The Sailing Vessel Apropos
Wedding/Gulf Islands Trip
June 26-July 7, 2008
Destination: Canadian Gulf Islands
Crew f0r Seattle to Roche Harbor: Jim, Jim (dad & first mate), Brady (son & cabin boy), Doug (deck swab), Fett (greenhorn)
Crew f0r Roche Harbor to Gulf Islands: Jim (groom), Karen (bride)
Day 1: Lake Union to Port Townsend (33nm)
Day 2: Port Townsend to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island (50nm)
Left the dock around 9am and motored away from Port Townsend. The wind was light all the way across the Strait of Juan de Fuca so we kept the engine on. Brady 'cabin boy' used the binoculars to spot some dolphins and sea otters during the crossing. Fett 'greenhorn' was a good sport and wore the red/green nautical socks proudly (they are normally reserved for whoever does something stupid on the boat). He's been my friend since gradeschool and flew out from Pennsylvania. Doug 'deck swab' forgot the power of the sun and turned into a lobster along the way. Dad 'first mate' kept the sailors well fed with his Dagwood sandwiches. And Captain 'off duty' was able to relax and not have to work a winch or tend a line! The wind finally picked up after we crossed the strait and neared the south end of San Juan Island. A northerly made for some good tacking all the way up Haro Strait to Roche Harbor. Some friends who happened to be at the lighthouse near the southern end of San Juan Island saw Apropos tacking up the channel and took some great photos. They were on the island for the wedding and didn't realize it was us at the time. Thanks to Belinda and Darren for taking these photos.
Day 2: Port Townsend to Roche Harbor
Spent time with Fett 'greenhorn' in the days leading up to the wedding. He was captain 'grooms' right-hand man for all the little things needed to get done for the wedding. Here he is crawling out of the aft berth which he occupied for the next several days. He and Doug spent an hour in the hot sun polishing the brass binnacle for wedding pictures. They did a great job and are welcome to polish the brass anytime! The wedding took place in the old white chapel overlooking the marina. It was built in 1892 and was renovated over the years. The photographer took these pictures of the bride and groom with Apropos.
The wedding day was one of the hottest day of the year with temperatures in the 90's. Here are a few pictures from the wedding.
After the wedding day, some people spent another day on the island so we took them out for a sail. We sailed north in Haro Strait along Stuart Island to the Turn Point Lighthouse, then spotted whales on the way back. The weather was sunny and warm. Guests included Sue, Ian, Nancy, and Sophie from Australia, and Kit from Seattle.
Day 6: Roche Harbor to Bedwell Harbor on S. Pender Island (13nm)
Day 7: Bedwell Harbor to Montague Harbor on Galiano Island (16nm)
There was not much wind so we motored all the way to Galiano Island and anchored in Montague Harbor. Karen sat in the chair hoisted up by the main halyard reading and relaxing while Captain 'spit-shine' cleaned the boat and polished the brass portholes. In the evening we kayaked ashore and caught the free bus to the Hummingbird Pub where we had drinks and dinner. The bus-ride itself was fun--it was an old bus filled with mostly boaters. The driver played loud music while driving on a curvy, hilly, narrow road. The food was also very good at the Hummingbird Pub. As we kayaked back to the boat, we stopped and talked with an old salt who had just come down from Alaska on an old rickety trawler that barely looked seaworthy. He had lots of good stories to tell. A thunderstorm struck around midnight, right after dropping the crab pot overboard.
Day 8: Montague Harbor to Ladysmith Harbor on Vancouver Island (25nm)
Day 9: Ladysmith Harbor to Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island (36nm)
Another wonderful sailing day covering 36 nautical miles. We headed south along Vancouver Island. The channel narrows with high cliffs on both sides creating strong funneling winds. We motored thru the channel with favorable current and opposing wind, so it was quite choppy. The channel finally opened up to a big bay where we raised the sails and had a terrific sail to Brentwood Bay with the wind blowing 20 knots. The boat was heeling at 20 degrees and Captain 'this is great' was having a blast. The only bad thing was having to lower the sails in that much wind. We thought maybe it would calm down near Todd inlet but no such luck, so we pointed into the wind and dropped the main fast, not worrying about flaking it on the boom. It's always a big adrenalin rush dropping sails in 20 knot winds and Captain 'this is not fun' sometimes gets a bit grumpy! We found anchorage near the end of Todd Inlet where the wind died down to about 5 knots. The anchorage was very crowded so we had to motor to nearly the end of the inlet crossing shallow spots of 10 feet leaving little water between the keel and bottom. The reason we came to Todd Inlet was because it has a back-door entrance to Butchart Gardens. We hopped in the kayak and paddled about a half mile to a dock next to the garden entrance. We enjoyed the gardens and live music for the next few hours. In the evening they turn on the colored lights in the dramatic sunken garden. The story of the sunken garden is the wife of a wealthy quarry owner wanted to turn the barren landscape of a mined limestone quarry into something beautiful. Tons of topsoil were hauled in by horse and cart to line the quarry. With a lot of work over many years she transformed it into a spectacular sunken garden. We left Butchart Gardens at 9pm and paddled back to Apropos in the dark. Cooked lamb chops on the bbq and ate dinner at 11pm.
Day 10: Brentwood Bay to Ganges Harbor on Saltspring Island (25nm)
Day 11: Ganges Harbor to Deer Harbor on Orcas Island (30nm)
Day 12: Deer Harbor to Kingston (53nm)
Got an early start on what would be the longest sail of the trip--53 nautical miles in one day. We lucked out with a nice northerly wind most of the way. Crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca was for the most part hands free sailing as we set the sails and tied the wheel, making minor adjustments now and then. We took turns keeping a lookout while the other relaxed or slept. We entered Admiralty Inlet with favorable currents which added a few knots to our speed. We decided to keep sailing as far south as we could so our last day would be short. Spotted lots of interesting vessels in the busy Puget Sound, including this coast guard training ship. Finally dropped the sails at sunset and motored into the dusk, reaching Kingston at 10pm. We dropped the anchor in the bay and were rocking all night as the ferries came and went.
Day 13: Kingston to Lake Union (13nm)