Over the past 10-15 years, Northern Marine in Anacortes has built several long-range luxury cruising yachts, starting with their first boat, the 64-foot Spirit of Zopilote, which they built for Bruce Kessler. I had the privilege of meeting Bruce and talking with the Northern Marine founders in 1995 when I was working to help launch PassageMaker Magazine.
The last day of our one-week cruise!
We woke up Sunday to a calm anchorage and clear skies. A gorgeous morning! We decided to play the currents again on our way back to Anacortes, and elected to enter Rosario Strait through Obstruction Pass and make our way along the back side of Guemes Island in order to avoid an outbound current in Guemes Channel.
The slack tide in Obstruction Pass was at 0806, so we left Double Island at 0715. We had the current with us the whole way — in Harney Channel, Rosario Strait, and along the back side of Guemes. And no whirlpools or tide races! It was a really easy trip. It was sunny the whole way, and fairly calm. We arrived back at Anacortes Marina at 1015 under a light northerly breeze. We were back early enough in the day to have time to clean up the boat and go to LaConner for dinner out — pizza at LaConner Brewery. Yum!
It was a short cruise—only one week, but still was good to be out on the boat. We never were able to get the knot meter working. Had a diver come look at the paddle wheel to see if there was anything obviously stuck in it or wrong with it, but he said it looked okay. He spun it around, but it still did not display our speed. It may be a bad sensor on the paddle wheel, or there may be something wrong in the electronics interface between the knot meter and the chart plotter. We need to pursue this problem with Raymarine.
Our next cruising opportunity for this season will be in September, as we have to return to Bend for a few weeks in August to take care of replacing our asphalt driveway. The 13-year-old original asphalt has been seriously damaged by tree roots over the years, and has become bad enough that it’s time to tear it out and repave. Sorry to cut our summer time on the boat short, but we need to schedule the paving to be done at a time of year when we don’t have to worry about freezing temperatures, and there’s a short window for that in the high desert climate of Central Oregon.
It’s now been 4 weeks since Jim had cataract surgery on his right eye, and this week he went back to have the cataract removed from his left eye. So, we made two trips between Anacortes and Seattle – one on Thursday to have the procedure, and another trip on Friday for a post-surgery exam. Both trips were longer than we expected due to traffic volume. Thursday was a beautiful sunny day, and it seems there were lots of people out on the freeway going who knows where…or possibly there are a lot of people vacationing in Seattle. Whatever the reason, I-5 southbound became a parking lot and we ended up leaving the freeway at Northgate and taking surface roads the rest of the way to downtown Seattle.
On Friday, we woke to another thunderstorm and very heavy rain. We had to be in Seattle before noon for the follow-up exam, and we found the freeway jammed again – this time from the heavy rain and all the water that had accumulated on the roads. So, once again, we left I-5 at Northgate…now we’re getting to be an expert at finding our way to downtown Seattle by going through Fremont!
Anyway, the surgery has gone well, and the only event left is another post-surgery exam next week. That should be our last trip between Anacortes and Seattle for a while. Thank goodness!
We went for a walk to Cap Sante Boat Haven (http://www.portofanacortes.com/marina.shtml) this morning. The Port of Anacortes is located at Cap Sante and there is always lots of interesting boat activity there. The morning started out foggy and things were still fairly wet, but the sun came out later and made it a pleasant day for a walk and to enjoy wandering around the boats at Cap Sante.
Next up for the boat is to tackle annual exterior maintenance…varnishing and waxing. The unsettled and wet weather will make that a challenge. Earlier this week, we found a couple of dry days to do a little of the waxing and got one coat of varnish on the teak before Friday’s rain. Rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days, but we’ll start up again on the varnish when the weather allows.
Wow! What a night we had in Anacortes last evening. There were lots of thunderstorms throughout the entire Puget Sound most of the day yesterday, with most of the rain to the south of us. Anacortes was dry until the evening, when we definitely got our taste of the storm.
Between 6 and 7 PM, heavy rain started to come down like rain we’ve seen in Ketchikan or the tropics. Just a downpour. This was followed shortly by almost continuous lightning and thunder. The first boomers were a ways away, but by 8 PM we were seeing lightning strikes all around us, and the boomers were so strong that they occasionally rattled the boat. It was definitely close to us!
This storm didn’t want to leave us, and the lightning and thunder and on-and-off rain continued for almost 3 hours. Our kitties were definitely not happy campers. Gratefully, most of the lightning and loud thunder was over before bedtime.
During one of the breaks in the rain just before sunset, I managed to snap a few quick pictures from the foredeck…didn’t really want to venture too far away from the safety of the boat, but wanted to try to capture the intense red sky. It was so very ominous looking.
We are grateful that this morning was calm and foggy…even though unsettled weather is still in the forecast for the next day or two.
Argh! We lost our Internet connection this week…the new WiFi bridge is still good (see May 28 post), but the 6-year-old Apple Airport base station that we use as a router seems to have become buggy. So we went to Best Buy and bought a new one. Yesterday Jim worked on re-wiring the on-boat WiFi system to hook it up to the new Airport. The new Airport device is smaller than the old one, so now there is room to install both the Airport and the bridge in the area under the drawers in the cabinet below the helm seat.
After rerouting the cable connections to the exterior antenna and hooking up everything, our system seemed to be back and working as it should. However, this morning it was down again, so looks like we need to do more trouble shooting. In the meantime, we are able to connect our laptop directly to the bridge, so we are able to reach the Internet from at least one device.
Meanwhile…we have a free week between eye doctor exams/surgeries in connection with Jim’s cataracts (his next exam is July 10), so we are getting ready to leave the dock (yea!!) to spend a few days in the San Juans. We thought we’d leave this morning, but the wind has come up a bit here in Anacortes and there is a gale watch posted for the East Entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca for later this afternoon, so we have decided to wait for a better weather window before departing…Rosario Strait can be a bit uncomfortable when the SE wind blows against the current.