Sunday, July 2, 2017

Lazy Day on Sucia Island

Having snagged a mooring buoy in Ewing Cove last night, we slept in the following morning (I woke up at 6:30 am!).

The anchorage is a bit rolly when winds come from the south. This was Schooner's first overnight on the boat. He slept in his crate without a problem and woke up whith all of us. Just like home.

Usual morning breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes. Two cups of coffee.

Schooner did manage to do his morning business on the foredeck. Something Sucia and Jake always did without problem. But we were not sure if Schooner would/could do it. We'll see if he will continue and make this a habit.

Took Schooner to a nearby rock island in the dinghy to see how he handles being off leash. No problems. He enjoyed the freedom to explore the tide pools, but always stayed close and followed my path. Playing ball on the beach however was kind of pointless. Too many distractions.

This afternoon, the three of us hiked into Shallow Bay. A round trip of about five miles. We got a picture Schooner up in the China Caves. Somewhat of a tradition as we did the same with Sucia and Jake. We considered wading out into the bay to find our anchor, but were were too tired from the hike out.

After getting back to our anchorage, the 30-ish year old Honda outboard motor on the dinghy started acting up (again). Over the years I have spent much effort to keep that thing running, despite abuse by us. It might be time for a new outboard motor.

We also discovered dry ice in the icebox comes with hazards: exploded soda cans and frozen bottles of wine. Time to get on replacing that refrigeration unit I suppose.

This evening, steaks from the grill for dinner, cookies for dessert, finally everyone passes out from the long day's walk.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Arrival, Sacrifice, Change of Plan


The trek from homeport to Sucia island was rather uneventful. We took the route along the east side of Guemes and Sinclair Island to avoid currents in Rosario and Bellingham Channel. As we rounded over the top of Sinclair, we were able to sail, a nice reach in 15 knot winds, on realtively flat water, nearly the entire way to Sucia. The boat did a reasonable 6-7 knots under sail with some significant weather helm, which is pretty good for this boat. Transit time was about five hours.

Sacrifice (to King Neptune)

We entered Shallow Bay on Sucia Island, our planned stop. While not quite "full", all buoys were occupied and a few boats were anchored. We proceeded to survey the bottom and found a nice spot in ten feet of water. The first set of the anchor seemed normal when, as we were backing down, the anchor was felt to "pop" from its set. No matter, happens all the time. But successive attempts found the anchor not wanting to bite. Pulling up the anchor revealed the problem: anchor gone! Turns out the stainless swivel added connecting the chain to the anchor had been corroding and ultimately broke under the stressof the pull. We have a spare Danforth, but I was not wanting to start the weekend havng to repair things. We left Shallow Bay in search of  mooring buoy.

Change Of Plan

We rounded over the top of Sucia Island to drop down into Ewing Cove, which now has four mooring buoys (years ago there had been only two). Turns out there were two buoys unoccupied, another boat was already heading for one, so we engaged pursuit of the second. We felt this spot ideal as, we have need been to Ewing Cove and, it is far away from the weekend crowds adjacent in Echo Bay (which would be our next option).

With that we were set in for the night. Schooner, the new crewdog, did well. Time to give thoughts on the next anchor.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fourth of July Weekend 2017 Planning

We will be out on the water, with a new crew member in training, on this extra long weekend (Saturday through Tuesday). The plan is to catch the tide out early Saturday morning 8am-ish, head straight to Shallow Bay, Sucia Island, drop anchor, and hang out the entire time. Expect lots of hikes ashore, and exploring in the dinghy.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

First time out on the boat this year. As much as it is a chore and frustrating to get ready to go, it is always worth it in the end. Had trouble (again) getting the holding tank discharge pump to work. Oh well, an empty tank should be enough for the weekend.

Weather has been a bit cool with low clouds in the morning that seem to burn off by the afternoon. We tried running the cabin heater but the pressure pump has decided to malfunction. Probably time to replace it.

This is the first time on the boat for "super schipperke" Jake since his second eye surgery where we think he lost some vision. While not as fast and sure footed around the boat like he used to be, he is finding his way around with a little assistance. His bossy older sister Sucia is not helping things.

For two nights we have been tied to a state park buoy of Blind Island in Blind Bay on Shaw Island. We have passed this place a number of times over the years, but this is our first time here. We are asking ourselves why we never stopped here as it is a pretty cool spot. The ferry for Orcas and Shaw pass by regularly, but there is little wake so the anchorage is quite calm. The state park has the newer designed buoys that do not kling-klang against the hull of the boat during the night. Blind Island is a small place with a pit toilet and four or five campsites. Ashore at the Shaw ferry terminal is a funky general store that sells a few supplies and service ice cream/coffee/lunch item things. Shaw Island is clearly the most rural of all the San Juans.

Jake keeping watch off Blind Island

Saturday afteroon we hooked up with our friends Jeff and Linda who came by on their relatively new (to them) Sea-Ray runabout.

We took "the long way home" through Obstruction Pass and around Cypress and Guemes islands to avoid currents and traffic. Little wind and calm waters the entire way.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


We're home after a long, but lovely day on the water.  Trip summaries tomorrow, or maybe Monday...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Daily Log, Russell Island, Friday, August 30, 2013

Daily Log, Russell Island, Friday, August 30, 2013
Distance traveled: 20nm
Everything OK

We left Telegraph Harbor south through Stuart Channel and the Sansum Narrows.

The narrows, between Vancouver Island and Saltspring Island, is a sort of long boring trip. Nothing much to see. We were through here once in the past going to Maple Bay, and didnt think much of it then. We did have current behind us giving an extra one to two knots of speed. We passed a number of small boats on kickers or being towed in the other direction. Looks like there is a sailboat race nearby this weekend.

We dropped anchor behind Russell Island on the south side of Saltspring Island. This island is mentioned in only one of the many cruising books we have. And it is a brief mention at that. The island was homesteaded by Hawaiian / English family in the late 1800s. A house still stands on the island, now protected by the Provincial Marine Park system. A caretaker lives part time at the house giving tours. When we were there, the caretaker was also one of the original family descendants.

There is a trail that follows the shore around most of the island with some interesting rock and sand beaches for the dogs to explore.

We are within a days distance of our home port