Happy 2015!

Cap Sante Marina At Sundown

The lights of Cap Sante Marina and the City of Anacortes from the top of Cap Sante. The San Juan Islands are in the background behind Guemes Channel.

It’s been quite a while since I added a post to this blog. Primarily because our boating season last year was a bit of a bust. After taking care of the broken window in July (see earlier post), we had hoped to return to our boat and do some cruising. But that didn’t happen. So, even though we spent several weeks on the boat last summer, we never left our slip in Anacortes Marina! All due to the usual reason, “life got in the way.” Continue reading

Off We Go!

aprs website display

This is the display on the APRS website showing our current location. Read below in this post about this and for the link you can click to see where we are.

Blue skies and light wind…plus a fair marine weather forecast today. And our new credit cards arrived as scheduled yesterday. Time to leave the dock!

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September 17 – Double Island to Anacortes

sunrise at double island

The early morning sun cast a rosy glow on the clouds and created a nice reflection in the calm water at our anchorage at Double Island in West Sound, Orcas Island.

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!

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July 8 – West Sound to Anacortes

Double Island Rafted Sailboats

At sunrise in our Double Island anchorage, two sailboats rafted near us cast a rosy reflection in the calm water.

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.

Double Island Sailboats

At sunrise in our Double Island anchorage: a wider view of sailboats anchored near us.

Double Island sunrise

Sunrise in West Sound, Orcas Island, from our anchorage behind Double Island.

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!

Pizza LaConner Brewery

We split a Neapolitan pizza at LaConner Brewery.

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.

Kitties in the wind

Back in our home slip in Anacortes Marina, Rosie and Mickey enjoy a breeze from the cabin door.

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.


This map of the Canadian Gulf Islands and Washington San Juan Islands shows where we stopped on our one-week cruise in July 2012.

July 2 – Anacortes to Reid Harbor

Guemes Channel

Heading west in Guemes Channel, we caught the outbound current.

Rosie underway

Rosie curled up on the dashboard…she frequently sleeps while we’re underway.

Mickey underway

Mickey likes to crawl under our foot stool while we’re underway…a nice secure place for him.

Double Island anchorage

Looking into West Sound from our anchorage behind Double Island, where we stopped for a couple of hours to wait for the Speiden Channel current to change.

Mickey relaxing at Double Island

After we got settled at Double Island, Mickey came out from under the stool and showed us one of his best relaxation poses.

Navionics on iPad next to Raymarine Chart Plotter

The navigation display on the left is on the iPad using the Navionics app “Marine & Lakes U.S. and Canada,” and on the right as it looks on our Raymarine Chart Plotter.

Navigation display on the iPad

A closer look at the iPad navigation display. Notice the red line that continuously updates while we are underway to show where we are headed. What a great tool!

Whale watching boat

We passed this whale watching boat as we crossed San Juan Channel on our way to Reid Harbor.

Container ship in Haro Strait

As we approached Reid Harbor, we spotted this container ship in Haro Strait, headed for Boundary Pass.

Entrance to Reid Harbor

Approaching the entrance to Reid Harbor on Stuart Island, one of our favorite anchorages in the San Juans.

Reid Harbor anchorage

In Reid Harbor, Stuart Island, looking toward the head of the anchorage.

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.