2019 SJI Trip Report

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Hi all,

After all the assistance in helping me plan my first major cruise I thought I would write up a little report to share what happened, and maybe it'll be of use to future skippers and travellers to the area. I'll break it into multiple posts to share pictures, and will likely have to post over a couple days as I think and process more about the trip.

The trip was honestly quite challenging. I think while 2 days is the right amount of time to deliver up to the San Juans from Seattle, it's still two long days, especially when the crew is people unfamiliar with sailing and boat life in general. Also it must be said, as obvious as it sounds, that most of the time spent on a sailing cruise is spent actually sailing. A "quick jaunt" between islands means the activity that day is getting to that new island, likely in the afternoon. Expectations must be appropriately set and managed, and I don't think I was accurate in conveying to myself or others how much boat time there would be.

Most of the issues I encountered were interpersonal and not boat-related, save for some, uh, slips of the mind which I will detail later. I learned a ton about navigating currents, tide rips, and the consequences of not doing those things correctly.

All that said, the scenery was amazing, the Ericson 32-3 is a fantastic boat, and I feel lucky to live in this world-class cruising ground of Puget Sound.

My crew was 3 people plus me, one of whom was a romantic interest of mine, and the other two were a couple and long-time friends of mine. None of these three are sailors, or had ever done extensive sailing before. Those of you who know what that means are already laughing at me.

The final trip looked like:
- Eagle Harbor to Langley
- Langley to Hunter Bay, Lopez Island
- Hunter Bay to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
- Friday Harbor to Fox Cove, Sucia Island
- Fox Cove to Obstruction Pass, Orcas Island
- Obstruction Pass to Port Townshend
- Port Townshend to Eagle Harbor

Day 1 - Eagle Harbor to Langley Marina, Whidbey Island

The week before I left on my cruise, I was at a week-long silent meditation retreat, so most of my trip prep had to come beforehand, as I only had one day upon returning to do any laundry and final preparation before we departed. When the time came to go, my friends from Denver encountered a number of problems with their flight to Seattle, which meant picking them up late and then sleeping in on departure day.

The first day was a long day tacking upwind in Puget Sound towards Whidbey Island. The wind picked up to what must've been at least 15 knots at times, and I ended up reefing the main and jib to preserve the comfort of the guests. People started getting mildly seasick as waves grew in size, and it wasn't exactly warm. I was having a great time sailing, though. We towed my little West Marine dinghy behind the boat for the first time, and it seemed to tow like a champ, despite occasionally scaring the crap out of me as I turned around to see an unfamiliar object so close to the boat. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't seem to get over 5.7-6 knots, and am still contemplating what couild be going wrong here - too much weight in the bow, bottom needs cleaning, sails finally getting too blown out for heavy wind?

We got to Langley Harbor around 8PM and walked up to town, but sadly almost everything was already closed. Still, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset and took showers in the marina. Docking in the marina was VERY tight, and I whiffed the 180 degree turn starboard side tie with the wind blowing me off the pier, so we docked portside and walked the boat up to be facing stern-in.

The group chemistry seemed to be slightly uncomfortable as some of the crew didn't get along very well, which made me slightly concerned about the rest of the trip, but with a 4AM wake-up call the next day to get through Deception Pass, I couldn't think about much except getting to sleep in order to get going.

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Kenneth K

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
I was having problems motoring up to six knots, too, before my haul out. I did a quick dive on the boat, and was shocked at the barnacle growth on the prop. Also, big chunks of growth on the keel leading edge. Most of the rest of the bottom was fairly clean.

I now check the prop the prop before motoring long distances, and scrape it with an ice scraper if needed.

The boat motors much better now since having the bottom repainted in May.
 

Soupy sails

Member I
Thanks I found almost exactly the same when I dove my boat but I'm wondering how long it takes to build up that kind of barnacle growth in these waters I'm in the hood canal so I think I might have a little more fresh water and hence more? Any ideas on the rate of that kind of growth? When was the last time you had a look at your prop or keel? Just trying to get an idea. Thanks.
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Ok, wow, I got pretty distracted. Or maybe daunted by the amount of story left to type here. Let's keep going.

Day 2 - Langley to Hunter Bay, Lopez IS
42 NM, 12:45hrs

This is one of those days that will live in memory forever... as the low-water point in my yachting career thus far. I can already see my future salty self looking back in time, appreciating that whatever pickle I've gotten myself into can't be as bad as the way this whole day turned out. It is to my detriment and your entertainment that I don't yet understand the amount of mistakes that are appropriate for a new skipper to share, as after my Day 2 story, fellow yacht club members have committed to nominating me for our "Half-Vast Award", given to the "most creative yachting performance of the year". See if you can count how many mistakes I make here.

In retrospect it seemed like either a heroic effort or a lack of understanding to try to get from Langley to Lopez in one day, at least with three green crewmembers on board. The long-planned goal was to make it through Deception Pass by 9:30AM, and calculations (done by Navionics) had me taking around 4 hours to get there, but that was with a calculation of average 6 kts boat speed. I originally planned to wake up at 5AM, but a creeping sense of paranoia had me up at 4AM to get underway. I told the crew they could stay asleep - I know how to singlehand my boat, and it was my hope that preventing an early morning for the crew would help improve morale around the boat.

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So, up just before the sunrise, I hopped above decks to start the engine and get underway. To those who haven't docked in Langley before, it's a tiny marina, and I was tied stern-in to a tiny pocket of a slip, with a boat to be avoided directly in front of me. My 32' boat could diagonally fit in the little back corner, but only just. I kept the dinghy tied to the transom of the boat for easy departure. I just hopped off, untied a the lines holding the boat onto the dock, and gave a little push to get the exit angle just right. Hopped back on, click into forward, super smooth. Until the boat went SPROING and stopped forward motion...I turned around and saw in my sleepiness I neglected to untie the dinghy itself from the dock. So now my boat was too far from any dock for me to jump off very quickly, light wind was blowing it across the fairway to the dock on the other side, and the dinghy was still attached. Strangely calm, my decision was to let the wind blow the bow near the other dock, jump off the bow onto the finger, push the bow back out into the fairway to give the wind some time to blow it back to me. I sprinted around the dock to untie the dinghy, jumped back onto the bow, gave a push with the boathook, back to the cockpit and forward motor out of the marina. Like nothing ever happened.

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Underway and recollected, I settled in for a lovely sunrise and long day of motoring ahead. My only concerns were that mental math had me missing slack tide at Deception Pass and running into a strong opposing current. On top of that, I couldn't help but feel like I really should have found the time to fill the gas tank before my life got so busy. Assuming half a gallon an hour...times this many hours...I could get through the Pass, but not guarantee a safe arrival anywhere else on the other side. Compounding the mental knot was more exhaust coming from the transom than I remember. What does white smoke mean again? I googled and re-googled and looked and frowned and googled and frowned and kept on motoring.

The chilly morning to myself was nice, and soon people woke up and got coffee and breakfast going underway. People in the crew still weren't getting along very well, and there was an uncomfortable tension any time certain people were in the same area of the boat. I watched Navionics and DeepZoom as it seemed like we missed every single favorable current switch the entire way north and found ourselves going both slower through the water and slower over ground than I had planned. We definitely wouldn't make it through the Pass during a safe time, and I really needed some gas, so what were the options? I chose to press on towards the Deception Pass Marina.

By the time we reached Deception Pass Marina, the fuel tank was decidedly below E. I followed what seemed like reasonable signs for the marina fuel dock, cautiously puttering at 1-1.5 knots through a very backwater looking backwater marina, until I felt the boat slow down and stop without my consent. "Well, I think we just ran aground," I told the crew, turning the wheel away from where we came. The rudder moved freely and the boat turned slowly in the direction I wanted it to go, so as gently as I could, I rotated around in the mud and slowly headed back the way I came until we broke free and exited the marina. I called the dockmaster, and asked, "How do I get to the fuel dock, I'm trying to get some gas"/ They told me they were just about to come out and try to help, and that you can't get to the fuel dock at low tide, and to go to the nearby state park where they'd bring a jug of fuel my way.

When they did arrive, she brought a can of FUEL with her, and me and a friend struggled with getting the stupid pour spout to engage. We didn't manage to get anything out before we pulled it out to examine, and the dockmaster asked, "Now did you want gas or diesel?" I gaped at her wide-eyed and said "DIESEL!", she went "OH MY GOD, HOW MUCH DID YOU PUT IN THE BOAT???" and I said "HOLY SH-T NOTHING!!" and we both freaked out for a minute at almost putting gasoline in my diesel engine. My stupid land-lubber mind needs to learn to be extremely specific and never say "gas" when I mean "diesel". Fortunately no harm was done and I took a ride with her and her taciturn friend with a pickup truck to the station, where I got two 5 gal tanks of DIESEL and went back to fill the boat up.

By now we had handily missed our window for the Pass and hung out until early afternoon, taking walks and tidying things up on the boat. Another Ericson (30, I believe) pulled in right as we were leaving. I was still probably 30-60min early to get through the Pass cleanly, but I was itching to go and figured we could make it just fine.

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We ended up going about full throttle through the pass, making 1-2kts at best, fighting the...zesty backcurrents, eddies, whirlpools, and whatever the hell else is going on in the water there. I would never say I was AFRAID...I'm used to tidal currents swinging the boat one way or another when you cross them, but what happens when the bow gets tossed? I gulped and countersteered. Anyways, it took a little while and I was concerned about running the engine so hard, but we popped through just fine and out into Rosario Strait, where we had an absolutely gorgeous reach over to Lopez Island.

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We chose to anchor in Hunter Bay, a relatively close anchorage that had good holding and 20ft of depth throughout. Unfortunately it w as not very protected from the southwesterly we endured all night, sometimes getting up to 25-30kts of wind howling through the rig. I let the scope out to 7:1 and set my anchor alarms, and we managed to grill in the cockpit before it got too crazy. Crew still wasn't getting along very well, which was honestly very stressful. I had so many days of "vacation" left and after Day 2 already felt like I had the crap beat out of me. I was definitely overextending myself, at least with people who maybe didn't understand how slow sailboats really go, or that today was really more of a "delivery" day rather than a "cruising" day. I dunno.

Either way I planned another early morning for myself to get us un-anchored and over to Friday Harbor early so everyone could have some reprieve back on land.

Part 3 coming..
 

mjsouleman

Member III
Geoff,

All valuable lessons begin as your adventure has, with mistakes and mis-uderstandings, it's like being married. You learn as you go and if you are in love enough, things work out.

MJS
Discovery, 1983 30+ lovingly being returned to glory
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Day 3 - Hunter Bay to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
12.8 NM, 3:21hrs

I got up early to pull in the anchor and get us underway to Friday Harbor for some much needed shore time. There wasn't much to note as far as boat stuff goes this day - the weather way grey and cold. I put my foulies on for the upwind motoring trip. Hundreds of not thousands of crab pots littered the entirety of the trip so I had to keep a sharp lookout, amusedly watching the ferries pull hard maneuvers to port and starboard trying to dodge the biggest clusters of them.

At Friday Harbor the group split up for a while, after docking in some chilly drizzle and getting the boat plugged back in to shore power and re-watered. My one friend told me yesterday that she planned to leave the trip on a ferry back to Seattle. Just wasn't having a good time with the interpersonal issues or getting seasick every time we hoisted sails. It sucked to see her go, but I agreed she needed to do what was best for her and her comfort. We hung out in town for awhile and did some watercolor painting at the Bean Cafe, where they have world-class salted caramels for sale (worth the trip to the SJIs themselves, I dream about them whenever I'm away).

Once she hopped on the ferry to Seattle, my remaining two friends and I did some reprovisioning and ate dinner at a local pub before I passed out early, exhausted from a couple days of difficult crew management and a challenging "delivery" cruise to the Islands themselves.

But all wasn't lost, as the next day we planned to go up to Sucia after letting me sleep in and refueling / emptying the holding tank.

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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
You will need to tell us, eventually, using all power of discretion and suggestion, the nature of the crew incompatibility issue.

Boats do get small fast. A friend, now dead, sailed transAtlantic many years ago on a lovely 60-foot boat he had himself designed. The owner skipper disappeared below, locked himself in his cabin, and stayed drunk. At one point he kicked my friend down the companionway ladder. At Plymouth they consulted authorities, that's how bad it had been. They were told: on the high seas the captain is in command and you have no case.
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
You will need to tell us, eventually, using all power of discretion and suggestion, the nature of the crew incompatibility issue.
The friend who left was a romantic interest of mine; we had been exchanging pen-pal letters for almost a year planning and anticipating this trip. My other two friends are longtime pals who I have done similar adventures with, and we have really good trio-chemistry. For some reason one of the longtime pals decided to use this trip as the time to stop smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and anything else like that. To be discrete and suggestive, he was a real jackass for these first two days. I don't know if it was just the withdrawal from choice substances or something about the romantic nature of me/my friend's relationship, but he was rude and disrespectful from the get go. Eventually he started smoking again and calmed down, and both me and his GF had a frank chat with him about his attitude, and I think he saw the light. Too late for my friend, though.


edit: Things weren't going to work out with the romantic friend anyways, so the parting wasn't a fraught affair - but the unpleasant feelings around it were regrettable nonetheless.
 
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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Well described, Geoff. In the '70s my brother had a doobie going far offshore on the night watches. I disapproved. It is a long way to Bermuda with smoke coming out of the hatches and also your own ears. Looking back, he didn;t complained about my tobacco pipe filling the cabin with fumes.

In the end the only explanation of crew friction is that they are wrong and we are right. And if they want to listen to that horrible music, use headphones.

None of it comes up singlehanded.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Well described, Geoff. In the '70s my brother had a doobie going far offshore on the night watches. I disapproved. It is a long way to Bermuda with smoke coming out of the hatches and also your own ears. Looking back, he didn;t complained about my tobacco pipe filling the cabin with fumes.

In the end the only explanation of crew friction is that they are wrong and we are right. And if they want to listen to that horrible music, use headphones.

None of it comes up singlehanded.
Sort of begs the question.... do you ever argue with those voices in your head??
:)
 

billie williams

Member II
We all make mistakes, Geoff. And then we modify our behavior so that we make new ones instead of repeating the old ones.

Your storytelling ability is great - I am already smiling in anticipation the next episode. Please, carry on...
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Day 4 - Friday Harbor to Fox Cove, Sucia Island
17.2 NM, 3:eek:8hrs


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This day was finally the exact sort of day I was hoping to have on a sailboat cruise. We slept in until around 9 or 10AM, got up to get coffee and breakfast at a cute diner where they tempted the casual patron with many types of Eggs Benedict but I opted for the corned beef hash. No regrets on that decision whatsoever. Our crew of 3 grabbed a few more groceries and headed back to the boat. A quick jaunt around the breakwater and an impressively tight and smooth 180 degree docking had us pumping out the overfull holding tank - an exciting education in boat life for the novice crew, to be sure. Rinsed clean and feeling lighter, we headed to the fuel dock where I satisfyingly filled the tank to full and then we were off. Just in time to catch a perfect tide swing northwards, just in time for the breeze to fill in to about 7-10 knots from the south, and just in time for the sun to come out. Perfect.

Sucia Island, for those not local to here, is said by the cruising guide to be the crown jewel of the San Juans, both due to its northern position as well as the myriad sheltered coves, hiking trails, and scenery to be seen on the island. I was there one day and think I could easily spend a week just at this island. It's been one I've looked forward to visiting on a boat ever since I first went to the SJIs, and was my only firm "Captain's Choice" activity for the trip.

We had a great reach/broad reach most of the way there, until the wind shifted around front and we were close hauled through some funky currents at the northwest side of Orcas Island. The original goal was Shallow Bay, the westernmost cove on the island, and is said by the cruising guide to have the best sunset views on Sucia. Sadly, all the mooring balls were taken and a few powerboats encroached on the safe anchoring positions, so no go. I followed another cruiser and we both decided to skip it at the same time, and then motored on the inner side of Little Sucia island to Fox Cove, another nearby harbor where 3 open mooring balls awaited. A quick and easy tie up and we were set for the night and promptly dinghied to shore to get hiking.

I suggested we row the boat to what looked like the main beach, but my crew countered that we should skip the rowing and head out to the edge of the closest beach and hike in from there. Didn't seem like a big deal, so we beached the inflatable right about at the high tide line and hiked around for a few hours. We'd pay for this a little later :) On the island itself, beautiful PNW greenery abounded - wildflowers, ferns, tons of madrona trees, and endless views of water and islands. I couldn't have asked for a better terrestrial sojourn. And I finally felt relaxed!

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Eventually we headed back to the dinghy, but the tide had come in quite high and we ended up having to wade down the beach to get back to the dinghy, which fortunately was pulled high enough for us to get to it. I could see the crew of the cruising boat we followed in amusedly watching us walk through knee-high water, but, no matter. It was a good time.

At the boat we grilled up brats and veggie burgers and enjoyed some lovely sunset skies. Will and I played ukelele and concertina together, even recording a few amateur songs, one of which I offer to you here:

https://youtu.be/qTMr4JG6AY4

Overall a really nice day. The only thing that went "wrong" was that the cove itself is sort of located at the confluence of two currents, so during the tide changes overnight we were in slight washing machine chop all night, and the wind wasn't enough to hold us away from the mooring ball -- which banged against the hull near my all night. BANG bang bang. BANG bang bang. BANG bang bang. I tried rigging up a line from the bow pulpit to hold the ball in front of the boat, but this made the chop especially choppy - no escape from some annoyance. It did lead to a very cool moment where I went abovedecks to fiddle with lines and emerged from the enclosure of the boat into the hugeness of being farther than I've ever been before. Something about looking off into the horizon and knowing how far north I was made me feel very far "out here", which seemed very significant at the time. And makes me want to keep going :)
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Day 5 - Fox Cove to Obstruction Pass Recreational Area, Orcas Island
17.8NM, 3:57hrs

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Ah, the 4th of July. My original plan had me trying to get into Fisherman's Harbor on Lopez in order to watch the local show, but after the events of the trip thus far I thought I'd actually appreciate another night away from most people, having to concern myself with anchoring in a crowded harbor, noise and spectacle, and so forth. I'm sort of a quiet keep-to-myself sort of person in general, so we made the decision to skip the big to-do and make a relatively short day, primarily setting ourselves up to make the jump with the tide across the Strait the day after.

Consulting the cruising guide, I saw a recommendation for a place called Obstruction Pass recreation area, said to be beautiful yet well-protected from the currents nearby.

The morning wasn't without its excitement - before we departed Fox Cove we dinghied over to Little Sucia to do some beachcombing during low tide. It was a nice hike around, lots of kelp and tiny crabs skittering about, and views of the boat from whence we came.

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Tying back up, my friend Will (bless his heart) untied the dinghy from the boat entirely, and I watched with a blank expression as the current started pulling it out to sea. "Dinghy's gone..." I said, contemplating the next move. I thought of quickly untying from the mooring ball and going after it, but reality check of it going near the beach in a shallow cove straightened me right out. Quick decisions must be made...I stripped down and jumped in the 55 degree water, grateful I took those swim lessons as a kid but regretting the lack of exercise I've done in 2019... Anyways, I got the dinghy without any more drama and we threw lines and headed out.

Motoring along the north side of Orcas was fun, lots of tide and current convergence going on to make the water either boil or go completely glassy, either texture might mean the boat gets thrown one way or another, I haven't quite figured out how to read tide rips yet.

We got to sail down the east side of Orcas, though one tack had the current pushing us the right way into the wind while the other tack seemed to cancel out forward momentum. Eventually we couldn't sail any close with the way the current was going, so we dropped sails and motored into the pass. Strong current was opposing us, but it was much less dramatic to get through than any of the other passes so far. When we got to the moorage, three mooring balls awaited us with no other boats in sight. A number of terrestrial beach-goers were picnicking at the park, but we tied up with no drama and dinghied to shore to enjoy what was a really beautiful little park. Also had a completely odor-free composting latrine, which seemed a luxury for a state park.

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Really nice moorage here. 3 balls and room for more to anchor. Across the water, a big private property put on a fireworks show for the entire bay, so we didn't miss out on much by avoiding Fishermans (other than being in close proximity to bgary :))

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My two remaining crew members were having relationship problems, so I kindly got the hell off the boat for a while to be by myself and talk to folks back home for a bit, sitting on a nice knoll overlooking the water while otters frolicked their way northward, and sparrows swooped in and out of the rocks like tiny acrobats. By the time I got back they seemed to have sorted it out, and all was well once again.

Tomorrow had me catching the tides in the morning and scooting south through Rosario Strait to Port Townshend, the first day of "going home". I think I was pretty ready for it by now.
 

Attachments

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
Really enjoying your saga. Can't wait for the next episode!

... into Fisherman's Harbor on Lopez in order to watch the local show, but after the events of the trip thus far I thought I'd actually appreciate another night away from most people...
Probably a good call. Fisherman was a zoo.

I timed my trip to arrive Fisherman an hour or two into a rising tide. It wasn't enough. I got there when the tables said it should have been +2, which would have meant 9 feet of water in the channel. I don't know if that's true or not, because I hit bottom - twice - within 100 yards of the beacon marking the beginning of the entrance, long before reaching the entrance of the channel itself. Happily it is a soft bottom, and I didn't stick (cognizant of the cruising guide which cheerfully noted that if you go aground you'll be "right there for the whole town to enjoy")

Decided to go over to Friday Harbor to top off my fuel tank and kill some time. That was... interesting. plenty of idiots in speedboats, an hour wait for a spot at the fuel dock, etc. The only bright note was that there were a number of boats full of girls who were enthusiastically flashing anyone they passed. Felt like I was back in high school.

Two hours later, back in the entrance channel at Fisherman and made it through with 2 feet of water under the keel. Found that the Island Marine Center staff had gone home early for the holiday, but had kindly left a "reserved" spot for me on the outer dock. A spot about 34 feet long, with about 3 knots of current running along it. After a few aborted passes, I hovered (idling up-current kept me pretty stationary relative to the dock) long enough to chat with the boats on either side of the gap, and one of them graciously moved his boat forward so I could have the end-tie. Got in there without any further drama, but... jeez. The boat had a wake while tied to the dock. Seriously.

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Turns out that was a really great spot to watch the goings-on. People ripping around between the anchored boats on outboards, people staggering along the docks trying to remember where they'd left their boats, hordes of boats streaming into the bay at twilight trying to find enough clear space to anchor in time for the fireworks.... Great entertainment, dispassionately considered over a nice glass of scotch from the safety and comfort of my cockpit.

Ah well. The fireworks were good, but not good enough to warrant being in the middle of all that. If I wanted to be around that many people I could go to Costco.

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And adding insult to injury, the highly vaunted "slow roasted prime rib" at the Lopez Islander Resort was...about three steps below what you could get at Applebees.

Oh well. Been there, done that, next year I'll find a quieter spot to enjoy the 4th. Maybe we'll cross paths at Obstruction - that place looks great!

Bruce
 
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Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
That's a good report of the Fisherman's situation and makes me feel better for choosing how I did - highly recommend Obstruction pass! It was a gem. Glad to hear I wasn't the only one running aground that weekend, either :)

Ok, last update here - it's taking me a while to get these out so I'll wrap the last 2 days into a single post, as they were pretty much just the Long Motor South.

Days 6 and 7
Obstruction Pass to Port Townshend - apparently I didn't log this day
Port Townshend to Eagle Harbor - 36.8 NM, 9:37hrs

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We got up early to throw off the mooring lines and leave Obstruction Pass, headed south out of the San Juans to cross the Strait into Port Townshend. Before departing, my friend Ishka managed to fish up a dogfish and something like a flounder, both of which we cast back into the sea - first time for me ever seeing a shark out of the water, though. Kind of spooky looking. After re-reading the good advice on this forum about the Pt. Wilson Rip, we dipped out into Rosario Strait to ride 2-3kts of favorable current back down towards home. Woo-hoo! We put sails up when we got out and sailed for a while until the current spit us out of the San Juans and into the strait, and the wind shut off entirely.

It was, as the whole week was, a cool and misty morning, so everything was super flat and eerie out on the Strait. No major swell or chop to speak of, no real indication of where we were, just the autohelm pointing us in the direction of home and motoring @ 2500 rpm south.

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We made it down to Pt. Wilson a couple hours after the tide change, just as advised, and only had a very slight patch of tide rip to get through. The texture of the water did shift noticeably from glass to random lumps and bumps all over the place, so I could see how getting stuck in those conditions for hours would be fatiguing, to say the least. We pulled into the marine at Port Townshend, a town that every boater I know thinks of fondly - it's super salty, has a long tradition of wooden shipmaking and nautical artisan craftsmanship, and has lots of cute shops and tasty restaurants to boot. We went out for dinner and enjoyed plugging into shore power, after having to slip behind a fishing trawler as we co-occupied a 60' slip together. Fortunately there was no wind and no drama, but my crew did have to take a flying leap off the boat. Not super ideal.

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We also saw Hammer out of the water, an insane Schock 40 and this year's winner of the Race to Alaska. It has a canted keel and is one of those boats I'm glad exists so I can marvel at it, but would never own for myself. It also has razor blades at the leading edges of each of those rudders, ostensibly to cut lines or kelp that get stuck on them, but I've never seen that before. Looks super metal.

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There seemed to be a wooden boat regatta going on as well as a few big schooners and a number of other cute boats were out there going back and forth in the light wind, video here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipP4dLOkC4QH5KEHMiSyj28OgE8Eb_TTzE0H_1CnqOQ1HdHkjA1_VcHkmtCZgxY6cA?key=d1gwT1pvUmN5V0tOTnVpYzRDNk15dEVkb0NqVHRn

and that was the day!

There's honestly not much to say about the rest of the motor down the Sound. The stretch from Port Townshend to Seattle starts to feel pretty much like riding the freeway after a few trips...it's more or less a straight line. The only notable event was that we missed the tide swing and took a couple HOURS to get around Point No Point, even while motoring. Basically just parked out there, barely moving 1 knot in the direction we needed to go. We stayed closer to the shore after that.

Overall it was an enjoyable trip, though not without its challenges. I learned a lot about prepping the boat for a longer voyage, and especially learned about how to pick the right crew for a sailing trip. I'm looking forward to more long trips in my future :)

Big thanks to everyone on the forums for fielding my many questions and giving lots of great advice. It helped a ton to have that kind of support available before embarking on a big unknown like this.
 
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