Change of Latitude in the Pacific Northwest

Work Day in Anacortes

14 January 2016
We have good wifi in Anacortes. We do not in Bellingham. Thus, we decided to stay an extra day here so I could get some work done. We had breakfast on the boat. I spent the day working on the online course I will be teaching next semester. My colleagues in the course were most helpful with rapid responses to issues that came up. We are pretty much done, now. Deb went to Safeway for some shopping and then picked up a bit of wire of the proper size and type to replace some wire on one of the lamps in the aft stateroom. I will work on that when we reach home port in Bellingham. I also went up to take a shower at the marina office. I’d rate the shower facilities a 3 on a scale of 5. It was a bit cold and there was not much room inside the shower area, such that clothes stood a chance of getting wet from the spray. Few clothes hooks and it cost about $1.50 in quarters for a full shower. OK but not great on my scale. We also communicated with a realtor to show us a place in Bellingham that we would like to see.

In the evening, we grilled BBQ chicken breasts. They turned out perfectly cooked. Then I worked to catch up on the blog and Deb played a few games online. I also have been using the discussion area in Trawler Forum to try to figure out the puff of white smoke that comes out periodically from our heater exhaust. It is a hard issue to figure out but we think it may be caused by a voltage drop.

The railroad bridge was open!

13 January 2016

LaConner First Nation Shelters

13 January 2016
Designed to look like a Watchman's hat, these shelters are used for gatherings of first nation people in the summer.

Back to Anacortes

13 January 2016
The weather was windy and cloudy and wet when we got up. We wondered about heading north since we had open water in Admiralty Inlet to cross. After looking at all the forecasts and getting outside to feel the wind, we decided to head out and investigate. We pulled out of the harbor and Deb pulled coiled the lines and pulled the fenders while I held the boat in neutral so as not to cross the ferry that was at the terminal next to us. We both were surprised at how good the conditions looked. Since the ferry was still at the terminal, we decided to cross his path and moved smartly past him.

The trip over to Whidbey Island was an easy one and we also had an easy time crossing the paths of the Mukilteo ferries. Then we headed up Saratoga Passage finding lots of logs. There were a lot of logs in the water all day. There had been a high tide. Debbie was kind enough to take over and I took a great 2-hour nap. Boy, that felt good! We had some lunch and some cookies for a snack. Boy, did that taste good! Then, we settled in for the rest of a 60 mile journey to Anacortes.

At the entrance to the Swinomish Channel, we ran into low water. It was low tide and this area is particularly subject to shoaling. They dredge it regularly. We found as little as 3 feet below our keel before things got a little deeper. We made it through without disturbing our new bottom....paint that is.

We ran against the current past LaConner and past an open railroad bridge (hooray!) as the sun was dropping. We arrived at Anacortes just before the Marina office closed. We tied up and walked down to the Mexican restaurant that we enjoyed on our earlier visit, El Jinente. Then, stuffed to the gills, we walked back to the boat and went to bed.

Langley

12 January 2016

To Langley on Whidbey Island with Lois

12 January 2016
We had a nice breakfast and Deb walked up to meet Lois. There had been some concern about the weather but Deb and I looked at all the forecasts and decided that it would not be too bad as long as Lois was not super sensitive to waves and swells. When Deb and Lois arrived, it was clear Lois would be fine with the wind and waves. She had been out on a sailboat before and loved the water. We were off!

The trip over was a gentle one. The winds were expected to come up on the way back. We did have to time the crossing, though, of the two Mukilteo ferries that cross on their way over to Whidbey Island. By the time we landed Langley, the wind was up. It was a small marina and the guest moorage was quite exposed. Deb called the harbormaster and he came out to take our lines. The wind was blowing us off the dock but Debbie and the Harbormaster got us tied up. Lois and Deb went of to explore Langley and I stayed on the boat to do a bit of work on our syllabus. The wifi was awesome and it was free. How great is that? I got quite a bit of work done.

When they got back we made a nice exit from the Harbor in the wind. Then we had about 40 minutes of waves until we could get over to the mainland side when it was a bit calmer. A very strange episode occurred mid channel. A 30 foot boat stopped and then came up right behind us before speeding up and passing us very close to the port side. The entire channel was wide open and he pulled a fool stunt like that. Crazy! He never called on the radio to explain just barreled right by us. Makes one wonder!

Once we made the far shore, we had a calm trip back to Edmonds. We said our good byes to Lois. We had a really great time together. She was a real boater, for sure! Then Deb and I went up for dinner again at Anthony’s for an early dinner special. It was great! Both of us have been eating a bit too much on this trip! Time to begin to cut back....if we can!

We checked the weather forecast for tomorrow and headed to bed.

To Edmonds

11 January 2016
Today we were headed to the marina at Edmonds. Deb and Deb’s sister, Barb, had a photo friend that they had met on Flicker who lived in Edmonds. She had lost her husband recently and Deb thought it might be nice to get out on the boat and go for a photo walk. We planned to take a day and head for the small community of Langley on Whidbey Island. First, though, we had to travel through the shippiing lanes around Seattle and make it to Edmonds. We left on a cloudy day and found a mass of logs blocking the entrance to the marina at Blake Island. I powered up and then cut the engines down to neutral to coast through the mass of logs without props running, so they would not suck a log into them and damage our sensitive bronze props. We made it out safely. The winter tides here are the highest of the year and pull logs off beaches to float in the sound, looking for unwary boats to attack. We always have to keep a sharp eye out in the winter. We made it up to Edmonds after avoiding a ferry in the ferry lanes and a big, incoming container carrier in the shipping lanes. We monitored Seattle Traffic Control the entire time. We had dinner at another Anthony’s restaurant at the marina. Then we watched a little TV and went to bed. It was a draining day with all the ship traffic.

Back to Blake and a TV Day

10 January 2016
The weather turned sunny and bright as a small high pressure cell moved in for a day or two. We took care of a few things on the boat and had a leisurely breakfast. We passed a large ship loading grain at the grain elevators outside Foss Waterway in Tacoma. Then, it was off to Blake Island and a day of TV.

The Seahawks were in a wild card game at noon, the UCONN women played a game against the beat team in their conference, USF, at 3, Madame Secretary was on after dinner, followed by the Downton Abbey premier for Year 6. Oh, my! My eyeballs would be fried by the end of the day.

We had wonderful weather for the trip north, a short one along the West side of Vashon Island, retracing our route south. We got tied up securely, completed our moorage slip with our annual pass and sat down to enjoy an exciting football game. The people here are absolutely nuts about their Seahawks and we are starting to get into the mood, too. The Hawks won after the Vikings kicker missed a short last second field goal. They were very lucky, but they advance.

The UCONN women had a close game against USF until the second half and then pulled away for another win.

Madame Secretary was the best show I have seen. The world was about to go to war, her husband lost a former student to the Russian KGB, and the US astronauts were about to lose their lives. Someone everyone survived! LOL. Still, a great program.

Then it was time for Downton Abbey. I had never watched this show but I followed along reasonably well. It was good enough to watch the next program.

Espresso and wifi

09 January 2016

The Washington State History Museum

09 January 2016
Today, we planned to visit the beautiful Washington State Museum. I did some work in the morning and then we headed up to a coffee shop, where I could get some online work done and send out some materials for a course I was teaching with several colleagues. We walked up the stairs and across the Chihuly glass bridge to the coffee shop. The wifi was very good and we enjoyed some tea (Deb) and espresso (me). At 2 we went next door to the museum. Deb gave our discounted tickets to a woman and her challenged son, who were thrilled at saving some money. We paid full fare. We learned a reception was being held at 5 and the doors would close. We went in and enjoyed a really amazing new exhibit on geologic disasters in Washington. It would be cool, someday, to drive the route they marked and visit each of the locations. Washington sure has some amazing geology! Then it was up to the top floor where there was a special exhibit on Captain James Cook and his many voyages to the Northwest. That was even better, a really remarkable exhibit. That evening we walked along the Foss Waterway down to a good fish restaurant for dinner. Our food was really good. Then we walked back to the boat for bit of exercise and turned in.
Vessel Name: Change of Latitude
Vessel Make/Model: Grand Banks CL 42
Hailing Port: Bellingham, WA
Crew: Don/Debbie/Katie Baxter/Sarah Leu
About: We live on the East Coast but enjoy wilderness cruising in the Pacific Northwest.
Extra: We enjoy crabbing, shrimping, fishing, and clamming. Some of us are crazy enough to swim in Northwest waters during the summer.
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Added 14 July 2010