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3/20/2013

Traveling to Butchart Gardens by Boat - Itinerary - Canada/USA Customs - Anchor in Tod Inlet

         For  us, one of the best parts about cruising the San Juan's is not having to make any reservations or depend on anyone else.  After a quick stop at the store for food, we just go, and then let the  relaxing begin the moment we cast off. Four days, five days, ten days, I quickly leave everything behind, (including the wine and Hershey bars by mistake) all my thoughts are of traveling and  carefree times.

          However, many times my plans are waylaid by life's little curves and family events. Life curves that I have little control over, and family that - well that just takes precedence over my cruise plans.

          Case in point, it took me four years and three tries to finally see in person the flag lowering ceremony held each balmy summer evening at Roche Harbor.  One time I missed the cruise altogether, and another time a boat dragged anchor into us just minutes before the cannon went off. When I did get to witness the entire show it was just by happenstance that we were there, for I had given up and mostly forgot about the cannon firing sundown ritual.  So when this baby replica of a middle age artillery piece blasted a hole in my thoughts, and its muzzle flash lit up the manicured lawn, I was taken by surprise to say the least. Oh I may have yelled or screamed just a little but no one heard me. The blast was not really deafening but very loud never the less took me by surprise and captured everyone's attention.  Then the returning echoes bouncing off Henry Island from across Roche Harbor drowned out all evidence of my heavy breathing and rapid heart beat.  What did he just babble? (how to relax?)

click below to read about Butchart Gardens!

What Happens When You Wind Your Dinghy Painter Around Your Propeller? Twice!

        It may have happened more than twice, but that's all I remember so I will relate just the two.
  • Once we stopped to tow a guy in his dinghy from Orcas Landing across to Blind Bay and we snagged our tow rope, and then wound it up killing the motor and then we drifted behind the ferry that had just arrived.  For a few worried minutes while I was glancing up at the ferry pilothouse, I was wondering if the captain saw us or
    was he looking down at us and laughing. I was close to making a radio call, but  we got the line loose and moved on just minutes before the ferry departed.
  • More recently, we unknowingly dragged our loose dinghy line in the water all the way from Stuart to Jones, and then wound it up in the prop the first time I used reverse while attempting to anchor. All hell broke loose with everyone yelling what to do or not to do. As the line wound up tighter and tighter  our stern rail began bowing and creaking. We dropped the anchor and luckily were able to rotate the shaft freeing the line but someone almost had to go for a dip.
        So knowing this as an ongoing potential issue, I resolved to use only floating lines, and to shorten all lines so that they cannot reach the prop. Plus I resolved to use painter tow lines that are small enough that they will break before they damage or bend my boat and shaft should another mishap occur.

      The problem is I have procrastinated for years and done nothing, in fact the rope that I just snagged, I'm still using minus about eight inches I cut off.

         My advice to myself is to follow my advice.

        (update, I think the last little snafu where we wound it up may have bent something because I might be detecting a little vibration at wot.  Its not too late to follow my own advice before I do it again and make the boat unusable costing $$$$)