Friday, June 28, 2013

La Conner, Langley, Kingston

27 June 2013 Thursday

This is a long day, but I am now pressing to get closer to home. The weather is rainy, dark and gloomy....typical for the northwest, but the good news is there is no wind. I'm off at 0745, but the currents in the Swinomish Channel are running hard and I have to wrestle Shatoosh with the bow and stern lines a few rounds so that I can get on board.

I have picked up several of interesting pieces of wood for Pene in Langley so call and she meets me at the marina. She delivers a few things I need and surprises me with a bag of cherries. We have a mug of hot chocolate and the weather improves so I am out of my slickers and off across the Sound to Kingston where there is a nice marina and fuel dock.

The evening is wonderful and the shower is free.

All these dark, boiling systems never produced any rain or waves in the later day. I arrive at 1700 hrs, 3 minutes off my ETA.
Days run: 46nm
Total: 359 nm

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Highlight of My Trip: Vendovi Island

26 June 2013 Wednesday

I had met a wonderful couple while I was in Blind Bay. They had ventured over in their dinghy to see Shatoosh up close. They came aboard and we had a wonderful chat. They were on their sailboat on the next buoy over. They left a gem for me that immediately was tucked inside my planner. Vendovi Island was now open to visitors during the day. Oh my gosh, what an opportunity. Rachel, my old friend had worked with the San Juan Preservation Trust to purchase the island. She had gone to view the island before she died and loved it. I had seen her photos and had wanted to go, but it was closed to the general public.

see link

I am excited when I awake, even though there was rain during the night. Nothing is going to dampen my spirits on this day. Vendovi, here I come. It is a short hop over 4nm and  since I am early I pull off to look at some beaches on the west side that are so beautiful. Later I learn that it is called Sunset Beach. Most fitting, as  one would see Cypress Island to the west and Lummi Island to the north.

I see a mast of a sailboat over the breakwater, so figure someone is there early, too. I go ahead and enter slowly, as the big tide is ebbing again. The north cove, breakwater and dock are a dream come true with the caretakers house overlooking  the grand view. I tie up and organize my things for the day's adventure. The caretakers meet me. Shawn and Heather own the Westsail 32 that is docked next to me. They have cruised extensively in Mexico, but are from Bellingham. What an opportunity for them to care take this place. I sign the guest register and am on my way to Sunset Beach.
Vendovi Island with Lummi Island in the distance

Breakwater and cove

How beautiful is this?

Lummi to the north

What would make this grow like this?

Why this?

A cedar forest.

Lichen and Moss

What is this?

Looks Like Old Rock to Me

A Haida Mask?

A beach Warrior

Another Mysterious Piece of Wood

Sunset Beach

V for Vendovi

Its time to depart
The tide is out again and the ramp steep.

Reluctantly, I loosen Shatoosh's docklines, and gently walk her to the end of the dock, shove off and step into my cockpit. I turn her slowly placing her stern to the caretaker's house and the bow to Lummi. Heather and Shawn are on their porch, I blow my horn and wave to them goodbye. My new friends and Island are now like old comfortable shoes. I can't wait to return and put them on again. I know the island is in good hands, with the caretakers and the SJPT. This has been a grand day, Rachel, I have thought often of you today especially in the cedar grove.
While not on Vendovi
Rachel's beautiful smile

I remember the photo of you, smiling as you sat on a bench on Vendovi. I sat on
the beach smiling too. Vendovi, you are a rare gem in the archipelago of islands. I must return.

Did you ever wonder who or how Vendovi got its name? Was it the Spanish, the British, or the American ?
Who was Vendovi?

Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer are coauthors of Cruising Guidebooks for The Sea of Cortez and a recent publication on the San Juan Islands.

I continue my trip south to La Conner.
Days run: 18nm
Total: 323 nm

Cypress Island

25 June 2013, Tuesday

I have a short cruising day to get to Cypress Island, but it is not easy. The weather has winds, lumpy seas, I have to buck the tide which is swift and the waters are open, big and with ferry traffic. At one point I am making one knot, so I jibe and head with the current going farther off course and in doing so I am able to switch back and forth for a while and free myself from the grip of the bucking tide. All in all my efforts pay off and I arrive at Cypress Head at 1145 hrs. This is DNR property now with buoys at several locations, steep hiking trails and beautiful scenery. Eagles greet me, banditos, aka raccons, are cruising the minus 3.7 tidal area and I slither into the small cove with its stunning tombola from Cypress Head to the main island and grab a buoy. I feel as though I am in the bottom of a bowl and the tide will take forever to refill the place. This cove is getting a real flushing for about 4 days. Isn't nature wonderful? Later that evening when the bowl got refilled I could see over the tombola and there was Anacortes with its city lights on. What a surprise.

On 11 June 1792, Captain Vancouver on the HMS Discovery anchored on the west side in Strawberry Bay. On the previous expedition by the HMS Chatham with Lt Broughton he had anchored here and named the bay Strawberry for the numerous fruits that were there in the spring. This trip the Chatham had anchored on the east side near some rocky shoreline and this is where they loose their stream anchor. This anchor has been been a long time search project of many a Voyage of Discovery historians. Edmond Meany
Todays run: 10nm
Total: 305nm
Cypress Head to left, Cypress Island to right

Shatoosh looking good on buoy.

South cove

North cove

drift wood

Camp spots with tables and fire pits

Forgot again to count those rings

An old Douglas fir

Kelp seeking out Rocks
Lummi Island in Distance

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

West Sound to Spencer Spit Lopez Island

24 June 13 Monday
I departed Orcas Island 1430 hrs and arrived at Spencer Spit at 1550 hrs and at 1850 hrs I moved from the north side to the south side on another buoy to get into quieter water---away from the ferry wake. 7nm for todays run.
Total run 295nm

Spencer Spit

Shatoosh's new look: Salty and Stream lined.

The End of the Spit

Jim Finishes My Pashmina Lift- West Sound, Orcas Island

Last year Jim and Patty from Orcas were cruising with me and Jim said he would work on several projects that I wanted done. It wasn't long that I received my galley extension table and slats to make an extra chart holder in the nav-station. While at Jarrals Cove, we measured and came up with a plan to make a lift to put Pashmina on the cabin roof top. While I have been out cruising Jim has been hard at work constructing the lift.

Finally the day has come, I motor from Blind Bay to Westsound County Dock where Jim meets me with all the parts at 0900 hrs. The weather is slightly drizzly off and on, but we hang in there for the whole day going back and forth from the dock to Jim's workshop a few miles away.

Day 2: I anchored in West Sound for the night and carefully picked my spot so that I would avoid the private mooring buoys. In the morning as I was weighing anchor I discovered that my line was caught on an anchor of a near by buoy. I worked and worked at all angles to free the snagged line, but no luck. I sat and sent a Reiki treatment to the situation. After the session I learned to put out more lack in the line and go forward in the direction of where my anchor was set. I then started to pull in the line and wow, it was free. I passed the snagged section and pulled in the anchor without a problem. Just like in life we get snagged on things, situations, the weight of them makes us feel as though we are dragging an anchor around or we have a large burden on our shoulders. Reiki goes in and removes the cause and then there is no tension in the line, we don't feel stuck and I certainly was relieved when the  line was free. Shatoosh was free to move about without restriction.

 I  practice getting Pashmina on and off. Jim makes some additional tweaks. I take time to clean Pashmina while we have use of the dock. It begins to rain, so I put her back in the water and head for the Orcas ferry Dock and buy a few things at the market, visit with an old friend and take off for Spencer Spit on Lopez Island.

County Dock West  Sound

Starboard Baseplate

Starboard cabin top bracket

Testing winch

Lifting bar attaches to seat  braces

Winch hook attaching to lifting ring

Up she goes

Temporary  fenders stabilize Pashmina 
Jim makes some final  adjustments

Thank you Jim and Patty for all the help, support and fabricating these special projects. I have used my galley extension and chart rack every day on this trip. I am going to have to practice with the lift more while Pashmina is on the dock before I even try to lift her out of the water. Jim, you are quite the craftsman and it was wonderful to get to see you in the process of making the final parts. It all came together so smoothly. Thanks a million.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blind Bay State Park and Whale Watching

I left Jones Island because I had bad cell coverage, so Blind Bay has 4 bars on my Cell Coverage. I catch up on calls and emails and I am getting lots of Pashmina time here. I have rowed to the store on Shaw for ice cream, circum-rowed Blind Island and today I crossed the channel( 30 minute row) to Orcas Ferry landing to go on the Ocras Express for whale watching with Captain Dan.

These were Transient Pods L-pod. Mother and last year's calf L-119.
We encountered them off of San Juan Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The weather was perfect, sun, slight wind and seas. We saw numerous Eagles and nests with chicks, Harbor seals with new pups hauled out on small rock outcroppings near Cattle Pass and a large flock of Harlequin ducks in the same area.
What a day!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Megan Surprises Us Again

Remember Megan? I met her on Blake Island. See posting 2 June 2013

She has sent me an email and photo showing their latest accomplishment. Gary, her husband used their lift to put Meagan into the dinghy for the first time. Away they went , zooming over the waters with Megan laughing all the way.. It was the first  time for a dinghy ride since Megan's accident which left her a high paraplegic. That was 6 years ago and they both continue to amaze us with their enthusiasm to be boating in Puget Sound.

Megan says, " Its great to be alive". What a spirit. Thanks for sharing Megan. The June issue of Northwest Yachting has an article of another couple cruising whose wife is a Quadraplegic from a motor vehicle accident. It is wonderful to see people facing their challenges with such enthusiasm.