After a calm night at anchor in Port Browning, we woke this morning to another wonderful sunrise. We decided it would be a good day to return to the U.S., and spend a couple more days in the San Juans before we had to be back in Anacortes.
As we prepared to leave Port Browning, the wind freshened around 0900, and we got away at 0945 with an intended destination of Reid Harbor on Stuart Island. We always enjoy anchoring in Reid Harbor, and figured that was a good place to stop toward the end of our September cruising.
We set our course to head south in Plumper Sound, cross Boundary Pass, and go through Johns Pass to reach Reid Harbor. We timed our departure so that we would cross Boundary Pass and enter Johns Pass near slack current. We’ve been through Johns Pass before. It requires some careful navigating and it is much better at slack current.
As we left Port Browning, we encountered stronger winds in Plumper Sound, which moderated as we made our way across Boundary Pass and got closer to U. S. waters. We rolled a lot in the waves and swells until we were about half way across.
Since we timed our passage to be crossing Boundary Pass near slack current, that probably explains why we saw a bunch of boats (including a couple of whale watching boats) idling in circles near Turn Point, just outside Prevost Harbor. The whales were probably feeding! As we neared Stuart Island, the whales must have moved on, because the boats started to leave the area. Several very large motor yachts kicked up their throttles and continued past us at high speed, leaving some big wakes that really rolled us around for a while. Sure wish that large power boat operators would look back once in a while to see how dangerous their wakes might be to other boats they pass!
As we approached the entrance to Johns Pass, we discovered a problem with one of our water pumps. Jim thought he could fix it once we stopped, but, after a brief discussion, we decided to change our destination. Instead of heading to Reid Harbor where we would be further away from Anacortes, we turned southeast and headed toward Orcas Island. We decided to stop at Double Island in West Sound, where that we would be closer to Anacortes in case Jim wasn’t able to fix the pump.
There were no other boats when we anchored at Double Island, and it was a great place to tackle the pump. Jim found a small obstruction in one of the check valves, and was able to remove it and the pump was working again. Hooray!
Three other boats came in to anchor before nightfall. It was a little windy and the wind kicked up a few waves that kept us moving around most of the afternoon, but things settled down before dark. We fixed guacamole from our ripe avocados and enjoyed a quiet evening.