Wednesday, June 21, 2017

State Park Adventures Begin -- Sunday, June 18, 2017

We are off F Dock of Cap Santé at 8A and make one necessary stop to lighten our load.   A gentle rain peppers us, but the wind is only 4 knots.  Fog is seen all around us as we exit the marina, but the advantage of radar allows us to make a decision as to the safety of going among the San Juan Islands today.  We can always turn back.

As stand on, we see a pleasure craft on our port side that appears not to give way, so Herb adjusts his course to go astern of her.  From Cap Santé we continue north between Guemes and Huckleberry Islands.  Visibility is 3 miles, so we will be able to check our surroundings.  It is safe to go.

We hear Atlantic Dawn (239 meters in length) call the Traffic channel that she will go to Lummi Island, which is ahead of us near Bellingham WA.

Then we hear KWK Excelcius at 250 meters call her intentions.

A strong cell phone signal (Yay! The towers have been repaired) allows Herb and daughter Patrice to have a conversation about Marine Traffic.  We always send the SPOT locater to our family when we arrive to a new destination, but he tells her she can create a fleet of one to include Willie’s Tug so she can see when we depart a port.  She does this as they are talking and sees that Marine Traffic picked us up as underway at 8:34A.  She also sees us now cruising by the small Jack Island just east of Guemes.

Vessel traffic is unusually light this morning.

Cruising through a light chop, we note there is no fog on Sinclair Island on our port side.  Things are looking up WX-wise.  

Soon we will come to the Precautionary Area of Rosario Strait by Lummi Island and must cross the traffic lanes to head for one of the Washington State Parks, Sucia Island.   Skipper chooses to cross the narrow portion of the lanes before the Precautionary Area.

Athlon, pleasure craft, calls Traffic that she left Sucia, so we hail her to see what the population is there.  She says we should be fine, as many boats are leaving to go south.  This is good news.  I hope to get a spot at the dock.

Seas are pretty much flat calm as we go north by the east side of Orcas Island, and with Clark and Barnes Islands on the starboard.  Oh, no, it appears more foggy ahead toward Sucia.  Maybe it will clear by the time we get there.

While we continue the cruise we recall a time years ago when we came to Sucia with Bob and Nita.  Their Ranger-29, Nellie Too, arrived ahead of us and got a spot at the dock.  It looked to us like there was no more room, so we decided to hook a mooring buoy that was available back near the entrance to the bay.

All other buoys were taken, so we were lucky to be near this one.  I miss my try at looping the bow line into the buoy’s ring, and my boat hook comes apart!  Oh, no; the hook part stays in the buoy ring.  So we cruise around it again to try to retrieve it, and hear my phone ring.  Nita is trying to tell me there is room at the dock.  I don’t answer the phone because I am trying to get my boat hook.

Then we hear everyone on the dock yelling to us to come on up for the available space.  We yell back about the boat hook.  By this time everyone on the dock, everyone on a mooring buoy, and everyone anchored out is watching this circus.

Good news is that I finally get the hook, finally get to the dock, and wonder how many people took photos of the circus!!  I’m sure we were the entertainment for the day.

Today we arrive to find space at the dock, and send the  SPOT at 12 noon.

Find Willie’s Tug….

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Sunday, June 18, 2017


  1. Better to be the entertainment in the cove than the lead story on the 5:00 news. ;-) Enjoy!

    1. Absolutely!!! I think that is when we became famous.