Jun 252012

“Did you know you would be spending over six hours on Yellow Island Monica?” asked Phil.

“Why yes!”

(he smiled and looked very surprised)

Who is Phil you ask?

Well, to me, he is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. Ever.

You see, Phil lives here on Yellow Island which is one of many islands here in the San Juan Islands.  He lives in a cottage, by the sea, that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale. He has lived here for not one, not two – but 14 years and he helps take care of Yellow Island for the Nature Conservancy.

“It’s just the seals and I,” he tells me when I mention to him how wonderful it must be to live here.

Of course he has a boat to reach Orcas Island but just for a moment, try and imagine his life here as I take you through my day on Yellow Island.

Skipper Ward Fay of Northwest Classic Day Sailing brought me to Yellow Island so I could photograph the wooden sailboat race that had its course plotted around the island of which hubby and little B were participating in.  Access here is via boat (there are no docks) or kayak. 

Prior to the race, Skipper Ward took us on a beautiful cruise in the San Juan Islands aboard “Aura.”  He showed us many breathtaking places and even let B take the helm.  Oh the thrill B had knowing that “Aura’s” destination was completely in his little hands.

I spent my day on Yellow Island photographing the boats as they sailed by and taking in the stunning landscape of this magical island.

When my day was over and we arrived back at the Airstream I couldn’t stop thinking of all the beautiful colors of the wild flowers that surrounded me during my stay on Yellow Island. With inspiration from those colors I put together a colorful salad and baked a cherry clafoutis for dinner.

Classic Northwest Daysailing
~Skipper Ward and B

~ Aura and Skipper Ward well on their way . . .

~ Just one of many pathways to serenity you will find here on Yellow Island

Yellow Island, WA State

~beautiful wooden kayaks on the shore of Yellow Island

~ Kayakers paddling past Yellow Island

~ Phil’s Cabin

~ Fava beans from the Orcas Island farmer’s market

view of Yellow Island from the top of Turtleback Mtn, Orcas Island
~ Yellow Island as seen from the top of Turtleback Mtn., Orcas Island, WA

~ Yellow Island as seen from the water

~ Cherry Clafoutis fresh out of my Airstream oven

~Beautiful “Aura”

~ Phil waving good-bye :)

It was the perfect ending to a day that I am certain I will never forget.

Thank you Skipper Ward Fay for the incredible day!  Not only did we enjoy viewing the islands through a different perspective, I was able to enjoy my day on Yellow Island.

You can find the Clafoutis recipe here and as for the salad?  I used Tom Thumb lettuce that I grew in my home garden, watercress, quickly blanched fava beans, sliced red onions and grape tomatoes. The magic happens with the basil oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Basil oil is simple — just a handful of b
asil and 1/2 cup of olive oil and give it a whir in your blender. Don’t forget to add some salt and voila — you have a delicious oil you can use on anything from salads to soups or mix in with sour cream for a delicious dip.

Bon appetit!

  11 Responses to “The Wonders of Yellow Island and a Wooden Sailboat Race”

  1. LOVELY!!!

  2. As usual, you photographs are amazing! The one of the kayakers paddling past the island with the red flowers in the foreground is simply stunning. My husband and I recently departed from the northeast in our airstream with the intention of reaching the pacific northwest sometime in the fall. Through your blog I have fallen in love with the Orcas Islands and can’t wait to visit them in person. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Amanda, I am so happy that I am able to inspire you to come and visit the islands. We love it here so much and always find ourselves coming back again and again. There is just something so special about these islands :) Thank you so much for your kind words and please do keep me posted about your journey here!

  4. Hello again! Loved this post about Yellow Island. We live a bit north of Friday Harbor and Yellow Island is visible from our deck. I always heard how “yellow” it was in the spring, but I’ve never seen it like that. It almost looked like some Indian Paintbrush in one of your pictures. Are they? We need to sail over there one of these days. (if it ever gets to be summer!)

  5. Hi Joy :) You are right — those tall red flowers you see in a majority of the photos are in fact Indian Paintbrush. There were so many wildflowers there that I couldn’t stop photographing. Believe me when I say this post could have been much, much longer :) You must have a beautiful view from your home if you can see Yellow Island. What a special place to live :) xoxo

  6. I am a boat captain based out of Friday Harbor. I found your card on our boat yesterday, and was delighted to be introduced to your blog site – a feast for the eyes with your beautiful images! Very nicely done. When not cruising on our boat, we spend time traveling with our RV, also. I pass by Yellow Island several times a week and had a happenstance meeting with Phil at the laundromat in Friday Harbor. Nice guy.

    We are from south Texas, but enjoy spending the summer in the San Juan Islands. If you find yourself in Friday Harbor, stop by San Juan Safaris; my wife works in the office, I am on the boats. It would be a treat to meet you.

    Best wishes,
    Captain Jim

  7. Hi Captain Jim! Thank you for your nice words about my site! Next time I am on Island, which should be this weekend I will make it a point to come by and say hello! Looking forward :)

  8. So fun to run into your blog this afternoon. We are island bound in a few days for a full week of bliss on San Juan and I cannot wait. ❈ Loving your “Island” series and will be back for the next installment. -Jen
    P.S. We are just back from camping at Kalaloch. You’ll have to put it on your list. Our children had an amazing time at Beach 4 (great tide pools) and Ruby Beach (Driftwood fort building). So beautiful.

  9. Hi Jen, I hope you have fun up in the Islands! A whole week — wow — lucky you :) Thank you so much for the tip on Kalaloch, will definitely check it out! xoxo

  10. Monica, my friend Colleen sent me to your site and I’m so glad she did! I’m so impressed with your adventurous spirit and your bravery in doing something about it! Gonna keep following your posts to keep my Airstream dreams alive. :)

  11. Tell Colleen hello and thank you for sharing my site :) It is my #1 mission with J5MM to inspire and I am so happy to hear you enjoy it. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me! I had to smile :)

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