This morning in Anacortes Herb checks the WX report to learn the winds will be 5 to 15, so we plan to go spend some time on anchor. It rains early, but begins to clear as we make our last minute plans. We cruise out of Cap Sante amidst many boats, both coming in for the Labor Day weekend and also going to other destinations for the holiday. The fuel docks must be happy.
We phone Friday Harbor to check the likelihood of getting a slip there and are told while they can't guarantee a slip assignment right now, they will definitely be able to get a spot for us. Inside Breakwater "B" is first come, first served. We like it there to watch all the ships cruise by.
There is a slight chop as we go near the Anacortes ferry landing and we make sure we are outside the ferry routes. We constantly ride the wakes of all the boats and still manage to make lunch while underway.
When we approach the ferry dock at Lopez Island, I look carefully to see if the Hyak is moving. Oh, good! I see the foot traffic still walking off and cars not unloading yet. She will be docked long enough for us to pass.
We bear to the right at the northern most point of Lopez Island to go down Upright channel. Although the water is quite rough, the sky looks brighter ahead, so maybe the front has passed on through.
Around 2P I call on 66A when we get close to Friday Harbor and am told there is nothing available for a boat of my size at this time, but Margaret (I later learn her name) will be happy to put us on her wait list. We will be Boat #6. When a space opens up, she will call us three times. If we do not respond, she will move on to the next boat in line. For now, she says we are more than welcome to tie up to the inside of Breakwater B or raft there to a vessel of similar size, up to three deep. That dock is mandatory rafting.
We agree to wait, but there is no space on BWB, so we cruise the harbor a bit. As we come back to the entrance, someone calls on 66 to tell us of a space on the outside of BW "A." He says he will be there to catch our lines. We accept.
He helps us tie up and says put every available fender we have on the dock side because it will be rough. We do.
I am here to tell you it is rough outside BWA, but we stay. The harbor master says it will be two hours before anything opens up for us. We continue to bounce, toss and bounce. I don't dare try to go out to take any photos, and we learn that the person who called us for BWA is a guest himself.
The harbormaster broadcasts that they will take an inventory around 4P and should know if anything is available for us. Otherwise we will spend the night on the outside of BWA. Herb goes to walk Jake just after 4P and my hopes fall, as I have to assume all who plan to leave have already left at or near check out time.
Herb is gone a long time and calls me to see if we are still on the list. Yes we are. If I hear one boat call in and get told about the wait list, I hear a gazillion. I dare not turn the VHF off, for fear of missing her call to us.
And then it happens! AT 5:30, not 4P -- "Willie's Tug, Willie's Tug, Willie's Tug, this is Port of Friday Harbor!" I respond so fast my head spins! She asks if we still plan to stay only one night and when she hears my answer to the affirmative, she says she has a slip for us: Golf zero eight!
Yea! I quickly call Herb to tell him. We are soon settled in, not believing how lucky we are on a holiday weekend. When I go up to the office to pay for moorage, I tell Margaret we may have to change the name of Willie's Tug to Perseverance!
Our one reason for the stop over at Friday Harbor is to see Jim and Joan. Jim finishes his whale watch for the day and Joan completes her ten hour day of booking whale watch guests and they come over to visit. It is great to catch up.
Willie of Willie's Tug,
and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
Monday, August 29, 2014