San Juan Islands: Afterthoughts

Originally published: 8/21/2005; 4:08:05 PM

My packing job for the trip was damn-near perfect. The items I took but didn’t use include: fleece pants, rain gear, and a hooded sweatshirt. I also had one-too-many long-sleeve t-shirts. My fleece pullover, which I came close to not taking, came in quite handy as I bounced back-and-forth between cold and hot depending on what I was doing.

Seasickness wasn’t an issue for anyone on the trip. First, the boat had absolutely no heel, even when sailing close to the wind. Second, the waters are very well protected–we saw hardly any swell. I took a Dramamine the first day as a precaution and was “clean and sober”, as Dave puts it, for the rest of the trip.

There was plenty of room on the boat for the eight of us. The boat was over half as wide as it is long which means the cockpit is huge with wide walkways going from aft to the foredeck which is also massive. We spent a lot of time lounging on the trampoline on the foredeck, taking in the scenery and watching for whales, kelp beds, and crab pots.

Also unexpected was the amount of room I had in my cabin. Because I had the luxury of my own berth for half of the trip, Brian and Dave got first pick between the forward cabin with a double and the aft cabin with a queen. The forward cabin had two drawers, storage compartment under a little bench, and a locker with room for hanging clothes and three shelves. I was completely unpacked and had room to spare.

The aft cabin had a larger bed and similar storage but it a good portion of it was already taken with gear for Anais. The other disadvantage of the aft cabin is that the bunk has to be completely tossed each morning–the engine access is right underneath the bunk and each engine has to be checked every morning.

The food far exceeded my original expectations. Dad and Nancy planned a perfect menu and brought the right amount of food. It was like being at home. Of course, at home I don’t get to eat every meal outside, surrounded by the most gorgeous scenery you could imagine.

I think this was the perfect first charter. The crew got along great and we all learned a lot and had fun. I’m ready for a more challenging trip, though. Faster, more demanding/challenging sailing, smaller quarters, and longer distances would suit me fine. Something with more of an edge, perhaps. I’m hoping the rest of the crew has had their appetites sufficiently whetted that we can all look forward to even more fun and adventure at sea in the years to come.

Anais foredeck crew

The “foredeck crew”, as Captain Joe referred to us, on a chilly morning.