Monday, June 23, 2008

passage to Bellingham

Early June did not provide any good opportunities to head north. At several points there were gale force winds and high seas. Finally got a window of good weather and headed across the bar on Wednesday the 18th, with Mike and Doug as crew. We sailed a fair bit into the early evening, but got pushed too close onshore and had to motor NW from off of Long Beach. Got a good view of Rainier with alpenglow just before sunset. Passed the outer buoy for Gray's Harbor at 11PM. Motored most of the night. In the morning the wind picked up from the SW so we doused the engine. Detoured to make a close pass by Destruction Island so we could visit the sea otters. Wind dropped as we approached Cape Flattery, so we motored through Hole in the Wall. Water temperature dropped as low as 36.7 degrees near Cape Flattery! Fueled up and spent Thursday night in Neah Bay.
Friday morning we pulled out about 6:30 and headed down the Strait. Lots of inbound shipping, but we finally made a break across the shipping lanes, hoping to find more favorable current on the northern side of the Strait. Close reached on SE wind for a time; also had a nice encounter with a pod of Dall's porpoises. Tide finally turned in our favor near Sooke, and we had a nice drift past Race Rocks. Wind filled in a bit from the W, so we ran wing and wing, headed for Cattle Pass. Picked up a buoy at Turn Island (just S of Friday Hbr) for Friday night.
Saturday morning was another early departure, to try to get across Rosario before a strong mid-morning ebb. Went through Peavine, around N side of Sinclair and rounded Carter Pt on Lummi. Fueled up, pumped out, and tied up to a guest slip in Squalicum.