M/V Cloud Nine

M/V Cloud Nine
A 1973 North Sea 38' pilothouse Trawler, made in Osaka, Japan by Kita Trading Co. Ltd.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Our First Long Cruise

Getting off on our first long cruise got delayed due to small craft warnings and gale force winds, but it allowed us to continue working on the boat, fine tuning some things before heading out.  This included getting our Honda 8hp dinghy engine purring like a kitten, and we have to thank our moorage neighbor, Cliff, for his help.  A car mechanic during the week, we really appreciated him taking time out on his Saturday to help us.

So, with the gale force winds settling down and wave heights expected between 1-3 ft., we got up early Sunday morning to cross the Strait of Juan DeFuca.  Now, this is my first time across and so I have no experience to fall back on, but in my “rookie” opinion, it was pretty rough going across.  It may have been the effects of the gale force winds still evident from the night before, and maybe we should have waited a few extra hours, but off we went.  We had to zigzag our course in order to take the swells at our quarter instead of our beam, and then we’d head east for awhile in following seas.  At 7 knots, 4 hours later, we were in calmer waters in Rosario Strait, southeast of Lopez Island, with Deception Pass Bridge in the distance.  
We wanted to go through Deception Pass at slack tide, so we pulled into Bowman Bay to rest for a few hours. 

Bowman Bay is just north of Deception Pass, and was quite a treat.  A Washington State Park floating dock was available, along with four mooring buoys.  Also in the Bay was a dinghy-only dock, beach, boat ramp, and lots of hiking trails.  We tied up to the floating dock, made some lunch, grabbed a nap, and watched the eagles in the nearby trees.   One swooped down and caught a fish and we watched it tear it apart and then take it back to the nest.   

Hearing a splash under the dock near our boat, we knew we had a critter joining us.  A few minutes later, an otter jumped onto the dock and joined us.  Of course, no camera nearby, so just the memory and no photo to show you.  Lots of kayakers around the area.  The Bay was a beautiful place to rest for a few hours, but is exposed to northwest winds and we heard from others that at night the floating dock can be bouncy due to the wakes of large ships passing through Rosario Strait.  We hope to return for another visit in the future.

Slack tide time brought us through the Deception Pass and a flotilla of fishing boats with no noticeable passage through the mass.  However, being a 38-foot boat, they made openings for us to pass through, all of them shaking their heads “No,” when we asked if they had caught anything.

A ketch coming out as we went under the bridge.

Cloud Nine at the Dock of Deception Pass Marina
Through the Pass and around Ben Ure Island brought us into Cornet Bay and the Deception Pass Marina, a small marina with fuel dock and grocery store.  Very kind folks met us at the fuel dock, took our lines, and helped get us tied up.  Fishermen were at the top of the ramp cleaning their catch of Ling Cod.  There is a State Park in the area, with showers and docks just down the road one direction, and campground about a mile down the road the other direction. 

North Whidbey Island RV Park was just a mile down the road, where friends Nick & Mary and Tom & Carolyn were awaiting our arrival.  Dinner in Anacortes at the Rock Fish Grill with all, and we finished the night drinking wine on the Porter’s deck with a fire in their portable fire pit.  Good to have friends.

Tuesday morning we were treated to the extended family of Canadian Geese floating by as well as blue skies and warm sun. 

Plans are to head to LaConner and then Bellingham for a few days, visiting with more friends.  After that?  Wherever we want to go!!!

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