Seattle to Canada
15 May 2018 | MB
The two months since I retired have been a whirlwind of activity, getting the boat ready to go and provisioned for a three-month voyage. Amazingly, we planned for a May 15 departure and are actually leaving right on time. We pulled away from the dock minutes before eight o’clock and immediately began the transition to boat mindset — becoming accustomed to the motion of the boat, finding the right points to navigate to and keeping close watch for logs in the water and other boats. It was a pretty calm day, so I didn’t get seasick. Good news. But our last night at home was a bit short on sleep so we both wanted to take naps. That feeling was aided by the rocking motion of the boat. It is only mid-May, but it is typical warm Seattle summer day — cloudy in the morning, sunny in the afternoon. We tied to the windy outer dock in Langley and spent the afternoon visiting our fabric artist and ornithologist friends.
16 May 2018 | MB
We slept wonderfully and arose to a calm morning. After a leisurely breakfast we headed north. Every morning before we get underway, we fill in important information in the daily log, a graph of the 24-hour tide charts and critical current information such as the time of slack water, and the barometer readings. Today was a perfect example of why we never fill in the destination. We headed north planning to go through Deception Pass at the 5:30 pm slack and spend the night in Hunter Bay, but as we neared the pass around 1:00 we saw there were gale warnings in the Strait of Juan de Fuca for 4 pm onwards, so we decided to hang a right and go up the Swinomish Channel through LaConner. The low tide meant we had to be very careful not to stray out of the Channel. The shallow water meant that the depth sounder alarm went off frequently. That kept us alert! Now in the San Juans, we aimed for Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island, grabbed a mooring buoy and had time for a short hike to Duck Lake. We finally filled in the destination for the day.
17 May 2018 | MB
Garrison Bay on the west side of San Juan Island is one of our favorite places. The anchorage is large, shallow and totally calm. Usually full of boats but this early in the season we have it almost to ourselves. Ashore there is a network of excellent hiking trails over and around a small peak called Young’s Hill, with excellent views of the anchorage and San Juans, and beyond to Vancouver Island. It’s a great place to stay before heading into Canada, but getting there from Cypress Island meant bucking some of the strongest currents of the month.
18 May 2018 | MB
We’re in Canada! Entry was totally painless. They asked the usual questions about alcohol, guns and cash plus the registration number of the boat, gave us a clearance number and we were done in two minutes. We docked at Sidney Marina so we could stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables and then took a nice long walk along the waterfront and through town. Lazy day.