Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cost to Cruise Sept and Oct 2016

In my prior post I shared our belief that "Cities make our wallets thin and our bellies fat".  Well here in September and October we can see that trend continue:



In September we  largely were traveling down Canada to get back into the USA, guess we did not spend too much time at The Bus on Saturna Island.  And we largely eat the boat down in preparation for the border crossing.  Though September was not too bad cost wise, we sure made up for it in October!  During that month we not only restocked the boat after entering the USA, but also meet up with several friends and my Son came to spend a month with us.   We visited several ports along the way and dined out A LOT.  All told, a wonderful month - just hard on the wallet.  Now November finds us back in Friday Harbor for the Winter - will need to see how that shapes up...





Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Last Day of Cruising, 2016

It was worth it waiting out the rain in Keyport, because Friday was a beautiful day on the water!

We woke up early so we could ride as much of the ebb as possible, with our probable destination being Port Ludlow.  But did you wish us 'fair winds and following seas'? That is what we had, so we kept going, hoping for Friday Harbor!

Just around lunchtime we realized we needed to time our arrival at Cattle Pass and kicked it into 'Pirate Mode', running at 2000 rpms to make it in time for the slack. We got there on the dot!

We left just before sunrise, and this was our last view of Seattle as we exited Agate Passage and headed north.
L to R, sunrise, downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier. 

All was well. It was a smooth ride, but for swells sent out from cargo ships heading down the Sound.
As we head onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the seas are still following us.

Ah! Ahead, the San Juan Islands! I can identify Lummi, James, Mt. Constitution and Turtleback Mt.
 I can see the brown hills of American Camp on San Juan Island.
 The closer we get, the rougher the water. The winds are more easterly here, and the waves are more broadside -- not the most comfortable on Viking Star...

Turtleback Mt is growing!

I am paging through our chart book, and my Dad's name pops out at me. He is with us!

Mom is too. Among my small treasures is the egg I gave her for Christmas one year long ago, made from Mt. St. Helens ash.Over the past two years it has become a gauge -- if it remains upright on its stand, we HAVE to say we've had smooth sailing.  Today that's what we get!

Cattle Point Lighthouse marks our entrance into the San Juan Islands.

Approaching Friday Harbor, there are feathers in the sky.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Big Pile of Poo

I am a farm girl. And as such, I can identify all kinds of sh*t. Cows, pigs, horses, chickens. Dogs and cats. Mice and rats.

As a liveaboard boater we see mainly the droppings from gulls and ravens, and can easily recognize otter droppings.

This summer, we learned about bear scat.

And this week, we experienced seal doodoo.

Wednesday we moved from the Port of Poulsbo Marina  just down the way to the public dock at Keyport WA. There is a fabulous museum (http://www.navalunderseamuseum.org/) that Al wanted to show to his son Michael, who is visiting us.

We pulled up to the dock and set our lines, but we had to be very careful where we stepped. There were two very LARGE piles of poo on the dock. We speculated. A dog? That would have had to have been a huge Great Dane! I thought a seal or sea lion.

I handed Al the bucket, but he handed it right back and asked for the hose. He said he'd need some pressure for this job. Whoo-eeeee! It didn't smell fishy, but it sure was unpleasant!

That night I heard a 'ker-SPLASH' in the night. When morning came, Al said he'd heard a couple of snorts. As daylight arrived we looked to the dock to see what kind of visitors we had. Yup, seals! There were 9-11 of them, as they came and went, looking nervous at any loud noise (construction noise began before 8AM). They looked curious when I opened the door to say hello and ask for photos.

They really are cute.  Good thing! Because there was a fresh deposit too.


Looks like this one has put in a good store for winter!

Itch, itch, itch!!!

Ah, satisfaction.
(I can almost convince myself this is a cat in the 'loaf' position.)

There's always one ...

Supreme relaxation!



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Our 'Home' in the Mid-Sound

Blake Island is a 'must stop' when we are in the Puget Sound. The nature is wonderful, and so are the rangers! We were very pleased to learn that a ranger we met last time has earned a full-time position on the island, and is a great assistant to the head ranger.

We stopped for a night on our 'down-Sound' trip, and on our way 'up', we spent another 4 nights. Here are a few shots from this latest visit:

A seiner fishing off the shore, lit by the setting sun.

Blake Island is often in the flight path for SEATAC.

Downtown Seattle is peeking from behind Alki Point while waves lap at Blake Island.

What is this red stuff? Is it vegetation? Or an egg case from sea animal?
 All I know is it made an appealing nest for some pebbles.

The ever-present deer. This time there were 4-5 that rarely left the little grove near the campground.
 We even had a chance to do some volunteer hosting duties! There were a couple of school groups that came for lunch and the show at Tillicum Village, and we helped supervise the kids (protect the wildlife, haha) when there was free time before their boat returned to Seattle.


Pretty clouds!

And a closer look at the seiner and its tender.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Migrating South

WHAT have we been doing for the past few weeks? We've been migrating south.

I realized the other day that I have neglected the blog, so here's a bit of an update. I'll do it as a list of 'ports of call' since entering the United States, with a couple of photos to accompany.

Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island
Roche Harbor, San Juan Island
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island

Popeye gave me a splash for my birthday!
Blind Bay, Shaw Island
Fisherman's Bay, Lopez Island

A sunset
Eagle Harbor, Cypress Island

A sunrise

LaConner WA
Oak Harbor WA

This 6-year-old sailor (son of a sailor) came along for a ride,
a little wilder than expected with 2-4 ft seas, but he was fearless!

Coupeville, Whidby Island
Jetty Island (Everett WA)
Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island

We will make one more hop today to Blake Island, and then tomorrow to Des Moines WA for the furthest south point we will achieve this year. 

There is a series of storms coming through, and it will be nice to have Viking Star tied to a dock behind a breakwater! Al and son Michael will be staying with the boat while I fly to Minnesota to attend a niece's wedding. My daughter Casey will be travelling with me from SEATAC.





Monday, September 19, 2016

The Last Canadian Photos

Here are some shots from our trip down the Strait of Georgia, the final stretch toward 'home'.



We are so grateful for the VERY smooth waters of this year's cruising. This is the Strait of Georgia, just south of Gorge Harbour, beginning our first day of two on this body of water.

In Tribune Bay, Hornby Island blocked our view of the sunset, BUT we were compensated with a wonderful moonrise.


Our second day on the Strait was just as gorgeous, but a little windier, so a little rougher.
As we approached Nanaimo we realized the timing was right to pass through Dodd Narrows, so we did and then continued about an hour to Decourcy Island. 

Ah, glossy water! And a heron looking for breakfast.

Another stop, and another moonrise! This one in Lyall Harbour on Saturna Island, home of one of our favorite coffee shops, Wild Thyme, which Al affectionately calls 'the Bus'!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rebecca Spit

We spent two nights at Rebecca Spit, so that we could reprovision at Heriot Bay. Under threat of rain, we took the dinghy to the hotel dock, had burgers at Terry's Take-Out, and stocked up at the store.

In the afternoon we took a shorter dinghy ride, to the spit, for a walk.

On the 'inside', there is lest driftwood and the rocks are about an inch in diameter.
This is the 'outside' where there is lots of BIG driftwood, and the rocks are a good 6-8 inches diameter!


We stopped to talk to some people. They were visiting from England! And they offered to take our picture.

A fork in the road. Many of these photos have already been posted on facebook, and my sister commented 'I hope you went left -- everyone goes right.' I guess we think alike, since we HAD gone left.

This is the view we enjoyed.....

...from this bench!

Last morning, a lone fisher.

We have been reading labels on Canadian dairy products. In 2013 we had a lesson on 'modified milk ingredients', and we refuse to buy ice cream with them.

FINALLY we hit the jackpot! 
From Rebecca Spit we went to Gorge Harbour on Cortez Island. It is a good place for people watching (we're out of bear country now, though I think I heard a wolf howl one morning). We had Sunday Brunch at the resort restaurant. It was a lovely day and we didn't need jackets, even in the shade! We brought books and sat in lawn chairs and soaked it all in.

This morning we left with perfect conditions for two days on the Strait of Georgia. We are in Tribune Bay of Hornby Island tonight, and plan to go to Nanaimo tomorrow.