Posts Tagged ‘Friday Harbor’

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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So, it has been awhile since I wrote a blog post. To say the least, Kim and I have been busy…still.

While Kim went to Colorado to take care of business and go to Molly and Matt’s wedding (which I am so sorry I missed, Molly and Matt!)cockpit I kept making forward progress on Sundown. The paint job on the mast and booms was finished and all the hardware needed to be put back on. We replaced all the wiring, lights and halyards. We also inspected and replaced all the standing rigging. New radar, anometer and antennae were installed.

The morning Kim came home from Colorado, the boatyard guys and I stepped the mast. It was a pretty emotional morning for me. I was so anxious! Not only was this the second time I was Sundown’s helm, but Kim wasn’t to help or witness this moment. The whole thing went smooth as silk, however. Seaview North Boatyard and its crew don’t step masts like Mark Grindle and I did in the mid 80s, but their process worked.

It was great to have Kim back after being gone for so long! She and I put the sails on and hoisted them one at a time to work out the bugs in attachment and sheeting. We then did a pre-sail check, pulled the dock lines and left.

It’s hard to describe how you feel after four years of working on a project like Sundown in a prairie dog field in Randy and Andrea’s storage yard in Fort Collins (A Unique Storage…it certainly was while Sundown was there), to motoring out of port with no schedule or exact place to be. We knew where we were going, however, because we had been there before–Sucia Island. Setting off to Sucia gave us confidence and we felt a little more secure because we had sailed there twice before. It was familiar and an easy first stop. We picked up a mooring and enjoyed our amazing boat. Rather than getting the outboard out and attached to Lightfoot (our dinghy), we chose to row it to go and pay our state park fee on the island.

There were two boats in the harbor near us, both from Utah! One of them was a Tayana 37, a very nice blue water boat like ours with very common roots (thanks Bob Perry!).

So the journey has begun. We are roughing it every day. Heater, propane stove, teak furniture, marble counter tops and beautiful ports of call.

The other night as we were anchored in Friday Harbor and snuggled up in bed watching a DVD–The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock–we determined that the wind and the way it was blowing Sundown required us to move our anchorage. Hmmm, never had to do this with the land house, but you gotta do what you gotta do. At 11pm we hoisted anchor and moved a tad farther from shore in the rain and wind. The task taught us some lessons and we are already using the information at our current anchorage in Deer Harbor where we’re still roughing it.

Kim is making chile rellanos and Spanish rice for dinner. We’re listening to Alison Krauss (thanks for the introduction to her, Daryl and Karen Lawyer). Tomorrow we go sailing!

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Sundown in Echo Bay

Yep. Kim’s writing this. I admit there have been times during our first few days of sailing that I’ve felt shaky. Land sickness has struck (meaning when I get to land, it’s moving all over the place), and I’ve felt less than competent and scared too much of the time. (more…)

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