Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Island Living

When we left off, we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of our friends, PJ and Sarah Mannion.  We had a whirlwind of a visit with them, that included a sail to Chuckanut Bay, a four-man dinghy ride, an ascent of the Stawamus Chief, blackberries, and ginger ale.  It was so great to spend time with them, and to be able to host them for once!  They were our first overnight guests aboard Rabannah!  It was such a treat to spend time with them.  
Dinner in the Cockpit while underway.  
We even had great weather the whole time they were here! 

After the Mannions departed, we returned our car to Bainbridge, and Cody and my Dad built a carport.  They made quick work of it, and I think it turned out nicely! 

Once we were back to Rabannah, we set sail from Fairhaven.  Our next port was Reil Harbor, on Lummi Island.  We had hoped to stay in Inati Bay, which is more protected, but owned by the Bellingham Yacht Club.  There must have been over 20 boats in the small harbor when we arrived!  So we anchored and stern tied in little Reil Harbor, just to the South of Inati.  We went on a hike that evening, and could hear live music coming from Inati!  Sounded like a real party! 

Pasta Carbonara for dinner in Reil Harbor. 

 The next day, we headed to Eagle Harbor, on Cypress Island.  We had good wind, and arrived in plenty of time to snag one of the free Department of Natural Resources mooring buoys.  What a peaceful place!  

Eagle Harbor on Cypress. 

We hiked to Eagle Cliff, where we had a great view of Orcas Island and Rosario Strait.  We hiked to Reed Lake, hoping to swim, but it turned out to be too reedy, so we hiked a bit farther to Bradbury Lake.  

Bradbury Lake

Bradbury Lake was just right for swimming.  The day was hot, and so were we from the steep hike.  We hadn't seen a soul on any of the trails, so we decided to forgo swim suits.  Things take forever to dry on a boat, anyway.  The water was cool, and the color of strong tea, but it was fresh, and the dip felt great. 

We laid out to dry in the sun, then dressed and hiked back home, refreshed.  We met a neat couple from Oklahoma, cruising on their  Lyle Hess designed Montgomery 23.  We admired their boat, which lives pretty large for being only 23 feet!  They came over the next morning to see Rabannah, too.  It's just like Lin Pardey always says- the best part about cruising is meeting new and interesting people!    

Hiking on Cypress. 

Rock Crabs for Dinner!  Yum!  

After we had collected some red rock crabs for dinner, a nice gentleman, who was sailing solo, rowed over and offered us a dungeness crab as well.  He had caught more than he could eat- so generous!  We decided to have a taste test between the two. 

I took the photo on the left first, and said, "Oh, no, you look a bit stoned.  Let me get another one."
The second shot turned out much better, don't you think?

Anyway, it turns out that I prefer the more mild Dungeness, while Cody likes the stronger flavor of the Red Rock.   Both are delicious, though!  

Sunset on Blind Island. 

We set sail from Eagle Harbor somewhat reluctantly, and headed for Thatcher Pass. We had nice, light air sailing across Rosario Strait, and were able to run through the pass.  We stayed a night at Spencer Spit State Park, and left the next morning for Shaw Island.  We dropped anchor in Blind Bay, and spent the afternoon aboard, Cody doing some varnish work, while I played around with silversmithing. It was nice to have an afternoon "in."

We did row over to tiny Blind Island, located in the mouth of Blind Bay, to watch the sunset.  

The next morning, we rowed over to the ferry landing on Shaw.   It's not much, really.  Just a post office, a community bulletin board, and a general store.  We saw a flyer on the bulletin board for cheese, made by the nuns who live in the Monastery on the island, and were excited to try and get some.  We asked for directions at the little store, and studied the map posted on the bulletin board for a few more minutes to make sure we knew where we were headed.  

As we were studying the map, a guy walked over and asked if we needed directions somewhere.  We started chatting, and as it happened, Steve was the owner of the general store, and a boat builder himself.  He showed us his beautiful little sloop, and after a while, he offered us the use of his car to explore the island, complete with directions to his favorite spots.  


What a guy!  We took off in his little car, and headed for Cedar Rock, as Steve had recommended. 

Shaw Locals...

The entrance to Cedar Rock- a biological preserve owned by the University of Washington, and open to the public.  

What a neat way to memorialize someone!  Thanks so much, Ellis Family. 

It was a beautiful day, and a picturesque place.  There were little coves between rocky points, pebbled beaches and lots of driftwood.  

We also visited the beautiful historic library, and marveled at all the gardens.  It seemed like every house had apple trees laden with apples, rows of vegetables, and lots of flowers.  

We had called the Monastery, hoping to buy some cheese from the nuns, but the Sister told me they were all sold out.  We were bummed, but Shaw had been great, so no harm done.  When we returned the car to Steve at the general store, we did one more lap in the shop to see if we needed anything else, and what did we discover?  A wedge of monastery cheese, lurking in the cold case!  

A late lunch-  complete with the delicious cheese.  
It was a semi-soft cheese, with a pungent, creamy flavor.  If you're ever on Shaw Island, call ahead and ask the nuns if they have any for sale!  And check Steve's shelves too...  

We left Shaw for Deer Harbor on Orcas Island.  My good friend Genni Brooks lives there, on a boat, with her boyfriend Cameron.  We had a great visit with them- lots of hiking and shared meals.  I hope to sail with them sometime soon!  

From Deer Harbor, we headed back to Shaw, just for a night, to Parks Bay.  We had thought of returning to Deer Harbor for the Wood Boat Rendesvous, which is a precursor to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, but the timing didn't really work out.  We did meet a wonderful man named David, cruising on a Cape Dory 25 in Parks Bay.  He was interested in our boat, and came over to chat soon after we dropped anchor.  We spent the evening in his company, and he snapped some great photos of Rabannah under sail as we left the next day.  We hope to see him in Port Townsend.  

From Parks Bay, we sailed south through Cattle Pass, and into Aleck Bay.  Our friends Derek and Becca, who we met last time we stayed in Aleck Bay, had invited us to use their mooring ball, so we picked it up as we sailed into the bay.  Derek and his aunt, uncle and cousin pulled up in a boat an hour or so later, and Becca came out of the house, and we helped them unload a boatload of firewood.  We spent part of the afternoon with them, and came back for a campfire that evening.  They were fascinating people- the aunt and uncle, John and Biatta, lived in Panama for years, where they raised their daughters.  Biatta is German, and John is a marine biologist with the Smithsonian.  Their daughter Allison is my age, and a citizen of Germany, Panama, and the US.  We helped Biatta make her first S'more that evening.  What fun!  

The next day, we were under way by 9am, heading South across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  It's amazing how far we've come since the last time we crossed!  I was so nervous the first time, and this time, it didn't really feel like a big deal at all.  We had checked our currents, and the weather reports, and all looked good.  We had a steady SE breeze for nearly the entire day, and Rabannah sailed like a dream.  We saw a small pod of orcas just off Point Wilson, and as we entered Port Townsend, the wind really kicked up, and we roared into our anchorage.  THere were a number of boats sailing in the harbor, the schooner Adventuress among them.  It was neat to see everyone really heeled over, sailing hard.  

Now, preparations for the Wooden Boat Festival are in full swing.  We're varnishing and cleaning the boat, and updating the blog.  We're so excited to be part of the festivities!  


  1. I want to catch crabs!! Looks like a great cruising ground.

  2. I'm living your adventures vicariously and enjoying every moment. Have fun at the Wooden Boat Festival and be sure to join the finale outside Point Hudson Marina on Sunday afternoon.

  3. Miss your face Beverly. Looks epic though..... We will keep reading and dreaming, so make sure you keep blogging.


  4. Hi guys, it's Christy from Ariel of Victoria. I got some nice shots of you all during the sail-by. Drop me a line so I can send them to you? Csgranquist(at)gmail(dot)com