Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Closing the Loop

After clearing back into the US, (with the most cheerful, friendly customs officer I've ever encountered) we anchored just off the dock in Roche Harbor, and enjoyed a calm evening there.  It felt good to be "home," even though we had never visited Roche before! 

We went ashore to explore the Resort, and the whole place felt like an old-fashioned summer camp, like the one in Dirty Dancing, where whole families spend the summer playing croquet, swimming and putting on skits.   The feeling was driven home when we were preparing to row home, and the Colors ceremony began.  They played parade music, then the Canadian national anthem as they slowly lowered their flag, and Taps as they lowered ours.  They congratulated the couple who had been married that day there, announced a few other anniversaries, birthdays, and welcomes to first-time visitors.  It was charming and a little cheesy and a total blast from the past.   

We hauled anchor early the next morning and quietly sailed out of the Harbor, to catch the favorable current down San Juan Channel.  We had a fresh breeze, and made excellent time to our destination, Parks Bay. 

Photo courtesy of David Patterson
We were anxious to rendezvous with our friend David Patterson aboard Cloud Girl.  We met David in Parks Bay last year, and as he spends a large part of each year sailing mostly engineless around the San Juans, we became fast friends.    David also visited Princess Louisa Inlet under sail this year, and it was fun to compare notes.  

We headed out together the next day, David bound for Friday Harbor, Cody and I headed South. We both really enjoyed sailing in close quarters, taking photos of one another's boats.  

Photo courtesy of David Patterson
Rabannah under sail.    

We ended up at Fisherman's Bay, on Lopez Island that night, where we met an absolute slew of young people messing around on boats.  Adam and his partner Laura, along with three kids, are living aboard Tuwasen, the ketch in the foreground.  They were kind enough to lend us their bikes, and we had a great time exploring lovely Lopez Island that way.  

We also met Alan, on board his little Falmouth 22 Sookie.  He had contacted us through the blog, and it was fun to meet up in person! 

We couldn't overlook the crew of Small World, Craig, Krystle, and Emily, as they arrived at the dinghy dock in their bright orange Portland Pudgy dinghy.  We spent an enjoyable evening chatting with them about sailing adventures and misadventures.  Fair Winds, guys!  

We set sail the next morning, and after navigating the narrow, shoal-lined dogleg channel into Fisherman's bay, it was easy and idyllic sailing across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We anchored happily in Port Townsend, and spent the next day catching up with the blog, buying fresh veggies and resting before heading South once again.  We're preparing now for the jam-packed first two weeks of August.  (My ten-year high school reunion, and three weddings!)

We  couldn't complain (much) about the drizzly, overcast weather when we left Port Townsend. The winds were light, but constant, and  when we neared Port Ludlow, our "Plan A" anchorage, it wasn't even noon.  We set our sights on "Plan B,"  Appletree Cove, Kingston.  We made it there by 5, but when the wind freshened and our speed increased to 5 knots, we felt confident that we could make it to Port Madison before dark.  We dropped anchor in that serene harbor at 6:30 and couldn't believe our luck- we had covered 33 miles, nearly completing what we thought might be a 3 day trip, in just one day, in light air conditions!  

We're back in Eagle Harbor now, and are loving the return of the sunshine!   

Hope you all are well and enjoying the fullness of Summer- the weeks seem to be clipping by at an alarming rate.   We're ready to slow down a bit- and looking forward to some time spent in port and visiting friends and family.  

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