I have been to Blake Island a number of times now, and have always had an immensely enjoyable time there - that is until the final night of my most recent visit.
A group of us sailed out to the island, and stayed a total of three nights. The very first night we were lectured for nearly a half an hour straight about the rules (to which we had been adhering and had no intention of treading on). This was slightly obnoxious, but didn't seem outrageous - the ranger was clearly a bit overzealous but nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
That night and the few to follow, things got a little stranger as we began to realize that the ranger's only interest was in micro managing and overseeing the actions of each and every camper. He literally stood watch vigilantly inches from seemingly random campsites night after night for long hours making his presence known to the various campers, stepping in at any opportunity to remind people of the things he had already made very clear regardless of whether or not there was an infraction (typically there was not). It all felt a bit like he was punishing people for the wrong they had yet to commit, his attitude bordering on that of what I imagine a prison guard's to be. We even caught him snooping around between our tents and in our packs and bags in the dead of night. Can't think of why that would be necessary.
On our final day, while we were out enjoying the beautiful sunshine on a quick and fruitful sail, the ranger took it upon himself to remove our dinghy from the buoy that we had paid for in full for multiple days and we were clearly still using. Admittedly, there is signage that suggests buoys cannot be reserved with dinghies. However we were confident that the fact that we had consistently been using the buoy and had already paid for it would prevent someone from usurping it. Unfortunately we were dead wrong.
The ranger didn't just untie our dinghy, we learned later that he actually cut the line (likely a form of punishment in his mind) making it very difficult to use. Luckily a number of other campers offered to help ferry some of us back to shore during this ridiculous scenario while the remainder of our party called the parks department in an attempt to locate our missing boat. The ranger informed our party members of the boat's location, and those lucky enough to have been ferried onto the shore hiked to the other side of the island where our dinghy was held captive.
I might note here that a large number of other anonymous campers approached us both on and off shore to complain about the rangers attitude and lend their support. Numerous campers had voiced their opinions on the previous nights, asking if we had run into similar difficulties with the ranger.
Upon arriving at the fabled location of the dinghy, the ranger told the girls to go ahead and row it to the other side of the island if they really wanted it. Here he clearly put these inexperienced rowers in a massive amount of danger without batting an eye by suggesting that they row against the tide, against the wind, and around an island they are completely unfamiliar with - all without life jackets - to our campsite miles away. Fortunately for them, the ranger came around (with the help of an unknown female ranger who likely found the suggestion distasteful) and towed the dinghy back to the sail boat where one other party member and I remained.
At this point the two of us discovered that he had actually cut the dinghy's line, and thus we had no way to hold onto or properly stabilize the vessel. Not wanting to wait for it to get any darker, my friend attempted to load the boat while I held it against the tide (no easy task at this point). The boat turned over before we were able to load it and my friend went into the water with a bunch of our equipment (including our cell phones).
Here you would imagine the ranger on the shore (yes there are two of these fine uniformed gentlemen) would be concerned for our safety perhaps, and maybe even embarrassed of the predicament that his partner clearly left us in. Instead, as we drug the capsized dinghy onto shore, he began screaming at us to get on the ground as thought we had just committed a felony by swimming our boat back to shore. He then threatened us with all sorts of citations and consequences (including going to jail), all for flipping the unsecured dinghy. After becoming soaked, losing valuable personal property, and swimming to shore as the evening darkened, we were disallowed to change out of our wet clothes for nearly fifteen minutes as we shivered on the ground, were accused of having weapons in our pockets (?), had all of our tents checked for weapons before we were allowed to enter them to change (??), and then given ridiculous tickets and citations. These included but were not limited to two $87 tickets for operating a vessel without life jackets - which, keep in mind, were not loaded as a direct result of the dinghy being inoperable due to their initial negligence for our safety and the boats functionality. He topped it all off by telling us we were all expelled from the campsite and asked us to be gone by 9am.
I have been camping all over Washington State and have nothing but fond memories of nearly every trip. Myself and those who accompany me always act with good intentions and with safety in mind on each and every trip we take. Unfortunately for us, this camping trip had a very, very different outcome as a result of ranger Ruppert and his assistant's behavior.
A truly unbelievable and unparalleled experience.
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