Can It Already Be August?

Boat reflections at Anacortes Marina

A serene early morning at Anacortes Marina—quiet and glassy calm, resulting in mirror-like reflections of the boats on C Dock.

Life can be challenging at times. Even though we wanted to take a long cruise this summer, we have had to take care of business before we can take off in the boat. We recently decided it’s time to downsize our house, and we’ve been busy for the past several months fixing things and sprucing up the house so we can sell it and move on. We have finally completed the work we needed to do before putting our house on the market, and we have come to stay on our boat while the house is on the market.

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san juan islands sunset at reid harbor

A spectacular sunset at Reid Harbor, Stuart Island, our favorite quiet anchorage in the San Juan Islands.

This week Cruising With Phoenix reached 20,000 views! Thanks to those of you who are following our blog and to all the others who end up here looking for information about boating or cruising in the Pacific Northwest!

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July 5 – Port Browning to Anacortes

leaving port browning

Looking back at Port Browning Marina in the early morning as we were leaving on our way to Anacortes.

It was glassy calm and clear at o-dark-thirty this morning. The forecast calls for wind to fill in later in the day, but it sounds like there will be less wind in the San Juan Islands than in the Gulf Islands. Today might be a good day to get back to Anacortes.

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Anacortes to Nanaimo

phoenix at port of nanaimo

Phoenix tied up on the docks at the Port of Nanaimo.

We arrived in Nanaimo yesterday (Sunday) and are staying here today as well. We’re tied up at Port of Nanaimo, our choice of a place to tie up where Jim can do some work on our engine. We started out across Georgia Strait in the late morning yesterday, thinking we would take advantage of a brief weather window. But after a half hour or so, we noticed that our engine was running a little hot. We decided it would be better to get to a dock and check things out before we made a 15-mile crossing of a large body of water.

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September 12 – Anacortes to Prevost Harbor

Mt. Baker behind Obstruction Pass

After we entered the San Juan Islands, we were treated to this great view of Mt. Baker behind Orcas Island. Obstruction Pass is on the right.

We’re back on the water for part 2 of our 2012 cruising! We’re having a very nice sunny and dry stretch of weather…but a little on the cool side. There’s definitely a nip of fall in the air.

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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.