Oh the places you will go, the people you will meet…

Family watching fireworks from the forward hatch on Shannon

Watching fireworks from Shannon

We’ve been cruising for a whole week now.

In that week we have had some wonderfully peaceful nights at anchor. We’ve had a horrendous night at a marina. We were able to watch 4th of July fireworks from the bow of the boat and we made some great new friends.

Our first night out of Everett found us anchored in Elger Bay on the West side of Camano Island. We put down the anchor in about 19′ of water and just about had the bay to ourselves. That is, until another boat motored up to the bay and dropped anchor within 100′ of us! Are you kidding me? The joker has an enormous bay to choose from and basically stops on top of us?

Well, it wasn’t long before he picked up anchor and moved a couple hundred fee away. I think it was the sound of my cell phone ringing that got him to move. Probably the first time I’ve ever been happy to have my phone ring in the evening.

The second night out we stayed in Coupville on Whidbey Island. The local cruising guide says that Coupville is a nice, old town with lots of charm. What they didn’t say was that if the winds are coming from the West, Coupville has all the charm of a rabid Chihuahua! The marina there is “unprotected”. This means that any waves that build up in the bay can and will head straight for your boat and there is no breakwater to slow them down as they turn your boat into an E-ticket ride all night long.

We were able to tie Shannon up sufficiently to keep her from getting chewed up on the mussel covered pilings, but our dinghy was another story all together. It was either banging against the dock or it was trying to pound its way inside the boat. There was just no way to safely tie the dink up where it wasn’t a danger to us or to other boats. We tried. We tried for over three hours! Finally, around midnight I gave up and just hauled the dumb thing onto the dock and dragged it up next to us.

I figured that if anyone said anything, I’d just let them know that was the safest place for it.

Donn and Kerry from S/V BrigadoonThe true highlight of our evening in Coupville was that we met Donn and Kerry aboard S/V Brigadoon. They are another couple that is making preparations to head South to warmer waters. Their plan has them leaving in another couple of years, but they are already living aboard their beautiful Baba 35 Pilothouse sailboat.

After quickly leaving Coupville, we all headed across the bay to Oak Harbor. We spent a couple of days there next to Donn and Kerry and really enjoyed the time spent with them. Donn showed me the ins and outs of putting Brummel splices into my amsteel lines and Kerry gave Kelly the confidence to get her hair cut short. You can find a link to Donn’s very well written website on our new “Other Cruisers” page.

We decided to stay an extra night in Oak Harbor so that we could watch the fireworks from the boat. For the longest time, I’ve dreamed of watching 4th of July fireworks from my own boat. Well, I can finally check that one off the list.

From Oak Harbor we sailed to Anacortes where we stayed a night and did some provisioning. Then we spent two nights in a beautiful little cove called Eagle Harbor on Cyprus Island. We were able to pick up a mooring ball so we didn’t have to play with the anchor at all. Very nice.

Today we said goodby to Eagle Harbor and set sail for Friday Harbor. The trip was an interesting one as crossing Rosario Straight we passed through a little bit of fog around noon, then after getting through Peavine Pass and into Upright Channel we had to really keep our eyes open as the big ferries were passing by at crazy speeds.

It was actually quite cold out in the wind today. Much colder than it has been all week.

Much to Kelly’s chagrin, I insisted on raising the sails whenever the winds were up. Even if that meant tacking back and forth in a narrow channel because the wind and current were both against us. Hey, its a sailboat. If I wanted to motor around everywhere I would have bought a motorboat. I did finally concede that it was time to fire up the engine when I looked over at the shore and realized that we were actually sailing backwards because of the current in the narrow pass we were in. Not to mention that there was a huge ferry turning up the channel just a few miles behind us.

In spite of the traffic, cold and fog we did finally make it to Friday Harbor. This seems like a very nice little town where we can anchor close in and get some more projects taken care of. But that is a story for another time…