Looking south from Helios at Spencer's Spit
We arrived in Anacortes on June 19th after driving up from Arizona and stopping at the kids for a couple of days to celebrate Brian’s 50 birthday. We spent the next 10 days getting Helios ready for the summer cruise, which included a thorough washdown, and Linda waxed while I worked on some mechanical items and installing lines. Helios went back in the water on the afternoon of July 1st, and we motored over to Cap Sante Marina and slip C-15. Our granddaughter, Kelsey, arrived on the 2nd to spend a little time with us, as she found a break in her work schedule. We left the next day for Spencer’s Spit and were able to grab a buoy on the north side and spent a couple of nights using the kayaks and dinghy for some travels during the day. On the 5th we motored back to Cap Sante, and Kelsey helped Linda wash Helios down, before heading back home to go to work tomorrow. We stayed a couple of nights to do some shopping and get things organized the way we liked, plus taking the watermaker out of storage mode and into operating mode, replacing a pipe in the owner’s shower.
We left Cap Sante Marina with our goal being to anchor between Double Island and Orcas Island, but a powerboat passed us on the way and took the last good spot. We went up to the head of West Sound into Massacre Bay, but the wind and fetch were uncomfortable, so we headed over to the TYC outstation at Deer Harbor Marina to see if space was available, and it was. We spent 3 nights and did some walking up to the point overlooking the harbor entrance and President Channel about a mile round trip with 250’ elevation change. We had some other members come in, so we visited with them and the next day we left for Stuart Island, but ended up in the north end of Jones Island. We hadn’t been in this cove for 20 years, and when we saw an open buoy, we grabbed it first try. We went up and paid for 3 nights, $45, which is the maximum. The whole island is a park with trails all over the island. Linda had made it her mission for us to do much more hiking whenever possible. The trail from North Cove to South Cove is almost like walking on a sidewalk and we took a side trial around to the west side of the island for ways before returning to the dinghy and then Helios. The next day was a bit more of a workout as we explored the trail, we could see people walking from Helios on the east side of the cove. We were able to get some pictures of Helios.
We left Jones Island and the wind was less than 5 knots, so we motored towards Stuart Island, with the diesel heater and watermaker running to dry things out and top off the water tank and heat hot water. We checked out Prevost Harbor, but it was a little too crowded, so it was over to our old reliable, Reid Harbor. Reid didn’t seem that full and we motored up to the head and found 3 open buoys and decided this looked like another 3-night stay. It was late enough in the day that we decided to do the check tomorrow and relaxed in the cockpit watching the activities. The following day we lowered the dinghy and headed to the dock and registered for our stay and walked across the island to the Prevost side to see how things were before taking the dinghy back to Helios. We were reading in the cockpit when we noticed a TYC burgee motoring by and called hello to Dave and Marla on Speculator. We noticed a group of TYC boats tied up to the floating dock separate from shore, and later John Holland, Fleet Captain, came by in his dinghy on the way to check his crab traps. He said this was the last stop on the “Uncruise”. The next day after doing small projects in the morning, we headed over to the floating dock and the 5 TYC boats, only to find that Bentley Rickmers and Jon & Laura Jones who were anchored and rafted together had come in to visit. We had a good time catching up with old friends and as we were leaving Bruce Blunt said we should make sure to plan on next year’s cruise which would be in Desolation Sound. We spent the next couple of days relaxing on Helios, touring the anchorage in the dinghy and hiking some of the trails on shore. We left Reid Harbor thinking we would anchor in Blind Bay after stopping at the TYC outstation in Deer Harbor to top off the water tank. The south end was open while the north end was 3 deep. The fellow club members helped us tie up and we signed up for a couple of nights. We got some chores done and the following day saw us help with the change over as two boats left and two new came in plus another anchored. The following morning, we left for Cap Sante and our reserved slip, C-35, and were tied up by one, and grandson, Paxton, arrived for a few days stay at 2:30. We did grocery shopping and the next day while Linda did hair and nails, Paxton and I did some projects on Helios. We left Cap Sante for Blind Bay with no wind to sail. The next day we checked out possible anchorages in West Sound, but it was a little crowded and the outstation at Deer Harbor was full, so we headed to Stuart Island and Reid Harbor. We dropped anchor and settled in for the evening. The next day a buoy opened and Paxton was able to hook us up from the bow. I took the dinghy to shore and Linda and Paxton checked us in and walked to the self-serve store. After Reid we headed over to Spencer’s Spit and were able to grab a buoy on the north side. Paxton volunteered to take the kayak and sign us in. The next day we moved on to Fisherman’s Bay and dropped anchor. Paxton and Linda took the dinghy to shore and walked to Lopez Village, I passed with a sore knee. We had a nice evening and even with the cool evening breeze were able to see the Milky Way before retiring for the night. Paxton had to get back, so we returned to Cap Sante Marina and after we were all tied up walked with Paxton up to his car and asked him to drive safe on the way home. He texted Grandma a couple of hours later that he was at home safe and sound. We used our couple days at the marina to clean up Helios and get the laundry done. We had the next 3 weeks to wander around the San Juans and we did stop at Reid Harbor, Fossil Bay, Blind Bay, TYC outstation and Garrison Bay. The weather was medium with a little rain now and then and not much wind to sail. We headed back to Cap Sante towards the end of August, as I had a Board meeting in Tacoma. Jeri and Fred brought our car to the marina, and we had dinner with them. I headed out the next morning and after the meeting was back in Anacortes, where Jeri and Fred picked up the car until we will put Helios away. We checked out a couple of anchorages but with the forecast wind they didn’t appear that secure, and when we checked out the TYC outstation it was empty, so we tied up and signed up for 3 nights. It was at this stop the summer’s biggest activity happened. I was working on replacing a lifting line for the dinghy and lost my balance stepping down and fell backwards into the cockpit hitting my head causing a gash that bled quite freely. Linda returned with the laundry and wanted to know what happened and decided I probably needed stitches and had the marina manager call the Orcas Island’s EMT. A doctor was working on his large boat two dock over and walked over to check me out, and then came the fire department and EMTs. It was agreed upon that it would require staples or stitches but would require me to get to San Juan Island from Orcas Island. The Doc said he would run me over in his aluminum fishing boat, which made the travel time less than 30 minutes. He called ahead and had a taxi waiting at the head of the dock and it was off to the hospital. I was the only patient and 5 staples and a lot of questions later, Linda and I were in another taxi to the ferry and a ride back to Orcas and another taxi to the Deer Harbor marina. All in all time of accident to return to marina including time to have dinner before ferry ride, was about 5 hours, pretty good. We now had two specific dates in the future, I had to return to the hospital to have the staples taken out, and Helios was being hauled out on September 21st. I made reservations at Friday Harbor Marina for the staple removal, and Cap Sante to off load gear into storage before the haul out. We stayed at the outstation for a few days until I felt a little better and then we went to Rosario Marina on Orcas Island for a couple of nights before returning to Friday Harbor Marina and a taxi ride to have the staples removed. We left Friday Harbor and ended up back Reid Harbor for a few days before moving over to the outstation for a few more days and then back to Cap Sante Marina and the beginning of the process to put Helios away for the winter. Fred and Jeri came in and picked up the kayaks and I changed the oil and filters on both engines and pickled the watermaker. Helios came out of the water on the 21st and later that day Paxton and Vern arrived to help take the sails and lines off and haul them to storage. With Helios ready for the winter, we moved on to Auburn for a few days to be with the kids and grandkids, before starting the trip home, which included stops at 4 National Parks, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef and the Grand Canyon. It was a Groundhog summer, and we are hoping that 2021 will see the Canadian border open so we can head north.