Date: Aug 10-11 2016
Notes: Our 2016 vacation begins, kind of. Ashley and the kids, mostly Ashley, spent the day packing and provisioning for our two-week trip. We put the kids to bed at 2030 and left the dock at Tyee. We arrived at Shilshole at 0130. We docked at the fuel dock and spent the night. First thing in the morning we topped off with fuel and moved the boat to our assigned slip. Dan rode his bike to work and Ashley and the kids went about cleaning the boat. Dan got off work early and we were on the way to Port Townsend for the evening. We anchored off the State Park. We spent the evening exploring the beach with the kids. We hiked to the Fort overlooking the Straits of Juan de Fuca and watched a breath-taking sunset.
Date: Aug 12, 2016
Notes: We left Port Townsend at 6am and had calm seas and no wind for our crossing of the straits. We motored into Bedwell Harbor for customs check-in. Check-in went smooth and we were out of there in 20 minutes. We headed back to Swanson Channel with plans to head to toward Montague harbor. The wind was perfect so we sailed up the channel stopping only to motor through Porlier Pass and into the Straights of Georgia. We set the sails again in 20 knots of wind and headed toward north Vancouver. The wind increased to 30 knots so we put a reef in the main and flew across the straits. We had steady 8.5-9.5 knots of boat speed. We stayed the night in Plumbers Cove, anchoring at 2130hrs. Our fantastic sail was our best so far for Samadhi. We were very happy with how she handled in seas and wind. We gained a lot of confidence in her and ourselves. We had winds steadily in the high 20s and many gusts over 30 and she sailed right along with no hint of stress. The seas were about 4 ft. The kids played upstairs and downstairs throughout the crossing.
Date Aug 13, 2016
Left Plumper Cove at 6am and headed North the wind was on our nose all day but it was a calm, sunny day so we didn’t mind much. Arrived at Grace Harbour 3pm and explored the neat swimming rocks near Jean Island. The kids swam in salt water for the first time (with life jackets on, of course!). We didn’t enter the most protected part of the anchorage for fear of it being too crowded. We were happy with our spot because it was so private.
Sunday Aug 14, 2016
Spent all day playing, swimming and exploring Grace Harbour area. Highs in the 70s with sunny weather.
Monday Aug 15
After breakfast we left Grace Harbour with the intention of going to Roscoe Bay but instead decided to head towards the mouth of Bute Inlet to stage ourselves for the journey. We stopped at Refuge Cove for fuel and water then headed up to Frances Bay for the night. The wind whipped thru the anchorage most of the night at 15-20kts. There wasn’t anything on shore for the kids.
Tuesday Aug 16, 2016
Pulled up anchor at 6:30am. The windlass is sparking while pulling up the anchor, we suspect stray current trying to ground. Will investigate further once we are underway. Motored 40 nm to top of Bute Inlet. We attempted to float a buoy on our anchor for the first time in case we hit a snag with the anchor. The winds were coming down off the glaciers and the water was pretty rough. We explored the Homathka River in the dinghy and found a sand spit to play on. Ranger entertained us by jumping off the dinghy and racing us onshore. We were amazed you could go by boat up a river like that, that’s definitely not usual for where we live.
Wednesday August 17, 2016
Woke at 530am to complete calm and tranquil with some low lying fog in the inlet. We left at 730 to head back down the inlet. Turns out we had way too much line attached to the buoy and anchor in all the twisting we were doing the day before the line just wrapped itself around the anchor many times. Surprising that it even held at all. Lesson learned: when floating a buoy on the anchor adjust the line to just over the depth (of course accounting for tide swings)… an extra 40ft just causes problems. We anchored at Walsh Cove and found some great swimming rocks.
Thursday August 18, 2016
Enjoyed a lazy morning, we all slept in til 9 (very unusual for this family). Despite mostly calm anchorages we haven’t been sleeping well. In the afternoon we took the dinghy 8 miles south to Roscoe Bay. We hiked up to Black Lake for fresh water swimming. We didn’t find as many little swimming nooks as we remember finding in years past. Victoria fell on the way back scraping up her hands and cutting her knee pretty bad. Alex didn’t think she could hold on well enough in the dinghy on the way back so he held onto her (it was so freaking adorable!). On the way back he fell asleep in Ashley’s arms for a bit.
Friday August 19, 2016
Left Walsh Cove and motored to Laura Cove. We’ve enjoyed the calm, sunny weather especially at night but we haven’t been able to sail much as the wind has been 1-2kts. We spent the day exploring the rocks between the coves. 6 years ago when we left Refuge Cove Ashley bought a bottle of salt water soap/shampoo. We don’t remember using it much then but this trip has been so warm that a quick wash with it in the evenings has been so refreshing and we aren’t missing regular showers (much anyway).
Saturday August 20, 2016
Today is Dan & Ashley’s 11th anniversary! We spent the day hiking between Laura and Melanie Cove and swimming at Grampa John Rock. We met a family from Hood River, OR with 2 & 3-year-old kiddos so enjoyed talking to them. He’s a professional sailor in Europe.
Sunday August 21, 2016
Pulled up anchor early to head to Cortes Island. It was pretty windy and we were able to sail on a beam reach over there. By the time we dropped anchor in Cortes Bay it was gusting over 30kts. Quite a few boats came in behind us to seek shelter and we were tightly pack in. A couple boats had their headsails blown off the furler. One was getting blown towards shore so the coast guard came on board to help. The other was at the dock and looked as though it might bring down their mast. Dan motored over and fixed it since no-one was on board. We sat in the very uncomfortable anchorage a few hours contemplating what to do. Winds were forecasted to stay 25-40kts overnight and we knew we wouldn’t sleep at all so
started thinking about heading south, maybe to Lund. We pulled up anchor at 5pm…
After leaving Cortes Bay we pulled out the main and Dan rigged up the preventer for our downwind sail. Wind was consistently over 30 with gusts over 40. With just our mainsail up with were going 8-9kts and up to 15kts STW. He eventually pulled out the genoa and we made it to Lund before dark but decided we’d push on to Vancouver. The wind persisted and the waves were big ocean like rollers. The kids didn’t seem to notice at all. We did shifts hand steering as it’s very tiring but truthfully Dan took the helm most of the time. Ashley was up to help navigate. We arrived off of Vancouver around 3am and didn’t really care to stop at that point so turned it into a full overnight passage and pulled in to Point Roberts, WA just as the sun was coming up. The customs dock didn’t open until 8am so we both slept until we could check in. It was a long night but it proved to us that Samadhi is a strong capable boat and she can handle high winds and rough water. We couldn’t be prouder of her but also with ourselves. This was Ashley’s first overnight sail (she’s done many overnighters but under motor). Turns out we’d sailed 100 miles in 13 hours, in gale force winds, overnight aka in the dark. 100 miles may not seem like much but in 13 hours it’s pretty quick for a sailboat… some boats don’t do much more than that in 24 hours.
Monday August 22, 2016
After checking in with customs we sailed over to everyone’s favorite island, Sucia. We spent the rest of the day exploring and the kids even hiked all the way to Ewing Cove, 2+ miles each way! Victoria got a bee sting at the beach and Alex was a trooper for the hike. Victoria also “lost” both her front teeth on this trip. One may have come out with the help of floss 😊
Wednesday August 24, 2016
We left early to get to Blake Island in Seattle that night. We weren’t looking forward to the trip all the way back to Tacoma. We have been on the waitlist at Anacortes Marina for quite some time. As soon as they were open we called and asked if they had a slip, of course they didn’t. About 20 minutes later Dan noticed a missed call from the area code they’re in. It was them, they had a slip they’d reserved for liveaboard they decided to offer us. We were just off Fidalgo Island (the island Anacortes is on) so turned left and headed into our new slip! We got all tied up and loved the slip, the marina, the ambiance. Did we mention we had 2 cars at Tyee in Tacoma and 0 cars in Anacortes? It is Wednesday and everyone we know is at work and needs to work in the morning, them coming to get one of us hours north of work, then driving us 2+ hours south was out of the question. Thankfully there is Google.com and smart phones. Ashley took the airport shuttle to Sea Tac then caught an Uber to the Marina. She left at 3pm and got back about 10. Dan and the kids cleaned up the boat and got us ready to head home.
Thursday August 25, 2016
Spent the morning cleaning up Samadhi and loading the truck. We hope to be back in a few weeks even if we don’t leave the dock.