Richardson to Smith Island with June Burn, 1930

Richardson store and oil dock, 1958. Original photo from the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society© “Off to Smith Island with Capt. John Thompson of the little boat JEAN G. Down the slender strips of gravel between rail fences, the island lying trim and narrow north and south, the sea and its islands falling away […]

Richardson to Smith Island with June Burn, 1930 - living-aboard

Richardson to Smith Island with June Burn, 1930 - living-aboard

Richardson to Smith Island with June Burn, 1930 - living-aboard

Richardson store and oil dock, 1958. Original photo from the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©

“Off to Smith Island with Capt. John Thompson of the little boat JEAN G. Down the slender strips of gravel between rail fences, the island lying trim and narrow north and south, the sea and its islands falling away to the east and west. Down into the cup of the island past Hummel Lake, glittering in the sun, the sun on grass, on plowed fields.

The tide is out so that when we reach the dock at Richardson we must climb down spikes driven into a piling and so onto the deck of the Jean G.

The captain takes aboard supplies for the radio and lighthouse tenders on Smith Island. In a few minutes, we are chugging southward towards the isolated dot lying off Whidbey Island, Island County.

On our starboard bow Woody Island (called Buck Island on my map) with its ‘Chateau’ built to hug and straddle and fit the snags of a big gray rock. As we leave the scant protection of Woody and Long Islands to go rolling and plunging into the great swells of Fuca the captain lashes down his tender, his freight and whatever is loose on deck. There is a wind from the southwest to augment the swells so that we do considerable rolling and wallowing, now on top of the long hummock of a wave, now in the cradle between two such peripatetic ridges.

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