Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Boat BBQ saves the dinner!

First try at a post from my phone...

I got home from work Friday evening and Deborah and Jessy were preparing shishkebab.  Deborah had lit the grill but it ran out of gas before I could start cooking.  What to do?   Grab the boat BBQ!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

San Juan Islands 2013 - Days 6 & 7 & headed home.

Thursday, August 1st found us along side the dock in Roche Harbor.  Bill had mentioned wanting bacon for breakfast so we went to the restaurant at the head of the dock.  The lines out the door were a hint that we'd chosen the right place.  Awesome bacon and the pancakes were really good too. 

After breakfast Scott S left, headed for Cypress Island and eventually back to Bellingham; he checked in via radio later as he was entering Pole Pass.  We followed Bill & Sue out of the marina, then led the way to Speiden Channel.  Scott Reed left sometime after we did(!) 

The wind was blowing nicely so we raised the main and motor sailed down the channel.  The closer we got to San Juan Channel the stronger the wind and the larger the waves, even with the reef in we were getting pounded.  We were beating directly into the wind after we made the turn toward Friday Harbor so we dropped the main and just motored our way there.  The wind was still howling but at least there was less fetch so the waves were smaller.

We got to Friday Harbor in the early afternoon; Lou and Rochelle met us outside the entrance to the marina, then went off to anchor.   Our slips were ready so we went to tie up.  We had a bit of an issue getting tied off, as the girl on the dock wasn't able to catch the (tangled) bow line and we nearly ended up running into Windsong who docked at the same time.  No harm no foul, though so it was all good.

Deborah and I went into town to get lunch and ice.  We saw Bill and Sue headed out for a geocache while we were eating at Blue Water Bar & Grill.  After lunch we walked up the hill and Deborah bought some supplies at the lavender shop, then we went to the grocery store to get ice and supplies.

Scott Reed came in a while after we got back.  Things were just getting started for Happy Hour on Windsong when Lou and Rochelle portaged their dinghy across the dock and joined us.  7 people in a Capri cockpit is tight but do-able. 

I wanted to go see Captain Jim while we were in Friday Harbor so I walked over and hailed Wild Blue.  I've been talking to him on the Trailer Sailor bbs for a couple years.  He and Joan come up from Texas and work for one of the whale watch operations during the summer.  They already had a guest, the managing editor of the Waggoner Guide who'd just finished a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in a C Dory 22 (I thought a Catalina 22 at the time).  After visiting for a bit I returned to Windsong for more snacks & visiting.

Friday, August 2nd.  Cloudy with a forecast of 10-20 knots, 1-3 foot seas and rain.  Not really what I was hoping for with a long run from Friday Harbor to Anacortes.  Worst case, we could sit out the weather at Spencer Spit if Rosario Strait was too bad.

We got an early-ish start, leaving Friday Harbor between 8:30 and 9:00 am.  That put us on target for relatively light currents through Upright Channel and hopefully across Rosario Strait.  This time it was Bill & Sue, Scott Reed and us.  About 15 minutes out Scott's motor conked out but he quickly figured out that he'd been running on the internal tank.  Whew.

There was a bit of wind so we motor sailed through Upright Channel with a bit of push from the current. 

Then it started raining . . .

Once we got around Upright Head we dropped the main; the wind was going light and I wanted it down in case the 20 knots materialized in the Strait. We managed to avoid the ferries going through Thatcher Pass and motored into Rosario Strait.  Nothing else going on there, though, except the rain and Navy fighters flying just above the clouds.  Noisy!  No wind and maybe a knot of current pushing us north.  Super!

The run across the Strait was pretty uneventful.  The current was really running through Guemes Channel and we hit over 7 knots on 1/2 throttle!   We went around the point and I called Cap Sante for our slip assignments.  That was when the fun started. 

The radio was busy with 3 or 4 boats arriving at the same time we did.  First, they couldn't find Bill & Sue and Scott's reservations.  Since I made them all together it shouldn't have been hard.  We had a slip, though, so I said I'd dock and walk up to the marina office to work it out.  Except there was a boat in my slip. Just like several other folks had reported.  Luckily Jim Lee had let me know that the Left Coast Dart was out of town and his slip was available.  We docked in his slip and I headed to the office.  Scott found his reservation and let me know what his number was.

The office was mayhem.  They were finally able to locate the reservations for Bill and Scott and I relayed the info.  Ha.  I'd barely made it 30 yards from the office than Scott radioed that both of their slips had boats in them.  Back to the office.  End result was that we stayed in Jim's slip on J dock, Bill & Sue were sent to C or D dock, and Scott got to share a slip with a power boat on G dock.  Apparently they had 4 boats that were supposed to leave that had mechanical failures and were unable to do so.  Later on Bill & Sue moved to the end of J so we were at least close.

After everyone was settled in their overnight locations Bill and I helped Scott lower his mast for an early-morning departure.  Then we walked down to Pier 61 where Bill & Scott treated us to a very nice farewell dinner.    

Saturday, August 3rd, we started prepping the boats for retrieval.  We got things organized then motored over to the "loading zone" by the lift.  I went and got  the truck (it wasn't blocked in!) while Deborah started putting boxes on the dock.  We got everything off that we could, then I shoved the main, still on the boom, into the cabin.  Bill and Sue pulled Windsong while we were ferrying stuff to the truck.  They got the boat settled then met us at the small boat hoist and helped drop the mast. 

Dropping the mast turned out to be more of an adventure than I expected.  First we couldn't find our way there - there was a covered slip hiding the dock.  Then we put the 50 pound ball and cable from the crane on the wrong side of the mast.  My windex may never recover from the thrashing it got.  In the end we were able to get things sorted out and the mast came right down.  Way safer than the ginpole.  I think.  :)

Once the mast was down we motored back to the lift and practically right onto the sling.  I went to hook up the trailer while the attendant got Verboten ready to lift.  After a 1 inch adjustment she was exactly where we wanted her.  We strapped everything down, said bye to Bill and Sue, and were ready to go in about an hour. Record time to get road-ready.

The drive home was much better than the drive up.  Not nearly as much traffic, though there were a couple bottlenecks.  About 7 hours total with stops.

San Juan Islands 2013 - Day 4 & 5

Tuesday, July 30th dawned sunny and the wind had blown out to something more moderate.  Scott Reed beat us out of the bay again, headed for Stuart Island.  We'd decided to run down the west side of Waldron Island instead of back down President Channel.  The wind was good so we sailed much of the way from Patos Island crossing the international boundary and fighting fairly strong currents.

At one point the wind really began to build.  There was a lot of slack in the lowers so I decided we should reef.  In the process I managed to get the outhaul stuck so we did the rest of the trip with a reef in.  Need to pull the boom apart and figure out what I did.

Off of South Pender Island Deborah noticed that the chart plotter had turned off.  She was unable to get it working again.  While we hove to for lunch I tried to get it working again.  No luck.  Scott Seaman took the lead, heading for John's Pass between Stuart Island and Johns Island.  We ran into Lou and Rochelle just as we were getting there.  It's a narrow winding passage but there was plenty of water below the keel.

We motored around to Reid Harbor and ended up tying up on the Linear Mooring.  Scott Reed was in Prevost Harbor on the other side of the island.  Lou and Rochelle tied up behind us, Bill & Sue and Scott S on the other side.  We tied up so our cockpits were all facing each other and had a nice visit.  Reid Harbor has the steepest ramp I've ever seen for getting ashore.  Not sure why they didn't put in stairs.

Lou loaned me a multimeter, sent my way via his dinghy on a line and I was able to locate the issue with the chart plotter.  Turns out one of my newly crimped connections came loose, which blew a fuse.  Luckily I had the crimping tool along and a spare fuse.

We were treated to another great sunset.

 Even the seagulls were well behaved.

Wednesday, July 31st.  Just a short trip today, across Speiden Channel to Roche Harbor.  Bill and Sue went ashore to do some exploring, then we headed for Roche. 

The trip started out with a stop at Cemetery Island for Bill & Sue to find a geocache.  The original plan was to tie Windsong alongside Verboten, but Deborah suggested that I just transfer to their boat instead.  Much easier so that's what we did.  Deborah and I motored the boats around for about 10 minutes, while they got the cache, then I transferred back onto Verboten.  We motored across to Roche Harbor, keeping an eye on the fog in the strait.

 The Coast Guard was in a hurry to get somewhere.

 We got settled in at the marina. . . .

 Then went exploring.

 Sculpture park

The Mausoleum

Lime Kiln
 There are some huge, expensive, yachts in Roche Harbor (but the men's restroom reeked!)

 We had happy hour on Verboten and then watched another terrific sunset!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

San Juan Islands 2013 - Days 2 & 3

Slept well on the mooring at Spencer Spit.  Sunday, July 28th dawned foggy . . .

But it burned off fairly quickly.  We motored through between the spit and Frost Island, and headed toward harney Channel.  Scott Reed called on the radio to let us know he was coming through Thatcher Pass.  The wind was surprisingly good, so we all raised sails.  Great sailing and we were fast enough to quickly leave the other boats behind so we tacked back and forth.  Until the main sheet block popped loose from the traveler that is.  Unlike the Viagra commercial I was able to fix it without being towed with a back winded jib.  :)

The wind got pretty light as we sailed by Shaw Island and the little town of Orcas, then picked up again once we were past the ferry dock.  We could see Deer Harbor through Pole Pass but turned to port and took the more scenic Wasp Passage instead.

We had reservations at the marina in Deer Harbor.  We got in ok but Bill & Sue got pushed toward a big stinkpot at the end of the dock behind us.  They (briefly) snagged the painter from the dinghy on the swim platform.  Jeez, you'd think they'd ripped it off the back of the boat or something.  Much ado about nothing from what I could tell.

On the way in Deborah reported lots more water in the v-berth.  I tasted it and it was salty, not fresh, so not condensation.  Crap!  Once I'd pulled everything off the v-berth bunks I was able to open the locker and found about a gallon of water up there.  Not good.  Sponging it up showed the water was coming in around the old paddle wheel through hull. The little store at the marina didn't have any epoxy but I lucked out and Scott Reed had some Marine-Tex epoxy putty.  After about an hour-and-a-half I managed to get a ring of it around the leak.  It didn't stop the water coming in though.  I decided to let it be, put things back together, and continue with our vacation, bailing as necessary.

Monday, July 29th.  Checked the v-berth before we left and mopped up maybe a cup or two of water.  Marine-Tex is still tacky but the leak seems slower.  Yay.  Scott Reed left before the rest of us, headed for Shallow Bay on Sucia.

Bill checked out the lack of damage to Nordic Star one last time . . .

Then the two Capri 22's headed up to Sucia with Scott Seaman in his Catalina 22 Mk II.  On the way through Spring Passage to President Channel I sailed over far enough to check out the harbor on Jones Island.  Need to spend the night there sometime.

Adventuress sailed nearby then tacked back south.  We continued north along Waldron Island and eventually found Scott Reed anchored in Shallow Bay.

We anchored and ate dinner.

The wind came up as the tide was rising.  Not good as we started dragging.  I'd put out 65-70 feet of rode in 14 feet of water, but it was over 16 feet now, and rising.  Rather than blow down on the larger yacht downwind of us we moved closer to shore behind Bill & Sue.  Not one of our better communication times on the boat, but once we were anchored the boat stayed put.  Bill and Sue moved up and reset their anchor as well.  The wind howled most of the night and I had to take down the boom tent and anchor riding sail.  I didn't get much sleep until the tide started to go down and I was sure we wouldn't drag again.

We did get a pretty spectacular sunset.