100, 101, 102, 103
8/7/2007 - 8/10/2007
Northern San Juans
A Summer Trip
Cap Sante Marina, Fidalgo Island
We weren't ready to go until 12:30pm, then when we pulled out into the
cul-de-sac and checked the trailer lights we had none. The left
light lenses itself was broken (how?) and no bulbs would light.
After about 45 minutes of partially successful troubleshooting we had at
least a brake light in the now taped left one and called it good.
We've also added new LED trailer lights to the to do list.
It took a little over 2-1/2 hours to make the drive
which was uneventful except for one episode of quite severe trailer
sway which we had never experienced before. A combination of ruts on I-5 south of Everett, wind from
trucks, and too much weight behind the trailer axle started an
oscillation that took about 30 seconds to get calmed down. It took
even longer for Dawn's heart to stop racing. To avoid the smell in
the truck we had over 27 gallons of gas in the boat and the dinghy in
the truck. This shifted too much weight behind the axle and
reduced the tongue weight. We won't load that way again. Traffic was very
heavy and slow going through Everett which made the drive longer
It rained a couple times during the drive but was dry
with heavy overcast when we reached Anacortes. We decided as it
was now nearly 4pm that we wouldn't try to get anywhere else that night.
This turned out to be a nice way to start a trip.
The new sling launch at Cap Sante while not cheap, is
very nice. We went ahead and paid for a round trip launch ticket,
parking for a week, and a slip for the night. In no time the boat
was off the trailer and floating, these sling launches are addicting.
Dawn took the dogs and drove the truck to the long
term parking area while the boys and I brought the boat over to slip
K45. It's such a large marina that that this was quite a journey.
Dawn successfully backed the truck and trailer into a slot on her own,
Nick, Mike, the dogs and Dawn then went off for a walk
while Sam and I put up the mast, canvas and other equipment. The
new aft transom arch worked great during trailering and mast raising.
Dinner was Burgers on the grill after which we settled
in for the movie, "Talladega Nights". After the show and a quick
final trip to shore we turned in for the night.
Cap Sante Marina to Roche Harbor, San Juan Island
We got up around 9am, Dawn and I that is, the boys were still crashed
out. Looking at the current table for Rosario Strait it was
advantageous to get under way ASAP, slack current was at 9:25am.
Dawn took the dogs for a quick trip to shore and I
warmed up the motor. We were under way just after 9:30am, one of
our quickest departures ever. It
was a calm and overcast morning so I let the Autopilot handle the
driving across the Strait.
Traffic was light in through Thatcher Pass. It
then got a lot heavier along the north side of Lopez Island which meant
a rougher ride with all the big boy boats plowing along. Unfortunately
this was the last straw for the poor drooling dorky yorkie Jenny and she got
We stopped at Blind Island to look around as that was
our planned destination for the night before. It's quite a small
island with 4 buoys on the south side. The bay beyond is shallow
and a number of boats were anchored there.
It was a nice passage along Shaw Island and through
the narrow Wasp Islands. From there we crossed the San Juan
Channel to the upper end of San Juan Island and around into Spieden
Channel. As always it was rough here with the convergence of the
currents. We slogged our way through the following sea alternating
between 4 knots and 8 knots as we surfed down the swells.
We pulled into Roche Harbor just after 1:30pm and
radio'd for a slip. We received slip 38a, a portside tie on the
older original docks. While the docks were old wood and very high,
the slip is actually a great place. We are on the shore side and
the view out the back is of the hotel, church and pool.
The clouds are now gone and the sun is shining.
Jenny seems to have recovered from her sea sickness. Dawn went to shore while I got
everything connected up for our 2 night stay. The service here was great as usual, two
dock hands met us at the slip to handle the lines and soon the dock girl
was by to check us in.
Around 4pm Dawn and the boys headed off to the pool.
We discovered that Sam's packing left something to be desired as he
didn't put in a swim suit or any shorts. He borrowed my trunks.
Our neighbor in 38b returned and is just a fishing
boat used for day trips so there will be no one on board overnight.
We'll have the finger pier to ourselves. The boat the owners are
staying on is a beautiful 45' wood Chris Craft down the other side a few
slips. They also have a little whaler tied up in the slip in front
of the fishing boat. I guess when you go out for a month and money
is no object you bring
all your toys.
The dogs are on 'Dawn' watch but are getting better at
settling down when she is gone. Time for another beer and a book.
The pool crew returned around 6pm and we fired up the BBQ and grilled
a great flank steak. This was accompanied by Caesar salad and
After dinner we hooked up the new 'Atlantis' undersea
video camera we waited two days extra for UPS to deliver. It's a black and white infrared camera on the end of a
200' cable. We sorted out the poorly documented connections and
soon had video from under the dock. We cruised around the bottom
23' below exploring the pilings and sea bed. We found a number of
shrimp, small fish, and an occasional glimpse of a large fish. We
worked out a 2nd connection to the camera tail fin with a fishing pole that
allowed us to get some steering control.
We shut it down when the marina started the flag
ceremony at dusk. Dark soon fell and Dawn took Nick and Mike for
ice cream. Now it's 10pm and we're trying to get everyone settled
in. Dawn is doing dishes and hopefully soon all will calm down.
Roche Harbor, San Juan Island
Dawn was up at 8:30am to go to shore and hopefully find her wayward
wallet from last nights ice cream run. Luckily the girls behind
the counter who now are
serving coffee had it set aside. Once she returned we took the
dogs for a long walk.
Breakfast was small quiche tarts and bacon. We
planned out the tasks for the day as we get ready to go to Sucia
tomorrow. It's 11am and Sam and Nick are still crashed out like
Food finally brought the boys to life and everyone emerged from their
A few boat tasks were next on the list. I
released the furling line and got a couple more twists on the sheets
around the foil and swapped the ends of the jib halyard to get a twist
out at the block. Is it time for a break yet?
Next was the dinghy. Dawn went up to do a load
of laundry and take a shower while I worked on inflating the boat.
Our electric inflation pump refused to run and smelled that bad
electrical smell. Disassembly found the low pressure side plastic
brittle and fused. I got it loose and spinning but the motor
refused to run. So it was back to the old foot pump. It does
fine for the main tubes but just won't get the floor as hard as it
should be. Add a two stage foot pump to the list.
Once inflated we launched her and Captian Nick along
with First Mate Mike headed
out rowing across to the pool dock. Dawn returned and we moved to
cooler cleaning thanks to a leaky exploding flank steak marinade bag.
Soon we had them rinsed and ready to refill. We added a 2nd block of ice to the main cooler and
another bag of cubes to the drink cooler. Mike and Nick returned
and switched to fishing. I think swimming is next on their endless list.
Sure enough, Mike Nick, and Sam loaded up in the
dinghy with the dogs while Dawn walked around on shore stopping at the restaurant
to check on dinner reservations. Sam is going to walk the dogs and
then head back here. Dawn will radio for a pickup.
Sam and I saw them leave the pool but they never
answered our radio calls so they ended up walking back. On the way
Dawn put in an order for 3 take out Burgers with cheese and bacon for
the boys. Sam went with us back up to restaurant to get the food and
deliver it back to the boat while Dawn and I stayed for dinner.
The boys are dining in and watching a movie. We're dining where
ever they aren't.
We had a nice meal of Fish and Chips and after dinner
took a nice walk around the grounds then went grocery shopping.
Once back at the boat we all had ice cream sandwiches and finished
watching the end of the movie.
At sunset Dawn and I took the dogs for a ride over to
the pool dock to let them off the leash to run in the field. They
ripped around glad to be free burning off lot's of energy. When we got back it was time to
settle in for an early night. Sam and I walked up to the main dock
and had a couple of nice showers before we turned in and soon all was
quiet on 'Allegro'. Early in the
morning we had some rain.
Roche Harbor to Fox Cove, Sucia Island
We awoke around 8:30 ready to get away from marina life including the
squeaky wood dock. Dawn and
I took the dogs to shore then picked up a dozen donuts for a quick breakfast.
While Dawn wrote out post cards I got everything ready and backed out of
the slip. It was a quick trip to the fuel dock where we took on a
whooping 9 gallons of fuel to top everything back up, probably their
smallest sale of the day.
Once the cards were mailed we made our way out of the
harbor. We took the long way through the pass west of Pearl Island because the
shortcut on the east side is shallow at the very low tide we have. Spieden Channel was the calmest we've seen it and we
got good current help all the way to Flattop Island. We were
cruising close to shore when we came upon quite a seal community.
Then we got kelp wrapped around the prop and had to stop to clear it.
This let us see the seals again as the 1+ knot current pushed us back in
front of them.
About half way between Flattop and Waldron Island we
decided to sail as it looked like there was good wind ahead. We
pulled off the covers, shook out the bugs, and raised the sails. At first it looked
like a nice broad reach was in order according to the windex but as it turned out almost all the
chop we saw was current related, not wind related. We tried various
points of sail searching for some speed but we never got enough forward
motion to get a good flow over the rudders let alone over come the 1.2
knots of current flowing in the wrong direction.
We rolled back in the genoa but left the main up and
fired up the engine lest we drift past the seals for a third time.
After about 20 minutes we were back where we started the whole sailing
attempt. We were keeping pace with a group of other sailboats
motoring along also with their mains up for show just like ours. After about 20
minutes of matching speed and watching them it became apparent that there was
even less wind ahead and we were all headed to Sucia Island.
We dropped the sail, pulled up the fins and throttled
up to 8 knots while opening the ballast valve. Once the ballast
was dumped our speed was up to 10 knots and we quickly left the sailboat
group behind. There really is quite a difference between how long
it takes to get somewhere at 10 knots vs. 6 knots. The change
in the ETE number on the GPS was quite remarkable.
We arrived at Sucia just before 1 pm and took a look
in Shallow Bay as we have never made it up to the north side before.
The bay already had a lot of boats on all the buoys and
at anchor. We could see that down in Fox Cove there were only 2
boats and know that there are 4 buoys. We quickly turned south
between Sucia and Little Sucia to grab an empty buoy. We are tied up to
the SW inside buoy, the same one we have used before and really like.
Shortly after we were settled in, one of the other
sailboats we had passed came in the channel from Shallow Bay and took
the last buoy. Two others we had passed then took a look a bit
later and had to
leave finding no space here. Once again the speed of the Mac
Everyone was anxious to go to shore after a quick
lunch. I put the motor on the dinghy and we were off, except for
Sam who wanted to stay aboard. We dropped Nick and Mike at a cave
on Sucia then Dawn and I took the dogs over to Little Sucia Island.
They ripped around on the beach free of the leash as we had the island
I went back across the cove to check on Nick and Mike, they wanted Sam to join them
so I headed for the boat. I picked him up and
left him and a radio back with the other boys. Then it was back across
the Cove to Little Sucia to join Dawn.
We had a nice long walk along the shore with the now
wet dogs who decided to go swimming. Unfortunately the walk was so
extended that when we returned back around the point we saw our dinghy
drifting away on the rising tide. It was floating about 20' away
from the shore when we got to it.
Resigning myself to a swim I started to empty my
pockets. Dawn stopped me and yelled for the attention of a couple
of people boarding a dinghy at another boat in the cove. Finally
they saw the problem and captured our dinghy and brought it back to the
From there it was back across to the boys to deliver
food and water and warn them about the rising tide. Maybe a dinghy
anchor should be a higher priority. We then rinsed the sand from
the dogs and headed for the boat. Two other boats have now
anchored in the cove but none can find space by us because it get's
shallow really quick even though it looks like there is lot's of open
water between us and the beach. With the boys still on the beach we mixed up
some drinks and relaxed.
The boys radio'd that they wanted to be picked up in
about 1/2 hour. Dawn, the dogs and I first went into the main
beach and walked over to the Fossil Bay dock to pay for the mooring
buoy. We then went down the cove to pick up the boys at their
rock. It took a while to find a obstacle free path into shore so
we could pick them up. They had to go a bit down the shore but
scout Nick led the way. The dinghy still works well even with all
5 of us on board along with the dogs.
We then got to work on dinner which was a new
experiment, Pizza on the BBQ grill. It turned out OK but got a bit
burnt in a few spots on the bottom, all in all a successful dinner and
we learned how to do it better next time.
We wanted to turn in early but of course Mike
wanted to fish as we could see them rising all around (no luck);
Dishes needed to be done; thing needed to be cleaned up from the sand
finding it's way from the beach; dogs needed to go to
the beach in the dark to do their business; and before we knew it it was after 10 pm when we
all turned in. Then Sam got a phone call which we all had fun
listening to and rudely commenting on; the halyards needed tying out;
and it's almost 11 pm now. Time for a bit of reading and some sleep.
We do think we finally injured or killed that lone
mosquito pestering us at last.