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Brad Gislason 360-378-4860
Friday Harbor, WA
Are endless.And everyone will have an opinion of the ideal cruise. Do what feels right for you and remember, once on board you have already arrived.
Day One Saturday; (Noon)
We already have food and what ever to allow casting off. By 2:00 we have passed the qualifying tests, are loaded (aboard that is), and ready to shove off. The sails are still ready from the test cruise and the wind is 5-8Kt out of the west. Considering the ambition level at this time of day we decide on somewhere close.
Reid Harbor, Stuart Island. Motoring out of Roche we work on raising sail. By the time we reach the mouth of the bay all is set and the motor goes off.
Moving along at about 4Kt close reaching we can easily make the harbor at Stuart. But decide to put some money in the bank and point up into Haro Strait, have a snack and refreshments, enjoy the moment.
Good call, still doing 4+Kt with minimal heel, lots of water, good clean wind, a few boats off in the distance and WHAT TH!!
A six foot black torpedo surfaces 2' from the boat doing about 30. Ten more sighted off the port bow. Soon all (porpoise and humans) are on the bow.
The view is great from the sprit.Porpoise are darting back and forth across the bow, getting a free ride from the bow wake and putting on a spectacular show. The camera goes below for a reload.
Half hour later they leave and we discover that Reid Harbor is now a broad reach. Slack the sheets and point downhill. Would like to get into Reid early enough to check out the schoolhouse before dark.
The trip down the west side of Stuart is beautiful, the sun is getting lower, straits on one side, Stuart on the other, the boat and us love downwind sailing. We turn on some music, kick back and enjoy.
Entering a harbor is always exciting. Drop sails, clean up boat, get ready to anchor, where to anchor (or dock), a new place to explore.
Reid offers many good things for the first night. A state park is located at the end of the harbor with docks and mooring bouys. The park has many nice trails, fire pits, and beaches. The shore offers the nice park and a walk to the school or the lighthouse. The Harbor itself is long and very protected with a good bottom for anchoring. After checking it out we decide to stay on the dock as nobody else is there (march) and the low tide tonight will give us enough water under the keel.
Day 2 (8:00am)
Up brite and early, check wind, current, and its off to Sucia. We choose the outside route on the west side of Stuart to make the 20 mile journey. There are less hazards to watch for and maybe the porpose will return. The entire Sucia island is a state park. Tons of trails and bays. Pick south, east, or west side to moor. Plan on a few walks.
Day 3 (9:00am)
Stayed up late last night watching the sunset, must have needed the extra sleep.
Day 4 (morning)
Nice to have a short day at times and still enjoying the absence of civiliation, we decide to go south 5 miles to Parks Bay. However, on the way it is decided to detour to Friday Harbor for supplies and a night out. It is the same distance and a radio call to the Port got us a slip on the breakwater.
Day 5 (Seen my watch?)
Had enough of civiliation for now and head south (8 mi) for McKay Harbor on Lopez Island. Cattle Pass can run pretty good, so checked the current tables. Once outside the pass the sailing and open water were too much to resist. Thus a couple of (1 hour) fun tacks were made before going in. Once in McKay, is very pretty, restfull and protected.
Day 6 ( daylite )
Sea Gods are pleased today, a beautiful fifteen knot breese out of th southwest.
Out to the famous west side of San Juan Island in search of porpose,killer whales and a lot of water.
Day 7 Friday (rats)
Meet Brad at Roche at noon.
After a week of this torture we can see why people sell everything and sail off. Life becomes simple, but full. Entertainment need not come from buttons on a TV remote, watching someone else's experiences, or rushing from one activity to another, phones ringing, car alarms, sirins, deadlines, tax appeals, you name it.It now seems important to sail well, anchor properly, cook a good meal, persue artistic endeavors (rope work, scrimshaw, music), tell a good story, read, tend to the boat, and such.
44k That week went quick, but what a week. We got a lot of pictures, stories, experiences, met new people. Ten years from now, will we remember last week ,or next?
NEXT YEARWe have been living and cruising the area for 25 years and can honestly say we have not seen it all. They say there are 400 islands in the San Juans alone. Then add in the Canadian Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, on and on, in this area alone a lifetime of exploration awaits.
Contact: Brad Gislason
at ISLAND CHARTERS
861 #2 Schoolhouse Rd.
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Phone 360-378-4860 · FAX 360-378-5982
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