Duane, Dawn,
Sam, Nick, and Mike
(Jessy and Jenny)

Home Up Family Pictures Music



Logbook Day 104, 105, 106 and 107
8/11/2007 - 8/14/2007

Northern San Juans
A Summer Trip

Previous Part of the trip

Fox Cove, Sucia Island

It was a calm and quiet night in Fox Cove.  Dawn rowed to shore with the dogs around 8:30am.  It's going to be a low -1.8 tide at 11:04 this morning.  On my trip to shore near that time I checked the depths around the inside of the buoy we are on for future reference if we ever need to anchor.  At the extra low tide inside where we would anchor there is about 3' of water which would work with all fins up, another great feature of a Mac. 

As I was walking along the beach a stranger approached and asked if I was 'Duane Dunn?'.  He has read all about our travels on this website and saw the name of our boat.  Their Mac is over at the dock in Fossil Bay and they are camping because their kids are older and too big to all fit at night.

I spent some time planning for tomorrow's passage, it looks like we should skirt over by Matia then turn south to take advantage of a very strong current going south.  Slack before flood is at 12:45pm, as long as we go south before then we'll be in good shape.

A late breakfast of French Toast and Sausage was a good start to the day.  The boys and I then loaded up in the dinghy for our big adventure.  Ever since we were at Sucia in 2003 Nick has wanted to return to the cove we went ashore in that had great caves in the rocks, at least great to an 8 year old.  This cove happens to be in the NE corner of Echo Bay, quite a distance from here.  To reduce the walk, Mike took the helm of the dinghy and we went north around the outside of Sucia to Shallow Bay.  We pulled in to the shore at the middle beach that is just over a low rise from Echo Bay.  This cut our distance to walk in half.

From there we walked first along an access road, then a wide trail, and finally a narrow trail along the cliff until we were above the target cove with the caves.  We had to take a narrow steep trail down to the edge of the cliff then walk down a fallen log to reach the beach.  Finally, there it was, the cave much talked about.

Nick and Mike were able to enter the cave and crawl about inside.  Sam thought better of this in his advanced age and waited above outside.  They finally managed to make the transit into the cave and up the chimney to the outside where Sam waited.  Mission accomplished.

Once they had explored thoroughly the full cavern system they were satisfied.  We made the trip back along the beach as there was an hour or so of beach left to walk on before the tide came in and cut us off.  All the varied eroded sandstone was really cool to look at and play on.  Some caves were like mouths with harder stones embedded in them like teeth.  We finally came around far enough to have easy access back up to the road.  From there it was a short walk back to the dinghy and a fast trip back to the boat.

Dawn had spent her 2-1/2 hours alone cleaning and dealing with barking dogs.  Not the most restful time.  Once back everyone wanted snacks and drinks.  The boys made soda with the soda machine and basically messed around as boys do.  Finally everyone quieted down around 5pm.  A bit past 6pm Dawn took the dogs and the boys to Little Sucia in search of firewood.  The dogs could run free there and hopefully wear themselves out yet again.  A heavy layer of clouds has rolled in and we may get a little rain.  

Everyone returned around 6:45pm with a dinghy load of firewood and a wet dog.  Jenny walked out on a log that at low tide is well up the beach.  At the current high tide it is in about 3' of water, I guess dog's eyes can't tell the difference with the clear water and she jumped off the log.  It was a good test of her PFD, after she disappeared under the surface she quickly bobbed back up and was able to swim to shore.  She survived fine but was a sand magnet and is a bit cold.

We had a dinner of hamburger helper and French bread, then all piled into the dinghy already piled high with wood to go to shore for smoores.  The fire started easily and soon it was dark.  The boys started flaming marshmallows with abandon and soon had smoores galore. 

A few sprinkles fell but stopped initially only to return with renewed energy after an hour or so.  We filled a shopping bag with water, dowsed the fire, then motored back to the boat in the rain. 

Soon we had everyone tucked inside and things dried off.  It began to rain in earnest and the wind picked up quite a bit.  We all turned in to read around 10pm and the storm blew through and was done by 1am.

Sucia Island to Rosario Resort, Orcas Island

Up at 8:30am Dawn made the final trip to the beach here while I prepped for today's journey.  We are headed south to Rosario Resort.  Around 9:30am the dinghy motor was back on the bracket and we were ready to go.

We stuck close to Sucia as we started out to avoid the contrary 2.2 knot current down by Orcas.  We passed Fossil Bay and Snoring Bay before setting out to Matia Island.  We wanted to see what the anchorage there looked like for future trips.  We went down the east side of Matia and between it and Puffin Island.  Now we are out in Rosario Strait proper and the ebb current is against the wind which makes for an occasional rough ride.  We were however getting 2 -2.5 knots of current push south.

We rode the current clear south to Lawrence Point where we turned west for Obstruction Pass.  A slight detour took us by Doe Island State Park for a look where there is a buoy and small dock.  This is one of the few places to stop along the east shore of Orcas Island.  We'll have to try it sometime.

A quick trip through  Obstruction Pass took us into East Sound and soon we were up at Cascade Bay where Rosario Resort is.  We radio'd in but couldn't get a slip as they were backed up.  We circled for a while and then finally went over and grabbed a mooring ball to wait for them to get back to us.  Listening to the radio chatter about overbooking and such we decided to have Dawn row into the dock and sort things out face to face.  She got the situation resolved and radio'd that we were assigned slip 15 north.  It is all the way inside and was a tight fit to get into.  Even tighter is going to be the fit for the MotorCat 28 in 16 north when he returns.

In no time the boys (minus Sam) were up at the pool.  It is heated to 89 degrees and the report is that it is great.  We BBQ'd another flank steak and made Steak Hoagie sandwiches for dinner along with fries from the nearby restaurant grill. 

The boys and I took the dogs for a long walk up to the point and soon after we were ready for a movie.  Dawn picked "Dreamer" which everyone watched under protest except Sam who has his nose in the new Harry Potter book I finally gave him this afternoon once he completed his summer reading assignment book.  The movie turned out to be a good one and we wrapped it up and went to bed around 10pm.

Rosario Resort, Orcas Island

Dawn and I got up around 8:30am and after she had walked the dogs we snuck off to the resort spa.  We had a nice soak in the Jacuzzi pool and a swim in the indoor pool both of which we had to ourselves.  After a nice long shower we weren't ready to return to the boat and the boys so we went to the restaurant for the breakfast buffet with a beautiful view of East Sound.

Once back at the boat, Dawn made omelets and bacon for the boys using the last of our breakfast supplies.  Tomorrow morning we plan to all eat out.  After I did the dishes and Dawn did some cleanup, Mike, Nick and Dawn walked down to the main dock store which is not part of the resort and has much better prices.  Sam and I pulled the dinghy, rinsed it and deflated it so we could store it back on the bow once Dawn returned to help.  She bought Sam some swim trunks so he can leave the boat and go swimming now that he has finished the 750 page book he started yesterday afternoon.  Is that any way to enjoy a story?

I hung around the boat stowing things away and basically puttering around and getting ready for our departure tomorrow.  Things are now shipshape and ready to go, it's a very relaxing and enjoyable kind of work.  Time to kick back and chill. 

Today is a gorgeous sunny day with a north wind and not a cloud in the sky.  The pool crew returned around 4pm and we all went to resort grill for ping pong and happy hour.  The boys play a mean game and even Mike is ready for the Olympics.  He heroically saved the ball rolling down the boat launch before it reached the water. 

After we were played out we ordered Pizza for dinner.  Once full, we all went for a walk and a bit of shuffle board and Bocce ball.  Too bad none of us knows the rules to either.  We then wandered up the hill to the mansion and scored some great chocolate chip cookies at the front desk.  From there we strolled up to the hedge lookout on the hilltop for the sunset.  We met a nice couple from Canada with a Schnauzer and chatted about boating.  They are from Otter Bay on North Pender Island which we visited a few years back.

We returned to the boat at dusk for popcorn and the movie "The Good Shepherd".  It was a long and confusing movie and we didn't turn in until 11:30pm.

Orcas Island to Anacortes

The plan was to all go to breakfast at the mansion but we neglected to consider the dogs.  We settled for what we had in the cooler as leftovers and some poor pastries from the store.  Shortly after 10am we were unplugged and backing away from the dock.  The north wind and low tide made the departure tricky but we pulled it off.

Once clear of the marina's mooring field we opened her up to 10 knots headed for Anacortes.  We had about a 1 knot push going south in East Sound on the ebb tide.  We were briefly against the current in Peavine Pass but once we turned south on the east side of Blakely Island in Rosario Strait we took advantage of the peak ebb current.  The current table said the flow was 3.6 knots and at times we were doing 10 knots through the water but making 14 knots over the ground.

The flow lessened some as we turned under Cypress Island and turned against us when we reached Guemes Island.  After two mid channel stops, one for a low oil alarm, now we know what that sound is, and one to change fuel tanks we rounded the head and turned into Cap Sante Marina.

We pulled up to an empty end pier to lower the mast and get ready to pull the boat out.  Mike and Nick took the net and rod and started a very successful fishing derby, while Dawn walked the dogs.  Somehow she missed out on both the setup and the tear down of the boat as Sam and I did all the work.  The new arch worked great yet again and soon everything was down and stowed.

Dawn, Nick and Mike headed for the truck while Sam and I took the boat over to the lift, at least that's what we thought the plan was.  After Sam and I had cast off and were heading down the fairway we saw Mike still fishing.  We yelled to him and he paced us as we made our way in to shore.  He ended up walking all the way around rod in hand. 

Nick turned out to be waiting at the the lift as well.  Dawn spent time trying to figure out where they had both vanished to, but once she saw us already at the lift she started the long walk to the truck.  We had the boat in the sling ready to lift before she finally showed up with the truck.  It was an easy loading process with the great new lift and soon the boat was ready for the road.

We grabbed a late lunch at 'Jack in the Box' (where they failed miserably to provide a complete order) and then headed south for home.  Traffic was light going in our direction until Bellevue and we had a uneventful trip home. 

  The only way down the cliff to the beach             Now he wants to sail

  The long lost cave

  Up the chimney out the top

  Echo Bay

  The jaws of the cliff

  Intrepid Explorer                                             Kicking Back

  Fox Cove Entrance

  Hanging Out

  Sam I Am

  Rosario Resort

  The Mansion grounds                                     East Sound

  The Boys


  Moran Mansion

  Under Way

  Blakely Island                                                 Mount Baker    

























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