Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012 - Kiket, Griffin Bay, Fisherman Bay, Spencer Spit

Finally, a 3-day weekend!  The weather forecast is decent for the first part of the weekend, with the exception of some strong winds on Saturday night.  It is supposed to cloud up and perhaps rain on Sunday and Monday. We are going anyway!  3-day weekend don't grow on trees you know  :-)

Friday afternoon after the kids got home from school we walked down to the boat to start our weekend.  How nice to live SO close to our boat that we can leave the car at home and just walk down.  We have to wait a little while for the tide to come back up though, as there are some dangerously shallow spots between our slip and Kiket Island.  Another foot of water is all we need.

We motor over to Kiket Island for Friday night.  This has become one of our most frequented anchorages.  We typically have it all to ourselves.  Not so on Friday night.  There are actually two other boats here.  That is quite rare.  The kids worked on homemade pizza for dinner.  Yum!

Working on pizza.  We bake it in our convection microwave oven.  Nice!
After dark I go to check on the anchor light (something I always check).  Much to my surprise it's very dim and not going to do the job of  illuminating our position.  So, I have to fix it.  But how?  It's up on a mast and I don't have a ladder.  I guess I'm just going to have to climb it!  I replace the LED light bulb with a regular bulb and we are good for the rest of the trip!

Up I go.  In the dark.  

Ohm-meter in hand.  We need a working anchor light.
The problem is the LED light bulb.  Half of the LED's are burned out.
Saturday morning I wake up early after a pretty calm evening at anchor.  I pull the anchor at about 6:30AM and start motoring while Kathy and the kids sleep.  I want to get through Deception Pass at slack tide (7:15AM).  I'm not the only one. The Krogen 42' that was anchored close to us is right behind us all the way through Deception Pass.  I really enjoy these early mornings underway with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, a favorite old album playing on the stereo, and spectacular scenery in every direction.

Deception Pass behind us.  The weekend ahead of us.
This weekend we are testing WiFi and cell modem coverage around Lopez Island so we can perhaps have some internet access this summer while boating.  On our way over to Griffin Bay we swing by Watmough Bay and find coverage isn't too great.  Same story at Aleck Bay.  The coverage at Griffin is almost non-existent.  Hmmm.  This isn't promising.

We anchor in Griffin Bay, after some trouble getting the anchor to grab.  It seems that if you go too close to shore the bottom is mostly gravel and the anchor just skips through the rocks without ever getting a good bite.  We move out a bit and find solid holding.  We back down on it HARD.  The anchor is set, and set well.  That's good with the expected blow coming our way Saturday night.  We dinghy to shore and start hiking.  This time we are headed for Mt. Finlayson.  We've wanted to hike here for a few years now but never have.  It's a nice little hike, with one section that is quite steep.  The view is spectacular.  We stop and have a snack and soak in the fantastic scenery.  We live in such a beautiful part of the world....

This would be a creepy tree on a moonlit night!
Fantastic moss covered forest.  

What a nice calm day.  The Cattle Point lighthouse is just over  Steve's shoulder.

What's that in Kevin's ear?!

Hiking around Mt. Finlayson
Nice new map at the trailhead showing the trails around Griffin Bay

We stop at the sand dunes on our hike back toward the boat.  We have enjoyed these dunes many times before.  It  seems that the vegetation is slowly overtaking the sand and someday they are going to be gone.  But for now, we take advantage of their presence by playing here several times a year.

AIR TIME!  Playing in the sand dunes at Griffin Bay

Kevin goes airborne off a dune.

A small Fox, and several bunnies near the sand dunes at Griffin Bay.

Saturday night the wind does kick up just as forecast.  And it blows HARD.  We don't have a good weather station on board Adagio, but I do have a primitive hand-held wind meter.  It is showing constant 25-30 knots winds with gusts higher.  That is about what was forecast.  The wind is howling all night and I don't sleep much as a result.  But the boat holds fine and we have no problems.

Sunday after breakfast we motor over to Fisherman Bay.  Virtually no cell access here, but great WiFi opportunities.  We play on our favorite sand beach for hours.  It is actually a very nice day.  No rain whatsoever and the sun is quite warm.  So warm that I manage to take my patented "beach nap" in the warm sand.  Ah, life is good.....

Snack time.  Cindy enjoys a "Ding Dong" on the sand beach.

Baseball on the beach.  Cindy pitching.  Kevin connects for a "homer".

Dad just want's his beach nap.  "Come on guy's, I'm sleeping here!"
Kevin takes us back to 'Adagio' after several fun hours on the beach.
We head to the "Islander" for dinner.  It's a nice break from the usual boat "camping".  On our way there we attempt to drag race with the "Evening Magazine" float plane.  For the first hundred yards we are winning.  But, with 750 horsepower, we are no match for the de Havilland DHC-3 Otter  float plane and it leaves us far behind.  In fact it's probably back in Seattle before we sink our teeth into our delicious "Islander" dinners.

Ready to race.  I guess a 12' dinghy is no match for a 750hp plane!
It's a very calm evening in Fisherman Bay.  Monday morning brings some rain showers.  But after an hour or two of drizzle the sky opens enough to let some sun rays poke through.  Monday is a pretty nice day, much to our surprise.  We play lots of games in the morning.  We pull our anchor and start motoring back home.  There are a lot of boats on the water today.  Wow, we aren't used to this.  We stop at Spencer Spit for lunch and drop the anchor.  There are only 3 buoys left on the north side, and apparently none on the south side.  Quite a change from a few years ago when there were at least 20 buoys to choose from.  Anchoring is just about the only option now.

After lunch we pull the anchor and head back home.  The trip seems to take forever.  It's somewhat frustrating at times to be limited to 7.5-8.0 knots.  But the fuel savings can't be denied, and we certainly spend more time enjoying the journey and the fantastic scenery.

This was a great trip out.  The boat performed flawlessly.  We spent many fun hours playing games together.  The beaches were excellent.  The weather was much better than expected.  Any complaints?  Only one; 3 days wasn't long enough!

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 13, 2012 - Hope Island

Yes another trip to Hope Island.  Kevin has baseball games on Saturday afternoon which would normally wipe out almost any chance of going boating.  But, Kathy figures out that if we left a car close to Hope Island (on the mainland) we could get out on the boat and then dinghy her and Kevin into shore when it was time for baseball and they could drive over for the game then come back.  Weekend saved!

The weather was spectacular this weekend with temps in the 70's.  This is the warmest it has been since last September!  I seriously think we need to move to a warmer climate :-)  But, where else would we have such excellent boating opportunities?

After the game Kathy picked up Cindy's friend Mary Lou and then also got Kevin's friend Maddoc.

Kevin and Cindy check out our new cushions.

Mary Lou and Cindy take the plunge.

Cindy and Mary Lou warming up after swimming.

Mary Lou goes tubing.

She went for a long time.  Maybe 20 minutes.

Cindy's turn for a spin.

Kevin and Maddoc playing on the driftwood.

Kevin and Maddoc built a fort out of driftwood.

Maddoc and Keving in the dinghy, headed back to the boat.

All four kids in the dinghy.

Mom opens Mother's Day cards.

Hiking around Hope Island.  BEAUTIFUL weather!

Cindy and Kevin start a new beach fort.

two kayaks stranded by a LOW tide.  They had to hike 1/2 mile through the
gunky mud to get to the water.  Ooops.  Watch those tide tables!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 6, 2012 - Hope Island

Just an overnight-er, but it was great to get out and spend some time on the water.