I thought I would post a trip report from our recent outing;
The weather was shaping up for the 2011 ATUS (All The Usual Suspects) 9th Messabout, clear and warm for the foreseeable future as we launched from Squalicum Harbor. Below is a map of the route we took.
This years group consisted of 12 boats ranging from the 23' Compac to a 10' duckboat
Often the sail towards Sucia Island at the top of the San Juans is considered the ?Bellingham Bash? as the typical northwest winds are pounding against you. But we were lucky with a slightly northnortheast breeze that allowed a nice sail across Bellingham Bay and the top of Rosario Straits.
Across Rosario to Sucia Island this time was trouble free without even a freighter to deal with. We went to Fossil Bay and were surprised to find almost all the dock space and mooring balls taken up by 1 PM. Fortunately as we were the first sailboat in and grabbed one of the last two balls. They allowed a raft up up to 3 small boats on the ball so with the two our group grabbed and a few small places at the dock we all got in for the night. This pulled in right after we got our mooring.
At this point the group broke into half with the primarily larger boats crossing into Canada to circumnavigate Saltspring Island, while the other half headed for Deer Harbor, Orcas Island. The predawn start from Fossil was necessitated by the currents that could seriously effect small boat crossings.
We checked into Canadian customs at Bedwell Harbor and stayed at Poet's Cove Marina.
Poet's Cove Marina offers beautiful new showers a pool and a decent restaurant choices.
The next day went left early again for Maple Bay, though the currents were not working against us, 20 mile days are tough for these little boats.
We stayed this next night in the Maple Bay Marina, a funky but nice family owned type of marina with just one restaurant the ?Shipdock?. I was able to order a wonderful lamb souvlaki so I was happy
The sail out of Maple Bay was one of the best light air sails I have had. We put up our 170 and was able to out point both the Compac 23 and the Oday 192 we were sailing with.
Finally we turned Southy Pt. And started down the Trincomali channel, wing on wing for an hour and a half.
We spent the night in Annette Inlet, once again finding a surprisingly full anchorage.
Our next planned stop was going to be Port Browning but just as we got to Navy Channel we learned that an ?event? there would leave us without berthing so we turned to the west side of North Pender Island and Otter Bay. Otter Bay has a delightful Marina that we have stayed at before and a delicious hamburger stand at the nearby ferry dock.
From Otter Bay we were to sail back into US territory crossing Boundry Pass once again. This time we weren't so lucky with the freighters. No less than four crossed our path in the short time we were in the shipping lane three northbound and one southbound. Needless to say ability to get a line on distance and speed was critical, we were able to cross between 3 and 4 with others having to wait out the whole train.
Roche Harbor was our port of entry, friendly place but kinda like the Disneyland of the San Juans. We liked the slip they gave us even if we needed a ladder to get in and out of our little boat. Definitely designed for larger yachts.
Our next destination now that the whole group was back together (the other half had done a layover in Sydney) was Friday Harbor. Unfortunately winds from the south had picked up to 20 knots with a Small Craft Advisory for the surrounding San Jaun Islands and northward. Figuring there would be some protection from the islands we went ahead with our bash down the San Juan channel. Though the Typhoon could handle the two foot wind waves steep and quick without a problem it did provide for a VERY wet ride. Here are a few shots from Friday Harbor.
A nice Shannon Cutter for sale.
Something different in Friday harbor
After a layover day in Friday Harbor weather forecast call for a change in the near perfect warm weather we were having so we started to head back to Bellingham. We had clear sailing weather so a close friend in his Monty 15 and I decided to skip by the Blakely Marina that everyone else was going to spend the night at and make it to Inati Bay so as to make the final day shorter.
At first glance and on the map Inati Bay looks like the perfect tight anchorage for the predicted SW wind, unfortunately this did not prove to be true. The back of the bay was more like an isthmus that let a fair amount of wind over and through the bay. Of course when we got there it was very calm so I let my buddy raft up hooked to my Delta Plow and chain. Because of the steep drop off and large tidal swing I could not let out as much scope as one would like. (Maybe by now you can tell where this is headed) OUT the bay.
Yes when the winds picked up at around 12:30 we started to move eventually getting to the point where we were really effected by the swell tugging on the anchor. At one point we had locked masts with his going under my backstay. I hated to send him off to anchor on his own, but finally at 5AM there was no choice. I then had to reposition myself to get out of the swell.
The bash back to Bellingham the next day was no fun either as the 2foot+ swell was right on my broadside which in my keelboat provides for a very uncomfortable ride.