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)

After a very hectic week that involved getting ready for a wedding in the San Juan Islands, pickindougg upbrady  fett2out-of-town guests, preparing the boat, and a hundred more things, a good sail with the groomsmen in my wedding was what Captain 'groom-zilla' really needed. The day before leaving, Apropos was scheduled for her yearly maintanence and afterwards we took her through the locks and moored at Shilshole marina so we could get an early start in the morning. The crew was ready to gootter aftershurt mugCaptain gave a quick speech and handed out custom made t-shirts and mugs. The wind was light so we motored most of the way until we were about an hour from Port Townsend. We sailed the rest of the way in 10 knot winds. We found moorage at Port Townsend Marina, then walked to a fish-n-chips restaurant nearby. Doug bought a new US flag for Apropos on the way back.  When we reached the dock, there were some friendly sea otters on the dock who let us get pretty close before jumping in the water. 

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 lightbrady2 all the way crewacross the Strait of Juan de Fuca so we kept the engine on. Brady 'cabin boy' used the binoculars to spot some dolphins socksfettand 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

chapelSpent time with Fett 'greenhorn' in the days leading up to the wedding. He was captainfett2 '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 cockpit 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)

This begins our honeymoon cruise to the Canadian Gulf Islands. After filling the water tanks and 50crabgallons of diesel fuel, we left Roche Harbor and headed north. Had acrab2 steady 15-20 knot southerly that pushed us up Haro Strait on 2 long tacks. Pulled into Bedwell Harbor on S. Pender Island to clear customs. It was pretty simple--there was a phone on the dock that connected us to a customs agent who asked a few questions. After clearing customs we anchored in 45' of water at Poets Cove. Karen cooked up two Dungeness crabs that we bought at the Roche Harbor dock. 

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 caughtsaltspring the free bus to the Hummingbird Pub where we had drinks and dinner. The bus-ride itself was fun--it was an old busbus 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)

Pulled up 1 redrock crab in the morning, then up-anchored and headed north. A southerly wind allowedladysmith2logs us to fly the spinnaker most of the way to Salt Spring Island. From there we went on a beamladysmith2 reach and sailed towards Vancouver Island at about 6 knots with the boat healed nicely. We sailed most of the long inlet to Ladysmith Harbor, then dropped the sails and found moorage at Page Point Marina. The inn was closed because the owner was off sailing in the Caribbean, but the dockworkers were nice and the showers were hot. Cooked steak for dinner and also cooked the crab for eating the next day. We enjoyed walking the docks looking at other sailboats. 

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' wasbutchart9 having a blast. butchart 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 tmotor 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. butchart2butchart3butchart4butchart5 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 butchart6butchart7the sunkenbutchart8butchart10 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)

Up-anchored in the morning and motored out of Todd Inlet. There wasn't much wind in Brentwood Bay so we motored north then east around Saltspring Island. Got a short spinnaker sailing in as we neared reading the long inlet to Ganges Harbor. Dropped the hook near town and kayaked in. This was our first stop that had any sort of town since we left Roche Harbor 5 days ago so we walked around awhile. Stopped at the grocery store, ice cream and chocolate shop, and then listened to a band playing at an outdoor cafe. It started getting cold and very windy, so we paddled back to Apropos and cooked steaks for dinner. The wind blew a steady 20-30 knots until about 1am making it hard to sleep in the v-berth. When anchoring we always try to put out more scope than necessary and with our 3/8" chain and 60 lb CQR anchor, we have never had any problems dragging.

Day 11: Ganges Harbor to Deer Harbor on Orcas Island (30nm)

Woke up early and motored all the way to Haro Strait. Captain 'bacon & eggs' cooked his signature breakfast while Karen took the helm. The entry point into the US is at Roche Harbor where we had to clear customs. We had a little surprise when the immigration officer told us Karen was technically baconkaren entering illegally due to her greencard status in addition to the fact that her marital status had changed. They didn't care when Karen told them a lawyer said it would be fine. After a few tense minutes of waiting, they granted us entry, congratulated us on the marriage, and even let us keep the lamb chops in the freezer, telling us to eat them soon (they were purchased in the US originally, but according to the rule, were not allowed to be brought back across the border from Canada). Next we motored to Orcas Island and moored at the Deer Harbor marina. On our previous two trips to the San Juan Islands, we never made it to Deer Harbor, but had always wanted to since they have an outdoor pool to relax in. We had a free night moorage certificate we got at the Puget Sound Cruising Club anual auction. After tying up, we headed to the pool for a dip and relaxed in the sun. We read books and watched the sun go down, then went back to the boat and Karen cooked up the lamb chops and corn while Captain cleaned the boat. 

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 chartkaren 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 sleepcoastguard 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 sunsetmotored 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)

In the morning we up-anchored and motored to the guest dock at the marina so we could go ashore and crepesget coffee and breakfast. We ate crepes at the french crepe shop next to the ferry ramp then got underway for the short trip across Puget Sound to Shilshole. We were excited to get home to see our 1-1/2 year old daughter who returned from the San Juans with grandparents after the wedding. Pulled up the sails for a beam reach across the sound with northerly winds of 10 knots. Went through the locks, under the drawbridges, and reached Lake Union by 3pm.

Trip Statistics
Ports visited 10
Nautical miles 322
Engine hours 50
Rocks hit 0