We woke up to another calm morning with a rosy sunrise. We’ve certainly had wonderful weather for this short cruise! Can’t remember another September when we’ve had such a long string of dry, warm days. Love it!
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.
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.
Okay, okay. I’m late in finishing the posts from our cruise a couple of weeks ago. Two more posts yet to do, and I’ll do one today and will get to the last one as soon as possible. We’ve just been too busy with eye doctor appointments, spotty WiFi service, and other distractions…and I haven’t been able to get to the blog as much as I hoped.
So, back to our cruise… We left Montague on Saturday, July 7th. We planned to head to Ganges and take in the Saltspring Saturday Market (http://www.saltspringmarket.com) before returning to the States. The Saturday Market in Ganges is quite an event, and we look forward to opportunities to be in Ganges on Saturdays during the summer so we can go to the market as well as visit other favorite shopping venues in Ganges.
It was calm in the anchorage at Montague Harbour in the morning, but afternoon wind predictions encouraged us to skip the Saturday Market and head for the San Juans instead. We have to be back for Jim’s July 10th eye exam in Seattle, so didn’t want to be caught by weather and end up too far away from Anacortes. We’ll be sure to plan our cruising in September so that we’ll be able to visit the Saltspring Saturday Market!
We decided to bypass all the currents and whirlpools where Haro Strait meets Boundary Pass, so rather than returning through Swanson Channel, we headed south in Trincomali Channel to Navy Channel, then through Plumper Sound and across Boundary Pass — which is a direct route into the San Juans through Spring Passage, then Deer Harbor and Pole Pass. This route also bypasses all the whirlpools around Speiden Island.
We decided to time our passage to hit Boundary Pass at slack tide, to minimize the whirlpools and tide races. We had the current with us almost all the way, as we left Montague at 0800 to catch the 0900 slack in Boundary Pass. Everything turned to ebb (including Pole Pass), and we got a great lift from the current.
Once we got into the bay outside Deer Harbor, we were able to power down and idle to call U. S. Customs for our clearance to return to the U.S. With our Nexus passes, we were allowed to clear over the cell phone. Since it was Saturday, we encountered lots of pleasure boats in Harney Channel.
As we passed West Sound, we decided to check the Double Island anchorage in West Sound, and found only two other boats there. So, we decided to stop there for the night, rather than continuing on to Blind Bay. Another powerboat and 3 more sailboats came in later in the afternoon…more boats than we’ve ever seen in this anchorage.
It was relatively calm and sunny for the afternoon and evening. We were glad to have U.S. Internet service again so we could get caught up on bank stuff and emails. We fixed BLTs on rye bread for dinner. We don’t usually have bacon onboard, but made an exception and brought some along this time, with the intention of fixing a nice breakfast somewhere…and since we hadn’t fixed such a meal, this was a good way to use the bacon!
First, a note. We are now back in Anacortes after a one-week cruise from July 2nd to the 8th…but we did not have access to the Internet while we were out, so publishing the posts from our cruise has been delayed. This is the first post from our cruise…more to come soon!
The weather conditions in Anacortes looked good this morning…grey and overcast, but no strong wind and no rain. This was a good morning for us to head out for our first cruise of 2012.
We caught the outbound current in Guemes Channel, and crossed Rosario Strait near the slack. We found lots of boat traffic in Harney Channel this morning, including several ferries. One of the ferries came up behind us as we motored west in the narrowing channel by Shaw Island…we got caught between the oncoming ferry and a large power boat with an enormous wake next to us paralleling our course, so ended up turning toward the beach and slowing almost to a stop, then going in a circle so that we could cross behind all of them. Harney Channel can get really crowded in July and August!
This was our first opportunity to use the Navionics iPad app “Marine & Lakes U.S. and Canada” for navigation. What a neat tool! It has an outstanding display, fast seamless operation, and runs from the iPad’s GPS without the need of a cell connection. The GPS does use a lot of battery, so we discovered it was best to have it hooked up to a power source. We set up the iPad alongside our 10-year-old Raymarine chart plotter and found there was no comparison…the iPad was much better! In addition to following our course, the app also provides a great tool for looking up the tide and current information for any given location.
First time out every year we get to see if things work. Most things were okay, except… The AIS wasn’t working, but that turned out to be a loose wire. And the knot meter didn’t work, and we thought that might be due to something being stuck in the paddle wheel…but no matter how much maneuvering we did, the knot meter still didn’t work. We’ll need to do more investigating to find the problem.
We turned into West Sound and found the anchorage behind Double Island empty so decided to anchor there for a few hours to wait for the current in Speiden Channel to change. We were heading on to Reid Harbor, and wanted to avoid the strong adverse current along Speiden Island. Waiting until later in the day would give the current time to moderate and reverse.
We left Double Island around 1500 and found much less boat traffic than we experienced this morning. And more favorable current! However, the clouds thickened and we had light rain most of the way. Even though we waited for more favorable current in Speiden Channel, we still encountered a strong tide race with lots of whirlpools near Limestone Point.
We found lots of boats in Reid Harbor, but there was still plenty of room to anchor. It turned into a cold, rainy night. But the heavier rain held off until later in the night, so we were able to barbecue salmon for dinner, along with steamed green beans. Felt nice to be out on the anchor again.