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.
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.