If nothing else, if you're expecting to enjoy boating for years, you have to learn to be flexible! Although the plan was to take off Fri. night and meet up with Persistence (who were still out since the end of June) and Newfie Bullet in Montague Harbour for a raft up, the weather forecast was making it less and less likely as the Fri. rolled nearer. We continued deferring our decision -hoping the window of forecasted lighter evening winds (down to the mid teens) would materialize: it didn't! Earlier in the day Bob (Newfie Bullet) let us know they wouldn't be crossing, but along with Carpe Diem would be down at their boats and invited us over if we elected not to cross the Strait. All three of those boats occupy the same dock at PRM, so Plan B became cruise a whole couple hundred yards to their dock. The weather lull did not materialize, so we figured we'd first pump out then get ourselves over to the empty slip awaiting us across the marina. With winds between 20-25kts in the marina, we were doing 4.1kts SOG in NEUTRAL down the main fairway. Between the wind, current, and how we had to orient ourselves to use the pump out, it took 4 tries to get ourselves along side the station. After dealing with that, we abandoned Plan B and moved on to 'C'; back to our slip. Once secured, we hopped into the dinghy and was basically blown down to our friends dock [side note: I knew I would have to check depths over on the other dock; as I figured... we'd be well planted in the bottom for the Sat. morning low tide.
With the forecast continuing for more of the same for Saturday, we opted to evoke Plan 'D', and called up the girls to see if they could come and join us. It wasn't for a long time, but it's been so hard trying to co-ordinate schedules, we take what we can get. So there were some extra drives back and forth to Langley, but it did give Elsa a chance to do some extra highway driving with her new 'N' drivers license. The winds dropped for a couple hours in the late afternoon-early evening, so we went over to the PRYC float and signed out some kayaks for the evening and had lots of laughs paddling around the docks of PRM. Sundays drive back to Langley w/the girls came too quickly, but it was still great to have us all together -even if it was only for the one night.
Mon., July 31 (PRM - Shallow Bay, Sucia Isl.)
With winds shifted to light from the south, the water had flattened very quickly and made for as nice of conditions one could ask for. Or original plan was to make Jones Island, but a bad call on my part (should have stayed on the more northerly Turn Point/stay N of Waldron route), put us down just above Shallow Bay, and days strong current was building against us if we decided to push through Presidents Channel. So option (I think we're up to) Plan 'E' became find a ball or anchor in Shallow Bay. The wind picked up pretty good in the middle of the night and given it had spun around opposite from what we set, I did go up and do an anchor watch for about an hour. Many of the boats I could see seemed to feel the same, as lights cast outlines of crew checking out their holding & positions.
The nice thing about overnighting at Sucia, was that we got the current helping us Tues. morning. With no wind to speak of, we had current giving us 1+ kts. of push at times, so our short run was truly that -an hour 40 min.! We circled the back southmost buoy (only one avail.) and compared it to the afternoons low tide depth, and settled in to one of our favourite spots. After taking care of the usual arrival type things, we went for a walk over to the cove on the other side of the island. I stepped funny as I stepped off of VS on our return to our PRM slip at the end of our 2 week trip, and it has still been bothering me -today was one of those days. So when we came to the T in the trail to take the shorter (and more moderate) trail back to the other bay, I bailed, and we hooked back to the boat. Charm enjoyed the chance to burn off some energy chasing balls in the field; where we often seem over run with deer in the fields, we only saw one this time.
Wed., Aug. 2 (Jones Isl. - Deer Harbor Marina)
DHM is a favourite for many boaters it seems. We certainly enjoy it, but part of the fun is always watching 'shift change' as boats depart or check in -it's a very active spot. Again this morning, our short trip was made even quicker with the following tide. They were very accommodating when we requested a late departure the next day (for current turn), so we got to sit and relax for a bit extra -we really splerged and had showers 2 days in a row!
Thurs. Aug. 5 (Deer Harbor Marina - Sucia/Fossil Bay)
A straight ahead trip back up Waldron Channel; the wind died as we exited the east end of the channel, so motored the remainder of the way. Aware of the shallow tides this weekend, we did manage to get a buoy that could accommodate us for teh entire weekend of the BSPS Rendezvous. There was a good turn out of boats from both Squadrons. A couple of boats were in on Thurs., trying to secure as much dock space as possible. Friday saw the majority of the boats appear; including the Stones -complete w/Elsa as a stow away! Very suprised indeed! Sat. was a group walk and some educational activities. Following the dinner potluck, was some more socializing and a drawing version of pictionalry, w/Bellingham coming from behind to win.
After a quick breakfast in the hut provided again by B'ham, we departed.