This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cruise to Anacortes and the Waterfront Festival

We left Squalicum Harbor about 16:30 hours this past Friday and headed southwest across Bellingham Bay towards Eliza Island, then south across Samish Bay and into Padilla Bay finally cutting across the Guemes Channel and tucking into the Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes. Total trip time about 4 hours 30 minutes.

The sea was flat calm and the skies clear and cloudless on the outward bound leg of the trip. Right up until we made port. Then the wind came up and was blowing 10-15 knots as I tried to go into our assigne
d slip. Unfortunately, our slip was already occupied and we needed to make a sudden turn in mid waterway.

I made a perfect turn and headed
back up the waterway to more open water where I could phone into the port and find out what was going on. As the wind was tossing us around pretty badly I decided to tuck into an empty slip. It was a 60 foot slip so what could go wrong? Plenty!

I made my decision too late and angled into the slip incorrectly considering the wind speed and direction and so I nearly went in sideways which would have worked fine considerin
g it was a 60 foot slip. However, some good samaritans happened by and we tossed the line to them. The stern was tied off PDQ and the bow line was tossed over and another helpful soul pulled our bow into the dock. Whew!

Next order of business was to call port security and ask what we should do since our assigned slip was occupied? We asked if we could just stay where we were and were granted permission so we began settling in.

First order of business was dinner. We had brought along some hamburger with the idea of trying out our still unused BBQ. But setting it up and prepping it was more than we had the energy to do after our landing so we opted to cook our burgers on the stove top in the galley. Hot water was put on for some tea and I got the burge
rs ready in no time. Dinner included a couple of salads we had made at home, some fresh pineapple and Leslie also had a glass of wine from our modest shipboard wine cellar.

About 21:00 hours we had friends Jason and Carole Leander over for some appies and wine. We ga
ve them the tour of the Key of Sea and had a great visit. They left about 23:00 and after cleaning up we headed off to bed. Slept well considering that the mattress in the master stateroom is really pretty shot. We need to do something about that!

Woke about 09:00, had oatmeal and coffee along with some fruit for breakfast. Then we headed up the dock toward the port offices to pay our fees. Surprise! Due to the waterfront festival going on we only had to pay $4 for the shore power. No moorage fee! Cool! We walked through the festivities which really amounted mostly to food vendors of the type you'd find at a county fair, artisans selling their jewelry, candles, clothing and what not. Then we walked on towards the farmer's market a couple of blocks down where there was more of the same along with a few other vendors selling homemade baked goods and farmers selling their cheeses and meats.

We decided to walk one more block to the Croatian cultural center where we split a sandwich of Croatian sausages and sampled one of their desserts.

Next up was a walk down Commercial Street, the main shopping street downtown Anacortes. My main destination was Marine Supply and Hardware. Anyone who loves boats needs to visit this store. It is a real live chandlery! The oldest on the Pacific coast. If they don't
have it, or can't get it, you don't need it. Every time I walk through that store I just get this overwhelming thought that I need to buy something. I don't necessarily know what, but something! You ca smell the age of the place, the oiled hardwood floors, the items on the shelves that look like thwey have been waiting for a home forever.

We walked south on down Commercial back toward the festival and after a few blocks turned east toward the port and back towards our boat. A final walk through the festival didn't turn up anything new except the Zoomba dancers at the entertainment stage which was entirely too, well, energetic! We walked on around them and I headed back to the boat to begin preparations for our departure. Leslie decided to head over to Q dock to see a friend's boat and take some photos.

By the time she returned we were set to go. It was about 14:00 and the time we had scheduled for our trip back home. That departure time gave us the best currents and additionally the weather had cleared a bit since the rain we had received all night and into the early morning hours.

Our trip back was a bit bumpy in places but nothing big. One foot swells, a few white caps and the usual craziness of Bellingham Bay. We tucked into our slip without incident despite the 10 knot winds. This time I made a picture perfect landing!