We are completely recovered from our grueling trip up the coast and happy to say we are really enjoying the beautiful weather and calm seas of the Northwest. Point Roberts Marina is the little peninsula that the Americans and Canadians forgot about when they drew the boundary line. PR hangs down about a mile and a half into Boundary Bay, and has few permanent residents. Both countries think the other can have it but until they give it away. We have to go through customs just to get to the grocery store. I think it is mostly a jumping off spot to the water for folks from BC. There are 1,020 slips here, nicely maintained and although heavy on the sailing, there are quite a few power boats the size of "Hapgood". We have taken the last few weeks to follow up on some problems that cropped up, namely a non-functioning water maker, a partially-functioning heating system, and stabilizers that work but needed adjusting. Before attending to these matters we spent a few days in the San Juan Islands. We were rewarded one day by a two-hour show from the resident pod of Orca whales. We had decided to go around San Juan Island just for fun and maybe see whales. Well they were everywhere, and moving in the same direction that we were. Approximately 75, adults and babies, male and female, feeding, traveling; it was really thrilling. I took a few pictures but the visions are mostly in our memory.
After two days anchored in Echo Bay on Sucia Island, and one night in Deer Harbor, we crossed to Bellingham where the stabilizer and heater techs corrected our problems. On the way to Seattle for the watermaker repairs we went to LaConner via the Swinomish Channel. The Channel is very narrow and shallow with a very fast current but it is well-marked and we docked at the city dock. We were surrounded by Canadian sailors heading to Whidbey Island for a week of racing. One guy helped us redo our spring lines because he was nervous that we were not securely tied. He was probably right and we appreciated his help. LaConner has a "restored" main street with many shops and dining establishments. We chose rather to buy 2 live Dungeness crabs from some young boys working their father's fish stand, and take them back to the boat. Needless to say we had crab all over the table and ourselves but it was worth it.
On the way to Seattle we were entertained briefly by a pair of Dahl's porpoises, which look similar to orcas; black and white but are quite a bit smaller. They played in our bow wake for about ten minutes, riding the wake, crossing under the bow and dropping back and then tearing at full speed to get back on the bow wake. We thought they were showing off because they seemed to turn on their sides to see if we were watching. We of course clapped and cheered their efforts. We stayed at Elliot Bay Marina, which is at the base of Magnolia Bluff. The city was gleaming and Rainier was looming in the distance. I am always startled at how large and dominating Rainier is. It was glowing pink in the sunset. It is no wonder the Native Americans worshipped the spirit of the mountain. With the watermaker repaired we once again headed north to Point Roberts. Mt. Baker was clear in the distance along with the other neighboring peaks, which Richard promptly named "The Bakerettes". The water was glassy and reflected the bright sunshine. It really felt like coming home. Our slip neighbors even welcomed us back and caught our lines for us. Next week we will begin the second half of what we set out to do; work our way up "The Sunshine Coast" of British Columbia to Desolation Sound. We will also revisit some of the Gulf Islands on the east side of Vancouver Island. We are looking forward to getting away from marinas and finding some beautiful anchorages (The tides here range from 6-15 feet. This makes for a real challenge when anchoring) and some exciting passages, and meeting up with some of the other Nordhavns in the area. Til next time...