A Beautiful Day Visiting the Wildflowers on Decatur Island

May has brought some spectacular weather and Mother’s Day was the perfect day to go kayaking down to the Kimball Preserve at the tip of Decatur Island. We’d been told that the wildflowers were in full bloom so we went down to see them ourselves….and they did not disappoint!

I’m not a skilled kayaker so I watch the tides and try to paddle when they are going in my direction (both ways). This particular day was one of the lowest tides of the year at a -2.3 going to a 9.1 so a lot of water was moving through our small channel. Luckily, we caught it just as it was entering the “slack” period and were able to minimize our struggle with the currents. We fought it a little going down but coming back up was great. The total trip covers less than two nautical miles but if you’re fighting a strong current, it can get very exhausting!

Once we got to the lagoon, the hardest part was navigating the soft mud due to the tide being out so far. We pulled our kayaks up on the sand and slogged our way to the beach to begin our hike. Right away we encountered waves of flowers. So pretty!!

I have a real fondness for the blue camas and loved seeing them all over the meadowland areas. Hiking the trails took us to some amazing vistas where we could see the lovely Olympic Mountains, still covered in snow and look down Rosario Strait towards Mount Rainier.

It’s amazing to have such a beautiful place so close and accessible! I’m so grateful to the Kimball Family who long ago donated this beautiful area for us all to enjoy….

The islands have a number of other preserves you can visit by either water taxi or private boat.

Posted on May 14, 2020 at 7:02 pm
Sarah Jones | Category: Island Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

2nd Homes Can Be A Great Deal (tax-wise)

Doesn't everybody yearn for a 2nd home?…. A beautiful place to go and do nothing but relax and spend time with friends and family…drinking nice wine, eating yummy food and reading those books you've always wanted to have time to read.


Unfortunately, it's often hard to justify the expense of a 2nd home when the upkeep of the primary residence sometimes seems overwhelming.

As someone who traded in my primary residence to live in my "2nd" home on a full-time basis, I understand this dilemma all too well, but did you know there are some awesome tax benefits to having a second home? For one thing, interest is deductible for your first 1.1 million in debt. (you can buy a darn nice home for 1.1 million) Also, if you rent it out for less than 14 days/year, you don't have to pay taxes on that rental income….cool! If you yourself use it for less than 14 days/year, the vacation home is considered a business and up to $25,000 in losses can be deducted each year. So you ask…."why have a vacation home that I can only use 14 days a year?" Well, here's the loophole…Days spent "maintaining" the home, aren't considered personal use days. Hmmm….maybe that's why I see so much window washing and deck sweeping going on.. I'm not making this stuff up.  There's a great article on Kiplinger.com that tells all about it. 

I may not be able to do your taxes, but I can sure show you some wonderful San Juan Island properties that will tempt you to live your "dream".

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm
Sarah Jones | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,