Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Camping Blake

Things that I learned while boat camping on Blake Island last weekend...

Herons enjoy hanging out in marinas, and are somewhat not bothered by people walking by.

It is a chore to ferry the camping gear to shore, but you can't beat the view.

Our gear can fit in smaller campsites if we turn the tent backwards and leave the screened-in space folded down.

If you are going to camp in full sun, don't forget sunscreen.

Camping by the open water means there are little to no mosquitoes... but no matter how warm the day is, everything becomes damp overnight.

The lack of mosquitoes is entirely worth the dampness.

If you're camping in the summer sun, pack a buff or baseball hat, soak it in cold water and stick it on your head for instant air conditioning.

Morning fog makes coffee taste better.

Contrary to my phobia of water, I seriously enjoy rowing a small boat over calm surfaces.

Camping on a small island means no cars, but that does not necessarily equate to a peaceful campground on a Saturday night.

If a guy is wearing a lobster hat on his head and drinking his 5th beer in a half hour, just ignore him.  It's not your fault his attempt at joking no longer makes sense.

I can actually sleep even when my tent butts up against the next door neighbors as long as I have earplugs.

Foam earplugs are worth ten thousand times their weight in gold.

Camping on a small island means no bears, so you don't have to worry about your gear being torn apart.

Camping in a state park filled with raccoons means you do need to invest in good rubbermaid and bungee cords.

If you turn your back on the picnic table after sundown - even for a second - your leftovers will be stolen.

Raccoons apparently do not enjoy the taste of cell phones sitting on the picnic table next to the leftovers.

Bring bleach cleaner or handi-wipes... even if you pack the food away, you'll still wake up to little raccoon paw prints on your table.

Starfish like the same kind of bait that crabs do.

Crab tastes best when it is immediately fresh.

If you leave a bottle of red wine in a rubbermaid container in the sun, it will warm to the point where wine seeps out around the cork.

Drinking too much of the non-ruined red wine will make you feel dehydrated in the middle of the night, which really sucks when the nearest water involves a walk through raccoon infested campgrounds with a flashlight that burns out halfway there.

My daughter is gaining on me in height.

Take your food out of it's original packaging, put it all in ziploc bags, and pack it that way (double bag for meat in the cooler) - it reduces the amount of space it takes up in your containers, and reduces the amount of trash you have at the campsite.

If you decide to use coin operated showers, bring something to pad your feet... the mats in the showers are exceedingly painful to stand on after 3 minutes.

Don't forget a thermos travel mug for coffee, because a regular cup cools too quickly and doesn't fit in the camp chair cup holders.

If I don't have a mirror, I have no idea how badly I'm sunburned, so I go ahead and allow pictures to be taken of me.

Yes, as a matter of fact it is entirely worth it to haul 20+ pounds of camera gear on the boat.

Seagulls apparently do not like bald eagles.  Bald eagles apparently don't give a shit.

If you go to the bathroom, bring your camera... you never know who you'll come across on your journey.

Keep your camera set to the current lighting conditions, on the off chance that you catch a native fishing.

When you hear a lot of bird calls, look up... there is a reason for the noise.

Seeing large birds of prey flying still makes my heart skip a beat.

If a dream wakes you in the middle of the night on a full moon, get up and look outside - you might just see something that takes your breath away.