Busy couple of weeks

Well busy as things go for a guy and a cat living on a small boat!

After spending a couple of days at Blind Bay departed heading west through Wasp Passage. This is a tight channel and I kept near the shore as a Washington State Ferry overtook SWALLOW.

WA State ferry transits Wasp Passage.

Entering San Juan Channel there was a nice easterly wind so sailed wing-and-wing to Spieden Channel where the wind died and the current turned against: 2.5kts!

As I entered Roche Harbor I passed this Montgomery 17. (I used to own a M17.)

I stopped at Roche Harbor to get gas, collect water and dump the porta potti & trash & recycling. Back in the 70s and early 80s I loved to visit Roche Harbor. At the time it was small place with nice friendly marina. Now it is a location for mega yachts and money. No longer fun!

Leaving Roche I transited Mosquito Passage and entered Garrison Bay; the location of English Camp National Historic Park.

This is where the British kept forces during the 1859-1872 Pig War that decided that the San Juan Islands would be part of the United States and not part of England (now Canada). Many well known historical figures involved, including George Pickett (better known for Pickett’s charge at the Battle of Gettysburg). Thankfully the only casualty of the Pig War was a pig.

Momma Kitty checks things out during a quiet morning at Garrison Bay.

After some days enjoying the quite of Garrison Bay and English Camp SWALLOW headed back to San Juan Channel and Friday Harbor. While transiting Spieden Channel the current was strong, 3-4+ knots!, against. The wind was blowing and SWALLOW was able to sail, SLOWLY, all the way.

Friday Harbor was a needed reprovisioning stop. Once tied to dock I went grocery shopping (twice), stopped at the marine and hardware stores, took a much needed shower, did laundry, dumped the potti and collected water.

After a quiet night in a marina, first since being at Blake Island the 13 & 14 of May, SWALLOW departed for Stuart Island. What a day! Sailed from the Friday Harbor Marina all the way into Reid Harbor! Wonder sail!!

Passing by Spieden Island on the way to Stuart Island.

At Reid Harbor I planned a muli-day stay. I was waiting from friends taking part in the yearly Potter Yachter Pacific Northwest Cruise. Last year I meet them in South Puget Sound when I was living on my Montgomery 17 SWEET PEA. This year I was the largest boat – a new experience for me!

The Potter Yachter group at the Reid Harbor State Park Dock. My M6’8″ dinghy can be seen in the foreground.

The next day the group headed for Sucia Island. I motored most of the way as the wind was mostly light and the current against in Presidents Channel. This wasn’t all bad as SWALLOW’s house batteries needed charging.

Sailing towards Sucia Island. Mount Baker in the background.

The Potter Yachters all left early the next day as their trip was at an end and most were were looking at a long drive to California. I stayed at Sucia for a couple of days enjoying the ‘crown jewel’ of the San Juan Islands.

While at Sucia I was at Fossil Bay. All the bays are nice but most face Southeast. The Pacific Northwest summer weather pattern hasn’t settled in yet so the wind was from the south. The wind wasn’t blowing terribly strong into Fossil Bay but the waves made for some rocking!

The weather is improving and families are starting to take sailing vacations as school has ended for summer break. This means the San Juan Islands are getting busy and a bit crowded for my likes. For this reason I now head north to Canada.

I cast off the buoy at 8am and just outside Fossil Bay raise SWALLOW’s sails in 12-15 knot winds that are gusting 20kts. SWALLOW flies across the water with the headsail reefed to 90% and a single in the main. The seas are not bad, though lumpy, as the current is flooding with the wind. I cut between Waldren and Skipjack Islands and then sail along Boundary Pass. The wind has lightened some so the reefs come out. I stay southeast of the shipping lanes and then turn north for Bedwell Harbor to enter into Canada.

The wind and current cooperated and I sailed all the way into Bedwell Harbor, lowering the sails and then clearing customs.

SWALLOW is back in the Canadian Gulf Islands!

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