M/V DESERT VENTURE
June 6, 2009
It is hard for me to believe how much time has passed since we left Grays Harbor. We have made several voyages since my last post. We ended up in Grays Harbor a week, awaiting acceptable conditions to make our long run of twelve and a half hours up the remainder of the western coast of Washington. When we finally did leave the conditions were just the way we like them – boring! It was a bit gray and overcast most of the day. There wasn’t much in the way of wildlife out on the water. We could see some whale spouts off in the distance but too far away to even attempt getting a picture. This is our third trip up this coast, and none of the trips were the same. The first trip in 2005 was idyllic, with mirrored seas, and clear sunny days, and hundreds of birds and sea life. The trip in 2008 got pretty bumpy toward the end of the cruise as we were just ahead of an incoming system. I think you can find some pictures of each of those trips on the blog. This time the seas were mostly calm with a little wind behind us, and it was almost a monochromatic day – gray. This wasn’t a bad thing as we are always happy to have the calm passages. It just made us have to look a bit further beyond the boat. I don’t think I had ever noticed Fuca Rock before. Bruce pointed it out. In fact it doesn’t look like a rock from the southerly side. It looks more like the side of the rock wall that extends south from Cape Flattery. In fact, though I took pictures, I didn’t believe it was a rock until we got north of it and could see it from that direction. Pretty impressive when you get the “full picture”.
I have mentioned Hole in the Wall every time we do this passage. It is a bit narrow, but not THAT narrow and it shaves over fourteen miles off the trip around Tatoosh Island. It is best to be conservative and go when we can see the slot.
We would not do it in darkness, though Captain has found the GPS and the radar to be right on going through. It is a very short stretch, as you can see the Strait of Juan de Fuca and then you are IN the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I am posting this picture that shows Cape Flattery on the right and Tatoosh Island on the left. Though I took several pictures of Tatoosh Island, none of them do justice to the thousands of birds nesting and hanging out on the island. There were murres, cormorants, gulls, puffins and many more I couldn’t identify.
Just as we pulled around the corner from Cape Flattery and were counting the minutes till anchor down and dinner and relaxing, we were hailed by the Unites States Coast Guard – Neah Bay. Had we been boarded recently? No, Sir. Prepare to be boarded. Well, okay, then, no problem. We brought the boat to a stop and two very polite young fellows came aboard and inspected the boat. This is not an unusual experience or request. Most boaters, by now, should know that it is standard procedure. We always do our very best to be compliant with our boat and safety procedures and equipment. They found us to be totally compliant and were very complementary about our vessel. They told us it was a pleasure to visit such a fine specimen of a boat. Why thank you, very much! They went on their way and we headed on to the anchorage in Neah Bay.
How nice! Our eagles were there to welcome us once again. At first I thought they were gone, but then there they were and a couple more, that could be young ones. They were pretty far away, but we think of them as OUR eagles and so they got their picture taken. The anchor is down and we are ready for dinner and an early night. It was a long day, even though easy, and we must move on tomorrow to Port Angeles. It wasn’t long after our anchor was down that M/V NIRVANA came in, too. We were both underway early and pulled into Port Angeles just in time to see the fuel dock guy head to lunch. So we just tied up to the fuel dock and waited. As soon as he returned we refueled and moved to the transient/guest dock, and NIRVANA did the same. It was a very quiet night, and then off again to Port Townsend, where we planned to stay a couple days.
We have been to most of the ports I mentioned several times, now that we have cruised up here for five years or so. And with each port, comes a favorite shop/bookstore/restaurant/quilt shop/marine store, etc that we feel compelled to revisit. My favorite clothing store in the NW is in Port Townsend, called Bickies. It was the first place we went, as I never know when we will change our mind about how long we will be in any one spot. I have learned not to delay going to my favorite places upon arrival. Besides, if we stay more days, I can always go back! How nice is that? Well, Captain gets a little nervous if I shop my favorite stores too many days in row. ;->
During our stay in Port Townsend we had two dinners with shipmates from Captain’s past career. It is always a wonderful visit catching up on what is happening in their lives and hearing all sorts of great ship stories, too. From Port Townsend it was off to Anacortes, where we did some additional provisioning and caught up with boater friends from San Francisco Bay on RUFFIN IT AGAIN II. We also had a wonderful dinner with cruiser friends we met in San Diego almost eight years ago. My how time flies. Mike and Karen took their sailboat all the way to Australia before shipping it back to the NW. We took care of other business. I found a fabric store I must have walked by several times previously. I have never seen that much flannel under one roof! I also found a new craft and so I am excited to get to an anchorage and start sewing. We went and anchored in Blind Bay on Shaw Island for a couple days over Memorial Day.. This is a favorite anchorage of ours. Very often it gives us great sunsets. It is very conveniently located, as the ferry dock for Shaw Island and Orcas Island are an easy dinghy ride. And, RUFFIN IT AGAIN II joined us for an first overnight anchor time for them. So, the story continues of cruising and meeting new friends and catching up with old ones along the way. Our life is rich with friends and beautiful places to anchor and just enjoy.
I mentioned in the last blog, being hesitant to tell you our summer cruising destination. I think I have a touch of ESP, or I just know more than I think I know about “stuff”. We have had to cancel our SE Alaska trip for this season, due to a nagging health issue. Nothing too serious, but something we can’t ignore any longer. We want to cruise for a long time to come, and it means getting and staying as healthy as possible. We are going to be spending some of the summer in South Puget Sound, so we can be close to our medical sources. Once we have gotten fixed we will head up into British Columbia. We know that we have many friends that will be cruising and we look forward to catching up with them later this summer.
All this puts me in a quandary as to what to blog about. Our cruising for the next months are pretty tame, and I have blogged about most of that cruising. I would hate for you to be bored with more of the same old stuff. I will try to keep you posted on our cruising and maybe add some blogs from previous voyages not yet posted.
We wish you all a wonderful summer.