Work Party and Closing the Lighthouse

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Well, the summer has flown by and yesterday marked the final work party of the season and the closing of the lighthouse for the coming winter.

Before our group took off from Orcas in the pouring rain yesterday, we received a safety talk from Ranger, Steve Sabine, and Ranger Liz skillfully  transported us over to Patos Island. At the lighthouse, Team Leader, Sandy, checked us in and gave out work assignments for the day.

Miraculously, the rain had stopped (a common occurrence on Patos Island) and as some headed off for  trail maintenance and campsite cleaning, others stayed near the lighthouse for sidewalk clearing and the never-ending task blackberry removal.

I spent the day in the lighthouse, sorting, cleaning, and packing up for the winter.

All packed up

All packed up

At lunchtime as we gathered to share food, stories, and amazing views from the lighthouse, Tom spotted Humpback Whale, a rare sight for visitors to Patos Island.

After our day of work, we met Steve and Liz back at Minnie’s Beach for the trip back to Orcas Island. But not so fast! About 2/3rd the way back, the Sea Bass’s engine conked out and after futile attempts to restart her, a small State Parks boat was called over from Sucia Island to tow us in.

All’s well that ends well and we were all back in time to catch our ferries to Lopez and Anacortes.

A great big thank-you to participants, Sandy E, Patty, Mike, Tom, Duane, Rhea, Sandy B, and as always, Sucia State Park Rangers, Steve and Liz. (and our rescuers from Sucia!)

That’s it for this posting…enjoy the pictures of our amazing closing day!IMG_9633

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