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Kia Ora
What a great hike!
05/21/2011

We are on Sucia Island right now. It's a bit cool and rainy. This island is a park and can only be reached by boat. It's beautiful. We hiked from Echo Bay to Ewing Cove today. It's about 5 miles round trip. I'll post photos when I have an internet connection.

We finally celebrated with our bottle of sparkling wine today. Thanks Jackie!!! We were going to celebrate our arrival into the San Juan Islands with it last night but then got invited to a neighboring boat for a glass of wine. They saw our cats in the dinghy and had just lost theirs to old age last week so they needed a kitty fix. The cats walked around on their deck while we visited. Monty spent much of his time on deck drying off as he tried to jump from the dinghy to their boat and missed because we had his leash too short. Will he ever learn to wait??

Oh! We had a fabulous trip from Seattle to the San Juan Islands. We timed the currents correctly and hit 11.1 knots speed over ground!! That just about doubled our normal speed. We left Shilshole at 8:30 am and grabbed the last park bouy at Matia Island at 7:30 pm! We've peeked into little Rolfe Cove on Matia a few times in previous trips but there was never any room until last night. Our friend George had recommended the place as it has fabulous trails and it was well worth the stop. Thank you George!

Tomorrow we'll head in to the Canadian Gulf Islands and will clear Customs at Bedwell Harbor.

All is good.

posted via SSB radio

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Test message
05/21/2011

This is a test message. I trying to post to my blog remotely as I do not have internet access where I am (Sucia Island in the northern San Juan Islands of Washington state). I am sending this message through our SSB radio (ham radio). I hope this works!

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What we do all day
Julie Sunny
05/18/2011, Shilshole Marina

The most common question we hear is 'what do you do all day?' Well, last night I wanted to grill something and found out that the new LP tank wasn't delivering fuel to the grill. Grrrrrrr. We called the company we bought it from this morning and they didn't know what to tell us so we loaded it all in a back pack and walked the mile and half to their shop. Turns out you have to open the valve SLOWLY in order for the check valve to work properly. It would have been nice if they told us that over the phone. We have a Magma grill that's always made me pull my hair out. It's hard to light and in windy conditions it doesn't stay lit. Since we were at a place that sold marine grills, we decided that the Magma was on it's way out and should be replaced while we had the chance. We now own a shiney new Dickinson grill. It worked great at lunch time even with the wind! So we've blown the budget big time and will have to anchor out for the rest of the month and survive on the food we've got on hand. NO TREATS!

After Ken had the new grill installed, we talked with other boaters on the dock, did laundry and walked around. A day gets eaten up quickly for a cruiser.

We took the cats for their nightly walk last night. Elliot was great on the leash, as he usually is. Monty still gets a little scared. We'll go for another walk after dark tonight.

We hope all the bugs are worked out. We plan to leave in the morning. Next stop? We're not sure. Port Townsend? San Juan Islands? We'll figure it out tomorrow.

I still haven't opened the celebratory bottle of sparkling wine that Jackie gave us. We'll celebrate when we actually get out of our home waters!

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Off we go!
Julie Sunny!!
05/17/2011

We waited for a little nicer weather and it paid off. We left Monday evening in about 11 knot winds with partially sunny skies. Puget Sound sure was bumpy! Must have been left over from the weather we'd experienced over the weekend. No cats got sick, so I'm happy!

We're rusty sailors. We've not sailed since October and we found that we forgot to do the little things; take the cover off the bimini window, take things off the counter so they don't slide around (and eventually fall into the sink, making loads of noise), put the cats away so they don't get in our way while we are busy...

The winds were great for the first hour and a half. The ranged from around 11 with a max gust of 21 knots (the 21 knots came while Ken was putting the sails up, of course). About 3/4 of the way to our desination of Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island, the wind died so we motored the rest of the way.

The boat sure was cool this morning! 55 degrees! I got up at 7 and turned the heat on. We were comfortable all night though because of our electric blanket.

The house batteries were at about 70% this morning but within an hour of the sun being up, the solar panels had topped us off. I love those panels. We have 2 135 watt Kyoceras that work better than advertised.

A few months ago we added a system called AIS. This system displays information about commercial vessels that are around us. We had a tech install it and do a little work to our chart plotter and auto pilot system. Everything seemed to work out great at the dock but we had all kinds of problems once we were actually out. *sigh* The auto pilot wanted to go in its own direction and the chart plotter (a computer screen with a navigational chart displayed) showed the boat going in odd directions. On top of that the radar displayed things way off from where they really were. This would NOT be a good thing if we got it fog. I called Paul at CSR this morning and asked if he could get Jeff, the tech to meet us at Shilshole Marina in Ballard. Paul and Jeff came through for us and we met Jeff around noon on Tuesday. He switched some wires around, calibrated the autopilot, & aligned it a couple of times. I THINK it's working now. Jeez, I HOPE it's working now. A big shout out to Paul and Jeff for their prompt response!!!!

We are supposed to be up in the San Juan Islands today. Shilshole is an unscheduled stop. It's a beautiful day today so we are going to enjoy it by taking a walk. We plan to leave early in the morning for the San Juans.

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Moved on!
Julie Nasty afternoon
05/15/2011

We scrambled all day to get moved on and by the time we were all settled and caught a ride from our friend Peter (THANKS, PETER) down to the boat, the wind picked up with 23 knot gusts (for easy math, we'll call it 23 MPH) and heavy rain. We talked about revising our plan and decided that since it was already dinner time and since we have 5-6 months available for this trip, that we'd wait until morning to head out.

We are currently sitting in the cockpit, enjoying a bottle of Shiraz, watching the rain. Monty (cat) is snuggled up to me. So far so good.

Jeanne and Tom ~ you posted that you wanted to have a goal. My current goal is to catch up to you! You've got a month head start, though! We are enjoying following you on your blog. Hope to see you up there.

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Today is the day.
Julie foggy, cool and wet
05/15/2011

We plan to leave the dock this evening to head north. I feel we've scheduled way to much to do today so I'm feeling the stress. Plus, I'm not happy about this cold rain! Looks like the weather later this week is supposed to be nice so that makes me smile.

We still haven't told the cats about our plan. Day one on the boat usually offers us the treat of a seasick kitty or two. After that they have always been fine.

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