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Rough crossing to the San Juans

Port Townsend to Watmough Bay

 

Wild roses on Blakely Island

 

Blakely Island school house

SAM AND I LEFT PORT TOWNSEND at 7:30 this morning, and as soon as we got around Point Wilson, we were in nasty four- and five-foot seas blowing down the Strait of San Juan de Fuca from the Pacific. I was navigating without my reading glasses, and as we approached Partridge Point, on Whitney Island, I failed to notice the chart notation warning of kelp.

The water intakes on Osprey’s twin Tohatsu 50 engines clog easily, and before I could get out of the kelp bed, the overheating alarms on both motors started screaming. It took a couple of minutes to shut down the engines, get them lifted out of the water, clear the kelp from the intakes and get started back up—and then we were back in big, confused waves all the way to Watmough Bay on the south end of Lopez Island. Yipes!

From there it was smooth sailing through Lopez Pass up to Blakely Island, where we met Ellen, an old friend from grade school who has a vacation home there. Ellen gave us a tour of the big private island in her old Ford Explorer, with stops at the pretty lake which is the source of the island’s fresh water supply, and at an old one-room log school house. After a fantastic dinner, we’re heading off to bed. We plan an early start this morning for our entry into Canadian waters.

Andy’s wife was born this day, in 1956. Happy birthday, Marla Jean!

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