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.
Something happened on the way back from our Labor Day boat trip to Friday Harbor. Fred said something about not wanting to climb around on the boat to get the dingy on the roof and being tired of wrestling with the current so much .... and the next thing I knew we bought a Nordic Tug. Really, it was less than a month, start to finish. (Years in emotional time, though.)
These photos from our Labor Day trip show a lot more than our boat next to the Gypsy Rose owned by our friends (and former C-Dory owners) Martin and Andrea. The Gypsy Rose is a very comfortable Camano Troll trawler. Compare the two boats and you can imagine the difference in comfort and capability between a C-Dory and a real tug/trawler style boat.
So, Andrea and Martin, thanks for planting the seed! And the lovely drinks...
We started boating in 2001 and since then I've been tantalized by the wildlife. Being a bit neurotic, without photo evidence, the sightings aren't nearly as pleasurable. Last year I bought a longer lens for the camera, though I'm already finding that for wildlife, the lens can never be too long. That's why you see people carrying cameras that require tripods for the LENS. In fact, my lens requires a tripod mount which I refuse to use as it makes me look geeky and a bit photographically pompous. But the blurry results I get may change my mind. But on a boat, a tripod really doesn't matter much.
I didn't know pelicans came through Anacortes. The Mouflon Sheep are on Spieden Island. They're remainders the many exotic animals imported for safari adventures in the 70's. The enterprising guy who owned the (smallish) island also owned a taxidermy in Seattle. The shooting stopped and hotel shut down when the people on nearby San Juan Island felt endangered.
We're off to a good start of the boating season this year, having already gone on three trips. The first couple were for shrimping and to check out all the improvements we've made to the boat.
The big one was last weekend, when we attended the annual C-Dory gathering in Friday Harbor. We do the usual stuff, eat, chat, compare stories. We do not, however, keep up with other boat gatherings in the area of drunken antics. No one seems to mind that we can't or won't try to be rowdier. I mean really, do these look like party boats to you? Doesn't mean we don't have fun.