Posts Tagged ‘Anacortes’

Life after Tofino…after we bid farewell to our Belgian clowns*…went by fast.

First we continued to the Broken Group where we enjoyed three anchorages in six days. Then we sailed our longest day yet; 75.4 miles in the infamous Juan de Fuca Strait. It took us 14 hours; 13 of those were in dense fog. The last hour before anchoring in Sooke Inlet we finally could see land and everything else only our radar detected beforehand. The next day we finished our final leg of the west coast of Vancouver Island: Sooke to Victoria.


Looking out from a sea cave on Effingham Island.


The beautiful Broken Group


Paddling around Turtle Island


Our re-entry into civilization really began to take place when we went to the popular Hot Springs Cove just north of Tofino. The farther south we traveled, the more people we saw, but arriving in Victoria and docking directly in front of The Empress Hotel was a bit over the top. The place crawled with tourists. City sights, sounds and smells caused a sensory overload. The first siren we heard nearly made me jump out of my skin. In spite of it all, Clay and I had fun exploring the capital of British Columbia.



Front row parking in front of The Empress

From Victoria, we rounded the bottom of Vancouver Island, past Sidney to Russel Island where we rendezvoused with our friends Ruth and Harold and Harold’s family from Holland. What a fun group! On their recommendation, we went to Clam Bay by Thetus Island, and then over to Irish Bay by Saturna Island.


Alas, we could postpone the inevitable no longer and made the leap across Boundary Pass and checked into U.S. customs in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island. From there we enjoyed a good sail to to Deer Harbor on Orcas Island to visit our friends Bob and Sandy.

A couple days later, we hopped back over to San Juan Island to pick up our son, Chad, and his girlfriend, Ryann. They flew to Seattle, took a shuttle bus to Anacortes, then traveled by ferry to Friday Harbor. We had a blast showing them around Jones and Matia Islands, Mackaye Bay on Lopez Island, Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island and then Anacortes.

After logging 2,211.5 miles since May 12 (112 days), Sundown is now tucked back into her slip in the Anacortes Marina, and we’re preparing to fly home to Colorado to visit more family and hopefully a few friends. Of course, I’ll be regrouping with clients, too, as my fall work schedule will ramp up fast.

But don’t think our sailing season is over! My mom is returning to Washington with us and we hope to show her a good time on the water. Then a couple of friends will be aboard for a few days of sailing fun in early October. And who knows? Maybe this winter will be a bit milder and more conducive to getting off the dock. Stay tuned!

*The clowns, Amandine and Quentin, are hitchhiking in the states now bound for Cuba! They stayed with our sons in Fort Collins when they passed through Colorado. We’re glad they could meet the guys they heard so much about. Follow their blog here

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Many of our followers have been asking what we’re up to and why we haven’t posted anything new lately. Our recent weeks have been filled with work and more work, so there hasn’t much to write home about—except for one special event. Our son, Blake, is back in the U.S.A. from the Middle East where he was working as an EMT! HUGE answered prayer!!! (more…)

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Clay on Sundown. Compliments of our friend April.

Happy New Year! The past several weeks have flown by and now we find ourselves on the light side of the Solstice, anticipating spring and another sailing season. (more…)

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Getting settled in Anacortes. Working (yep, that “W” word). Sailing. Connecting with friends and wildlife. We’ve had a lot going on and it’s all good. (more…)

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A: I got to have both in one day!


Little did we know our trip to Anacortes to help friends work on and clean up their new-to-them boat would lead to so many exciting things! But first, let me backtrack.

When we returned from our July trip to Colorado, we didn’t know where we would head next or where we’d spend the coming winter, but we had faith our intended path would become clear just like it has throughout this whole adventure so far. Alas, we haven’t been disappointed.

That’s what friends are for

The first place we headed after working on Sundown in the Seaview North boatyard in Bellingham was Anacortes, Wash. We went there to help our friends Bob and Sandy work on their new-to-them Roughwater motor yacht.  It’s a 1983 and needed a lot of cleaning, painting, varnishing and repairs. We’ve been happy to help!


We also connected up with some friends from Fort Collins! Mary Carraher, Will Moore, Diane Westervelt and Jeff Pape. They were vacationing on Lopez Island and we sailed over there to meet them. Sunset beverages and tapas were enjoyed by all!

Gotta float the boat

When we returned to Anacortes from Lopez via Bellingham where we picked up our new solar panels which are now installed, Clay had the opportunity to interview for a job at a local boatyard, Marine Servicenter. They hired him on the spot (NO surprise given his amazing skills, work ethic and experience). So far, he’s built out their office with a new multi-desk area; laying a new teak deck on the owner’s boat may be next. It’s as much of a job as he’d like it to be—part time, full time, whatever. But we can’t anchor out in Fidalgo Bay when the weather turns bad, so we put ourselves on three waiting lists for a slip. Ancortes Marina, which is located right next to Clay’s job spot, came through in record time. Clay’s boss introducing him to the management didn’t hurt, but I believe prayer for the right spot trumped that connection. We’ll be moving into our slip by Friday, Sept. 9. Don’t think we’ll be tied to it permanently, though. We plan to cruise the San Juans and back up to Canada for fishing as much as possible.

You may be wondering why Clay got a job. Here’s why: while my income floats the boat, I don’t make enough for extras like trips back home and boat upgrades (e.g., solar panels). Having Clay contribute to our income will be nice. After all, he’s been goofing off for a year; it’s time to pay the piper! Also, it’s always been our plan to work a bit and then cruise a bit, at least till we’re old enough to draw from our pensions, so Anacortes is our first pit stop for the work part.

Bikes are back

Since we’re staying here at least through the winter, acquiring some ground transportation seemed reasonable and there’s NO better kind than bicycles! Clay found potential options on Craigslist and this morning those potentials became ours! Clay has a Norco (Canadian made) 2 X 6 (12 speed) and I have a circa 1980s Diamondback Ascent 3 X  6 (18 speed). They both needed a little lovin’ so we went to the Bikespot during today’s Open Streets event (Yes! This town just hosted its 3rd annual open streets event!) and got hooked up with fenders, bike racks to accommodate our panniers, and new tires and tubes. Thank you, Nick and Carolyn (Bikespot’s owners)! For $300.00 TOTAL, Clay and are are back on two wheels!



While cruising down the street, we also met the woman who coordinates Safe Routes to School programming for Skagit County, as well as the guy who chairs the area’s bike/ped commission. He and I are having coffee in a couple of weeks. (I’m trying to contain my excitement here!)



So, it seems we’re meant to be in Anacortes and we can’t wait to see what the next few months hold in store and how we get to help this wonderful town become an even more robust bike friendly place! I’m actually feeling rather giddy…like a little kid at Christmas!


The lesson here is that if you prayerfully leave yourself open to possibilities rather trying to script every move you make, wonderful opportunities show themselves. Thank you, God, for giving us this new twist in our adventure! Oh yea, and thanks for the chance to wash my hair today! It’s the little things…

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