June 22, 2009
A couple days later we were off again – this time S/V CUTTHROAT is cruising with us. We met the Roger and Elise at Paradise Village, in Nuevo Vallarta, MX, in 2006. We didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them then, but we have kept in touch. When we all discovered we were on the same body of water, there was nothing for it but to plan a rendezvous. We dined on CUTTHROAT that first night, then off we went to anchor together. Roger and Elise have a crew on board – Charlie and Kathryne who are siblings and Elise’s nephew and niece. Great young people that have made all our gatherings fun. Charlie and Kathryne were our dinghy chauffeurs. They took us from one boat to the other, to shore, and sometimes just took our garbage to shore for us. They are great help on board . I know Roger and Elise are having a great time with their crew aboard.
Our first anchorage was Case Inlet, just off of Stretch Island. It was a nice place to anchor and we could see a lot of comings and goings of other boats, since it was the weekend. The young crew went ashore but didn’t find much to entertain them. Captain went on one trip and filled up our dinghy gas tank. We all tired of the view and decided to find more action and off we went to Gig Harbor.
Right about the time we passed under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge it occurred to us that our plans to stay in the South Sound had just been scratched! Well, what can I say – we were feeling good! (The span on the left is the new bridge addition.) We had fun in Gig Harbor. It is a very busy place, very protected from winds, and a destination for boaters. Since it was the weekend the guest dock was packed. No problem, we intended to anchor anyway and dinghy ashore when we needed a walk or a shopping outing. We all went ashore several times. We took turns dining on each others’ boat and so everyone got great variety and a night off, too. We had a great time!
Roger and Elise wanted to give the Crew a chance to experience Seattle, so we split off for a couple days and they went to Bell Harbor in downtown Seattle, and we went to Poulsbo, in Liberty Bay and anchored. We really enjoy going into Liberty Bay. It is a great anchorage and an easy dink to shore. There are all sorts of really neat shops at the top of the dock to browse through. They have a couple great book stores and a wonderful quilters’ store just at the head of the dock. We needed to stock up on a few provisions so we made the hike to Albertsons. As in most harbor towns, Poulsbo is built on hills. So, it truly is uphill both ways – well, yes there are some down hills, but it is the up ones I notice the most. I managed to finish my sewing project, a baby blanket and booties for a new little one in the family.
Two days later, just as we were crossed Puget Sound to the east, and just south of Possession Sound, there was CUTTHROAT in the distance headed to our next rendezvous. Our overall voyage was designed so that we could get into the San Juan Islands via Deception Pass. We voyaged that day as far as Oak Harbor. It was one of our longer days, and it was dinner time by the time we all got anchored and settled. First thing the next morning, after an extended ground tackle wash down, we were off and excited about going through Deception Pass. This is a beautiful pass and it is dangerous if not traversed on the proper current. So, our departure from Oak Harbor was planned in order to make the near slack currents at 1:30 pm. In general all traffic is moving in the same direction through this pass as all want to go through with the current when it is closest to its slack period. It was bit worrisome when we found a big charter cruise boat blocking the exit, looking as if to enter from the opposite direction. Indeed, they did just that. Their engines are more robust and designed to take the tourists where ever the sites are and so they did! They actually passed us and CUTTHROAT, then turned around somewhere up stream and returned out Deception Pass.
Our destination was Blind Bay for the evening. We met on D/V for spaghetti. Blind Bay has always rewarded our stay with some awesome sunsets. CUTTHROAT left us the next morning to head into British Columbia, Canada, for a few days. We plan to rendezvous with them in time for July 4th.
Once again, left to ourselves, we were free to come or go. The most important thing that drives our decisions are prevailing winds. Where ever we end up we want to know that we will be protected from high winds. Blind Bay is always a good place to hide from the winds. It is a beautiful bay that most boaters pass up on their way to and from the rest of the islands. There are a few boats that know all about the protection and serenity of this place. There is plenty to keep us entertained on the water and ashore. We also have plenty to occupy us aboard and so we are never bored. So, the question was, do we just hang out in Blind Bay (there was supposed to be SE’ly winds for the next few days) or find some other place to hide from the winds.
We hadn’t been to Reid Harbor, on Stuart Island, in a couple years and it is fairly well protected so off we went. I knew we had friends cruising in the area, so I sent out an email letting them know where we would be in case they were close by. We arrived in Reid Harbor mid-day. Late afternoon our friends on S/V KIND OF BLUE came cruising into the harbor. What a surprise! Well, not really, as I did expect they would find us if they could. You know what that meant – or should know by now! We had not seen Jim and Judy since Mazatlan, Mexico. We met in Gig Harbor, the winter before we all went to Mexico. We saw them briefly in Nuevo Vallarta, and then spent some time with them in Mazatlan in the spring of 2007. We had a great rendezvous, catching up on all the news and details of their trip up the coast. We dined with them the first night, then we all hiked on Stuart Island the next day, and dined on D/V the next night. They are off to pickup kids coming in for a few days cruise. We will see them again somewhere before the end of summer.
And now? Well, we are back in Blind Bay. I told you it was a favorite of ours. We have spent so much time here, that I feel as if the houses ashore are our neighbors. If it wasn’t so difficult to get to them, we would invite them for a visit. I keep hoping that one day someone will row out in their dinghy and invite US! I know, from all our traveling, that I must make the first move to get to know new people. It is just that local people don’t think about meeting new people that are in their place for brief periods of time. They just don’t know that we will be back. And, really, we are a lot of fun! J
Our last night in Blind Bay was just beautiful. After a brief rain squall went through, later in the evening, we had a double rainbow to the east. It appears in the picture that DESERT VENTURE is at the end of the rainbow. And, to the west, an incredible sunset. Just beautiful!
We will be going into port, Tuesday, and will work through a big check list, before heading back out in a few days. Meanwhile, the captain is changing the main engine oil on both engines and I am writing a blog. The sun is shining, it is windy, but doesn’t bother us because we are home today – in Blind Bay.