June 16, 009

Left Breakwater at 8:15 winds are calm, plan is to motor up Colvos Passage and see if there is enough wind to sail between the top of the Island and Port Ludlow.

Got to the top of Colvos around 11:00 the water still flat with the wind below 4 knots. We continue to run on the starboard engine a little over 5 knots through the water. It looks like we will have to motor all the way

We arrived in Port Ludlow at 4:30 and were anchored in the back of the bay in 21 feet of water with 75 feet of chain with the bridle attached. The wind is at 7-8 knots with an overcast sky.

We had dinner of enchiladas and corn with cookies for dessert and watched Jaws. While we were watching we had a light rain.

June 17, 2009

We were up at six and had breakfast and coffee. We had the anchor up and were moving out of Ludlow by 7:19. Calm so we motored to the top of Marrowstone, where we used both engines to get through the churning seas and out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The wind was forecast from the southwest so it came from the east. It was running 8-10 knots so we put up the sails for an hour before the speed dropped below 2.0 knots. We dropped the sails and headed towards Rosario Strait and Thatcher Pass. We are not sure where we will anchor tonight, yet.

We are anchored in Hunter Bay on the inside bottom of Lopez Island. The afternoon “Hurricane” has the wind blowing 15 to 18 knots but we have the protection of a hill so things are fairly calm. The depth is 19 feet and it is a couple hours past high tide, but we will be all right.

June 18, 2009

We slept in this morning and did not arise until seven. It was a lazy morning with tea, coffee and conversation taking care of most of the morning. We have decided to start getting ready to raise anchor and head towards Deer Harbor.

We got to Deer Harbor and two power boats had taken the entire outstation moorage so we decided to go to Garrison Bay on San Juan Island. We have arrived with the anchor set at 3:15. Doug and I lowered the dinghy and took off for English Camp. We did the tour and then headed back to Helios for a dinner, movie and a shower.

June 19, 2009

We had a quiet night with a light rain sometime. We were up by six and had breakfast and coffee and had the anchor up and were moving out of the bay by 8:30. We motored on down to Friday Harbor and were lucky enough to find space at the reciprocal space for free with $6 for electricity. The exchange of telephone calls finally resulted in Nyla and Linda driving to Anacortes, since the weather had made it questionable for Dave to fly Linda to Friday Harbor. Linda will walk on the ferry in Anacortes and Doug will walk on in Friday Harbor and they will pass on the water. Doug and Nyla will drive Linda’s car back and put it in the garage and then drive their car and motorcycle home.

Ninja a Manta 42 came in an anchored with us last night in Garrison Bay and is now tied to the inside of the breakwater here at Friday Harbor. Ron Johansson is the owner and skipper and he said he would walk over later today. We will walk over to the ferry around 3:30 to put Doug on the ferry with no charge on outbound walk ons.

Well, Doug was on the ferry after a 45 minute delay getting her, and Linda called to say the whole ferry system in the San Juans is running behind schedule. Linda got in around 7:00 and we walked to The Place for dinner, it was excellent. We walked down to the boat and will relax a little before hitting the sheets for a travel day tomorrow into Canada.

June 20, 2009

We were up at 6:00 a little excited about starting our trip. We had coffee and talked about the day’s travel. I filled up the water tank and we were ready to go. I knocked on the hull of the sailboat we shared the reciprocal end tie with to let him know to contact his friend that we were moving and he could take our spot. We spotted him on the way and fired up the engines backed away from the dock and headed towards Bedwell Harbour to clear through customs and enter Canada. We headed up San Juan Channel and cut between Speiden and Jones Islands and across Boundary Pass. Our travel time was about 3 hours and you clear customs over the telephone at the Customs Dock. It went very easy and we were on our way to Montague Harbour within 20 minutes of tying up. We have the anchor down nestled in the southeast corner of the bay. We are well protected and the Admiral is happy. We are thinking about taking the dinghy out for a spin while the sun is still out.

We took the dinghy over to the marina and treated ourselves to some ice cream, a little dessert before dinner. Then we motored around the harbor and back to Helios. It was a quiet night with some rain falling from time to time, but no wind.

June 21, 2009

We got up around 6:30. I got up and turned on the heater at quarter to six, so it was nice and warm when we got out of bed. We had coffee and a late breakfast, then took our time getting Helios ready to go, since we couldn’t be at the Dodd Narrows until 2:30 or later and it was only a little over three hour trip. We tried to sail but the wind wasn’t really strong enough. We motored over to Pirates Cove to take a look, and it was packed. We headed over to Mudge Island to look at Wayne and Janine’s house, but there was no one home. We got to Dodd Narrows about a quarter to three and it was a quick ride through with 3.2 knots helping us along. We set the anchor in the anchoring area in Nanaimo and it is a little windy with about 10 knots blowing through the anchorage, but we have a good bite and are holding steady.

We got everything squared away and monitored the anchor for about an hour and then we dropped the dinghy in the water. We went over to the dinghy dock for dinner, salad and pizza for Linda and soup and pizza for me. When we had just about finished dinner a sailboat with battle flags flying from the VanIsle 360 backed in and tied up. I spotted Janine walking in and then saw Wayne. We went over to say hello and see how they were doing. They had just finished the race yesterday and were celebrating. We headed back to Helios and put on Jaws 2 for the evening’s entertainment. Linda headed to bed around sunset, 9:30 and I followed when the movie ended in another 20 minutes.

June 22, 2009

We got up around six and had coffee and breakfast while listening to the weather forecast. The wind is predicted to be coming down the strait at 10 – 15 knots and area WG, “Whiskey Gulf”, is open so we will have to go around via Ballenas Island.

We had the anchor up and were motoring out of Nanaimo around 8:30. The wind was on our nose so we motored up to Ballenas Island and used the island as a wind and wave break to raise the sails. We headed across the Strait of Georgia at 5 knots with about 10 knots at about 50 degrees off the port side bow. We made it almost all the way across and the wind dropped to 3 and our speed through the water was below 2 knots, so it was time to put the sails away and motor over to Musket Cove, which is 18 miles away straight into the wind.

We came into Musket Cove Provincial Park and found the inlet on the eastern end open. We took a couple of tries to get the stern tie right, but we are sitting pretty. We took the dinghy out for a tour of the Park and to some pictures. We are back and all buttoned up by 6:30. Time for showers and dinner and maybe then a movie, before we sleep, with an early start tomorrow for Desolation Sound.

June 23, 2009

We were up at 6:30 for coffee and getting ready to head out. The forecast was for 10 to 15 knots from the southeast, (Yeah!!!!). We dropped the dinghy in the water motored over to shore and Linda went rock climbing to release the stern tie. It was successful with no one in the water or cuts from the barnacles. We got the anchor up and were moving out of the inlet by 8:15. We got out into the strait and put up the sails in 12 knots of breeze. We made long jibes and saw speeds in excess of 8 knots. The average was around 6 to 6.5 knots. We sailed 22 miles and dropped the sails a little past Powell River. We would have had to take them down to transit Thulin Passage, because it is so narrow. We fired up the motors and rounded Sarah Point looking into Desolation Sound around 3:30. We changed our mind about Squirrel Cove and headed to Melanie Cove. We motored into Prideaux Haven and Melanie Cove and there wasn’t much room at the inn. We decided to take a look at Laura Cove and found two sailboats stern tied toward the opening, but the head of the inlet was open, so we dropped anchor in the middle so we wouldn’t have to stern tie. Linda is tired; I worked her hard today with the sailing, rock climbing, balance beam on the bimini, etc. We got the sail covers on and everything buttoned up. I forgot to mention that it starting sprinkling when we entered Desolation Sound. There is no wind here in Laura Cove and we plan on spending two nights, before heading over to Gorge Harbour. Chicken for dinner and maybe a movie, since we can stay up late with no travel tomorrow, but we are both a little tired and probably won’t make it past ten.

June 25, 2009

No entry for yesterday. We stayed two nights at Laura Cove. The weather was poor with rain most of the day. We took the dinghy out for a spin around one in the afternoon and got really wet. We saw pretty scenery, talked with some cruisers and some people from college doing a summer project concerning the First Nation Tribes and their habitat in the Desolation area. The wind started to puff gusts down into the cove from time to time, but we never saw anything over 15 knots and they were all of short duration. We did discover that the tide charts to use on the computer program were the CHS, (Canadian Hydrographic Surveys) rather than NOAA. There was a difference of over ten feet.

We got up around seven this morning and plan on lifting the anchor and moving out around 9:00. Tonight’s stop is Gorge Harbour and we will tie to the dock with power if there is room. The sky is cloud covered this morning, but it is calm here and doesn’t look like much wind out in the channel. The tide was just high so we can ride the ebb from Desolation into the Strait of Georgia on our way. The steep hills have made it difficult to get the weather on the VHF, it only comes intermittently. The barometer has started to climb from its low of 1009, where it dropped to from 1016. One of the Canadian cruisers said the forecast was for a so so weather day Thursday and sun on Friday. We plan on heading to the Octopus Islands on Friday.

We found a completely remodeled Gorge Harbor Marina. The new owners purchased the marina four years ago and started major renovations December 2008. The docks are wide stable concrete with metal pilings, with flower baskets, each with its own water system. We waited for the fuel dock to clear and filled up the tank with 205 liters. We decided on an inside tie, so we backed down between and did a portside tie. We met the folks from Anacortes, Bill Lane and Ellen Kaiser, who belong to the Seattle Yacht Club. They have a 42’ Grand Banks that is 30 years old but doesn’t look it. Bill is a retired newspaperman from the Seattle Times and now writes for passagemaker. We walked around the grounds noticing all the new improvements. We made some purchases at the store and Linda traded in hers and mine magazines and some of our paperback books for some paperbacks she hadn’t read. We made dinner reservations for 6:30 and when we walked in, Bill and Ellen had just sat down and invited us to join them. We had a wonderful dinner and conversation. One of Ellen’s good friends is Sheila Gifford who is Linda’s former sister-in-law, it is a small world.

We made it back to Helios around nine and watched a couple of episodes of NCIS on DVD, going to bed a little before eleven.

June 26, 2009

We decided to leave around nine for the Octopus Islands and planned on arriving early at Beazley Pass through the Surge Narrows. We motored over to Hoskyn channel and up to Surge Narrows arriving around 11:30. We dawdled around looking at the houses along the shore and a good look at Whiterock Passage. There were eagles fishing and they provided entertainment while we waited. We went through Beazley Pass a few minutes after one with no trouble at all and three knots of current helping us along. We had waited until the whitewater had disappeared before transiting, although other boats passed through while we were waiting. It is only about 45 minutes to the Octopus Islands from Surge Narrows. The nooks and crannies around the islands were full of anchored boats so we motored to the head of Waiatt Bay and anchored. There are probably twice as many boats as we saw the last time we were here, but still nobody is closer than a football field to anyone else. Waiatt Bay runs West to East, head to mouth, with trees to the waterline all the way around. Well, I will go out to take some pictures and then Linda and I will take the dinghy out to go sightseeing.

We took the dinghy around the whole bay and the channels of the islands. It took about two hours. We saw an eagle perched on a dead fir that was just about horizontal and hanging over the water. We thought that he/she was looking for fish. We were surprised that there were very few starfish, but there are a lot of little fish jumping on the surface from time to time.

We had dinner and then watched U.S. Marshalls before going to bed to read a little, since it will be an early wake-up tomorrow to get going by 7:30. The Upper and Lower Rapids are slack around 8:30, which is the reason for the early start.

June 27, 2009

We were up around six had coffee and got things ready to head out. What a difference a day makes yesterday bright sun temperature in the 70’s and today cloudy and light rain.  We made it through the two sets of rapids about ½ hour before they were slack and when they changed we got a lift going down the channel. We got to Discovery Channel in light rain and 3 knots of wind. We had planned on going to Cordero Lodge today, but Linda suggested that we see how far we could get up Johnstone Strait with these weather conditions. The current was going to be with us until around 2:00 P.M. and the wind was forecasted to build from behind. We made a quick decision and cranked the engines up to 2500 rpms, which pushes us about 7.2 knots through the water. We were making speeds of 9 to 10 knots over the ground and decided to transit the entire length and stop at Hansen Island, which we later changed our minds and decided to push all the way to Cullen Harbour in the Broughtons. At times we saw SOG over 12 knots. Around noon we put up the headsail for some stability and picked up a little speed, which helped to offset the current moving towards slack. When we got to the Robson Bight there were a couple of whale watching boats out and we saw one lone female swimming down the strait. We cut over behind Hanson Island into Blackfish Sound and headed towards The Broughtons. We got to Cullen Harbour around 5:45 and found four other boats already anchored, quite a change from 15 years ago when we were the only boat in the anchorage. We got the anchor set midway between two of the anchored boats and tidied things up, put the side curtains down and turned on the heat for showers.

We are planning on heading over to Sullivan Bay tomorrow and then we will gunkhole ourselves back down towards Desolation Sound.

We had showers then dinner a little reading and it was time for bed, 9:30, since it had been a long day of travel. It was still light, so we used the shades to make it darker.


June 28, 2009

We slept in until 7:00 had coffee, listened to the weather, then breakfast. We thought we would leave around ten and it should take us about three hours to motor over to Sullivan Bay on the northwest side of the island group. I need to check the fluids on the engines and Linda is organizing a load of wash when we arrive.

We were underway at 10:18 and the weather was cloudy with the promise of rain. There was no wind to speak of and so we didn’t even bother taking the sail covers off. The ebbing tide was a help for the first third of the trip and against us the last two thirds. We were tied up to the dock by 1:30 and headed over to check in and start the laundry, plus make reservations for dinner, which is “Deep Fried Turkey with all the trimmings. They have a large book exchange, which Linda plans to take advantage. The starboard saildrive needed a cup of fluid after yesterday’s long haul, but everything else on the engines was fine. The watermaker shut down on the way over with a “High Pressure” failure and reading the manual leads me to believe the problem lies with the brine discharge, since I don’t think the membrane would be plugged with new filters and only 30 hours of usage.

We got the clothes washed and did some dock walking to pass the time. We met a couple who grew up in Tacoma, raised their family in Federal Way and have owned a floating house in Sullivan Bay for the past 16 years. We also talked with some of the other cruisers, most of which are waiting for a weather window to make it around Cape Caution and go north.

We had dinner and we decided on halibut rather than turkey. We took another walk before tucking in for the night. I ran the watermaker for an hour with no problems, so maybe the back flush was the answer.

June 29, 2009

We were up at 7:30 in the fog and decided to delay leaving until it burned off. Linda traded some books and we had breakfast at the restaurant. Talked with some of the cruisers and they gave us a push away from the dock to help us on our way. The fog is gone and the sun with white puffy clouds and very little wind. We are motoring towards Wahkane Bay, with an anticipated arrival time of 3:30. It is a good picture opportunity day.

It was flat water with little wind 2/3 of the way and then the wind started to build behind us. We arrived at Wahkana Bay to find the best anchorage spot taken and the winds funneling through at 13-15 knots. We made the decision to continue on to Lagoon Cove and arrived there around six and got one of the last spots on the dock. During our travel down we had some dolphins/porpoises for company, although they kept their distance from Helios because the engines were running. Knight Inlet was a pounding ride as both wind and current were against us and it was very pleasant to make the turn down the west side of Minstrel Island to Lagoon Cove.

The managers, (Pat and Bob) were there on the dock to help us tie up and gave us the basic information on the marina. We walked the docks and talked with the other cruisers, including Margaret and Ted Reyhner from TYC on their 43’ Tollycraft, Enchantment.

June 30, 2009

We were up at 7:00 and saw the barometer hadn’t moved but the sky was cloudy and the wind was light from the northwest. I walked up the dock to let Pat know that we were staying another night. It looks like we will leave early, (sunrise), tomorrow to catch the morning slack at Chatham Channel.

It was a fun day walking the docks and talking with the other cruisers that are waiting for a weather window. The 5 o’clock potluck/cocktail hour was a good time. Everyone bring some snack food and their beverage and the folks from Lagoon Cove supply mounds of shrimp, with excellent stories, especially today’s bear story about teaching the bear to water-ski.

We visited with Toni Rossum, who is Dave’s stepmom, for quite a while and finally getting to bed around 10:30. We had decided to make our go/no go decision based upon the 4:00 A.M. weather report.

July 1, 2009

I was up at 5:00 and made the decision we were going. We untied from the dock and motored towards Blow Hole Passage at six and went through Chatham Channel at 6:30 with a half knot help from the current. We went down Havanah Channel to the Broken Islands and into Johnstone Strait, which was flooding; i.e. going our direction as was the wind. The wind was only at 15 knots when we started out but by the time we got to Kelsey Point we saw gusts of 32 knots and a lot of white water. We stayed in the strait until after Current Passage then we ducked up Chancellor Channel to Cordero and the Cordero Lodge. We were tied up by 12:30.  They brought us out menus since we were the only boat and wanted to have our meal ready at 6:30 when we wanted to eat. We walked around the docks and a trail up in the woods taking a lot of pictures.

We went to dinner and the three other Canadian couples were there about the same time. It was like a family dinner with the conversation shifting from one table to another. After dessert and coffee, Mrs. Kupper served everyone a small shot of schnapps served in chilled pewter shot sized containers. Linda got two since I don’t partake. Then we settled into their living room for conversation until around nine when it broke up so the Kuppers could have their home back for the evening. We were back and read for a little while and then to bed.

July 2, 2009

We were lazy and didn’t get up until quarter after eight this morning. The couple in the small boat had left earlier to try and get up Johnstone Strait. We had coffee and breakfast and I helped the couple across from us from Powell Rive, boat name Ace High, untie. They were headed to Blind Channel and were going to wait until the weather shifted before going north. They have the whole summer. I got the flags up and did a little research on transiting the three rapids from north to south for the first time. I have gone south to north twice before with no problem.

We left Cordero a little after noon planning on arriving at Dent Rapids at two. It was a little difficult getting away from the dock with the current and wind pushing us up against it. We finally resorted to more power, but did mar the port tail with some rub marks. We got two the rapids earlier than we wanted with the currents help on the way. We slowed the engines to 4 knots about 2 miles from the rapids, and motored slowly forward. The high slack was at 2:55 at Gillard Passage, which meant that Dent Rapids should be about 15 to 20 minutes sooner. We went by the marker on Little Dent Island at 2:13 with 2 ¼ knots helping us along the way. We were escorted by 7 or 8 Pacific White Sided Dolphins between Dent and Gillard. We went through Gillard with 2 knots helping at 2:33 and The Yucultas at 2:40 with 1 knot helping even though slack was supposed to be at 2:32. We set Jan and motored to Von Donop Inlet. When we came around the corner into the head of the inlet we got a surprise, with Speakeasy being anchored there. After we got the anchor set, Barry came over to say hi and invite us over after dinner. I walked him around Helios so he could see the differences. We had dinner and headed over to Speakeasy around 7:30. Barry and Shelly had Shelly’s sister, Sharon, aboard for a few days. We sat and talked traded ideas that had worked, until it was time to head back to Helios. We got back and it was 11:30.

July 3, 2009

We decided to spend the day at Von Donop and head to Pender Harbour tomorrow early, to cover the 60 miles and maybe get some sailing in along the way. The Youngs were on their way around 10 headed for Campbell River. We worked on various small projects and cleaning, with both of us ready to sit and read by 2. It was in the 80’s with clear blue sky. We dropped the dinghy in the water to take a tour of the inlet at 3:30. We wanted to look at the lagoon and got trapped in the rapids filling it from the rising tide. We took out time motoring around the edge of the lagoon to let the water rise up to give us enough room to motor out. Linda got out to check out the rapids and said we might have a chance. I got Linda back in the dinghy and adjusted the motor so that the smallest part of the shaft was in the water. Linda got up in the bow to look for rocks and guide me. We entered and had to keep increasing the power to make any headway against the current. We finally had the motor at top speed and were moving at a slow walking pace forward. We got through and headed back to Helios. I stopped to lower the shaft back to a more vertical alignment and we toured the western half of the inlet. Our neighbors are three Canadian sailboats that have a ton of people. They have set up tents on shore. We got back turned on the heater to heat the water for showers, then dinner and a movie. We plan on leaving around seven since it will take about 9 hours to get there.

July 4, 2009

Well, it was a late night. The heat was causing the freezer to run constantly, so I turned it off and scraped the frost out. We watched “Taken” while the freezer was open and defrosting. After the movie I used the hair dryer to melt most of the ice. I started the generator and ran it while the freezer was turned on and went from 50 to 20 degrees. I shut off the generator and went to bed at midnight. We were up at 6 for coffee and the freezer was down to 14 and shutting off automatically. It comes on when it reaches 19 degrees.

We are planning on heading out at seven and the weather forecast isn’t to hopeful concerning sailing opportunities.

We left at 7 and motored out to Mitlenatch Island, where we put up sails. We had about 12 knots from the NW at a steady rate. We were able to make more distance along our intended route when on a port tack and used the starboard tack as our adjustment leg. We sailed for about 2 ½ hours until the boat speed dropped below 3 knots, and then we folded up the sails and motored to Pender Harbour, arriving at 5:30.  Linda had found us moorage at Fisherman’s Marina and we were tied up and secure by six. We walked over to John Henry’s Store, a 7-11 on steroids, to pick up a few items. We paid for two bags of garbage and decided to pass on the power, since the batteries were well charged and the solar would be charging until 9. We walked over to the Garden Bay Restaurant for dinner and found that Bob and Ellen off Quadra, who we had dinner with in Gorge Harbour, were just finishing their dinner. They are hoping to cross over to Nanaimo tomorrow if the winds are light enough. We walked the docks after dinner both Garden Bay and Fisherman’s talking with other cruisers. The boat across from us a Hunter 33 is a charter boat and the couple is from Germany, and another couple was trailer sailors from Calgary. He was from New Zealand and she Ireland. He was an engineer in the oil industry taking a summer holiday. We watched another episode of NCIS and went to bed around 10:30.

July 5, 2009

We were up at eight for coffee and breakfast and watching boats leave the marina for their day of travel. We are going to the fuel dock, which is 300 yards behind us and will then point the bows towards Nanaimo. We listened to the weather report and should get some wind before it is projected to die in the afternoon and switch to winds with a southerly component tomorrow.

We motored the whole way across the Strait of Georgia, as the winds never got above 5 knots until we arrived at the entrance to Nanaimo Harbour. We put on a show with our anchoring talents. It was like Goldilocks, we didn’t like the first one, to close to shore, the second was too close to a derelict, but the third one was just right. We waited for the anchored line to straighten out and then each had a shower and a change of clothes. It had been very muggy and a weather change is imminent with a dropping barometer. We headed over to the Dinghy Dock Pub for dinner. They had a band playing a tribute to Johnny Cash and the lead singer was very good. After dinner it was back to Helios and a little DVD watching of NCIS until 10:30.

July 6, 2009

We awoke to the sounds of rain on the hull. There is no wind to speak of and the rain is intermittent. We are going to spend the day here and take the dinghy into the waterfront to walk the esplanade and look at the stores, seeing if there is something we really need.

We made it in to town and found that C, D & E docks are used to tie up your dinghies. We walked around looking at various stores and stopped at a Perkins for coffee and some cookies to go for this evening. The weather has been rain on and off with the wind shifting from different points on the compass. We were back at Helios about 2 hours after we left with the rain just starting to fall. We shifted into lounging clothes for the afternoon and evening, along with the heater making it very cozy.

We watched Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in The Dead Pool and then went to bed to read for a while.

July 7, 2009

We were awoken by an otter climbing up the rear steps right above our bed. I got up and turned on the diesel heater and went back to bed to wait for things to warm up. We were up having coffee by 7 and started the engines a little after 8 to hoist the anchor and head towards Dodd Narrows. We went through with a 3 knot help and headed through the Gulf Islands to Ganges. The wind continued to build in the 15 knot range against the ebb making things very sloppy. We decided to cut over to Montague Harbour, as it would have better protection from winds with a southerly component. We found a good anchorage next to shore that shelters us from most of the wind and there is no fetch. The rain has been light most of the afternoon. We are running the generator to operate the washer/dryer, charge batteries and make some water, for a couple of hours.

Well, the watermaker decided it had problems a clogged intake screen filter. I decided to work on it in the morning. We each had showers and used the dryer to dry the towels. We then had dinner followed by The Pelican Brief.

We are planning a short trip tomorrow depending on the weather. It is 11 and time for bed.

July 8, 2009

We decided with the clouds and drizzling rain that we would just stay put for the day. We had our coffee and breakfast and they I changed into my maintenance man costume, which brings a smile to Linda’s face. I wear knee guards and a LED headlight strapped around my head. I checked all the fluids in both engines and everything was within the parameters. Then it was time to clean up the starboard engine area from overfilling the ATF in the saildrive, when I changed it. I stuffed the diaper into a gallon zip lock bag then it was time for Simple Green and paper towels, which were also stuffed into the zip lock. I moved on to the watermaker next. The first job was to close the through hulls and then get the screen filter off and cleaned. It was a messy job with a bad odor from the dead plankton in the screen. I got the screen and holder cleaned and reinstalled and then I took off the 50 micron prefilter, which really stank. I cleaned the holder and put in a new filter. There was enough sun coming through the clouds to provide a good charge from the solar panels, so I started the watermaker and let it run for five hours to top off the water tank.

We headed into the store with the dinghy, while the watermaker was working, and there was a break in the clouds. We found some butter, mayonnaise, bread and potato chips and decided to reward ourselves with some ice cream.

The rest of the afternoon was for reading and naps. We will head to the U.S. tomorrow and check in with customs. Our plan is to see if the outstation at Deer Harbor is open, if not it will probably be Garrison Bay.

We ran the generator for an hour to charge the batteries, since they didn’t get to use the charge from the solar panels, because it covered the watermaker for 5 hours. Afterwards, we watched a couple of NCIS episodes and it was off to bed.

July 9, 2009

We were up at 6:30 for coffee and listening to the “Isle of Beguile” for today’s weather guesses. The water is on an ebb which will help us move towards Roche Harbor. We decided to go through U.S. Customs at Roche Harbor and then head over to Garrison Bay to anchor.

The trip was quick with only a little over 3 hours to get to Roche Harbor. The Customs dock is right out front of the marina and there was a waiting line, as the dock was full. A fellow on a 35’ Bayliner, Wild Whim, came in behind us and was loose cannon. I checked with another power boat and he was first in line and we were second, with the Bayliner third. The dock opened up with a large power boat leaving and the power waiting moved in, and when the second power boat moved out we started to move in for a port tie. The Bayliner headed in to cut us off after we had committed causing us almost to drift into a sailboat tied to the dock. The Bayliner hit the boat that went in first bow to bow and then started to back into us. The fellow in the sailboat took a line from Linda and we slipped in sideways to the dock. Linda was on the dock and pointed out to the wife of the Bayliner skipper there was etiquette involved in waiting for your turn. The wife responded that this was her first time on the boat and please don’t criticize her as she was almost in tears. Her husband, “The Skipper” never said a word, but he was going to have to exchange insurance information with the boat he hit, which was from the Tacoma Yacht Club. We introduced ourselves when he was waiting in line for the Customs Office to open, Brian & Ann Freiberger on Island Skipper. I had to purchase a U.S. Custom’s Decal for 2009 for $27.50 and we were checked back in to the U.S.A.

We motored over to Garrison Bay and set anchor in 9 feet of water at a -1.2 tide. The high tide will be 7.5 in six hours. We will drop the dinghy in a little later and go over to English Camp for the walking tour.

Linda and I took the dinghy over to English Camp and walked the grounds, touring the buildings that were open, and watching the short video showing the history behind the camp. We got back to Helios around 4 and each took showers and then when out on deck to enjoy the sun, while the towels dried on the lifelines.

We had dinner and then watched, “A Clear and Present Danger”, and then it was time for bed.

July 10, 2009

We were up at 7:30 for coffee and to listen to the weather forecast. It doesn’t sound very good for sailing across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The winds are predicted at 10 knots from the NW and since that is the high the actual will probably be closer to 5 knots. The sky is clear and the sun is already driving the solar panels, which are producing 10 amps.

We left Garrison Bay at 9:30 and headed out into Haro Strait to ride the ebb to Juan de Fuca. We were being helped by 2 to 3 knots of current. The crossing is about 30 miles and the wind is at 2 knots so it appears that we will motor.

We arrived at Pt. Wilson at 2:30 after motoring the whole way and the wind was 4 knots with gusts to 6 knots, so it wasn’t worth the effort to take the sail covers off. The wind picked up as we came down by Bush Point to 10 to 12 knots from the NW, but with the short distance to go we decided to motor on in and anchor. We were anchored on the north side of the harbor about a ¼ mile in back of the marina in 42 feet of water. We put out 75 feet to get a bite then another 25 feet before attaching the bridle lines and lowering them with another 25 feet, so the connecting point is about 10 to 15 feet below the surface. The tidal change will only be 5 feet from what we are at now. The wind is blowing into the harbor at 7 to 9 knots and predicted to continue throughout the evening and night. We are hoping to sail to Eagle Harbor tomorrow.

July 11, 2009

We slept in until 7:30 and got up for coffee and discussion of the day’s travel. We are thinking about heading for Breakwater.

We sailed from Foulweather Bluff to Alki Beach and then dropped the sails as the wind was below 10 knots and weakening. We motored down Colvos Passage to Breakwater and were tied up to our slip by seven, with about 730 nautical miles on the hull.


BC 2009 Trip