I'm not sure why, but year end wrap up seemed a lot more condensed and intense this year; it certainly made prepping for boating mode more of a distant target rather than just around the corner. Traditionally, we manage to do a 'close the doors and don't look back' two week trip, but work/holiday calendars didn't quite align that way this year.
Our original intention was to attend Blue Water Yachts' MacGregor Rendezvous down in Anacortes for the weekend. We've been wanting (and repeatedly reminded by BWY owners Todd & Cheryl) to attend this year, but as the dates came up more and more 'stuff' kept getting in the way. We were even looking at me going down single-handed in the wee small hours and then having Lisa drive down after work Friday. The more we looked at it, the more it seemed like it would end up requiring a holiday to recoup afterwards. We finally stepped back and admitted to ourselves that what re really needed was a decompress weekend, not a compressed one.
So we opted for our favourite Isl. of Sucia. The target was Shallow Bay, but with a forecast of strong NW winds for the Sat. night and how the deeper corner is also the more exposed to that wind, we opted instead for Fossil; another half-hour round, but more protected.
We motor sailed the way down; not much wind, but enough to help us out by .5 to .75 kt., but the boat was also feeling a little sluggish. I knew I would be doing a little investigating later.
Although arriving later on the Friday evening, we did get a mooring buoy; noting they'd replaced the markers & chain over the off season. Anticipating a zero tide Sunday morning, we knew we'd be cutting it close for depth -and if becoming available, we'd move to deeper one. Afters getting secured, it was row over to shore with a very appreciative Charm (and maybe Elsa?) to stretch legs and get some energy out.
There was concern on the boat Saturday morning; I slept in. No, I mean I slept in. Dad doesn't do that, unless 6:30....maybe 6:45 counts. So with a leisurely 8:15 crawl out of bed we set out to do not much of anything. After getting around to breakfast and starting to plan our day, we noticed a boat preparing to depart from a buoy one ahead, and to the north of us (across the 'alley'). The water there was a little deeper, so we opted to trade locations. Not wanting to fire up the engine, but with a slight breeze in the wrong direction for sails, I was just going to pull us over with the dinghy. Elsa and Lisa were not comfy with that idea (they really don't realize how little drag VS has in the water), so to keep all happy, I grabbed a line and paddled over to the other buoy and ran a bow line through the ring and 'pulled' her over from there. I'm sure it was a comic sight for others, but we had a good laugh in the process.
When we were here a week ago, we came upon a trail on the north end of Shallow Bay that we were unaware of previous (thought we had hiked them all), so we were wanting to check that out. Elsa was also tagged with the job of getting Charm to swim on her own this weekend, so with these tasks in front of us, we were off to the races... so to speak. The tide was out, so we went over to Fox Point and walked all the way around and back into Fox Cove; saw a couple of eagles circling and then taking roost in some trees just up above our location. On our return to Fossil Bay, we went to work on Charms swimming; with us throwing her toy into the water, and Elsa's coaxing from out in the water, she was finally becoming brave enough to swim out for the toy past Elsa. Yes!
After returning back to the boat, it was time to investigate the lack of boat speed from our Friday night trip down. Having just hauled the boat in the end of March, I was shocked to see the entire shaft and prop covered in barnacles! there wasn't a spot of the shaft exposed anywhere. So I was glad I bothered putting my wetsuit (thin, but better than nothing) on, because I really wasn't planning on spending a good 20 minutes in the water scraping all the growth off.
We had a gorgeous Saturday night sunset, sitting in the cockpit playing cards. A great ending to a pleasant, relaxing day. Sunday we motored much of the way home, having only a few opportunities to feather in a little sail to help us out. Definite improvement in propulsion systems :^)