SAILING THE SALISH SEA TO FUN AT LAKE WENATCHEE | AN OVERVIEW
Good morning, today is November 5, which is two months to the day since we left Astoria, OR sailing Sway north. On our way, we stopped at Neah Bay, Clallam Bay, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, several days off of Lopez Island and then James Island. We sailed and motored Sway to Anacortes, WA and pulled her out September 22 and slipped her back in October 12th. At Cap Sante Marine we replaced 4 thru holes, added a new shaft, new PSS seal, and a new cutlass bearing.
By October 25th we had moved south in the Salish Sea and we left her at the lovely Fair Harbor Marina in Grapeview, WA. We came to land and checked in at our Cashmere home and then to the family cabin. We'll continue to hideout in the PNW 'til December 4th.
Here’s a review of our sailing trip and latest adventures - which you can also track our whereabouts here on our Garmin tracker.
Keep watching this spot for more adventures to come!
OFF SHORE SAILING: WAVES, WHALES AND WIND | SEPTEMBER 2020
September 6 was mostly uneventful as we left Astoria (thanks Pete Patton for the send off!) and moved 35 miles off the shore of Washington State. Cassie's first overnight watch was a new experience for her but with AIS, radar, hot tea and layers of jackets, she did well. After we rounded the top corner of Washington state we moved back inland to Neah Bay. Along the way we were surprised by the company of seals, sharks and many whales along the coast passage. Skies were smoky from the wildfires that have raged throughout the west.
September 7 to the 15th we moved east through the Straits of Juan de Fuca. During the past 16 days our bilge on 4+ times had over 60 gallons, maybe over 80 gallons. I thought initially the fresh water tank was leaking, then I thought about the PSS seal and maybe the thru holds were leaking. Disconcerting, to say the least.
LOUNGING ON LOPEZ | SEPTEMBER 19, 2020
Today is Saturday September 19. We left Aleck Bay on the south end of Lopez Island where we had been on the hook for several days. Nice calm anchorage and protected from winds and smoky skies. Weather was nice and even took the dinghy for a fishing adventure. The fog lifted today so we headed to another anchorage. As we headed north the fog dropped visibility to less than 100 yards, then 50 yards. We had our AIS*, Garmin chart plotter and radar going. We watched boats move about us. At 12:44, a steel private fishing boat on plane doing about 20+ knots came out of the fog less than 40 yards from us. They narrowly missed us after coming off plane and turning sharply to port. We had watched them (Viking Spirit) on AIS and radar and watched them turn to port and head at us. Why - with very little visibility - were they were doing 20 knots is beyond me.
*An AIS-equipped system on board a ship presents the bearing and distance of nearby vessels in a radar-like display format. The automatic identification system (AIS) is an automatic tracking system that uses transceivers on ships and is used by vessel traffic services (VTS). When satellites are used to detect AIS signatures, the term Satellite-AIS (S-AIS) is used. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.
After collecting our nerves and heading north we decided to head to James Island. James is due west from Anacortes. We have decided to pull out at Anacortes and have some work done. We are hoping to check a seacock, perhaps replace the cutlass bearing and maybe have our wire (standing rigging) replaced. A friend (Joe Hanks) and I put new wire on the boat in 1996 in Mexico. The boat has 20-25k miles on her since then and needs replacement.
JAMES ISLAND ADVENTURES: A CURRENT AFFAIR | SEPTEMBER 19-23, 2020
During our time at the dock on James Island, we have met 3-4 boat folks visiting the San
Juan Islands. There was a family from Winthrop WA. They are on a Catalina 25 and JT, Ruth (Lisa) and their three kids. The kids were in continuous motion; fishing, bull kelp carving, sword whittling and sword fights, crabbing and cooking crab and exploring. It was great getting to know them.
Another couple in a 38’ foot chartered power boat were exploring their next steps in housing and a new boat. Frank and Leslie looked tickled for their next adventures. Neighbors on a charter Nordic Tug (the Merrick family) were super helpful at the dock. Turns out Jim the dad and Delaney the daughter are both certified CG captains and surveyors - Merrick Marine. Great people. We launched the dinghy and motored around James Island. There was fishing and some catching. Hiking trails through the island were also an adventure. Word to the wise: swift current comes in to the dock here so watch your bow. Also the racoons can open a kayak hatch, coolers and perhaps canned goods. Crafty.
HOME IS WHERE OUR HEARTS ARE | OCTOBER -NOVEMBER 2020
October 26 we returned to the Wenatchee Valley. Our Cashmere home is under extensive remodeling. Our contractor is stripping everything to the studs except the bathroom on the main floor. In November, the roof will come off and be rebuilt.
With the new roof the crew will continue the remodeling. Only the clear vertical grain Douglas Fir flooring will remain in place. We are learning to live with a small footprint and few physical things around us.
We are hanging at our family cabin at Lake Wenatchee 'til early December. We have been mushrooming, photographing, seeing friends and listening to the rain and snow on the metal roof. The lake has come up 12 inches in the past two days.
Eating has not been a problem as we love preparing dishes together with fresh from the forest Masutake and Chanterelles mushrooms, leg of lamb, smoked chicken from the Traeger, and other stuff.
Today, November 5 we retrieved Cassie’s car from the mechanic, continues to look for our kayak racks (in the barn we hope), shop for food and look forward to some college football.
Cassie felt that her car needed to be sold. Our travels leave the car alone from November to April and then possibly May to September 2021. Just leaving the car from September 22 to November 5 required it to have it jumped. So we sold her (the car) and Monday we cancel the insurance.
We are in the planning mode for our next few months while our home is being finished.
We've tested negative for COVID and have researched and planned for a safe
and quarantined journey to fly to Mexico in December. In the meantime, there are are more days of PNW adventures split between days at the Lake Wenatchee cabin and in Grapeview on the boat. We are planning our packing, what to bring to Mexico months, what to ship as well as what we’ll really use. Barra de Navidad during December thru March is warmer than the crisp Lake Wenatchee air that is currently 33 degrees. Barra’s normal average temp during this time is a low around 65 to a high of 85 f.
Now we need to pack realistic stuff; camera gear, fishing gear, electronic stuff, clothes (hats, shorts, tee shirts, poly jackets, socks, etc.), shoes, tennis rackets and balls,
reading stuff, juicer, computer gear and of course - sunscreen, Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer.
Wish you well!