We'd boated in the northwest since 2000. We progressed through a series of little boats before finally getting our dream boat in 2018. Named for Fred's mom, the Anita Marie was a slow-moving, comfortable sea-worthy boat that I absolutely adored. We planned to take her to Alaska.
The comfort was a treat after our tiny boats that fit on docks where normal boats put their dingys. Like when we went to the stunning Canadian Broughtons.
We made a few trips, including a repeat visit to BC's beautiful Desolation Sound. But rather than continue on to Northern BC and Alaska, we were unable to go north at all during Covid. By this time we'd fallen in love with Arizona and done the math on how much it cost per night to travel on the boat. (Hint: Check prices for the Four Seasons Scottsdale, a five star hotel.) Oops. That did it, we needed to let it go.
We sold our boat in August 2023. And it still makes my stomach hurt to think about it. That's how much I loved the boat and exploring northwest waters in her. But we simply had to choose between Washington and Arizona. You know which one won.
Met up with our friends Russ and Toni after not seeing them for a pandemicly long time. First overcast day in weeks!
A little bumpy here especially when a fella came charging in seemingly forgetting that his wake defines him. Dishes flew and Fred barely kept his feet. After debating an appropriate response (some of the ideas were rude) I just hoped in the kayak and went over for a chat. Never had a more adamant apology!
We've joined our boating group for a couple of jaunts so far this year, including Hunter Bay for socially distanced anchoring, Rosairo Resort for a marina visit, and, for opening day, we rode our dingys around the marina in Skyline near Anacortes.
We'd never been to the marina at Rosario Resort on Orcas Island, so this club gathering was a great time to go. The Craftsman mansion was built in 1906 by former Seattle mayor and shipbuilder, Robert Moran.
Good captains watch their charts. Otherwise....
Fred and I were cruising near Stuart Island when John Wayne's old boat the Norwester was run aground and abandoned at the mouth of Prevost Harbor. Probably distracted by the promotional video being shot during the trip, the captain failed to follow the chart showing a reef that experienced boaters are well familiar with.
This was a huge story for the area's passionate wooded boat community. Outcry split between praying the boat would be saved and berating the owners for letting the accident happen and their questionable tactics for trying to save her.
Ultimately the boat drifted off the rocks and became a hazard to navigation before a salvage barge craned it up and hauled it to the dump.
Just like everything else this year, boating has been unique. Being able to go put into the San Juan Islands is a blessing, and we are very thankful for the opportunity.
Besides wearing masks around other people on docks out in the middle of nowhere, the weirdest part is not being able to go to Canada, which is our primary destination in the summer.
It’s mortifying not to be welcome in another country. And it’s really painful to think about how the small marinas up there are suffering without our business. Many of the ones we love may not be there in the future.
But we have been enjoying our time in the San Juan’s and really enjoying catching up with Russ and Toni and cruising with them.
In 2005 we spent a couple weeks in Desolation Sound with our then-new 25 foot C-Dory. We're just back from a three-week return trip in our new-to-us Nordic Tug. Just like last time, this trip was absolutely blissful.
Except for a genuinely minor things: biblical rain, limited and expensive groceries, including $9 expired milk, anchoring mortification, and "holy crap" boating conditions. In other words, the makings of perfect stories. Note: This is a comprehensive (long) post. If you only have a few minutes, start with the Refuge Cove and Toba Wilderness stories. If you're really in a hurry, here are some highlight reels:
I don't know about you but when I hear the words "Yacht Club" I think, "Oh, no, really?" But I've learned that not all Yacht Clubs are what I thought they were. For example, the Fidalgo Yacht Club. We met a few members on the dock where we keep our boat and decided to check it out. Just like learning to enjoy a 55+ community (which also made me shudder) I'm learning to really like the club. Just not the word "yacht."
Here's why we joined:
Our first trip in the Nordic Tug (informally named Anita Marie 3, officially named Anita Marie) was as special as the boat itself. We had the Stuart Island Marine Park to ourselves. No campers and no boats in either Reid or Prevost harbors. We've been going there for nearly 20 years and never saw that happen before.