…and headed out.
We left our intrepid crew making the turn into the Strait of Juan de Fuca last Sunday. Did they ever make it?
Those of you tracking us on AIS or who were part of the email group that got position updates more or less every four hours would know that Snow Shoo tied up at the Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes at about 1400 PDT on Monday, June 6. Charlie Landis took our locations and loaded them into a Google Earth kmz location file, and you can get it here . Thanks, Charlie!
We made it inside Tatoosh Island in sparkling clear weather, and almost flat seas. The Fuca pillars are quite stunning, by the way. It’s worth a trip to Neah Bay to see them (if you can get the weather). With a turn into the Strait, our wind magnet on the anchor roller did its job, and we had 10-15 kts bang on the nose of the boat for about 10 miles or so. The water was fairly smooth so we made pretty good time.
And then, the weather forecast for the day came true. The wind moved around toward the north, and stayed solid at about 10 kts. For those of you looking at your maps, that means that we were on a broad reach. If we set full sails (and maybe even the screacher—the heavy asymmetrical spinnaker in Snow Shoo‘s inventory), Snow Shoo would probably have made 6-7kts, which isn’t bad at all. However setting the jib and slowing the motor to about 1700 rpm allowed us to motor sail, flirting with 10kts over ground. Even had time for a shot of Hans and me with the Olympics in the distance:
(We did a selfie with Walt D, but I’m not seeing that picture). Observant members of the crew will notice that while the jack lines are deployed, Hans and I were not tethered. It was that smooth. We did have PFDs on, however. This has been the trip: freezing off of California, shorts, t-shirts and bare feet in Washington.
Blasting down the Strait, we headed across to San Juan Island against a 3.5 kt ebb at Cattle Point, up San Juan Channel. But before we entered the channel, the sun painted the mountains of Vancouver Island to our west.
About 2300, we anchored in Indian Cove off the south east side of Shaw Island, the middle island of the San Juan archipelago. Sort of a “coming home” for me, as we anchored in almost the same spot that Lorelette, Martin, and I had our first cruising anchorage in a chartered Hunter 26, thirty years ago this summer. Auspicious that Snow Shoo‘s first Washington anchorage was where our adventures began.
No alarms were set for the next morning (Monday), and all had a well-deserved rest. We rose to standard summer San Juan winds—light and variable—crossed Rosario Strait, showed Walt D some of the Bellingham Channel anchorages, put-putted up Anacortes Channel, and tied up in Cap Sante Marina, in preparation for the installation of a Kabola heating system by the guys at MarineTec US, replacing the air conditioner that is currently on board.
This last week has been emptying out Snow Shoo, doing repairs, and getting ready for the heating install. But this Friday, Lorelette and I chose to treat Snow Shoo to a little tiny taste of her new life. After picking up new lines for the main outhaul and the yankee sheets, and various bits of hardware, I met Lorelette at her office and we headed north for Anacortes. We went up to Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island, and just as the sun dropped behind the hills, tied up to a DNR bouy and relaxed.
And Snow Shoo seemed to relax and enjoy her new home waters.
Thank you, Mike and Sandy Olsen, for sharing Snow Shoo with us, and know that the companionway will always be open for you.
Thank you, Hans Johnson (the only crew member who made it all the way from Marina del Rey to Anacortes), Martin Knowles (who was first mate until he bailed at Coos Bay to go take some pictures ), Ken Knowles (who did his first passage admirably and was a great help on his watches, even if he did almost exhaust our supply of Bonine), Paul Blinzer (who was staff photographer—we’ll have to share some of his pix with you), and Walt Drechsler, the co-founder of the Pacific Northwest Moody Yacht Owners Association (and owner of Snow Shoo‘s sister ship. What are the odds that two big Moodys of adjacent years would make it all the way to Everett and may end up as next-door neighbors in the Everett Marina?), who provided crucial energy and experience as I was beginning to run short on the former from too much of the latter. Thanks guys, and I hope the experience was as good for you as it was for me. Come sailing anytime!
And thank you, Lorelette, for encouraging this ridiculous adventure. It was probably harder for you, sitting at home and imagining conditions that it was for us, slogging our way north.