A Margarita Cruise?

No. We aren’t in Mexico.

No again—this isn’t about mixing drinks

When sailors in this neck of the woods (or this part of the sea) talk about a margarita cruise, they are talking about water state:

Ice in Princess Louisa (borrowed from M/V Dirona)

“Margarita” because the surface of the water is that frozen slush consistency of a blended margarita.

We are headed to Princess Louisa Inlet for New Year’s Day. Princess Louisa Inlet is a 5-mile long finger of sea at the head of a fjord about 60 miles north of Vancouver, BC (as the eagle flies), but almost 100 sea miles away.

British Columbia, Canada (a little bit of it!)

It will take us three days—if weather doesn’t delay us—to get there from Vancouver. We’ll anchor near Halfmoon Bay on the first night, tie up to a dock (or we might anchor again) near Egmont, and then head up Jervis Inlet to a reversing rapids (with up to 10 knot currents) that guards the entrance to the inlet. The current stops for a moment on December 31 at 2 PM (at the end of a 30 mile run!), and it’s safe to cross the rapids only when the current is still. How’s that for a challenge? But the results will be worth it. Imagine Yosemite in the middle of winter, with El Capitan and Half Dome covered with snow, waterfalls cascading down the almost vertical walls, and water filling up the valley so that almost all the marks of human occupation are covered. In summer, it is breathtaking and it will be even more magnificent in winter.

But First…

Walt has to play church services at St. Paul’s, Bellingham, WA on the 19th. So we untied the lines at the dock in Anacortes on Friday morning, December 17, and headed three hours north on quiet seas. (Why Friday., you might ask, when church is on Sunday? Read on!) We tied up at the visitors’ dock in Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, just below the spire of St. Paul’s Church! Had a quiet night, at least for the first part of it. Early in the morning we heard the rigging whistling in the wind, and 30-40 knot winds arrived right on schedule (That’s why we weren’t out on Saturday. Braesail can easily handle that sort of wind, but sailing around islands, reefs, and rocks in a gale is not something to do if you can avoid it.) We visited with our friends Walt and Bette Ann Schwede (musician friends from Church of the Redeemer days), practiced a bit on a rather unpredictable organ (it’s being renovated, and like any construction site, you need to watch where you step!), and bedded down for an almost completely still night, as the gale had blown through by about 5 PM.

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