Who: Terry Bingham
Port: Eagle Harbor, WA USA
28 May 2008
20 March 2005
16 April 2002
15 March 2002
25 January 2002
24 November 2001
08 October 2001
09 March 2001
04 January 2001
30 November 2000
12 October 2000
29 September 2000
11 August 2000
10 August 2000
06 July 2000
28 May 2000
04 May 2000

Leaving the Northwest

28 June 1999
So Far:

To Family, Friends, and other interested parties (creditors, attorneys, etc) Greetings from Sandy Point, Whidbey Island. As you may or may not know, I've spent the last 3 1/2 weeks in Canada getting some much needed canvaswork done on "Secret O' Life". What I hoped would take a week or so, took much longer, but I cleared back in at Friday Harbor Saturday evening (6/5) and went to Anacortes yesterday (6/6).

Today around noon, I cast off from Cap Sante Boat Haven and headed through the Swinomish Channel and La Conner on my way south to Bainbridge Island. About 3:30 pm I ran across my friends Sid and Becky on "Suzette" as they were headed north for La Conner (we had discussed the fact that our routes would probably cross today) and we spent an enjoyable 45 minutes rafted together in the middle of Saratoga Passage talking "boat stuff" and saying goodbyes for now ( I hope they can make it to Mexico in the next couple of years where we'll continue the discussions).

The weather was decent today and I wanted to make as much distance south as time would allow, so I headed off with Langley, on the eastern shore of Whidbey as a potential anchorage for tonite, another 3 hours or so. I was motoring, as there was very little wind, and I've got 100 gallons of year-old diesel that I really should use before heading to Calif. I made Langley by 7:30 and dropped anchor just south of the marina breakwater, but immediately I knew this would be an uncomfortable night with the NW wind and swell right on top of me. So, I made the decision to weigh anchor and move another 10 minutes south around Sandy Point which would afford good protection, at least from the swell. This proved to be a good move and by 8:00 pm I was anchored in 25' about 100 yards off shore and getting set to fix dinner.

As I went to the stern to uncover the barbeque I looked to the south along the shoreline and off toward Everett in the distance, when not 150 yards astern, I saw the distinct blow from a whale. Watching the area closely, I could see a fin rise and then the tail as he (she??) rolled not more than 50 yards off the beach directly behind me. Grabbing my binoculars, I watched the whale blow several more times and casually roll through the water less than 200 yards behind my boat in the calm evening sea. I was mesmerized. It was a large Gray Whale, probably 45-50 feet in length (my boat is 42' stern to bowsprit), certainly the largest whale (and the only Gray) I've seen in the sound, covered with barnacles and lazily rolling from side to side, blowing every minute or so.

I went to the galley and started some potatoes and broccoli, and brought my hamburger topside to cook on the barbeque. I continued to watch the whale with the binoculars for the next 1/2 hour while I fixed dinner and watched several people on shore watching the whale from their vantage point. The whale almost seemed to be interacting with those ashore - a wave of a fin directed at them ! It was starting to get dark, so I went below to eat my dinner, but I couldn't help but think, "This is only the beginning of what I hope to be a voyage of discovery for me, but already I'm encountering sights I thought I wouldn't see for another year".

As I went to the stern to close and cover the barbecue, the whale was still in the same area, still rolling from side to side and flipping a fin in the air every minute or so. Now, a half hour later, it's evident he's moving south with the tide and has moved farther away from the beach. The people on shore have gone and I'll be closing up the boat, cleaning the galley and heading for my bunk in a while, looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.

Till next time, fair winds from Terry aboard S/V Secret O' Life. My current plan is to leave the Strait of Juan de Fuca by the 20th and head slowly down the coast with frequent stops, arriving in San Diego after Labor Day and heading into Mexico the end of October.
Vessel Make/Model: Union 36 Cutter
Hailing Port: Eagle Harbor, WA USA
Crew: Terry Bingham
About: Tammy Woodmansee spends as much time as she can on the boat, but returns to the states from time to time for work to pad the travel kitty. Terry single-hands when she's not aboard.
Extra: CURRENT LOCATION: January, 2007 - cruising the west coast of Costa Rica.
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Who: Terry Bingham
Port: Eagle Harbor, WA USA