Adventures with the Seattle Yacht Club
This simple cabin on Jones Lagoon near Jackson’s Beach was a surveyor’s office back in 1971. One of the surveyors was a former Commodore of the Seattle Yacht Club living on San Juan Island, and was asked to interview myself and the mrs. for the position as caretakers for the club’s Henry Island Outstation. We had moved to San Juan Island only a few months before and Phyllis was pregnant with our first child.
The Henry Island Outstation was relatively new to the club, and had had only one other couple serving there, islander Rob Erickson’s parents, whom we replaced. This outstation was, at the time, the only SYC facility in the San Juans, and consisted of the house, docks, and twenty acres of wilderness through which I established a nature trail for the enjoyment of club members.
We actually ended up serving the SYC on Henry Island two different times, and I sometimes have dreams that I’ve returned yet again. The life there was challenging but very unique. The club had recently had OPALCO power installed on the property, so we not only had a very comfortable four bedroom brick home with hardwood floors, and leaded glass French doors into the dining and living rooms, but electric heat and lights. Water was from a cistern and dug well, put in when the house was built in the 1930’s by Henry Bressler, a retired boat builder. This opulent house was unusual for one of the outer islands, and only a portion of the basement was used as a club house and showers for the SYC, the other two floors were ours to use exclusively. My brother Dick and his wife, Phyllis’s sister Linda, were caretakers on nearby Spieden Island at the same time during our second tour of duty on Henry Island, so we had similar jobs, coming and going to our island homes by boat.