat; if you’re traveling to the San Juans, be sure to carefully read up on the new reservation system. Some of the islands (like Lopez) don’t allow for pre-booking on the eastbound route. Lesson learned. 



[Many thanks to Eric and Alex for all the photos. xo]