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Old 20-05-2008, 15:21   #1
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Just Back from Our First Mini-Cruise

We spent five days cruising the San Juan's and North Puget Sound. We anchored out the first night for the very first time and enjoyed a nice sunset in Bowman Bay.

We sailed to Friday Harbor for lunch and a Coastie boarding and then on to Roche Harbor. The marina was packed but they double parked us in anyway. We enjoyed the "Striking of the Colors" ceremony and a good night's sleep. The next morning was a little tour of a very small town, fueling and it was time to go.

We motor sailed until we found a bit of wind and then ran across a pod of Orcas. We sailed ahead of them and waited, expecting them to follow the shore as they had been. Instead, they swam up to within 50' of the boat, especially the large male. It was the first time the admiral had seen whales. Unfortunately, her little camera takes low resolution pics and has a lousy zoom, so no good Orca pics We left San Juan island and ran into some big waves but no wind. Not long after I commented that I'd like to have a bit of that wind, I got my wish. I reckon I oughta be careful what I wish for sometimes. What we got was a clear air Gale against a big ebb tide at the mouth of the San Juan de Fuca. Nice to face waves with a couple of thousand miles of fetch to roam. The waves were piled up so much that they were no wider than they were tall and the last four in each set were an easy 10-12 feet. What was worse is that we were on a beam reach with beam seas. I now know that you can surf a sailing yacht along the face of a wave like a surfboard. I don't recommend it for the faint of heart. Fredia was so scared she spent 3.5 hours on the companionway stairs, too scared to come out in the cockpit and too sick to stay below. At one point, I had a wave break over my head (on the high side, which put the height at 14+ to do that) while I was smoking a butt. I flicked what was left into the sea and hollered "Here Davy, take a puff and calm the F*&% down!" It was the only time the Admiral laughed. I guess it worked 'cause I didn't get another bath after that. I saw three rogue waves going perpendicular to the wind waves and overriding them. Also, the waves were coming from two directions and meeting to form larger ones. Nasty, NASTY stuff. Anyway, we punched on through it and found a cliff to hide behind to douse at Point Wilson.

We spent the next two days in Port Townsend were I bought Fredia a couple of handbags to make up for the scary passage. I saw some gorgeous wood boats.

Including mine

and some nice architecture.

We ate at two great restaurants that I highly recommend. Fins downtown and Shanghai at Point Hudson. We had a wet (rainy) sail back to Skyline and came home tired but fairly happy.

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Old 20-05-2008, 16:26   #2
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missing the northwest


Love the few pics you did post, too bad you did not get a good Orca photo. Glad you enjoyed your sail around the San Juans and over to Port Townsend.

I wouldn't have made you buy two handbags if the weather had turned nasty.

s/v Paseo (Just a dream for now)
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Old 20-05-2008, 17:26   #3
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She didn't really make me buy them but I figured she earned them considering that she's scared of big water to start with. Especially since she had to go to the mast to douse in that gale while I drove AND go to the Mizzen to douse it during the height of the storm. Nah, she earned them and the nice dinners out to be sure. My Nikon and the video camera should be fixed by the next cruise. Maybe I can get some decent pics of the Orcas next time. The big male and I mean BIG, swam behind our stern at about 50' from nowhere but the camera was already off so we missed it.
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