Monday, July 26, 2010

June 2010

We were able to make it up north to the San Juan islands early this year due to Bob's vacation time. We left on the 4th and made it to the islands in 2 days. Around here school was still in session, so hardly anyone was out cruising yet and we felt we "owned" the San Juans! Ah, the benefits of homeschooling! It was fantastic! Luckily our trip this year was not quite as eventful as last summer. Most everything worked great, especially our new solar panels (what did we ever do before we had them?). We really enjoyed about 5 days of cruising around with our friends on Andiamo III before they sail off to Mexico. (if I had one of those sad faces, I'd insert it here!). We sure are going to miss them.

Salty and Shari on our passage to the San Juans.

We had the girls do some practice navigating on our way north.

One of the favorite things for the girls to do when passing large ships or any boat that leaves a decent size wake is to run up to the bow and feel the plunging and raising of the bow as it passes the waves (the girls call it their "cheap" roller coaster ride!).

Our first stop was at Bowman Bay on Fidalgo Island. We had never stayed here before, but really loved it. There were nice sandy beaches, great hiking, and even a play structure for the kids.

We hiked over to Deception Pass and enjoyed watching the churning eddies. There were some kayakers riding the currents and rapids.

After spending 2 nights at Bowman Bay, we sailed over to James Island. This is another spot we had not visited before. It was incredible! For most the time there it was just us and our friends on s/v Pizazz. We ended up staying at the park dock. The water was so clear. We enjoyed kayaking, dinghy sailing, hiking, softball, beach combing, and fetch (at least Salty played that). We did encounter some marauding raccoons that night. Bob had to shoo them off the boat 3 times and they still kept coming back. The 4th time he ended up chasing them off the boat, down the dock, and up the ramp. Knowing how persistent these buggers were, he decided to ward them off with the best pest control we red pepper flakes. He sprinkled them all over our boat and the dock. Bob heard them return and shortly thereafter frantically scurry away.

The next afternoon we motored over to Spencer Spit on Lopez Island. There is a great sandy beach there and open anchorage. We had a nice relaxing night there.

Our next stop was Friday Harbor. The girls always love hanging out on the sculpture of Popeye the seal. This year they were able to see Popeye up close. We've always thought Popeye was a boy, but this year we learned she is a she and she's pregnant. Cool, huh!

We left Friday Harbor the next day and sailed toward Jones Island. On our relaxing sail we were so fortunate to be in the presence of orcas! we were able to watch them for over a half hour as they leaped, flopped, and gently glided along. What a treat! Once we anchored in the North cove of Jones island, we went for a hike. We then found a prime spot for a camp fire and proceeded to enjoy some tastey roasted marshmallows.

The next day we departed for Sucia Island to the North. Salty was just exhausted and decided to take a nap on top of our log book, just as Bob was trying to update it.

This year we decided to try a different cove at Sucia. We anchored in Fox Cove and enjoyed the tide pools at low tide.
We were able to relax for a couple of days in Fox Cove before we took off to meet up with our friends on s/v Andiamo III.l

We had planned to meet them at Stuart Island, but due to very unfortunate events our friends weren't going to make it there. They ran into some serious issues with a fouled prop so we met up with them instead at Friday Harbor so they could assess the damage. It turned out they weren't able to do much for a few days so decided to join us at Reid Harbor , Stuart Island the next day.

While on Stuart Island, we went on our usual hike to the Turn Point Light House. We always pass a big farm on the way where we usually see horses. This year there were cows. These cows were absolutely fascinated by Salty and our friends' dog, Toby. Salty even got a kiss in with the cow pictured.

This is a picture of all of us at Lover's Leap on the way to the lighthouse.

The next morning Bob, Sydney, Annie, and our friend Abby planned a treasure hunt for Abby's brother, Christian. It was Christian's 9th birthday. We had the hunt end up at the "butt tree" (see picture below-no explanation needed, huh!)

Alas, it was time to seperate from Andiamo. Sigh.

We made our way North again to Patos Island. This is one of our very favorite islands! The two pictures below are from our anchored spot at Patos. You can see the lighthouse in the distance.

Annie had a blast making a miniature teepee for one of her stuffed animals.

We ended up only spending one night at Patos due to some rolling seas moving in. We decided to sail over to Echo Bay on Sucia for the next two days. There is tons of room for kayaking and dinghy sailing. We also got a wonderful surprise while there. The crew of Andiamo met us there for a night. We had a great dinner aboard Pearl. The next day Tami and Shari had their final exercise time together. We are going to really miss them!

The time came way too soon for us to start heading south again. We made our first stop at Cypress Island (pictured above). The next day we made the jump across the straits to Port Ludlow.

On our way from Port Ludlow to Gig Harbor, we were boarded by the Coast Guard. Salty was working on buttering them up! We passed our inspection with flying colors and we then continued our passage south.
While overnighting in Gig Harbor, we visited a dock where the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chiefton were moored. They were going to be in Olympia in a few days, so the girls and Shari made a plan to tour both the boats there.

End of May

The end of May was full of fun for us. Sydney had her final performance with her church drama club. She absolutely loved all the practices and performances. Hopefully she can do it again next year.

For Memorial Day weekend, we went on our annual South Sound cruise to Penrose Point state park. We got our boat up there on Thursday evening and then Shari caught a ride back to Olympia to sail up Andiamo III to Penrose. Our great friend Tami (from Andiamo) was soloing it for this cruise due to Gene being in Afghanistan and she wanted some company for the trip. We had a great time, despite the weather.

We ended up with a large raft of boats! It worked out pretty good with all the kids. I think we counted 9 kids combined from all the boats rafted. They enjoyed the freedom to hop from one boat to the other.

We were so happy to be joined by our good friends from s/v Ghost. We hadn't seen them in what felt like a couple of years. It was wonderful to spend some time with them.

The kids enjoyed checking things out at low tide. They were especially loving all the hermit crabs.