Wednesday, November 02, 2005

We had this state park all to ourselves, no one else around, heaven.

We had a lovely visit in the San Juan Islands. After we got to Friday Harbor we sailed about 15 miles to this island state park. A group of boaters in the 60’s had got together and raised money to buy the island and gave it to the state to be used by boaters in perpetuity. It was a lovely spot. There are about 6 bays around the island that have anchorages and they are all interconnected with hiking trails.

On the way there we had a super sail, winds gusting up to 25 knots, the boat handling it with no difficulty. We were going downwind so we had some surfing happening and the boat was dancing around in the waves, taking a little more concentration on the helm than I’ve experienced before. We found this very sheltered anchorage and plopped the anchor down without any trouble. The next day we motored around in the dinghy exploring other bays. I choose to walk across the island back to the boat and Barry motored back. During my walk I looked up and there were leaves falling, the trees are so tall here that the leaves took about 15 seconds to reach the ground, they spun and twirled on their way down, very magical.

On of the best things about this place is that there was no one else around. It was like being back up north and having he place all to ourselves, although you would see boats going by occasionally. From our anchorage you could look out and see the Straits of Georgia and I think we glimpsed the ferry terminal at Tswwassen, fortunately the wind was predicted to be out of the south for all the time we planned to be there.

On the way back to Sidney, the wind was blowing 25-30 + knots and this time we were going against it. At one point we went to tack and in moving the traveler one of the lines slipped and it careened to the end of the line. Barry was cranking it in when I noticed that the end of the traveler was lifting up from the deck, shit, something else that broke. Barry took down the main and we sailed under jib alone the rest of the way home. We had the staysail up at the time and we put on the running back stays to support the mast and away we went. We were still doing 5 knots upwind with just the staysail, so it was blowing.

We are trying to figure out how to fix the traveler. We took another part of the ceiling off in the main cabin to get at the connections for the traveler. Then we went on deck and took the traveler off and had a look at how it was connected. We don’t think it is going to be too big of a deal to get it fixed, and we are hoping that I won’t be too expensive. On a positive note we went to see the guy who installed our engine and had a few questions about some items on the invoice and we ended up getting over $800 back. That’s one for our side, wahoo!!!

I am headed to Yellowknife for 10 days to see my daughter, my grandchildren and my buds. I am really looking forward to it. I have put together a PowerPoint presentation about the boats we looked at before we decided on Cat’s-Paw to show whoever is interested. I will be staying with my daughter.