In this case, second time is a charm! We left Anacortes, again, under cloudy skies and calm winds, heading for Roche Harbor on the north end of San Juan Island.
As you near Roche Harbor, you pass Battleship Island. There is a story that during the Pig War, the British saw the Island through the fog, mistook it for a battleship and fired on it! As you can see, it does resemble a battleship from the distance.
The forecast called for strong S to SE winds that night, so we wanted to find a place to hunker down in a protected anchorage for a few days. After checking out the possibilities in Roche, we decided to try Garrison Bay, which we thought might be more protected. We headed down the narrow Mosquito Passage into Garrison (where the historic English Camp is located), but discovered it was FILLED with crab traps! With shallow water, limited swing room, and crab traps galore, we decided to head back to Roche.
Anchor down, we set to getting warm after a long day of motoring. Some steak and taters solved that problem quickly! The wind did indeed start blowing pretty strong, so we went out to check on everything before it got too dark. Surprise surprise – we’d hooked a crab pot! When the wind shifted and started blowing harder it had backed us over a pot that we thought we’d given plenty of room. Luckily we had just crossed it with the bow, so it was easy enough to gather up the buoy and drag the whole thing aft a bit, then pull in a bit of rode to increase our distance from it.
It was definitely a blowy night, and not our favorite anchorage, so we decided to head to Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island. We’d been in Prevost before and enjoyed it, plus it’s a great jumping off point for the Gulf Islands and Canada! On the way we put up sails for our first time this trip, and started seeing how our new rigging is going to work (first change will be to add longer Genoa sheets, since the lazy sheet isn’t long enough to go around our new storm sail stay). It was a nice relaxing trip, with a great view of the historic 1893 Turn Point Lighthouse, before heading into Prevost Harbor.
The day was sunny and warm when we arrived; perfect time for a kayak paddle! Eagles, seals, pigeon guillemots (my personal favorite with their cute red feet and clumsy landings), surf scooters, sea gulls, cormorants, and loud Canadian geese were everywhere. We love just paddling along enjoying the different views. At the east end of the harbor there is another shallower opening out to open water, that has lots of rocks in it, and the sun was doing some awesome things to the clouds and water – and me without a camera, can you believe it? 🙂
The first night blew like crazy with some 25-30 gusts, which kept us on anchor watch all night as we got used to all the new sounds around us. Our new 55lb Rocna anchor held fast though, so no problems.
We are finding that we have to re-acquaint ourselves with all the aspects of life aboard. Even though we have lived on Happy Dance since November, it’s quite different to be away from the dock! Our days now include checks of the systems, making sure the batteries are staying charged, listening to weather forecasts to plan activities and moves to the next anchorage, and LOTS of time for Happy Dancing!!
Today we got the new outboard motor running, and took a test drive over to the park system dock. We took a little hike to Reid Harbor, then up the hill to an old one-room school-house that was built in the early 1900’s. There is still a school there too, that serves kids of all ages on Stuart and nearby islands. Very cool!
Now we’re back on Happy Dance, settled in for the night. Tomorrow we’ll be on the move – checking into Canada and then figuring out the plan as we see which way the wind is blowing!!