Sunday June 8, 2014 – LaConner, Washington
Last Sunday afternoon we had a mini reunion for members of Earl’s high school class. There were probably about 8, which is not bad considering that the class was only 23 members when it graduated over 60 years ago. The weather turned out perfect and Earl hung the dingy over the side so that we could use the boat deck and pavilion. It was a very pleasant time and I enjoyed putting faces to some of the names that I had heard over the years.
The next morning was grey again. We woke at 5, but hung around to 6:30 am, waiting to see trollers and charter boats starting out. It was not the best timing for the tide on the bar and we wanted to make sure that others with more recent experience were on their way.
It is quite a long trip from the harbor and out over the bar at Westport. It seems like 45 minutes but it was probably less. Until we got away from the effect of the rivers on the ocean, it was quite lumpy. Once we did get further, it flattened out a bit, but then we were into crab pots, sometimes on each side. Nevertheless, we stayed near shore to mitigate the swell.
As in other places on our trip north, we passed some fabulous rock formations. One of the most spectacular is called the Giants Graveyard.
We had planned to anchor in Strawberry Cove, right near La Push. When we got in the area, around 4 pm, I pulled up the weather forecast and we decided we should keep going around Cape Flattery and into Puget Sound. There were gale warnings for the west coast of Vancouver Island and the offshore weather was for swells of 12 feet at 9 seconds. Near shore would be less, but still not nice, so once again, we continued on. We rounded Tatoosh Island off the cape at around 9:30 pm and not too long after we were in the Straights of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound.
We pulled into Neah Bay and anchored around 11:30 – too late to drink champagne – but we felt that we had done it!
The next morning we decided to head for the San Juans for the night, which would leave us a short run into Anacortes the next day. The seas were essentially flat and we reveled in it! As we passed Race Rocks outside of Victoria on the tip of Vancouver Island, the flood tide really showed itself and we found ourselves traveling at 9 mph. WOW! But that speed was bested when we entered the waters south of San Juan Island, a place called Cattle Pass. We actually hit 10.5. Glad we were going with it.
We anchored around the corner of the pass next to San Juan Island. It was beautiful, flat water and green hills, and we really felt at home.
|Coming into an anchorage at San Juan Island|
The next day, Wednesday June 4th, was a leisurely trip Anacortes. We tucked Serenity into her new home under cover at Fidalgo Marina. Much to our relief, the work Earl had done on the antennae was enough so that we had no problem getting her under cover.
The trip from La Paz had taken us 8 weeks and we covered 2,344 miles. We had encountered some great weather, some okay weather, and some really nasty weather, but through it all the Serenity behaved perfectly. Earl kept saying that she was just like a duck, taking the swells as the came. We were always confident in the ability of the boat to take whatever weather we encountered.
On our trip, we had taken 2 days for fishing for marlin, 3 days visiting San Jose, 3 days for weather in Turtle Bay, 5 days in Dana Point, 2 days for weather in LA, 5 days in Bodega Bay to visit family, 1 day in Fort Bragg for weather, and 5 days in Westport to visit with old friends. Out of 56 days, 30 had been travel days, averaging 78 miles each. No wonder we are weary! My advice for anyone making this trip would be to set aside 4 months and make the most of it, stopping in San Francisco Bay and other places.