Day 120: We are free to move around the country
Today the winds are light as we make our final push to get down the west coast of Vancouver Island to clear US Customs in Friday Harbor.
Departure: Port San Juan GPS 48 55.3185 N 125 32.3309 W
Destination: Friday Harbor GPS 48 31.8825 N 122 58.6598 W
Hour meter: 1618 (Klemtu)
Todays Distance: 68 miles
Total mile: 3182
This morning I awake at 0615. It was just getting light. I can see a faint glow of the morning light coming in the port holes. The boat was rolling in the light swell that was coming into Port San Juan from the Pacific Ocean, this morning.
Last night wasn’t all that bad of night. The boat did roll a lot a few times and other times it wasn’t that bad. I heard from the rest of the guys about how much rolling we did last night. Frank confirmed that we rolled a fair amount.
I roll over in bed and contemplated going back to sleep, but I didn’t because I knew we had a long way to go today. So Instead I pulled out the computer and then contemplate the options for this morning. We could head for Port Angeles and clear US Customs there. Or we could go on into Victoria. Victoria is always a cool little town to visit. Or we could continue on to Friday Harbor, or Roche Harbor. Lastly we could go to Victoria Yacht Club and get a reciprocal night at their dock. Choices, Choices, Choices.
The other guys still seem to be sleeping. I determine the distance to Roche Harbor from Port San Juan. The distance is almost 55 miles. That is a long day. I decide we should think about going. Around 0700 I go out in the main salon and turn on the VHF radio for a morning weather report. It is always nice to know whether or not those 30 knot winds from the southeast are still going to come in today.
After listening to the forecast I realize it will be light wind this morning, and possibly filling in this afternoon. They downgraded the report, we better get going. I start to prepare the boat for departure. On comes the anchor winch and washdown pump. On with the autopilot and navigational instruments. Switch the battery. Oops, found to switch the battery last night, it is still in the 1+2 (or both) battery position. I got my hot water going and then I went up on deck.
The first thing I did was put ten gallons of diesel in our mid tank. This 10 gallons came from the two 5 gallon jerry cans I had on the deck. Hopefully this will be enough diesel to get us back to the cheap fuel in the United States. After putting the empty tanks back on the rail, and cleaning up, I then started the motor. While the motor warmed up I pulled up the anchor.
We motored slowly out of Port San Juan once the anchor was up. While leaving the port I coiled up all the tie up lines, and put away the bumpers. It is best to clear the deck for anything just in case we sailing, but I’m guessing today might be a motoring kind of day.
As we motored out in the straits of Juan De Fuca the sun was just coming up. It was 0715. As we rounded the port entrance and turned southeast a number of sport fisherman were trying their fishing luck a bit this morning. We decide not to fish and just get going down the straits. Shortly after getting into the straits I could smell bacon cooking. Rod was making us breakfast burritos again this morning. Once they were down they were fantastic.
The motor droned and the boat rolled back and forth in the morning swell. We continued down the Vancouver island coast line. It was fairly clear this morning. I could see all the way across the straits and see Washington. There was little to no wind so the waves and swell are just glassy, but had a definite shimmer to it, with the sun coming out. It was almost a hypnotic shimmer. I caught myself day dreaming from time to time, only to be snapped out of my trance when the boat lurches forward a little bit unexpectedly by a following swell. After I had steered 16 miles this morning I told Frank it was his turn to steer for 16 miles, while I retired to my cabin.
In my cabin I recorded the morning events into my journal, and then closed my eye to see if I could get a little nap, it was 1009 in the morning. After my nap I got up and found Rod at the helm. Frank was back reading his book. I headed back into my cabin and spent some more time writing in my journal, while the boat motored further down the straits toward Victoria.
At 1306 Rod came back into my stateroom and asked if we could fish. I said go ahead. Once the lines were in the water I got up and made open face grilled cheese sandwiches on the French bed I made yesterday. Well they really were not grilled cheese sandwiches. They were really tuna and salmon melts. Yummy. We fished for about a ½ hour and didn’t get anything.
We continued on. We went through Race Rocks with the current. Looks like we will be at Friday Harbor about 1945 this evening. Hope the customs people will come down and clear us at that hour. As we motored on Rod had the helm, while I went back in my bunk and tried to get an internet connect. I was able to so I read my email and few Facebook post.
I eventually came back up on deck and took over steering at 1600. I steered the rest of the way to Friday Harbor. We got in about 1835. I called the customs guy via the phone on the dock. They took down all my particulars, crew, passport number etc. Once the guy got my information he said he would be right down. He showed up about 10 minutes later and only asked for our passports. We are now free to move about the country.
The one question he asked was did I have any weapons. I said “No” and he said “You went to Alaska without any firearms”. I said “That’s right, the Canadians don’t like you taking guns across the boarder”. With that he dropped the subjuct of guns from the re-entry into the us boarder interrogation.
Once we cleared customs we moved over and rafted up to another sailboat boat on the end of E dock. E dock is the reciprocal dock. Frank and I then went up town. We went to the store and bought some supplies and then back to the boat. Once back on the boat we talked for a while and then both went to bed.
Cattle Point Lighthouse