July 4th is my Dad’s birthday. We usually spend the week on Cape Cod but this year we changed it up a bit. My parents came out for a visit this past April and we took Conundrum to Gig Harbor for a few days. Happy Birthday Dad! We miss you guys!
This year without our usual east coast trip scheduled, Conundrum joined friends B Knotty, Epic, and L’Attitude up in Friday Harbor for a good ol’ 4th of July celebration! We embarked on our trip Thursday morning, 6/30, for an overnight stay in Port Townsend, WA. Port Townsend is an amazing little town with great shopping, food, and of course…coffee! B Knotty arrived a few hours behind us after trying their luck crabbing and we had a nice quiet evening before venturing across the Straight of Juan de Fuca.
We were greeted Friday morning with fog. Visibility was less than 1/4 mile and the sailing vessel that was clearly visible just outside Point Hudson Marina the day before was all but invisible from Conundrum. We left a few hours later than anticipated but confident in our instruments. Thank you RADAR and AIS!
As we hit the fog we were hailed by the USCG. A submarine was in the area and we were asked to stay away. A little zig-zagging about and we were back on course to Friday Harbor! Seas were a bit larger than predicted and we did have to do some tacking back an forth to keep to head or following seas to limit the rolling in the NNW seas and winds. Our friends in L’Attitude were meeting us along the way and were able to meet us right about the buoy in the TLS area in the middle of the straight.
Great job by Captain John! The fog lifted as we made our way into San Juan channel and by the time we tied up at Friday Harbor it was a beautiful, sunny, PNW day!
Friday Harbor was simply amazing. It was our first time visiting and we now know what the fuss is all about! Great town, good food, music, and very friendly. We took several dinghy rides around the harbor and around Brown Island. We thought we were about to come up on porpoises or even a whale in the marine preserve but they turned out to be two deer taking an afternoon swim! The fireworks on the night of the 4th were amazing although Brit, our boat dog, was not amused. After Friday Harbor’s show concluded we turned to the south and were treated with a second show over at Lopez Island.
Wednesday we left Friday Harbor nice and early to hit slack and the flood tides back to Seattle. We ended up taking a nice trip back to Elliott Bay Marina, made very good time, and were treated with sighting several orcas off Shilshole as we made our way south!