Okay, this isn't a trip, but worthy of entering here just the same. All the licensing and paperwork has been a long and drawn out process, and sequential steps are involved (application of permit 'A' is req'd before you can apply for item 'B', etc.). But the end is near! We're still waiting assignment of our new MMSI # (the Industry Canada agent that contacted me with a 'question' about my application summarized our conversation by asking me to 'read through the updated CPC and let her know' the procedure in question because she 'hasn't had a chance' to familiarize herself with them yet!). Anyway, our boat name & Pleasure Craft Licence lettering arrived this week, so even though we're not 'going out' on the boat this weekend, we were down there to do the 'official' de-naming and re-naming of the vessel, and to brand her with the new lettering.
We tried to make this event last year, but illness kept us from attending. So we were doubly excited about attending this years BSPS gathering. The BSPS and LPS have done several activities together over the last couple of years, and have developed a great, fraternal relationship. A couple of retired LPS members went down on the Thurs. to help commandeer Dock #1 at Fossil Bay (the State Park dock is first come, first serve) to help ensure the anticipated 19 boats would be able to all raft up. Along with the early BSPS contingent, they did a great job and also took the lead in positioning/docking/rafting assignments as the participating boats came in. We picked Lisa up at the end of work and continued down to the boat. We were once again Meganless, as she had to work the weekend.
We did have a couple of stops to make, so it was around 1700 by the time we got away. It was a flat calm trip, with no wind and an small opposing current to slow us down. There were surprisingly few boaters heading out, and nothing as far as junk/deadheads in the water to contend with, so a very un-eventful trip down. We did pass some friends from our PRM dock, as they were returning back from a trip, but that was about it. We got in around 2015, rafted up to 'Persistence', and began to enjoy the warm dock hospitality.
The wind blew up a bit overnight and we awoke to clouds and a spit of rain. BPSP had reserved the pavilion adjacent the dock, and supplied a delicious assortment of goodies for breakfast. They planned out a bevy of activities -a trail walk over to China Caves, an abbreviated Weather seminar, and a mini treasure hunt for the kids. Dinner was a potluck appie, with BSPS again supplying the main deli meat, buns, and fixin's (a imposed fire ban altered the original burger plan). Everyone enjoyed themselves, and it was followed up with acknowledgements (and a little good natured ribbing) for all those that helped out with the event. After that, there was a short sing-along of sea songs. A good time had by all.
The wind came up even more Saturday night -I was awoken not by the wind, but by Elsa, who WAS awoken by it. After her & Lisa confirmed we were still tied securely to the boat we were rafted to, everyone made there way back to sleep. We were awoken Sunday morning by the sounds of rain, and needing to make a final decision on when to depart. Needing a 2.0ft tide for departure, that meant we would need to depart either before 1000, or after 1430. The wind forecast for the morning was 10-15 , increasing in the afternoon to SE 15-25kn. Getting underway seemed the prudent thing to do, so we after preparing for departure, we cast off.
As it turned out, there wasn't much wind at all. After we past Little Sucia, there was enough to warrant motor-sailing with the genoa (something that I hadn't done with the girls before), so we talked through the why's, how's, and what to do's and proceeded to make it so. It actually takes much longer to explain these things sometimes, but it helps the girls feel more comfortable, so I'm happy to take the time. Anyways, we kept that going for a couple of miles past Patos, till the wind died completely. We motored for a while, until the wind began to pick up again, and we motor-sailed the last 6 or so miles. We gained anywhere from .75 to 1.1 kn. in additional boat speed, which helped, but what I was most glad to see, was they also recognized how much the sail steadied down the boat, because the wave action was much more noticeable once we furled. Dockings continue to improve; both at the pump out, and our slip are becoming more fluid and confident. I think we're going to get the hang of this boat yet!
We've missed the BWY rendezvous a couple years in a row now. That in itself has been disappointing, but it's also meant not seeing as much of our friends Todd & Cheryl. We've bumped into them on the water a couple of times (okay, bad choice of words), but with them based out of Seattle, the odds of weekend meetings are limited.
Todd & Cheryl came up and did the sea-trial with us and were most helpful and informative. The trial was a good one and we all new we'd be moving forward , not backwards in the negotiations. So they matter of factily said that we should meet them at Friday Harbour, the most northerly point on their week in the San Juans. It's a bit of trip, but it was a 3 day weekend for us so we decided to go.
I've always tried to use the currents to my benefit when possible, but in a Macgregor with a 70hp on the back, it was not usually too critical (except for a few Passes). With a cruising speed of 6 -7 knots, this has now become much more important! We planned on Elsa & myself getting down to the boat early enough to service the engine prior to Lisa coming to the boat directly after work. Well, Lisa beat us there and we still had the oil change to do. Our window of favourable currents was quickly closing, so we elected to take our time doing things on Friday night, but to use the same tidal current that we could catch with a early(isn) departure on the Sat. morning. It was a good decision, and seeing up to a 3 knot push at some points, we were able to knock an hour off our transit time; WooHoo!
We hailed the marina about 5 minutes out and the harbourmaster responded immediately with our slip assignment -couldn't have asked for any better than that.
We (I) was/were slow getting into our assigned slip. It took us a few moments to locate it and it was only a few slips in from the dock head that we just spun around. It was also to the inside of a turn into it, meaning inertia would be pushing us away and into a neighbouring boat. No problem, I'll just spin her around and approach from the opposite direction (essentially the same 3 point turn you do in your car), except it ended up being a 5 (maybe 7?) point variety, as I'm still working on co-ordinating my gear/throttle use. Anyway, other than providing a longer than expected docking display, things went fine.
Shortly afterwards, Todd & Cheryl appeared in their dinghy; they were helping their friend Sue get herself into a nearby reciprocal slip and wanted to scope out if we'd arrived yet. We both had things to do, so we invited them over later once all our to do list was a done list. We had a great visit, chatting about a thousand different things -many of them at the same time <g>! I did have a few different questions specifically about the boat, but we never got around to them -which was kind of nice actually. Other than the un-invited bees that circled us continuously, we had a wonderful visit. It was great to catch up with them, and to also meet their friend Sue.
Several of our boating friends did a 2 week trip down to Seattle over the past 2 weeks, and this was their return weekend. As they dispersed and went their own ways on the way home to their home ports, we were surprised to see 'Party of Two' pull in a few slips down from us. We hadn't seen them since the springtime; they were unable to attend the Squadron's Mill Bay Rendezvous, so it was nice to be able to catch up with them. So after a very full day of visiting, it was time to call it night!
Sunday, our intention was to stay at Jones Island. We got up planning on heading up to a little bakery that we remembered just up from the waterfront ice-cream shop, to get something nice to go with breakfast. I guess it's been a couple of seasons since we've been here, but the nice little bakery was now a bar & bistro -NOT quite what we were looking for (that early in the morning). After a bunch of extra walking (of course, the wonderful bakery 6 blks up was closed Sundays!) to work up an appetite, we found some muffins and cinnamon rolls down near where we started, so we headed back to the boat.
Exiting FH was more like the starting line for the Bathtub race. It seemed everyone decided to leave at the same time. So we elected to wait and hoist sail until we cleared around the Point, but the chaos of the flotilla continued. By the time it cleared out, we looked over and saw what we thought was Jones Isl. and seeing as how it was so close already, it hardly seemed worth hoisting the sails. Well, after a couple minutes of that not feeling right, I checked and realized we were really looking at the Wasp Islands group and the Wasp Passage spit on the tip of Shaw Island. At this point, we said forget it, and continued to motor.
There was no room for us at Jones Island. We could have squeezed in over in the same corner we anchored a couple years ago with 'Sea Song', but depth is skinny there, it would be a tight stern tie, and we have not yet deployed this anchor system -so we elected to continue on to Sucia. Even if it we were to find the mooring pins all taken, we're much more familiar with the anchor field there, should we end up anchoring.
So off we went. The girls were a little unsure about the building winds as we entered the chute between Waldron & Orcas Isl., so we didn't raise the sails at first, but we did get a few miles in -up around Point Doughty- before the wind died and we fired up the motor. The mooring buoys were all occupied as we came into Fossil Bay, but as we did a u-turn to begin looking for a suitable anchoring location, Elsa spotted a boat that looked like it was beginning to prepare for departure. By the time we passed alongside to ask, they had warmed their engine and were about to release the buoy. So after they slid off it and leaving it vacant for all of 30 seconds, we were attaching a bow line to it to claim it for the evening. Perfect timing Elsa!
Re-confirming water depths/soundings to tidal states as we came in, we've decided the approaches/departures at Fossil Bay now require a min. of a 2 ft tide. So for this weekend, that meant either a pre 1000 or post 1400 departure so we elected to do the earlier. Elsa's stomach was off and there was no wind to speak of, so we motored our way up to PRM.
With the early start, we figured we could use the extra time on the PRM end to continue to work on docking/controlling rev. prop walk/positioning the new boat. The wind started picking up on the way, so we went in and did a fuel dock & pump out docking, and then decided to go do a bit of sailing of the Point. It lightened up as we were heading out -eventually to nothing- but it gave us a chance to practice some (really) light air sailing. We weren't doing worse than others, and better than some, in those conditions. It gave lots of time to talk things through with Lisa and Elsa, and it really gave them a chance to see how the rate & flow of the helm, movement on deck, and sail handling has to synchronize to be effective. Both Lisa and Elsa got a chance to helm and call a few jibes and did great. After heading back in, we did a couple more dockings and called it a day.
Ask for more space and what do you get? More time spent cleaning out and organizing it!!! Tune in here for more rants and ponderings from my 'man cave'