Sunday, August 3 - We continued down Princes Royal and Finlayson Channels, through Jackson Narrows, which connects Finlayson to Matheson Channel, and anchored in Rescue Cove at the east end of Jackson. It was a very pretty evening. We saw Chatham II, our friends from Nanaimo but did not have a chance to talk with them. There are lots of "Chathams" around. Chatham Straits, Chatham Sound, Chatham Channel and so on. The "HMS Chatham" was George Vancouver's ship and was named for Lord Chatham, Lord of the Admiralty during Vancouver's day. Anyway, Vera aboard "Chatham II" is Lord Chatham's great, great, great, etc descendant of some kind.
Monday, August 4 - We decamped Rescue at 10:00 for the four hr trip to Shearwater Marina. We did laundry, took on water, and caught up with friends. I tried to fix our low water pressure problem (failed) and rewired the water maker to make it run better (maybe).
|Green Island Anchorage|
Thursday, August 7 - We took our time getting started since it is only a little more than two hours to our next stop. It is a little nook amidst some islands near Ducanby Landing, a "resort" and fishing camp on the south shore of River's Inlet near Queen Charlotte Sound. Crossing Rivers Inlet today cuts down on the time it will take to round Cape Caution tomorrow. As we passed Fury Cove we saw "Contender" at anchor there. We chatted on the radio for a few minutes. We will probably see them at Blunden Harbor tomorrow or Sullivan Bay the next.
August 8 -15: We spent Friday evening in Blunden with "Contender" then moved on to the Broughtons for our farewell tour. We stopped for two nights each at Sullivan Bay, Pierre's, Kwatsi Bay and Lagoon Cove. We've gotten to know the owners of each well over the years. Jean at Lagoon even invited us up to her house for coffee after happy hour. It was all rather sad actually.
At Stewart Island we noted that Dennis Washington is in residence at his summer place. It's nice enough. Looks like a St. Regis Resort. His boat is parked out front - about 200' - and his private golf course seems well groomed. He was born in Spokane and moved to Montana as a kid where he started out on the business end of a shovel working construction. Later he bought the company when it was in distress and turned it around. That led to a copper mine or two and some railroads. He also owns Sea Power Marine (tugs, barges, etc.) and other stuff. The "Washington Group" is privately held. He's worth about 5 billion.
After about 4.5 hrs we anchored in Cortes Bay at the southern end of Cortes Island. Cortes was one of the Spanish explorers that hung around up here with Vancouver in the late 1700's. Tomorrow we will move about 1 hr south to Lund, a small community at the northern terminus of the coast highway. The southern end is Tierra Del Fuego.
We were at Lund for Monday and Tuesday where we caught up on e-mail, had a couple of nice meals, visited Nancy's Bakery (The Cardiac Hut) and just relaxed. The wind is supposed to die down for Wednesday.
Wednesday, we moved south five hours to Pender Harbor. We saw "Contender" on the AIS and hailed her. She was also going to Pender along with their friends from Gig Harbor. They came along after we anchored so we gathered on "Intrepid" for cocktails.
Thursday, we continued south to Snug Cove on Bowen Island which lies in Howe Sound, just north of Vancouver BC. We had the world's best Fish and Chips at Doc Morgan's then caught the ferry Friday PM to meet our friends Stephanie and Alan who live in West Vancouver. We had drinks and appetizers at their home before eating dinner near the ferry dock. We caught what's supposed to be the 9:40 ferry which didn't arrive until 10:30 so we were tired by the time we got back to the boat.
Saturday, we were up at 05:45 and backed away from the dock in Snug Cove by 06:30 for the five hour trip to Sucia Island in the Us San Juan Islands. The water was flat calm, as predicted, as we rounded Sand Heads at the mouth of the Fraser River. This is where we thought we were going to sink in "Ro-Ven", our first boat, when we got caught in 10' seas in our little 34' boat. We thought it was fitting that our last trip was so peaceful when our first was terrifying.
|Fox Cove - Sucia Island|
Sucia is a WA state park with several picturesque bays with mooring buoys. "Sucia" is the Spanish word for dirty or foul in the nautical sense. Lots of rocks and reefs. We checked Shallow Bay first but all the buoys were taken so we anchored in nearby Fox Cove on the west side of the island. Soon, though, a boat left and we moved over to take the now available buoy. As we nudged up along side her we caught a little current, Rolynn lost her hold on the buoy and it slipped under the boat. Well, it didn't pop up on the other side or the stern. We drifted for a while waiting for it to reappear but it didn't. Apparently, we had caught her some how. The boat was running but we obviously did not want to engage the prop and risk damaging it on the buoy or wrapping up something in the shaft. Nudging around with the bow thruster didn't help. OK, time to keel haul her. The idea is to take a long line and pass it under the bow with me on one end and Rolynn on the other. Then drag the line along the length of the hull, Rolynn walking along one side of the deck and me on the other, until we join up at the swim step. The line will grab anything under the hull and it can now be pull up at the stern. A little tugging and up popped the buoy. As it did we heard clapping from a wedding ceremony on the beach. We assumed the applause was for us.
Sucia Island was purchased by the Johnson's of nearby Orcas Island in 1946. Later, they had a chance to sell the island to a wealthy Californian who planned to turn it into private estate but the Johnson's didn't want that so they contacted the Interclub, representing 36 Puget Sound (Seattle) boating organizations, with an offer to sell the island to them. They raised the $25,000 asking price in $2.00 to $5.00 donations, purchased the island and then donated it to the state for a marine park. What a great story. What are the chances of that happening today?
|Sucia Island - Fox Cove Lower Right|
Sucia, as well as many of the San Juan Islands, are sandstone and were carved out by the Pleistocene glaciers some 10,000 years ago. The islands were pushed under the sea so there are lots of marine fossils now on the beaches. Next to us is Fossil Bay where they are abundant. Speaking of geology, a few years ago Colin, Rolynn's brother who is a geologist, was on the boat along with Rich, his colleague. They work for a secret think tank in DC. Their main client is the Threat Reduction Agency, part of the Department of Defense. They were collecting dunite a kind of rock indigenous to Mt. Baker and some other secret locations (Iraq?). Anyway, Rolynn took them to shore in the dinghy. Later, Colin told his crew back in DC about the experience, what a great location this is, etc., and gave them the coordinates. His friends at the office accessed a satellite and e-mailed him a photo of the island. In the photo, smack dab in the middle, you could plainly see Rolynn, Colin and Rich in our dinghy. That was more than a little spooky.
Near here are two islands connected by an isthmus that dries at low tide. In the early part of the century there was a fox farm on one island and the farmer raised horses on the other. Every day at low tide he drove three horses across the isthmus, butchered them and ground the meat and bones into fox food.
There is a long history of smuggling in this area. The abundant nooks and coves were perfect during the days of prohibition. Canadian wool, too. There are stories of San Juan sheep farmers and their miracle sheep that grew several hundred pounds of undeclared wool per year instead of the normal ten pounds. Large numbers of Chinese laborers were also smuggled in from Canada in the 1800's for work on the railroads and canneries. After 300,000 Chinese had entered, congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which only exacerbated the problem by creating a profitable black market. One of the island's most famous smugglers of humans was "Kelly" who did so whenever he was not in jail. It was claimed by one of his friends that on one of his trips with a load of Chinese he was being overtaken by a revenue cutter so he killed the Chinese, threw them overboard then let his boat be examined. "China Rock" is just around the corner from us. The story continues today. Every so often you can see stories in the paper about captures of illegal drugs in the islands.
We will stay here two nights and mostly relax. We have a lot to do when we return beginning Monday to prep the boat for sale. She will be detailed and dived. We will flush the water out of the outboard and scrub the dinghy. We will meet with three boat brokers and two parties have made appointments to view her. We hope to sell her FSBO and save on some of the 10% broker's fee but we need to be ready with a broker if that doesn't pan out. We also need to begin hauling off 15 years of accumulated stuff. VERY HEAVY SIGH!
Monday, August 25 - We are tied up at the end of the dock at Anchor Cove. Our renter is still in our slip plus there are things we need to do on the upper deck before we put the mast down and go under cover. Next to us there is a barge and crane driving in new pilings at the Guemas Ferry dock. It's noisy but interesting to watch the operation. They lift and position the new pilings which have flukes on the end - kind of like a huge screw. The crane slips the pilings into prepositioned sleeves then places a hydraulic driving head on the top. The head vibrates like crazy and the piling just screws into the bottom. They even drive them at angles. Once they get started it only takes about 20 minutes to drive one in. Then it's on to the next.
|Positioning Drive Head|
Out trip this year was 2376 nm in 332 hours of engine time. That's 7.1 nm/hr. If we were a car that would be 2734 road miles. As the crow flies, roughly equivalent to driving from Anacortes to central Nicaragua at 8 miles an hour.
This is likely the final post of "Intrepid Journeys". We bought "Intrepid" in September of 1999 and have lived and cruised aboard her for about four months each year since. It has been a wonderful adventure. But, for us the question became, "What will be more fun? A few more years of this or a few years of something completely different." We opted for new adventures. We don't know what they will be, exactly, but the time seems right to cast off for new tides.