Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bellingham to Eagle Harbor, Cypress Island

1 September 2011 Thursday

Yesterday, mother gull was constantly being harrassed by her 2 children. They wouldn't leave her alone, always pecking at her mouth to get a left over nibble of something. Up and down the dock they went.

The big fish buying boat that I saw on Lummi Island comes into the marina this morning. She is huge and well used.

I wanted to get a jump start on leaving before the wind piped up, but the wind started early this morning. With the wind pinning me to the dock, it was going to make it hard for me to get my bow around in such a short space. I rallied my new found friends, Shirley, on the Island Packet and Al on the Viking Star to assist and/or stand by, to keep me from being blown down on Shirley's boat. Instead of leaving with bow out, I decided to go stern out and with my good old Volvo kick to starboard I knew I could clear Shirley's boat. Al managed to keep my bow off the dock and Shirley gave my stern a shove as I threw Shatoosh in reverse. Presto, I'm out of harm's way and on my way. I wave good by and yell a loud Aloha.

I meet a large fishing vessel coming out of the other harbor, the Lady Law, hailing from Newport, Or. I fall in behind her and begin my Bellingham Bay crossing. The wind has built up quite a chop and the bay is filled with white caps. My ship's bell is ringing some 3 bell waves, as I call them. Shatoosh is riding well and I am glad that I, again, decided to stow Pashmina on the rooftop, rather than, to tow her.

After an hour the seas and winds soften their gnarly grip on the bay. Yesterday, Too Tall was telling me that I might run across a derelict porta boat and would I save it for him. At 1025hrs, I have reached the southern tip of Eliza Island near the southern tip of Lummi. I look up to see a dinghy adrift. In the distance it looks, not like a porta boat, but rather a Livingston. I alter my course to check it out. It is about 12 ft long, pretty beaten up, no lines on it, no registration numbers(they have been partially removed), no life jackets, no oars. There is growth on the bottom indicating it has been adrift for a while and it is partially submerged. I notify the Coast Guard and give them the information and the lat/long. It looks like it might be blown into Eliza Island shoreline. I told the CG that since I was single handing I did not want to try to get a line on her and tow her into land. They agreed and noted the location. I then called, Too Tall, on the phone to tell him he must be coming psychic.

I return to my course heading for Cypress Island and arrive at 1130hrs.

I pick up a buoy deep into Eagle Harbor. The tide is ebbing and I have 8-10 ft of water under me. At low tide I have 6 feet. There are 12 bouys here and the setting is stunning with a nice cove and beach in the back and steep rock cliffs to port as you face outward of the cove. The sun has been in and out all day and the wind blowing 10-15k to zero.

I am really hungry, so cut up some polish sausage and scramble some eggs. I top it off with my last kosher pickle and a mug of coffee. I figure I get my vegetable that way. After doing the dishes, I dust off my fishing pole and throw the line over. A fish grabs it just as it hits the bottom. I throw it back and that is the only catch of the day. If the weather is good tomorrow, perhaps I will troll for some pinks.

Hooking up to a buoy really takes the stress out of being in a windy cove. I will be coming back here in a few days when I bring my friend, Carol, next week. Farther up the shoreline are more buoys and trail heads, as all this land is DNR. There is a small mountain lake, as well. We will have to explore it later.

Its time to put on some warmer clothes as the wind is cold. I think I have changed clothes 3 times today. Fleece to shorts and back again. The weather changes every 5 minutes.We have had calm, rain, wind, sun, clouds but no fog. I'm headed for the galley to make me some hot chocolate.

An interesting low profile trawler came in late this afternoon, hailing from Oregon. They are flying a Waikiki Yacht Club Burgee. He buoys up across from me. Perhaps, tomorrow I shall talk with him.

My course today brought me to a place where I intersected my original course north to Lummi. As you can see, I have been exploring the north east section of the islands, which are all new to me. I haven't planned on this, but it just evolved as each day passed.

Day's run: 14nm
Total: 148nm