Day 2:  Garrison Bay, the reprise…

View to the North
View to the East
View to the South
View to the West

Memorial Day weekend in Garrison Bay… The usual…

As a comparator I offer a snap of Avalon Harbor, our old cruising grounds:

Well… full disclosure… there are anchorages out at Catalina that do not mimic the poster child for human population explosion, especially before Memorial Day and after Labor Day:

Prana, our Hunter 45CC at 4th of July cove in November… quite a while ago.
Heron, our Hunter 49 in 4th of July Cove, Catalina… also November. A few years later
background.  The ecological difference between a Southern California offshore island and Islands within the Salish Sea is remarkable.

The spy and girl delighter, Porgy Tirebiter, said it best when he identified “The Old Same Place” and bespoke that space into infamous glory through the lips and vocal cords of the Firesign Theatre cast.  Ahhh… Firesign Theatre at its best.  A blast from the past and… so is Garrison Bay on San Juan Island.  It has it all.  Good wind protection, excellent holding for the anchor, the old British Fort and grounds, trails to hike…  And, just around the corner via Mosquito Pass:  Roche Harbor, restaurants, fuel and groceries.  Following its siren call, we are drawn into it’s lair, time and again.  So here we are yet again enjoying its tranquil embrace.  What to do today.  First… breakfast… then… a hike.

So… off to the English Camp dock in our hypalon chariot.

Upon arrival

We are greeted by a craven cacophony of chlorophyll!  Catalina… greets you with prickly pickets of drab thorny thickets.  Not this San Juan Island  maven of temperate flora…  No siree!  Onward through the well oxygenated air and a beckoning trail!

The trail to Bell Point…
Harsh Indian Paintbrush scattered amongst the greenery:

An interesting little plant.  Its foliage contains naturally defensive chemicals, iridoid glycosides. Glycosides can be bad…  Think cardiac glycosides as in digitalis lanata.  Kill you it can, in large doses… save your life it can, in small doses. The endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly larvae have developed a tolerance for the glycoside, and love to eat the plant.  The sequestered iridoid glydosides that they eat confers chemical protection against bird predators.  Neato, huh?  The inter-twined-ness of it all…  And… just how did the larvae figure that out. Trial and error over millions of years, or?

The resultant butterfly

Onward! Through a rare break in the trees we see GN at anchor:

We mosey further up the well constructed trail:

And end up at Bell Point with a view out to Westcott Bay home of the famous Westcott Oyster farm:

There are the strangest entities lurking in temperate rain forests.  This looks like an orangutan was trapped inside a Madrone…

My guess is that it is the spirit of the killed pig that sparked the pig war!!

A deer highway:

A monster Madrone Tree:

Ancient Madrone mother tree

And after a 2 mile saunter in the woods we emerge onto the parade grounds of “English Camp” on Garrison Bay:

If you are interested in learning more about English Camp, follow this link:

And… if you are a bit of a history buff… you should read about the Pig War.  Just the name should be enough for you to follow the link:

Well that brings us back to the dock, a dinghy ride back to Great Northern, and lunch:  egg drop soup with a few slivers of Pecorino Romano… and perhaps a nap.  And I wonder… what will this afternoon bring?

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