Change of Latitude in the Pacific Northwest

To Roche Harbor, USA

20 May 2016
Debbie (with a little Don)
We got up and considered breakfast. Katie said that she was not especially hungry and had a coffee aboard. There was a great food stand at the head of the gangway at the marina and it was open at 8am. Deb and I walked up to snag breakfast there before departing for Roche Harbor.

We had to go to Roche Harbor to clear customs so we headed there. We were going to swing by Turn Point to view the lovely light house but a very large freighter was zooming up Haro Strait at 18 knots, on the way to Vancouver, and our AIS showed that our Closest Point of Approach (CPA) was only a few hundred yards. So, we headed East, to duck behind Stewart Island and avoid a close passing. That route took us through Jones Pass, an equally delightful route, and, once through, headed to Roche.

We saw Misty Fiords again at Roche, leaving the dock as we tied up, and exchanged greetings. The Customs House had been moved to the outer dock for the summer since the rendezvous, but fortunately, the summer crowds had not yet materialized. We cleared easily despite a different crew of officials - missing John, who always asked Don what he professed after Don said he was a professor. Deb got us through quickly but we had to give up some veggies, including the tomatoes that came from the US but we had bought in Canada. Go figure! We decide to stay at Roche for the night and Deb also checked us in. Now, dear reader, you may be wondering what I do? (Don is writing here.) Well, not too much! Wait, I did do something. Read the next paragraph that Deb wrote.

Katie and Deb visited the grocery store and shops while Don did laundry. They noticed that the ice cream kiosk was open. This was a bit surprising since it wasn't supposed to open until the weekend, but no doubt the warm and sunny weather caused them to open early. Don had said he would text if the kiosk was open, but apparently, he hadn't noticed since we didn't get a text. So, we went by the laundry room to ask Don if he wanted a cone. He said ok. While eating our ice cream, it came out that Don had already had an ice cream at the start of his laundry stint - without telling us - and was now having another with us! Boy did Katie call that one. When her dad told us he only wanted a single scoop, she said, he must have already had one. I said he wouldn't do that without texting us to come up for ice cream. Well, you guessed it. Katie really knows her dad. As usual, though, he couldn't keep a secret and confessed his double dipping to us with no prodding.

That night we took Katie to the Macmillan Room for dinner. She'd never been during her previous visits. We had a great dinner, as always - salmon for me, halibut for Don and seafood pasta for Katie. Back at the boat, we went up to the flybridge to watch the sunset flag-lowering ceremony and listen to the UK and Canadian national anthems, along with the Stars and Stripes Forever with cannon salute. Katie and Don blew our horn, as is the tradition, at the end of the ceremony. It was loud! We discussed a few options for getting Katie to Seatac on Monday, and decided to head south, planning stops at Port Townsend, Blake Island, and Bell Harbor in Seattle.

Moby's in Ganges

19 May 2016
(By Debbie)
The Ducky weathered the night's rain and wind in fine fettle, and we brought her up with no problems. Then we headed to Ganges, about two hours away. Katie hadn't been there since 2010 with us on a Mother Goose leg. And Don and I hadn't been there since our winter cruise in January 2013. We wanted to check out Moby's, one of our favorite restaurants there so off we went. Moby's had strategically placed signs along our way to guide up and to whet our appetites. Deb took a photo when we were nearly there. As it turns out, Moby's had been under new management since June of 2013, but drinks and food were as good as we remembered and there were several new menu items. Don ordered hummus with an assortment of vegies, crackers and breads. Deb had grilled cheese with tomato miso soup, and Katie had a burger. At our waitress's suggestion, we also decided to share one of their specialties - buffalo duck wings. They were large and scrumptious!!! Fortunately, Moby's is about a mile from the marina we were staying at, so we were able to walk off some of our calories.

Katie and Deb went to town to check out the shops while Don stayed onboard in order to work on the blog. We found several stores still there that we remembered from our last visit, including the great bookstore and the ice cream shop. We had planned to get some ice cream, but were still too full from lunch.

Returning to CoL, we weren't all that hungry, so just snacked and had popcorn while watching a great movie, Longitude.

I did not read this sign literally!

18 May 2016


18 May 2016
“Warning! Fire on the boat! Evacuate! Evacuate!” Yes, kind reader, it all happened this morning. Let me explain.

We awoke and I was fixing breakfast while Katie was taking a shower in the forward cabin. Deb was up to and suddenly we heard, “Detector error in the forward cabin. Please see manual.” We could not figure out the source of the voice. What was the error? Which manual should we look in. What did it mean?

After a few seconds, we figured it must be the new First Alert Carbon Dioxide Alarms we had placed in each of the three cabins. Meanwhile, the one in the forward cabin chirped three times each minute. While Debbie read the manual, I, of course, simply pressed the “Test” button on the alarm in the main cabin. Oh, oh. That was not the right thing to do. It started running though its test sequence: “Warning! Fire on the boat! Evacuate! Evacuate!” and then a loud alarm sound, “Waaaaaaaaaaaaa......!” Clearly, Debbie had made the right choice once again. In these cases reading is better than poking about I discovered. I stumbled, trying to find the darn battery and rip it out and anything else to stop that horrible noise. I could not figure out how to open the darn thing up. Deb, meanwhile had found a diagram, took the alarm out of my hands, and simply pulled on the right spot to open the battery compartment. The sound stopped. I had my sanity back. That Debbie Leu! So smart!

While I fiddled with the alarm, Deb continued reading the manual while the alarm in the forward cabin continued to chirp three times each minute. After some thinking about the issue and more reading in the manual the solution became obvious. The error in the forward cabin came from the steam from the shower, when the shower door was opened. Previously, a window had been open when Katie took a shower. Today, it was closed. The steam must have prompted the warning, “Detector error in the forward cabin. Please see manual.” The more troubling alarm was caused when I pressed the Reset button. Deb discovered in the manual that when you press this button it gives you the full Monte to make certain everything is working: “Warning! Fire on the boat! Evacuate! Evacuate!” and then a loud alarm sound, “Waaaaaaaaaaaaa......!” Oh boy! I think I am going back to reading things now instead of just exploring.

Once we determined the carbon dioxide levels aboard, we weighed anchor. It was the first time using our new Ultra Anchor and it held fast, like it was stuck in mud. Well, turns out it was. Coming up, it was loaded with mud in the scoop. Katie figured out how to spray between the stainless steel anchor and the mud and it came off easy peasy. We headed out and this time went around Whiskey Delta. Katie and I were on the flybridge and I suggested Deb was watching the chart plotter downstairs and would be keeping an eye on me. She was and it is always a good thing, too! :-) We headed up Satellite Channel to Sansum Narrows and passed Burial Island, a first nations burial site from days gone by. Then we headed north to Montegue Harbor, our destination.

We arrived about 1:30 and found a nice place to anchor. After dropping the anchor and getting a great set, we dropped Rubber Ducky and Deb and Katie went over to the marine park to explore a bit on the nature trail there. I took a nice nap. Felt good. They returned and we went up to the marina to catch the wild and crazy bus from the 60’s to the Hummingbird Cafe. Our best laid plans ran afoul of the earliness of the season, though. The bus does not start running regularly until next week and to top things off, the restaurant at the marina, our back up plan, would not open until this weekend’s Victoria Day holiday. I thought to take advantage of the washroom there and discovered an interesting sign. I wondered if I could only put toilet paper down the toilet for a second. I decided to do a bit more than that.

We were s$%# out of luck, as the saying goes, for dinner. So, it was back to the boat and I grilled polish sausages on the aft deck for dinner while Deb fixed a nice salad and rice and beans. It was pretty good, actually! Katie downed a Maple Ale with dinner while I had a hard cider and wished I had chosen the beer. The wind was starting to blow but I made a poor decision not to bring the Ducky up. One should always do this at night, if the weather is fair and we are travelling and not using it the next day. Being tired, we all headed to bed early for a good night’s sleep.

Ride 'em cowboy. are a little big, Dad!

17 May 2016


17 May 2016

Flowers everywhere!

17 May 2016

Such colors!

17 May 2016

Japanese Garden

17 May 2016

Entrance to the Japanese Garden

17 May 2016
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.
Change of Latitude's Photos - On Board Change of Latitude
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Added 14 July 2010