Quick trip to the San Juans

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Chinook
Admiral
Posts: 1662
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:20 pm
Location: LeavenworthWA 2002 26x, Suzuki DF60A

Quick trip to the San Juans

Post by Chinook » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:19 pm

We closed out this strange sailing season with a short 5 day trip out to the San Juan Islands in the final days of August. We launched at Anacortes and crossed Rosario Strait, where the current can run 2 to 3 knots, in comfortable conditions, and selected Thatcher Pass for our entry into the San Juans. We anchored at Spencer Spit State Park and spent a pleasant night there. We happened to anchor next to a 45 foot motor yacht which was flying a Great Loop burgee from her bow pulpit. I raised our gold burgee and rowed over for a visit. Turns out our anchoring neighbors did their Loop in 2016-2017, while we did ours in 2015-2016. Since they started in New York, we very likely were in same waters with them, although neither of us recall seeing each other. Nonetheless, small world.

Second day we made a brief stop at Friday Harbor for some stove fuel (forgot to refill the tank before leaving home) and a bite of lunch, before heading through Speiden Channel, which can run 3 to 4 knots and is known for severe tidal rips. However, we timed our passage and avoided rough water and again enjoyed smooth passage. Our destination was Henry Island where I planned on putting out the crab pot. Open Bay, on the south side of the island, is a lovely place, with a view of glacier-capped Mt. Baker in one direction and, across the Strait of Juan de fu@, the snowy Olympics in the other. Crabbing was unproductive (tail end of the season and the crab were either female or undersized males), however it was a very relaxing place to just hang out. Even though the Island is privately owned, the low lying salt march in its middle has been acquired by the San Juan Preservation Trust, and they have established a nice walking trail around the margins of the salt marsh and through a dense patch of woods.

On our final full day we ran back through Speiden Channel and Thatcher Pass, tying up at the Jack Island State Park dock to spend the night. To our surprise, we found a Ranger Tug tied up there with another of those Great Loop gold burgees flying. These folks had trailered out from Michigan to enjoy our Northwest waters. Early start on our last day, since it was minus tide at 10:30am at Washington Park, and the ramp is unusable at plus 1 foot. On our way by 6:15am, at the dock shortly after 7am with just enough water to be able to pull the boat out. After limiting our sailing this season to fresh waters to this point, it was nice to finally give the boat a taste of salt water, and to experience the action of tide and current. Maybe next year we'll be able to get out to Haida Gwaii. Here's hoping.
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Jimmyt
Admiral
Posts: 1654
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:52 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec

Re: Quick trip to the San Juans

Post by Jimmyt » Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:00 pm

Very nice Mike! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful pics!
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

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Todd
Engineer
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:43 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: New Mexico

Re: Quick trip to the San Juans

Post by Todd » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:28 pm

Sounds like it was a nice trip. How did your truck/trailer logistics go? Did you use a marina and just pay for the parking?
Todd
'07 26M

:macm:

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