Friday, July 04, 2008

Not a Bad Start (and other thoughts)

I'm Sailing! I'm SAILING!" -What About Bob

The Colleague and I pulled back into port after 11 days afloat. I thought about writing a long narrative of the trip, but that seems like work, and this is summer. So instead here is a brief rundown of the adventure:

•Day One: Hope Island. Perfect weather on the longest day of the year. It was light out until 10:30. Tapped into the first box of our finest purple wine. Cruising Note: There ARE three mooring buoys at Hope Island, but only at low tide. We tied to the mysterious third buoy and watched as it disappeared as the tide rose. Dear Washington State Parks, please do occasional maintenance.
•Day Two: Blind Bay. After running Deception Pass and battling rips and currents in Rosario Strait, we sailed through Thatcher Pass and up to Blind Bay on Shaw Island, where we grabbed a mooring and kicked back. The decent cell phone coverage allowed us to buy a house while we were at it. Yep. Bought us a house. By the time we return to work in the fall we will have changed addresses. Goodbye Bothell. Hello Kenmore. Oh, and in case you are ever tempted to forget, the currents and rip tides in the San Juans are pretty epic.

•Day Three: Poet's Cove. Canadian Awesome. Motored out into San Juan Channel and then sailed downwind straight into Bedwell Harbor on the better side of the US/Canada border. Question: how does Verizon know where the border is out here? Cleared Canadian Customs with a phone call to a friendly young lad in Victoria, took a dip in the resort pool, sampled the cocktail offerings at the resort bar, and sent paperwork for above-mentioned home purchase. More purple was consumed.

•Day Four: Montague Harbor. Pub Bus. Is this the best cruising harbor in the Gulf Islands? It might just be. Perfect anchorage, friendly people, and the Hummingbird Pub. Did some boat cleaning and found that there was fiberglass under all the green shit on deck. The Colleague began the tanning plan. The bikini choice was met with great approval.

•Day Five: Montague Harbor. Lucky Lager. Why not stay one more day? No need to click off any nautical miles on this day. We hung out, went for a long walk, bought some provisions (an 8-Pack of Lucky Lager? Does it get any better?) and stopped back at the Hummingbird for a pitcher.
•Day Six: Winter Cove. Umm. Perfect? The cruising guides barely mention Winter Cove, and when they do all they say is that it is shallow. What they don't mention is that it is picture perfect and a rock solid anchorage. You tell me how good this is:

•Day Seven: Customs at Roche Harbor. Lame. Reid Harbor for the night. We turned back toward the states and had to go all the way into Roche Harbor to clear customs. Let's just say that the experience coming back into the country is not as pleasant as leaving it. These D-Bags they hire to act tough on Dubya's behalf piss me off and I'm not so good at hiding my disdain for the work they do. I don't feel an ounce safer, and I'm getting sick of the questions and the tough guy attitude. Also, it's none of your damn business how I know the woman I am cruising with. She happens to be my Colleague. Don't you read blogs? Shit. Any who...once we were reluctantly welcomed back into our own country, we topped off the fuel and the beer supply and headed for Reid Harbor, which for my money is the best anchorage in the San Juans. Once there all we did was eat, drink, read, play Scrabble, and basically chill the hell out.

•Day Eight: Reid Harbor. Hot Nasty Bad Ass American Leisure. Also hiking and swimming.

•Day Nine: Cypress Island? Nope. No room at the inn. Seems like people have discovered the new mooring buoys in Eagle Harbor. Anacortes? Sure. About time GVB had a shower anyway. We blew the day's budget on cold beer at the Rusty Trombone Pub.

•Day Ten: Everett. 45 nautical miles. Through the Swinomish Channel (nice little log collision to keep us on our toes) and into Skagit Bay in zero wind. Westerly came up in Skagit Bay and built all afternoon. Long story short: torn headsail, busted furler, fucked up rudder, and one bruised up Colleague (after a nice fall down the companionway stairs). But home is nice. Not ready to stay back on land, we hunkered down in the marina for one more night aboard.

•Day Eleven. Cleaned up the boat, loaded SuperVan, and headed to The Palace, which will no longer be our Palace as of August 23rd.

Next Up: Fourth of July Fiasco with the GVB Family and the McMillionaire at Hood Canal.

Next Next Up: Two Weeks in Belize? Ok. Sure. Why not?

Please note the absence of any running related notes. That is because I haven't even laced up the shoes in 2 weeks. I'm considering a nice easy 6 after I post this little entry, but will likely talk myself out of it in favor of a PBR on the deck. With a view like this, it's hard to do anything else:

I do have running-related news. Instead of running the Portland 26.2 this year I've decided to stay in town and try my legs at the Seattle Marathon. No travel costs and a chance to run near home. Also another month to train.