Distance traveled: 18.3 miles
Travel Time: 2 hrs, 35 mins
We woke to blue skies and prepared to leave Stuart Island, only to find the switch on the windlass had failed again. We were only in 28 feet of water, so Bob pulled the 110 feet of chain by hand, then initiated the repair after we waved goodbye to Aaron and Julie on “Eight Bells” and took off. He’s decided it’s time to replace the switch when we get home, as this third cleaning and re-connecting project is getting old, though he’s very good at it now that he’s done it three times. (Comment from Bob: Although there may be an element of “quality” surrounding the repair, I did seal the switch to make it water-tight this time; we’ll see if that helps.)
As always, there were rip tides north of Waldron Island (one or two waves big enough to support a surfer), but the journey was placid and easy. We headed to Sucia Island, a perennial favorite. We were here back in April with Canadian friends Doug and Jill aboard (and German Shepherd, Lua), and this time were scheduled to meet up with Rush and Cheri, friends we met taking classes at the Bremerton Sail and Power Squadron, in 2010-11 while preparing for our Great Loop trip.
We’d planned to anchor in Shallow Bay on the north side of Sucia, a new location for us, but agreed by text message with Rush that the forecast for winds out of the north, to which Shallow Bay is completely exposed, suggested we should go to Fossil Bay on the south side of the island instead.
Mid-day we settled into Fossil Bay, and 3-4 hours later “Cheri Lynn” arrived. Rush and Cheri are full-time live-aboards on this 45’ boat, and July 3 fireworks anchored in Liberty Bay at Poulsbo is the only other time we’ve boated together.
We wanted to finish off the last of that 10-pound salmon given to us at Sullivan Bay in the Broughton Islands, so Rush and Cheri came aboard by dinghy for dinner, bringing wine, sweet potatoes and cookies to add to our fish, rice and salad. Boaters do a great job of spontaneously throwing together shared dinners.
Sunset was beautiful, and Rush and Cheri returned to their boat well after dark, using a flashlight from the dinghy to guide the way.