Saturday - June 20 - San Juan Channel (9 NM)

Back on the water again. For no really good reason, we took a week off from sailing. We did have a mediocre weather forecast but as is often the case it was just the forecast that was bad and not the actual weather, which was pretty nice.

Today's weather, wind and tides specifically, weren't ideal. The wind forecast was for 5 - 15 kts from the SW which is the dreaded who knows what the wind strength will be forecast. And with a low tide of -1.75 ft at 9:36 and a high of 7.96 ft at 18:38 the flood current was a screamer. As usual we stopped by the parking lot by the Bay Cafe to check out the channel entrance conditions and I had never seen such a current in the mouth of the channel.

The good news was that by now, around 14:00, the tide was a plus 2ish and the wind was more from the W. I wasn't sure that we would get out today but with the W wind and high water I thought we would give it a go.

In the end all my worrying was for naught. Bolero sailed out powerfully never dropping below 3 kts and then we headed up to a close reach and quickly jumped to 5 kts. My kind of exit.

But we still had to deal with the light and variable winds and strong current in San Juan channel. As we came out I saw a sailboat race over in the North end of Griffin Bay and decided to check it out. The current and wind had other ideas. We made it part of the way but quickly lost the battle with the current under dying wind.

And that would have been the end of a short, but nice, afternoon daysail expect I spotted this beauty under our boom.



I have been reading Tim Lackey's Glissando cruising logs in the morning with my tea or coffee and it seems that if he drops his camera and it accidentally goes off he captures another boring classic beauty plying the coast of Maine. But up here in the Pacific Northwest classic beauty is rare indeed. So of course I was anxious to go have a look.



The problem was the wind was still light and variable and this beauty was down current from us and our channel entrance. Should we sail down to her and the wind completely died we would be dragged north until the tide change. I hemed and hawed until suddenly she tack up towards us in what looked like good wind.

Well that was all the incentive I needed to close our distance.



IRIS, is a Alden Cutter built in the 30's.



We chatted and sailed together for a short while. It turns out she is moored in Friday Harbor on San Juan island. I don't know how I have missed her over the years. In addition her owners mentioned that the also have a Rhodes designed Evergreen and an old Folkboat sailing out of their same dock. Who knew.



They invited us to come racing on Friday nights and even offered us a place to tie up for the night. We might have to give that some thought.

We eventually left them on their way home and headed home ourselves. In the light wind I decide to forgo my new reefed entry rule and headed in under full sail. Of course the wind strengthen as we came in but it was easily handled.

We quickly sailed up to our mooring and performed a perfect pickup. All in all a nice, but short, day sail.

June 12 Tides - Friday Harbor


June 12 GPS Track



2009 Sailing Summary
Sailing Days-18 / 46 (39%)
Blissful Hours of Hand Steering - 2:15 hours today & 60:10 hours for the season
Total Miles Under Sailed this Season - 224 NM