Blessed Lady

This is the cruising blog of the sailing yacht Mabrouka. The Favorites in the side bar allow those with discriminating taste to filter for just the stuff you want to read. Thanks for visiting, Roy.

13 September 2015
21 August 2015
21 August 2015
20 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Mazatlan Marina, Mazatlan Mexico
13 April 2015 | Off Club Nautico, Mazatlan Commercial Harbor, Mazatlan, MX
15 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
13 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
25 January 2015
06 January 2015 | Mazatlan, MX
24 December 2014 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
24 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
22 December 2014
21 December 2014
18 December 2014 | Playa Isla de la Piedra, Mazatlan, MX
18 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
15 December 2014 | Ensenada des los Muertos, Mexico

Death on Cypress Island

21 August 2013 | Eagle Harbor at Cypress Island, WA
Roy / Sunny and warm
Night sky over Eagle HarborI had returned to Eagle Harbor and stayed for a couple of days not only because I like the tranquil bay and the lush forest ashore, but because it takes me back to one of my earliest explorations of the San Juans with my three daughters. Lisa and I went ashore here to explore and, though we didn't go far, we enjoyed what we saw. I intended to go further today and ended up with a few interesting adventures.

My first was a brush with death before I even left the boat. Luckily, the death wasn't mine, although my imagination led me to think it might have been. Carol, it's all your fault. That soup you gave me was great. I've enjoyed a couple of mid-day meals appreciating it, but at least one yellow jacket did NOT. I'd heated up a bowlful and sat down in the cockpit to slurp it up when one of the buzzy little buggers (they fly rampant around here) decided to sample the fare. In trying to swish him away from the soup, I'm afraid I swished him into it and had to extricate him with my spoon. He was a little soggy, so I left him to recuperate on the deck while I had a few bites myself. I looked down not thirty seconds later and the poor dude was on its back, legs curled towards the sky.

Yep. I poked him with my spoon and he was dead as a doornail. Having consumed some of the (I imagined) deadly stew already, I waited to see if I felt a similarly fatal compulsion and wondered if someone would come across my boat to find me curled up, legs skyward too in a couple of days. Nope, you're off the hook, Carol. No serial killer reputation for you. It must have been the heat, not the content. Whew!

Cypress Island is known for its wooded hiking trails that lead you to scenic lakes and overlooks with expansive views toward the San Juan Islands. I set off after surviving lunch to try out the Duck Lake loop trail. Thinking I'd end up in Smugglers Cove, I turned instead toward Duck Lake, opting for the shorter loop over the middle of the island rather than the out and back trip that would have been a mile or two longer. That decision put me in the right spot in the universe at just the right time to catch this dragonfly hovering over the lily pads.

DragonflyHiking along the trail, I was reminded of a local author by the name of Clyde Ford (see Thrilling Detective) whose main protagonist is a retired USCG officer and up and coming detective, Charlie Noble. Charlie lives and works out of his boat at Bellingham Harbor and often finds that the San Juan Islands have become settings for death and skullduggery. In particular, Cypress is a waypoint for human trafficking in the book Precious Cargo, with illegal immigrants being marched over the same trail I was hiking, a few of them ending up as crab bait right where I was anchored. Oooohhhhh. Here was death looming its ugly head twice in one day!

But wait, there's more! Early in the hike I took a short side trail to a nice little bay just north of Eagle Harbor. The scenic islands and Cascade vista to the east caught my attention and, as you'll see in the Eagle Harbor at Cypress Island sub-album under Local Cruising - 2013, I took several panoramic pictures from there. The macabre bit come as you look at the picture below.

Skeleton Island

Look closely at the tree on the left. Is that a skeleton hanging there? I was curious enough to row out to and around the islet after I returned from my hike. Here's a closer shot I took from the dink.

Skeleton TreeNow is THAT a freaky thing to see after dealing with dying yellow jackets and fictional murderers? Don't worry, it's only rubber, ...I'm PRETTY sure. Someone has a sick sense of humor, though.
Vessel Name: Mabrouka
Vessel Make/Model: CT-41
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Roy Neyman
Mabrouka and I have been partners in crime since October 1998, hanging about in West Coast waters, first in San Diego, then in Seattle. All of that time we've lived together aboard. [...]
I've called this blog "Blessed Lady" because that's my preferred translation from Arabic for "Mabrouka". She's a 1980 CT-41, one of several clones of the original Bill Garden design Mariner ketches. At 50 feet from the tip of her mizzen boom to the tip of her bow sprit, she's 16 tons of [...]
Mabrouka's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 10 of 10
On the streets of Freemont
Street art edited.
Elvis the stuffed cat is a memento of my daughters at the age of about 5.  The peace sign was a gift from good friend, Karyn Borcich.  Thanks to both!
This is Swan as I knew him, though in a more rugged environment than we ever shared.  We usually met at the coffee shop or at Voula
This is of Swan as I would also like to have known him, ...cigarettes, cameras and wine.
This is Steve hosting our Elliott Bay Design Group company picnic at his vacation home in Darington.
I never went fishing with Steve, although he let me try out his fly casting rig in the river by his house during one of the company picnics he hosted.  I
The winter slip on Lake Union
Temporary raft up with Molly Bella near my old slip at Stimson Marina
This album shares photos from mainland and Baja Mexico.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 1 March 2015
The beginning of the South Pacific cruise, heading to San Diego and Mexico
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 15 August 2014
Killing time with local sailing and projects before heading south with the Coho Ho Ho cruiser's rally
56 Photos
Created 29 June 2014
Kathy and Karyn (with a "Y") used me as an excuse for a party. I was just fine with that!
25 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
On Lake Union where Mabrouka and I spent the winter
20 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
Shakedown cruise to Port Townsend
7 Photos
Created 25 May 2014
Gunkholing in the Seattle area, with me and Mabrouka getting our sea legs back under us.
50 Photos | 28 Sub-Albums
Created 14 April 2013
Custom made sailing skiff hand-built by NW School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, WA
18 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Pre-retirement cruising pics
27 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Photos accompanying Projects blogs.
43 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 12 March 2013