Wednesday 9th August 2017 Excellent speed made, carrying the flood most of today....
No fog today, which was good news - but a lot of blue smoke haze at the end of today's trip due to the ongoing forest fires in B.C. and Washington state.
I knew the journey from Pt Angeles to Everett (just N of Seattle on the mainland) was going to be tiring and I timed it to make best use of the favourable flood tide but, even so, I was surprised at just how strong the tide was a lot of the time - and tried to position us to take best advantage of it, watching the water surface to see where there was the strongest current. As a result, we were often really quick over the ground with speeds of 8-9 kt- with a good 2-3 kt being due to the tide.
Surprisingly, being peak holiday season, there were very few boats seen on the water and we often had Puget Sound to ourselves - apart from the occasional white and green Washington State ferryboats with their distinctive shape and the many black and white murres and murrelets which abounded - often in rafts of up to a hundred on the water, quickly diving when we got close. The San Juan Islands make a lovely cruising ground for sailing boats, with plenty of anchorages and marinas to choose from - but the many shoal areas and strong tidal currents must be treated with caution.
The 60 mile trip was fairly straightforward so long as I stayed close to the helm to keep us on course (tying off the wheel only works for a very short time when under motor and the strong, often swirling, tidal flow added to the problem) so I was feeling very tired by the end of the eleven hours it took. (I hate to think how long it might have taken without the tide advantage.) Once this has been written and posted, I'm about to cook a fast easy meal of ham and eggs, accompanied by a Tecate light beer I just found, and hit my bunk a.s.a.p.!!
I took photos today which I'll post separately as being simpler for me to do... The long Dungeness Spit ending with its light house, as we left the large harbour of Port Angeles this morning; the large red buoy at the end of the same spit, with lots of cormorants flying off as we got close; Point Wilson near to Port Townsend;views of long Whidbey Island; finally, ...smoke haze gives beautiful sunsets - seen from the Everett dock, soon after arrival tonight.
Thanks to the unknown Brit on a sailing yacht I accosted, who helped me, over VHF, to find my way to the marina tonight - chart and reality didn't match up, with a large US Navy repair facility not helping, and I was totally confused!