Thurs. June 30 (PRM-Montague)
I picked up Lisa from work and we headed straight for the boat. I had been down to the boat earlier in the day to load the cushions (in various stages of replacement), dry goods, clothing, etc., so other than fresh/refridgerated/frozen items, there wasn't much to load. While underway, we bounced around the idea of where to spend the night. We did have to clear customs, and we wanted to get moving and to our destination in the morning. Either Otter Bay or Montague fit the bill, but not planning on partaking any of the amenities of Otter Bay, we opted for Montague. After clearing, we were not surprised all the mooring buoys were already taken and the dock was full, so we dropped our anchor in the NW corner -towards the mizzen tidal pool. Later in Mill Bay, we found the group of 3 boats that had taken our traditional stern tie spot were members of LPSS that we could have rafted to, but our eyes were focused on finding specific locations at the time, not specific boats. Regardless, after a run to shore with the dog, we were down for the night, and an 0830 departure in the morning.
Fri.to Sun. (Montague - Mill Bay)
Looking forward to catching up with many of our LPSS friends -having had to bow out of the Port Browning cruise in May- we set out in flat calm conditions, content on motoring. As we approached the bottom end of Satellite Channel, the familiar silhouette of 'Spitfire', the C&C 110 that I race on, approached. They had just spent the last couple nights down Mill Bay/Butchard Gardens way. With the wind now picking up a little (but also starting to rain a little), we added the headsail to speed up the last few miles. The furling process has become noticeably more difficult the last couple of sails, so I was reminded that I'd need to allot some time to solving that issue over the course of the weekend (more on that later).
Once in our assigned slip and all was secured, the Canada Day decorating of Volti completed, we could begin our R&R in earnest. The majority of attending Squadron boats made it in for dockside appies and shenanigans, but things quietened down quite early, as most had already had a pretty busy day.
Saturday began with an investigation of our jib halyard issue. I couldn't really tell from deck/dock level, but there was definitely binding occurring at the top of the furling unit head, so I enlisted the help of one of our LPSS friends to help hoist me up the mast for further investigation. Yup, there was binding. Given the circumstances, I opted to defer messing with it until I could see about having Blackline Marine -right along our Monday route at Canoe Cove- have a look at it. Although I could not really set up anything in advance because of the long weekend, I hoped they'd be able to take care of it and they did so lickity split. The afternoon had a fleet of tenders bouncing around in the sloppy Mill Bay conditions in a challenging Scavenger Hunt -with clue 'solutions' suspended from specially marked 'crab trap' floats. It was a wet and wacky adventure that created a lot of laughs!
Sunday was departure day for most, but not before a weighted line toss challenge put on by our Fraser Squadron attendees. There were A LOT of interesting methods of launching that created much laughter and call outs. Thanks Fraser Squadron! For us, and a couple other boats continuing south, we simply enjoyed the rest of the day at our leisure.
Today we set off towards the US, our goal was to clear Customs in Roche, but we also had to make a stop in Canoe Cove, so once departed Mill Bay, we contacted Blackline Marine and explained our issue and asked if they'd be able to squeeze us in as we transited through. Thankfully they were able to accommodate us and we underway again shortly. Jeff, the rigger that serviced us, was great and I wouldn't hesitate to return to them for additional work if the need were to arise. Once again underway, we headed off. The winds were light along/past Sidney Spit, so we hoisted sails (furler now working as it should) to try things out. We sailed for a while, but the winds started picking up around the time Lisa wanted to prepare lunch, so we motor sailed our to Spieden, where we proceeded to motor in to Roche for clearance. Our friends, who were originally looking at anchoring in Garrison Bay had anchored/rafted in the Roche Harbor Forth of July madness, so we opted to come along side and raft for the night and watch the fire works. After securing we headed in by tender to get Charm some much needed relief.
Walking along to the doggie area we were surprised to hear our names called out by some fellow PRYC members; the new owners of a C&C 34 I used to race on -you always meet up with someone- and had a chance to chat AFTER Charm got to use her priority time. While I never planned on being in Roche for 4th of July, it was fun to watch the fireworks. But now that that one is checked off, I'm not needing to do it again :^)
Targeting Port Townsend for our next day's destination, we looked to slack water times for Point Wilson and worked backwards from there; 0600hrs would come early the next morning. It did. We had to live with the end of flood against until rounding Spieden Channel, but then got to use a following current most of the duration; we found ourselves doing 10+ kts. as we got spit out of Cattle Pass. The ride from there was a little uncomfortable until after we passed Smith Island; made Port Townsend by 1330, with everyone ready for a walk to stretch our legs!
Wed., July 6 (Port Townsend - Kingston)
Our friends were targeting Olympia -much farther than what we were doing- so as they set out for a much longer run, we did a leisurely sail out of PT and headed down to the PT Canal, towards our target of Kingston. The wind soon died, so we motored from a mile above the Canal until after clearing the Oak Bay light off Kinney Point. We lost the wind again at Point No Point, and motored the rest of the way in. We've always appreciated the manicured park and 'mainstreet' of Kingston. Lisa was happy to visit the Quilt Store -but not happy it was in the last stages of it's closing business sale. There were a couple of nice coffee shops that we visited. It was a nice distance to run after the previous long day. We thought of staying for an extra day, but knew we needed to press on.
Thurs. July 7 (Kingston - Poulsbo)
Although we planned for slack at Agate Pass, all our source timings were off for that! We lived with a medium current against on our approach in order to make it happen, but it was still a good hour off. So we slugged through what was still about a 2kt. current when it should have been 0. We've always wanted to head in to Poulsbo on previous trips south, but never managed to include it. We were surprised with how windy it was all the way in we saw 15-25 kts. of wind. We reciprocaled at PYC, but with the wind blowing us off of the reciprocal area, we did have think about our docking. Having arrived later than planned, we got ourselves squared away, signed in, then headed off for a short walk to town to scope things out for tomorrow, as we were planning on spending a couple of days here. Had a chance to visit with some of the members on the dock -all very welcoming- and all encouraged us to join in for the Fri. night 'Bring Your Own Meat' BBQ.
Fri. Morning, our return from Charm's morning walk was delayed by the presence of a pregnant seal on the main dock (and the only way back to our boat). Normally they just scoot off the dock with the approach of people -especially w/a dog- but something was different. After standing for a moment, it was obvious something was very different here. The cow was in the final stages of labour and she gave birth to her pup (calf?) right there on the dock! It was a very interesting challenge for Charm to deal with for sure. I walked her around the corner to help relieve that stress for the calving mother seal, but still able to watch the activities myself. It took about 45 min. all told, then mom and pup were in the water swimming away. Definitely not my normal morning walk! The rest of the day was spent wandering the town. Lisa found (another!) quilt shop. Sluy's Bakery is to die for, and the dog will now get to start carrying her own weight around here now, as we found a well fitting panier pack for her.
There was a big turn out for the PYC BBQ; I'd guess around 150 or so present. Lots of fun for sure. Just as we were turning in for the night, there was a knock on the hull. We had helped a Ranger Tug from Pleasant Hbr. secure to the dock earlier in the day. The skipper was dropping of a couple of pastries from Sluy's for helping out earlier. Definitely returning here.
Sat., July 9 (Poulsbo - Bremerton)
We had all kinds of winds on this leg -pretty much on the nose all the way. We did do some sailing, but with the gusts & building winds not sitting well with Lisa, we motored the last half. Once secured, we had a quick bite and then headed for the foot ferry over to Port Orchard. The harbourmaster at Bremerton mentioned a Chris Craft Rendezvous over at PO, so our first stop was to search out the Peebles -which we were sure would be in attendance. I also wanted to stop in at Milltech Marine, but they were closed :^(. The docks/marina at Bremerton were nice. Clean facilities, but very 'downtown concrete' type of vibe to it. Many transient space was 30% full. There was a Heart tribute band playing on the causeway -pretty good. We also noticed everybody walking around with there faces 'buried' in their smart phone. In a very 'zombie-like' way.Kind of spooky actually. It wasn't till later that we realized Pokemon Go had just been released. At lease we hope that was the reason.
Sunday, July 10 (Bremerton - Eagle Harbor)
Heading to Eagle Harbor, Winslow YC. Once through Rich Pass, we raised sails. It was a perfect day for a good sail for Lisa. We navigated a walk of ferries going to & fro as we enjoyed the Seattle skyline to the east. Winslow YC is a beautiful little place, and Bainbridge is a trendy, quiet, little village. Lisa managed to find LRC (Left Right Centre) -a multiplayer dice game we were introduced to on a PRYC boat earlier this year. We had a great visit with the skipper from the Newport 41 slipped next to us; he recommended the Streamline Diner -where we went for breakfast the next morning... he was right! We grabbed a couple of things we forgot to get from the grocery store the day before, and were off to Edmonds.
Mon., July 11 (Eagle Harbor - Edmonds)
The wind had switched, so we were downwind today. After an hour or so of easy downwind sailing, Lisa gave the nod to flying the spinnaker. It really was the perfect conditions for it. We sailed it for as long as we could, but when the wind died to a couple knots and it was 1330, we dropped sail and motored the last coulee of miles. Once in, we took Charm for a romp in the nearby dog park, then returned to VS to give her a quick clean, while Lisa prepped appies for Todd & Cheryl, who were coming by after work. We hadn't seen them for over a year, so it was great to catch up. After lots of visiting we moved it over to Arnies -a great marina pub/grub joint- for burgers and more laughter.
Tues., July 12 (Edmonds - Oak Harbor)
Long run today, opting to set up the Deception Pass transit for tomorrow. With the help of next to no wind, Otto helming, and Lisa on watch, I managed to get a good chunk of the deck polished on this leg. Nearing OH, we noticed tons of sailboats in Penn Cove over to our portside. As it happened, it was Whidby Race Week. The office at the marina was already closed, and the after-hours contact said to wait for the fleet to return then take any available slip. We ended up out on F dock. Although surrounded by race participants, it was a surprisingly quiet evening -I suspect the result of this being night #2, not #1)- aside from the 20-25kt. wind that was whistling through the marina. Under a different name and the previous owner, I know that Volti was moored in OH, and the p/o requested to retain her old name, so part of our OH stop was for me wanting to see if we could find the 'new' Karen Marie. We did find her, but no sign of the owners.
Wed., July 13 (Oak Harbor - Flounder Bay)
An earlier start again today, and we got away right on time for an 1153 slack at Deception Pass. We got more of a push than I had anticipated, arriving at 1100. We did a couple of leisurely figure 8's to kill time and ran (okay, slow walk) through at 1115. FBYC was another wonderful little spot. Although far from any real stores, the mini-mart had a sufficient variety to meet our needs. The walk around Fidalgo Head State Park (2.5mi. approx.) was wonderful. Had time to do a bit more waxing before we left the next morning.
Thurs. July 14 (Flounder Bay - Clark Isl. - Fossil Bay)
Once cleared Fidalgo Head, the light winds seemed a good way to start this leg. Soon Lisa suggested 'that pretty' sail again, and we managed to make it within a mile of Clark before the wind died completely. A Boss super-tug waked us pretty good while becalmed. Shortly after, when we went to sock/drop the spin, we found the dousing lines had gotten wrapped around the upper furler block. We lashed/left it until we got on a mooring ball at Clark and dealt with it there. After lounging around on the beach and playing with Charm in the water, we headed back to the boat. The weather forecast update included change of direction and strength to the overnight winds. Exposed for a rocky night, we opted to head up to Sucia. What a sudden change in the course of a few hours. We got a bit of a squall on the run up; NNW winds 13-18 w/gusts in mid 20s, and rain the last mile or so. As we lined up the mooring buoy, the boat we were passing by were just contacted by friends delaying their departure from Deer Harbor; 37kt winds at the docks!. Half an hour later the sun came back out and everything was beautiful again.
Friday was relax and walk. Jim & Sandie's kids/grandkids (whom were going to meet up with us) left the boat late in LaConnor). With windlass problems, they opted to do a straight shot home instead. As great as this two week trip was, Sat. felt like it was time to head off, so we did. No wind to speak of until a few miles off PRM, so a motoring leg it was.