New name lettering and boot stripe for Helios
Kwatsi Bay in Broughton Archipelago
Pacific White Sided Dolphins in Kwatsi Bay with a kayaker
Black bears looking for breakfast
We left Arizona and our new home after only 6 weeks of residence for Anacortes, Washington. We left May 16thso we would have plenty of time for maintenance projects and to get a good coat of wax on the hull. The sails had been cleaned, repaired where needed and stored by North Sails in Seattle, to that took most of a day to drive down and pick them up. We finally splashed Helios on June 6th and motored a ½ mile over to Cap Santé Marina for a couple of nights to get things organized and allow for some wind and rain to blow through the area. We left Cap Santé for the TYC outstation at Deer Harbor on Orcas Island in the San Juans. Since we were going to spend almost a month in the San Juans, we were scheduling ourselves a very slow pace. We moved from Orcas to Sucia and then to Stuart staying two or three days at each anchorage. We headed to Friday Harbor Marina for a couple of nights to do some shopping and get a bid on redoing the canvas panels that enclose the cockpit. We shifted between anchorages in Garrison Bay, Fisherman’s Bay, and Hunter Bay along with a 3 day stop back at the TYC outstation on Orcas. We left the San Juan Islands for Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island on July 1st and had an uncomfortable trip across Rosario Strait to Deception Pass in dense fog with a large oil tanker hailing us on the VHF asking our destination, and when we told them Deception Pass they said fine we’ll take your stern. We never saw them through the fog but they were very clear on the AIS display on the chartplotter. We stayed in Oak Harbor for the 4thof July celebration and to visit with Jeri and Fred Ross who watch over Helios for us while we are in the desert. Jeri is Linda’s niece. We left Oak Harbor for Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island on the 5th and tied up at the TYC outstation there for a couple of nights. There were other members there Chris & Willow Williamson and Willard and Diane Thomas, which made it a good time to catch up with how they were doing. From Eagle Harbor we were off to Des Moines Marina, which would be our furthest point south. The main reason was to meet up with our grandson, Paxton, who was bringing us our mail from our Tacoma POB, which had my meds for the next 90 days. We took him to dinner at Anthony’s. We did some projects and visited some of the stores and businesses we used when we lived here for 10 years. We left Des Moines for one night in Port Orchard and had to give way to a navy submarine leaving Bremerton and guarded on all four sides. The marina gave us ride to the Safeway store and waited for us to shop our groceries and brought us back to Helios, what great service. We left Port Orchard Marina for Shilshole Marina in Seattle to get ready for the TYC Summer Cruise. There were 29 boats signed up for all or part of the cruise. We were here as our cruising couple were the Commodore and Commodoress of the Yacht Club this year and Joe had planned the cruise. We would go from Shilshole to North Harbor Everett, Port Ludlow, Alderbrook, Pleasant Harbor and finally Point Hudson. We would stay two or three nights at each marina, with activities organized if you wanted to participate. We had never been through the Hood Canal floating bridge and thus the Alderbrook Marina and Pleasant Harbor Marina were enjoyable first time visits. Joe had done a good job of balancing activities vs. free time, which made for an enjoyable cruise.
We left Port Townsend and Point Hudson Marina on July 26th and headed across the Strait of Juan de Fuca back to the San Juan Islands. We anchored in Blind Bay on Shaw Island. We decided to take a look at the TYC outstation at Deer Harbor and there was a place for us, but in short order we had plenty of company as six other Club boats arrived over the next couple of days. There was good fellowship by all. We left for Reid Harbor on Stuart Island and as we motored in to drop anchor saw Cool Change with John and Lenora Long already anchored. We ran into them while going for a dinghy ride as they were returning to Cool Change after a walk. We invited them over later to visit and see Helios, which made for a pleasant evening. It was time to leave the USA for Canada, and it was a short trip across Haro Strait to Port of Sidney Marina where we spent three days. I cleared both of us through Canadian Customs using my cell phone and the NEXUS program. We had intended to go to the Splash Concert in Victoria but transportation complications made decide to stay in Sidney. We always enjoy Bistro Suisse and their excellent German food. The marina has a good laundry and is close to downtown where window shopping is a must. We haven’t been able to get much sailing in as the days we are traveling the wind is on the nose or less than 5 knots. From Sidney we motored up to Clam Bay on Thetis Island and dropped anchor and then took the dinghy over to Telegraph Harbour Marina and a little ice cream. We checked the weather forecast and decided the following day would be good to cross the Strait of Georgia. We had some wind during the crossing and raised the headsail to increase speed and smooth out the ride. We traveled 43 miles in 6 hours to be tied up at Garden Bay marina. We only spent one night before heading north. The weather guessers from the “Isle of Beguile” said the wind would be from the south at around 10 knots. It was from south just 20-25 knots. We had the headsail up with the motors when we felt something hit and we got a vibration off the starboard propeller, so I shut it down and we went to Powell River Marina. Linda found a diver that would come and check things out. He found a large ball of stringy cedar bark wrapped around the prop. He cleaned it up and said everything looked fine. We decided to spend a couple of nights before leaving, since we had never been to Powell River before. We walked downtown and had dinner in a very good Mexican Restaurant. We left Powell River which is on the mainland and headed to Von Donop Inlet on the north end of Cortes Island, which is located in the Discovery Islands west of Desolation Sound. As we were going up the west side of Cortes Island I noticed a Martini Glass marker on my chartplotter which was where we had spread the ashes of our good friend Jan, and we spotted humpback whales as we passed the site this year and took that as a good sign. The entrance into Von Donop is down a long very narrow channel, before it begins to open up to anchoring spots. We passed the first group of anchored boats and saw Airship and Safe Harbor who have the www.slowboat.com website. We went to the head of the inlet and anchored in the eastern niche in about 25’ of water in mud. We anchored there for three nights and had one day of on and off rain, but were able to drop the dinghy and explore the inlet, but passed on entering the lagoon as it wasn’t close enough to high slack tide, which would allow entering and leaving. We did some small jobs and relaxed and read. We raised anchor after 3 nights at 7 in the morning so we could arrive at Hole in the Wall rapids at high slack around 9:45. There was a slowdown on raising the anchor as we pulled up what appeared to be an old power cable cover filled with mud, which I was able to lift off the anchor with our boat hook, and we were on our way. We arrived a little early at Hole in the Wall and had 2 knots of current helping us through and into a medium fog that required close attention between the islands with boats heading out to go through at slack. After getting through the Octopus Islands and into Waiatt Bay we spotting Ellipsis a 60’ Selene at anchor owned by friends we met last year Carl and Melody Gulledge. We anchored over near the head of the bay and dropped the dinghy to tour the area, and while out left a boatcard on the swim step of Ellipsis. Carl and Melody dinghied over after dinner and we visited for a couple hours and they invited us over the following day for Happy Hour. The next day we some small projects in the morning and then brought the kayaks back to the stern and with mine on the inside of the port steps and Linda holding it next to Helios I was able to get in and stay dry. Linda didn’t think she would need help on the inside starboard, but the kayak scooted away when she had one leg in and she ended up deciding to go in then climb up the steps and empty the kayak. I moved across and used my kayak to hold hers again Helios and things went much smoother. We paddled around the edge of Waiatt Bay for 90 minutes and were both able to get out and stay dry. At 4 we took the dinghy over to Ellipsis where we got a tour of the boat and visited for a couple of hours. Carl and Melody were headed out the following day to Desolation Sound to meet up with their two sons who were flying up to spend the week. We thought about heading north but the weather conditions were such that a couple more days at anchor was the prudent thing to do. The following night we had a little Chinese Fire Drill as we went to check things out in the wind before going to bed to find out we were dragging anchor. I started the engines to hold us in place, while Linda raised the anchor. We motored further into the head of the bay and dropped anchor with 50’ more chain than we had out before. I stayed up to watch things for awhile before going to bed and Linda stood anchor watch from 3 to 4 in the morning. It was a grey windy day and we stayed aboard doing small projects and watching boats come and go from the anchorage. Linda was to bed early as not much sleep the prior night. We listened to the weather forecast and decided it would be a good day to move, and raised anchor at 10 to head out through the Upper and Lower rapids in Okisolo Channel to and then Discovery Channel to Chatham Point and Johnstone Strait. The condition was better than forecasted and we were tied up at Blind Channel Marina after only 3 hours of travel. They were having a special buffet dinner which we enjoyed and had a very restful night’s sleep. The next day we hauled the laundry up to the machines and washed and dried everything, and then we for a hike to the “Big Cedar Tree”. The loop trail is a little over a mile through the woods with an elevation gain of 200’. We enjoyed the restaurant for a second evening with halibut for Linda and schnitzel for me. We were up at 6 for coffee and watched 2 boats leave. We untied and backed Helios up along to a dock space where we could spin and head out bow forward it was 2 hours after high tide and we only had 18” under the keel at times. We went up Mayne to Cordero and Greenpoint Rapids with no problems as the ebb had started and helped us along. We went up Wellbore Channel to Whirlpool Rapids and hit 11.9 SOG, and then it was down Sunderland Channel to Johnstone Strait. It was flat with about 8-10 knots of wind against us at times during the 12-mile run, but we had 1.5-2.0 knots of current help. We were up Havanah Channel to Chatham Channel, where we were center of channel in the shallow stretch, and then the Blow Hole and we were at Lagoon Cove. Shortly after we arrived Jim and Jan from Aquaholic pulled in across the dock. They spotted our AIS and decided to spend the night here. We visited during the potluck and on the dock afterward, it sounds like their Alaska trip was a great one, even though it cost about $10k in fuel. They left the next morning and we decided to spend another day, and visited with other boaters along the dock and at the potluck. These small marinas usually have a gathering around 4 or 5 and everyone brings something and it is one big get together. We left Lagoon Cove for Kwatsi Bay the following day and had an easy travel day. This was the first time for us at Kwatsi Bay and it is gorgeous. There is no power and you can run your generator between 8 and 8, they have water during the day when they have their generator running. We made good friends with Duane and Lynn from Port Orchard on a 395 American Tug. We had come in on Thursday and stayed until Sunday morning when we left for Echo Bay Marina, which is another place we hadn’t been. It was getting later in the cruising season so there was plenty of room and we had one dock all to ourselves. We went to dinner at the restaurant and were at a table with 3 other couples to visit with. At Echo Bay they just keep track of everything for you on your page in their notebook and then settle up when you leave. We used the next day to visit Billy Proctor’s Museum, which we used the dinghy to get too, and we did a couple loads of laundry. The next stop was Port McNeil and North Harbour Marina, The reason being that I needed a good cell connection to participate in a Board Meeting of the non-profit company, Trillium Housing Services, that I’m President of, and it lasted 3 hours. We walked into town to the IGA and did some shopping for restocking Helios, and the store gave us a ride back to the head of the dock, where we could use a couple carts to haul the groceries back to Helios. We topped off the fuel tank, as they bring the hose to where you are moored on the dock, making it very easy. We spent two nights and then were slow to leave when the fog was thick in the channel leaving Port McNeil, but as soon as we were out in Queen Charlotte Strait it was flat water and blue sky. We entered Cullen Harbour on Broughton Island and since it was almost high tide we went through the entrance into Booker Lagoon, which is about 40’ wide with little current problem. The lagoon is like a huge 3 armed clover, and with only one other boat in the lagoon we were able to have one arm to ourselves. We relaxed and the next morning while having coffee heard noises and looked out to find mama bear and two grown cubs turning over rocks on shore looking for things to eat. We took a dinghy ride around the lagoon later and returned to Helios before a light rain started. We left Booker Lagoon the next morning and when we got to Cullen Harbour the fog was so thick we dropped anchor to wait for it to clear before heading around to the top of the island and Sullivan Bay Marina. We had been there 10 years before and there weren’t many changes to be seen. The port engine lost power on the way over so we are traveling on one engine and sail power, time to head south to call it a season. We spent a couple of nights at the marina before heading to Kwatsi Bay where we met up with our friends Duane and Lynn. It was now September and the morning temp in the boat was mid to low 50’s and Arizona is looking pretty good. We enjoyed Kwatsi Bay for a couple of nights and then headed for Port Harvey, followed by Duane and Lynn on Emerald Star II. We spent one night and the next day headed for Desolation Sound via the rapids, which were no problem at near slack and we dropped anchor in Laura Cove, Linda’s favorite anchorage in Desolation. We spent a couple of nights and kayak tours during the day before leaving and heading to Powell River and the Westview Marina. Since we were traveling over areas we’ve spent a lot of time at during the past 20 years we left for Nanaimo, then to Ladysmith where we met up with Emerald Starr II. We walked up the hill and window shopped and I found a pair of Keen Fisherman Sandals that fit, and then had lunch with Duane and Lynn at the Fox and Hound Restaurant. We left Ladysmith for Tod Inlet and a visit to Buchart Gardens, which was beautiful with fall flowers. We were up by 7:30 to grey skies and the promise of more rain. AZ is looking really good about now. I ran the generator and the diesel heat for a couple of hours to take the chill off and charge up the battery bank. We got ready and lowered the dinghy and motored over to the dinghy dock at Butchart Gardens dinghy dock and walked up to the rear park entrance. It costs about $75 Canadian for two and considering the weather, cool and threatening to rain, and it was the middle of September, there were quite a few people. We started at the Japanese Garden then the Italian Garden followed by a wandering through the roses, before going down into the Sunken Gardens. The flowers were beautiful and it is amazing how bright and colorful the various blooms were. We spent almost 3 hours before going back to the dinghy and then to Helios. We didn’t have any rain, which was because we were decked out in our rain gear. We put the dinghy away and retired to the cockpit to read and watch the scenery, boats and people in Tod Inlet. There were hundreds of moon jellies in the water and moving towards the opening to the Inlet. We moved inside at dusk for dinner and later to bed. We left Tod Inlet and headed around the top of Saanich Peninsula to Port Sidney Marina and our mechanic Nathan. We ended up spending six days but the port engine is fixed and we have a verbal agreement that Nathan will perform the 2000 hour maintenance on the engines next year and annual maintenance on the generator. We left Port of Sidney Marina on September 26th and crossed back into the U.S. clearing via cell phone with our NEXUS cards. We went to the TYC outstation in Deer Harbor on Orcas Island. I called Pacific Marine Center to get a haulout date which was October 4th. We left Deer Harbor on Monday the 30th and tied up at Cap Santé Marina in Anacortes until our haulout on the 4th. We got all the items off Helios and into storage that we needed to get done, with the help of Jeri and Fred Ross who brought our vehicle from their house in Oak Harbor. Helios was hauled, pressure washed and blocked Friday morning and we were underway on our trip to Arizona with brief stops in Kent for a couple nights to visit the kids and grandkids and Tacoma to close out our safe deposit box. It was a wonderful summer and we are looking forward to spending more time in the Broughton Archipelago next year.