Saturday, September 12, 2009
Today we headed down to the harbor with friends Fred and Peggy and pointed the bow of the Key of Sea towards Anacortes, Washington, a quaint community on the water's edge out on Fidalgo Island. I've been to Anacortes many times over the years and even watched as other boat owners came and out through the breakwater at the marina there. As soon ago as this summer I spent 3 days at an adjacent education services building overlooking the breakwater. I ate my lunch everyday while wondering if I'd ever get my own boat.
Today we headed out of Squalicum harbor about 9:30 am and turned due south winding our way through and between islands and green and red buoys marking the deep water and channels along the way. We crossed the long reach of Bellingham Bay in the usual hour it takes us at 7 knots. At the southern edge of the bay is Eliza Island, a small privately owned patch of sand, rock and pine trees owned by a few residents who have built a variety of summer homes, even an air strip. Keeping Eliza well to our starboard, we crossed the southern reach of Rosario Strait, past Vendovi Island on our starboard and Samish Island on the port. We zigged and zagged between buoys in a long lazy "S" on into Padilla Bay.
Ahead and to our starboard was Guemes Island, our last major obstacle before Anacortes. Just before turning east around the southern most tip of Guemes, we threaded between tiny Saddleback and Huckleberry Islands. Turning southeast and crossing Padilla Bay we also crossed the western opening of the Guemes Channel before rounding Cap Sante Point and entering the channel leading into Cap Sante Boat Haven Marina at Anacortes. I had called before leaving Bellingham to inquire about a guest slip. This was a first for us. A friendly lady at the marina office assigned me to slip D4 right at the front of the marina near the gangway and in amongst much large craft in our 55 foot slip. I was able to taxi up the broad waterway to my guest berth easily and just as easily turn into the dock. Our 40 foot overall length looked dwarfed by the dock space and the other boats around us.
We closed everything up and headed for town. We had earlier found out that the weekly Farmer's Market would be going on so we walked the couple of blocks over to the market where we sampled cheeses and fudge and wandered through the colorful booths. We noticed a sign on the corner indicating Croatian food another block away. All being foodies we were instantly taken in by that prospect. An easy block away down shady "R" street to the Croatian Cultural Center the four of us sat in a lovely courtyard and ate a lunch of Kobasice, a pork and garlic smoked sausage Croatian sandwich topped with a sweet onion sauce. We also shared a Cevapi another torpedo-style sandwich stuffed with sausages and grilled onions and veggies. To quench our thirst in the 80 degree summer day we also ordered a round of delicious Strawberry Lemonades.
On the walk back to the boat and our 2 and a half hour cruise home we stopped at the W T Preston Sternwheel Snagboat and museum which was open to the public free today. It was a fascinating look into the past and a beautifully maintained ship.
We cast off and moved out through the harbor entrance about 2 pm headed for home, a nearly identical voyage only in reverse. We arrived back in Bellingham around 4:30 pm exhausted but very happy with our navigation skills and the great adventure we'd had.
at 8:05 PM