Day 3: Sutia Island to Roche Harbour

Originally published: 8/21/2005; 4:06:00 PM

7/31/05, San Juan Islands–We’re heading to the whale ground today [two pods of Orcas are permanent residents]. So far, fair wind and great weather. It goes from being really chilly in the shade to almost uncomfortably hot in the sun, but overall, it is outstanding. I’m really glad I brought my fleece pullover. [It almost didn’t make the cut due to bulk and weight!]

We made an extremely long cruise to Lime Kiln Point on San Juan Island. It’s supposed to be the best place in the United States to see whales but we saw none. Disappointed and worried we wouldn’t find a mooring, we headed back north to Roche Harbour.

Roche Harbour is beautiful, but a bit crowded. We threaded our way through the morred yachts to the customs dock to temporarily tie up while we all hit the shower. Mine was free, but ice cold. [By the time I realized the coin machine wasn’t working, I was already fully committed. I tried the water and it worked. In my eternal optimism I figured it would warm up. It never did.] The little resort and town look like a place I’d like to explore further some time but I didn’t see much for kids to do.

Anchoring was a bit rough today. Captain Joe gave me the word to drop and after it hit I looked up and saw two boats anchored within spitting distance. [Doh!]. So, we pulled up and moved. [Much to the relief of the neighboring yacht captains!]. This time we only had one neighbor. He was nervous about our proximity and so were we. After a bit we judget it too close and moved to a third spot where we finally settled.

After dinner, Brian and I decided to christen the dinghy. The rest of the crew found it quite entertaining as Brian had never rowed a dinghy. He eventually figured it out. Ken was in the galley washing dishes so Brian and I rowed underneath Anais and knocked on the galley window. Our stunt redeemed ourselves in the eyes of our skeptical mates.

We played a bit of poker before turning in–we taught Uncle John all of our favorite games. He was grateful for the knowledge and thanked us by taking our money!

That night, as I was falling asleep, an object dropped through my open deck hatch. I could tell by the distinctive <ting!> sound it was a ring. I was too tired to investigate but shortly after Brian stumbled into my cabin and retrieved his wedding band. Apparently, at 1:00 AM he was fishing on the port side when a fish jumped to starboard. As he ran to the starboard side to drop his hook in the water he tripped, somehow knocking his ring off his finger. The ring took one bounce on the deck, headed for the starboard rail and, luckily, dropped through my open hatch rather than into the chilly depths.

On to San Juan Islands, 8/1/05 — Roche Harbour to Friday Harbour

Mt. Baker

Mt. Baker hovers in the distance as a lone boat passes near Towhead Island.