Up at 05:30. O-Dark:30 for some. A usual time for us to rise and ready the boat for an 07:00 departure. We’re off to the Islands. Across the Strait they wait… Green forested jewels. The remnants of granitic blocks carved by the glaciers of the last ice age. This is our 17th century Hudson’s Bay Company approach” to cruising on a motor yacht. Pick a destination that challenges navigation, weather windows, commercial traffic, and the boats mechanisms… culminating in an anchorage of sublime beauty: Hunter Bay Lopez Island. Be close enough to “home” so you can go back and get what you forgot or fix if something breaks. Mythology has it that when early Hudson’s Bay Company expeditions left their home “fort” that they would travel out one day and make camp. That way they could easily send someone back to pick up items they forgot. Well… that’s the myth. Reality or not, we like the concept and drafted the practice into our cruising plans.
We’ve had some boat issues of late. We started a passage several days ago and had some water temperature issues with George, our Starboard 3208 Caterpillar. Fred, our Port Caterpillar 3208 was just fine. Turns out… it was a faulty gauge. Let it be known by all… that George was, and is, just fine thank you very much. After consultation with Charlie, Great Northern’s former caretaker, we determined that it was the sensor. However, that was not the problem. The Aetna multi-gauge instrument that collects data from the engines and reports it out digitally in the pilothouse… was the culprit. It’s little computer brain is… confused. Good enough. We’ve got backups built on the backs of other backups. The gauge will be replaced before we travel further than the San Juans… The Hudson’s Bay rule is alive and well.
We departed the dock at 07:10. Close enough to our 07:00 plan, eh?… and made our way out into the outer bay and off past Kinney Point on Marrowstone Island and out into Admiralty Inlet. We were following an outgoing tide. This picture below is of Marrowstone Point Light, the last bit of the Olympic Peninsula we passed before making our way across Admiralty and out into the Strait of Juan DeFuca.
In due time we passed Partridge Point on Whidby Island followed by Smith Island in the Strait and onward to Point Colville and Watmough Head on South Lopez Island. We slid through the Lopez Pass with a 3 knot current helping us along, entered Lopez Sound and made our way to Hunter Bay.
This is the view From Hunter Bay looking across Lopez Sound towards Lopez Pass onto Rosario Strait:
Below… the Captain contemplating the merits of a successful passage, and enjoying a post passage reward: Full Contact Elysian IPA:
All in all we checked off all of the boxes for a successful passage. Great Northern’s performance was flawless. Passage time just under 5 hours from our home port to Lopez Island. The game is afoot…