The Sailing Vessel Apropos

San Juan Islands Trip

August 8-16, 2009

Destination: San Juan Islands

Crew: Jim, Karen, Jacintha, Brady, Amanda

Day 1: Shilshole Marina to Cypress Island (54nm)jc_dad

Took the boat through the locks on Friday evening so we could get an early start on Saturday.  Departed at hight tide (7:30am) with positive current all the way up to Admiralty Inlet.  Reached Port Townsend at noon so decided to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca with light southerly winds.  Sailed, motor-sailed, then motored to arrive at Cypress Island at 7pm.  After tying to a mooring ball, went ashore and hiked around.  Jacintha had fun running to keep up with Brady and Amanda. 

Day 2: Cypress Island to Sucia Island (19nm)

Not much wind so we ended up motoring most of the way to Sucia Island. Took thejc_cockpit dinghy jc_momashore and explored the island.  Brady discovered how cold the water was when he tried jumping in the dinghy from the boat.  He climbed out of the water in no time and warmed up with a solar shower on deck.  Hoisted the swing chair on the main halyard and enjoyed relaxing in the sun.   Had grilled chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner, then played Pass the Pigs where Karen won both games.  

Day 3: Sucia Island to Lopez Island (21nm)

Woke up to a wet and rainy day.  After a pancake breakfast, we headed off towards Lopez Island via Presidents Channel, where we encountered 25 knot winds with a steady rain! Cap'n 'a little rain, a little wind' was lonely at the helm as everyone else was warm and dry down below.  It finally cleared up as we neared Lopez Island about 6 hours later.  Decided to go into Fisherman's Bay which was shallow and tricky due to a sandbar at the entrance. Walked a mile to a "town" with a few restaurants and galleries and had a nice dinner.  Had to hurry back since Jacintha's diaper was about ready to explode and we had no spares.   

Day 4: Lopez Island to Jones Island (10nm)

Short 10nm sail to Jones Island in a nice southerly (downwind) breeze.  The small inlet on the north side of the island was crowded, so we dropped anchor and stern tied to shore to limit our swing.  Took the dinghy to shore and had a nice hike around the island and were jacinthaable to get clturnpointose-up to some deer.   karenjc_dadThis is one of our favorite islands because of the hiking and quiet anchorage.  Back at the boat we had tacos for dinner, then took  pillows and blankets up on deck and enjoyed some stargazing in the clear night.  The only problem with being stern-tied to shore, is that in the middle of the night as the tide was falling, current going out of the bay was perpendicular to our full keel which created a lot of tension on our 1" diameter stern line.  It became like a tightly strung guitar string and Cap'n 'don't worry' was even worried as it was making higher pitched stretching sounds.  If it broke, the current would swing the boat 90 degrees with a lot of momentum, possibly dragging our anchor into deeper water and out of the bay.  Luckily it held.  Next time we stern tie we'll make sure we consider tide-related currents.     

Day 5: Jones Island to Stuart Island (21nm)

shipHad another great sail under sunny skies.  Decided to go around Stuart Island jonesrochecounterclockwise before going into Reid Harbor and had good wind sailing down Haro Strait.  Didn't spot any whales this time, just lots of dolphins.  Anchored in Reid Harbor, then took the inflatable to shore for a hike to the old schoolhouse, something we do every time we are on Stuart Island. The kids had fun with the rope swing along the way.  We checked out the library at the old schoolhouse.  Brady carried Jacintha when she was too tired to walk on the way back to the boat.  Ate ribs and corn for dinner.  Later Cap'n 'Deadliest Catch'  took his single crab trap in the dinghy and motored away from all the boats to drop the trap in about 50' of water for an overnight soak. 

Day 6: Stuart Island to San Juan Island (4nm)

Got up early and dinghied to the spot where the crab pot was dropped the night before.  Pulled it up and had 2 large male crabs that were keepers.  Back at the boat, we up-anchored kayakand motored to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island, only 4 nm away.  Decided to tie up to the dock so we could get a good battery charge and fill the water tanks.  Ate lunch at the Limekiln Cafe, and dinner at the Madrona Grill where we ordered our favorite tradition--french dip and the fireworks bloody mary.  We had a nice hot shower at the resort, but the kids decided to shower on the boat where Amanda had a cold shower because Brady went first and used up all the hot water with a long shower.  Took the kids for a dinghy ride to drop the crab pot just outside the busy anchorage.   

Day 7: San Juan Island to Shaw Island (13nm)

Left the dock at 1pm and motored to where the crajc_cockpitb pot was pjc_sleeplaced the night bjc_bathefore.  With jc_dadKaren at the helm, we drifted slowly towards the float and used the boat hook to snag the float and pull the trap up and onto the deck--2more crabs! We motored then sailed to Blind Bay at the north end of Shaw Island under sunny skies and light winds.  We hooked a mooring buoy and took the dinghy over to Blind Island, which is a small (about 1 acre) rocky island with tall grass, blackberries, and a single crab apple tree on the top.  The kids had a blast running around the island playing hide and seek.  Back at the boat we had a nice crab dinner with garlic mashed potatoes.  After dinner, we dropped the crab pot in 30' of water, used the solar shower on deck, and had a relaxing evening.     

Day 8: Shaw Island to Port Ludlow (45nm)

Woke up at 6am to get an early start for the long passage down Georgia Strait, across the Strait of Juanswing de Fuca, and down Admiralty Inlet to Port Ludlow.  The crab pot had a single Red Rock Crab.  Hit turbulent water going into Juan de Fuca (aka Wanna Puka) and Jacintha jcmomdadgot seasick.  jc_dadMotored across the strait, which eventually flattened out, then put up the sails going down Admiralty Inlet under sunny skies.   Stayed on the dock at Port Ludlow and walked to a sandy beach where the kids had fun exploring.  Amanda was fascinated with a dead crab!  Back at the boat we had a spaghetti dinner and toasted marshmallows for smores for dessert.  Karen cooked the Red Rock crab for tomorrow.  Watched Kung Fu Panda before going to bed.  

Day 9: Port Ludlow to Lake Union (27nm)

spinnakerWith a short sail ahead of us, we had a relaxing morning.  Outside of Port Ludlow we hit a nice north-westerly which made for some great sailing above deck.  Below deck was a different story with the boat healed over 20 degrees!  Made good time crossing Puget Sound and reached the Ballard Locks by 4pm.  Motored the rest of the way through the canal and into Lake Union to complete a 9-day cruise with  a family of 5 aboard s/v Apropos. 


Trip Statistics
Ports visited 8
Nautical miles 227
Engine hours 43
Ratio of Sunny to Rainy Days 7:2