Just thinking about this trip again is relaxing. After several long years of not being able to get away for more than a couple of days at time I finally was able to take a real vacation. It took a bit of prep and the boat had to be shifted from race to cruise mode. I took off solo early on a Friday morning for the long motor north to meet friends in Echo Bay on Sucia Island. No chance to sail as the wind was light or always on the nose, of course. Pulled into Echo Bay and dropped the big delta anchor after a bit of discussion with nearby friends on how these things work! Right, I’m not the most knowledgeable when it comes to anchoring. Doing it solo ups the pressure a bit but all went well and that was the start of a long week of de-stressing. The weather was great. Some wind, warm days, cool nights, sunny almost every day and not all that crowed despite it being the last week before Labor Day.
We hiked Sucia’s trails and I dropped a couple crab pots but had limited success. Enough for one meal though. Time to head off to Stuart Island. Of course this turns out to be the one day the wind is howling. Lots of excitement in the channel that morning and my friends on their borrowed M/V ended up in a rescue of a few kayakers mid channel between Sucia and Orcas. I had my own problems having flipped my dinghy in the steep waves and 25 knots winds. Had to motor all the way to Orcas before I could get it sorted out. Next time I won’t tow a dinghy in conditions like that!
Stuart Island was very nice. Spent a few days here. We hiked out to Turn Point and the lighthouse there twice. Great exercise and interesting story behind the people that managed that lighthouse over the years. The view across to Canada was beautiful. Looking forward to seeing it again in a few weeks when we go round the county in the RTC for 2016.
My friends needed to return to Seattle so I headed south to meet up with another friend with a new place on Orcas Island. Dropped anchor in Deer Harbor for a few nights. Another wonderful place. This friend knew where the crab was and we scored big! Still pulling them out of the freezer. Here I spotted a perfect little retirement island. Just need a bit more cash and hope it is up for sale when the time is right. Fawn Island
As with all vacations it seemed a bit too short. I could have stayed another few weeks! It was great to be using the boat the way I had intended when I first bought it. It is a lot of boat for one person but it is manageable if you’re smart about it. I was finally able to sail, under single reef, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the return home. A close reach at about 8-9 knots in 2-3 seas and 25K winds. Lumpy but nice to be sailing for a change. Of course it didn’t last long. Wind died and then swung around on the nose for the rest of the way. Typical Puget Sound. Can’t wait to do it again.