Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Off To Roche Harbor

Sucia Island to Roche Harbor, San Juan Island

Distance traveled:  18.2 miles

We awoke Monday to high winds and some waves inside the Fossil Bay anchorage, so prepared for a rough crossing to San Juan Island. But we found it was the prevailing SW winds that made it rough inside the anchorage, and once out in President Channel, things were much calmer. Three hours later we pulled into Roche Harbor. After tying up "Next To Me", we called the Shaffers on the VHF radio to tell them to come in, where we'd catch their lines. Those Shaffers NAILED their first docking of a big ol' 36-foot boat! They looked like they've been doing this for years. Go Team Shaffer!

After getting the boats settled in, both Bobs dropped the dinghies and we traveled through Mosquito Pass, a shallow, rocky 2-mile stretch that the Shaffer's charter boat company warned against traveling in their big boat. It's a short, beautiful way to reach Haro Strait where Orca whales can often be seen, but we struck out on whales, so enjoyed eagles, Dall's porpoises and seals hauled out on rocks. 

Boats in the Roche Harbor marina range widely, from 143-foot "After Eight" which we saw our first day out of Gig Harbor and posted on this blog a few days ago. We talked to one of its' 8 crew who said they'd been there for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, then came here. On the other end of the spectrum is the beautiful 30-foot wooden yawl pictured above. And everything in between.

Susan and Bob looking utterly miserable drinking coffee on their aft deck in the morning sun, right?

Susan looks to be having a little less fun adding water to thru the transom deck fill while Bob looks on.

We all enjoyed walking the docks to look at boats, and love this photo of our "sister ships" below, Next To Me and Allure sitting happily side by side.

We enjoyed a late dinner at Madrona Grill at an outside table on the deck, where we enjoyed the sunset, the lowering of the flags, and playing "Taps". Life is good!

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