D'Wanda Whiteon Dec 03
I lived on the island from January 1966 until June 1968.
My husband was in the Coast Guard. There were two other
families there with us - a Boatswain's Mate First Class and a
Seaman. The island was beautiful. We fished and watched
the Orca pods swim by and play. We also watched the ferries
go by on their way to Victoria, BC and Vancouver. A fascinating
thing was watching the planes from NAS Whidbey Island do
their bombing practice on a cluster of rocks in the water
straight out from the island. It looked like they were dropping
bags of flour and we could hear the "WHOMP" as they hit.
There were three dwellings on the station when we were
there. The O-I-C had a separate house, with a bomb shelter
in the basement. The other dwelling was a huge house divided
into two parts. Each part had two bedrooms, huge bath
and storage on the second floor. There was also a complete
attic above that, with a rope ladder in case of an emergency.
The main level had foyer, living room, dining room, pantry,
kitchen, and an enormous laundry room complete with
double sinks and folding table. The basement was also
completely finished with work benches. The Coast Guard
furnished the house, including washer and dryer, vacuum
cleaners, and all the paper products and cleaning materials.
The men rotated shifts, and every third week was their
weekend off. If weather was good they rode into town in one
of the boats - either a 25-ft cabin or an 11-ft skiff with the one
doing the mail pick-up. The ones leaving for the weekend
returned on the next Monday with the mail pick-up. We
brought our newborn daughter home in February 1968 in
cabin boat. It was cold and rough.
Our communication with the world was by radio. That is how
my husband learned he was the father of a daughter. The
enlisted families alternated laundry days, and if the fog horn
was going neither family did laundry or used their oven. The
power drain was too much for the diesels. You could hear them
lug down. After the first initial blasts we had to stop to hear
the fog horn, it became a background noise.
I would love to go back and just walk around and take pictures.
It is a beautiful place, and I have some great memories of
our time spent there. I had a cat when we lived there -
she was a great mouser. But, when it came time to leave,
she was out on a hunt and we couldn't wait. I have often
wondered if maybe another cat found its way and she wasn't