Just One More Thing

When we came home from Utah in May we hoped to quickly finish the back deck enough for the summer house sitters to use this year. Then a couple of chores on the boat and we’d be off on our long awaited summer adventure to the Broughtons, around Vancouver Island, and into Desolation Sound.

If Rob & I are predictable about anything, it’s that everything we do takes at least twice as long as we think it will. And at age 60+ now, twice is generous. But we don’t give up and we push until we’re done. This work on the house and deck totally challenged and exhausted us, but we’re super happy with the results.

Once the deck work wrapped up it was time to get the boat ready for nearly 3 months off the dock. Sadly, we haven’t used the boat hardly at all in the last 2 years. We had to wrap up my job and the work on our house, then we took that epic trip to Africa last summer. One thing we all know about boats is that if you use them they break, and if you don’t use them they freeze up and break. We knew there would be a list of things to fix waiting for us, we just didn’t know what would be on it.

Then it started to rain. After a very nice spring and little rain in May and June, a series of low pressure systems decided to move across the area just as we were getting ready to shove off. The house sitters were in place and we moved to the boat. But there was absolutely no point heading out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca in 30 knots of wind. So we stayed on the boat at the dock in Poulsbo and continued to work on stuff and put provisions away and tidy up the boat.

Monday morning we got up and 5 am and caught the ebb all the way out Admiralty Inlet. It was the fastest trip we had made in 25 years of boating in the Pacific NW. We left Poulsbo Yacht Club and passed Pt Wilson 4 hours later. Unfortunately that put us earlier out into the Strait than planned, and it was still ebbing out Rosario Strait. So we slowed down, but then the flood started and carried us all the way into Blind Bay on Shaw, where I write from now.

As we finished unpacking in the rain last night, Rob realized he had left his drone at home. This trip was finally going to give him some time to pilot and take pretty pictures with his flying camera. When we camp you can’t take it into the National Parks. Africa was all a big no go on drones, so he didn’t even bring it. But the West Coast of Vancouver Island is sparsely populated and there aren’t many Provincial Parks.

But of course we were already in the San Juans. So I started researching how to get the drone to catch up with us. UPS sounded like an easy solution – have the house sitter drop at UPS in Bainbridge and pick up in Campbell River in a few days. Easy on the US side, but then there are customs and the folks in Campbell River wanted us to register and would only hold for 2 days and what if something came up. OK, no UPS, how about USPS? General Delivery Friday Harbor will hold for 30 days. But we have to get the house sitter to package it up and take it to the post office, and ground is the only solution and would take two days more. That’s too much waiting around here. Option three was the PS Express boat from Port Townsend to Friday Harbor. I called them and they said sure, for $10 they’ll take it up and hand it off, just needs to be in PT by 8:30 am to get on their boat. But now I have to find some way to get it from Bainbridge to Port Townsend. Sadly I don’t know any poor high school or college kids willing to make the long drive, and the Uber app said “not a chance lady”.

Then I heard the state ferry land at the dock we’re anchored next to, and realized we could just put Rob on a ferry in the morning, pick up a rental car in Anacortes, and he’ll be back by dinner time. As we were pumping air into the dink in the rain very early this morning, we dropped the fitting overboard that makes the connection between the pump and the inflatable. So now he had two missions today, pick up the drone and a stop at the RIB dealer to get a spare (hopefully two) connector.

As I finish this blog post he’s on I-5 heading north. The next boat from Anacortes to Shaw Island is 7:25, so he’ll get dinner in town and in the morning we’ll continue our push north. I’m hoping to be in Campbell River in 3 more days, then up to the top of the island in another week. That’s not as much time as I wanted on the outside, but we’ll take what we can get at this point. Hopefully we’ll be done with all of our last little things and continue on without any more diversions.