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  Old Toby--Small Boat in the San Juan Islands

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Author Topic:   Old Toby--Small Boat in the San Juan Islands
OldToby posted 11-21-2011 02:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for OldToby   Send Email to OldToby  
I figured there might be some in the audience who would be interested in an account of my July adventures in the San Juans with the 1964 Eastport, given that the planning of the trip generated some interest here on the board.

We started the trip by completely burning out a bearing on the trailer, dragging the Mary Elyse across the state and over the pass. By the time we got to our hotel in Kirkland, the bearing was completely gone and the only thing keeping the wheel on the axle shaft was the nut at the end. Im guessing theres a lesson in there somewhere. I had a new axle installed the next day (we entertained ourselves by going to the Experience Music Project in Seattle) and got back on course, putting the boat in the water at Skyline Marina in Anacortes first thing the next morning.

All I can say about boating in that area is Wow! We LOVED it, cruising around the islands with the big boats (and their big wakes) and the tidal currents and the terrific scenery. I found that all my hours of pre-loading the GPS with specific coordinates and routes were more than valuable, as the islands tended to present themselves rather confusingly: sometimes they merged and looked like a single land-mass, sometimes the smaller ones would get swallowed up by the larger ones and disappear entirely. We arrived at Roche Harbor for lunch, tying up among the tenders at the main dock and wandering around the entirely-too-artsy-for-an-Idaho-boy harbor area looking at the boats. After lunch we loaded back into the boat and made our first attempt at a crossing of Haro Strait, going around the south end of Henry Island and striking off across the Strait toward a point about midway between Victoria and Sidney.

I recall responding rather flippantly, during my planning of this trip, to someones warning to me about the size of the waves in the Strait. I figured if I took the tide into account so I didnt get the tide and the wind working against one another, I could handle anything Id run into on a July afternoon. Wrong. Wed barely cleared Henry Island when it became abundantly clear to all of us on board that this wasnt going to work. Waves 4-5 feet, with plenty of wind (oddly, NO wind at all at Roche Harbor). We bucked into the waves for ten minutes or so, taking lots of spray over the bow and soaking the two unfortunate souls seated ahead of the helm. After everyone was good and drenched, we turned north along the west side of Henry Island and surfed until we could round the island and head back into Roche Harbor. While ashore and feeling pretty depressed about our crossing attempt, my wife ran into a friend who has a place on Henry Island; her friend told her that the water typically laid down around 2.30 in the afternoon that time of year, smooth enough for a small-boat crossing. We waited the hour or so then gave it another try, this time going north of Henry Island with the thought of running above Spieden and Stuart Islands if the water was still too rough. This time the water was rougher, if anything. I was feeling depressed and unmanly, so in an effort to salvage at least a little self-respect, I asked my wife if she thought we should turn back (hoping shed say yes so I could tell myself that Id only aborted the trip because she lost her nerve). Imagine my surprise when she said, I think this is as good as its going to get. I think we should go for it! What a woman!! After another five minutes or so of plowing and slamming and splashing it became obvious that things were getting rougher the further into the Strait we went; it was only a matter of time, clearly, before we took green water over the bow. Exercising my rights and responsibilities as the captain of the vessel, I timed my coming-about as best I could, and we headed back into Spieden Channel and calmer waters.

So instead of boating across the Strait to Canada, we returned to Anacortes, left the Whaler on its trailer at the marina and ferried over to Victoria. The wind continued to blow for two more days, and on the third day calm returned and Haro Strait looked like a big pond for the rest of the time we were in Victoria; I could have rowed across in my 12-foot Larson. I felt bad about having to pull the plug on the crossing, but I learned a lot and overall, we had a terrific time in the salt water. Next year we plan to take a week or ten days and try some boat-camping in the San Juans, keeping to the calm water of the archipelago (unless the elements cooperate and we can make a fast run to Victoria for the day). If anyone has any thoughts about the proposed camping voyage, wed love to hear them..

Thanks to all of you who helped with the planning and contributed to our enjoyment of boating in that beautiful area. A link to a photo of the Mary Elyse nestled among the tenders at Roche Harbor.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0318.jpg

ScooterCO posted 11-21-2011 04:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for ScooterCO  Send Email to ScooterCO     
Thanks for the update and picture. Your Whaler looks good.
We would love to see more photos of the trip if you care to share?
JMARTIN posted 11-21-2011 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0318.jpg

Boat camping, try looking at Washington State Parks. Here is one of my favorites.

http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=Jones%20Island

OldToby posted 11-21-2011 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for OldToby  Send Email to OldToby     
Here are a few more pictures of the trip, for those interested:

The Whaler gets the AAA treatment.
http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0287.jpg

Not the usual view
http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0292.jpg

In the sling at Skyline Marina.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0307.jpg

In the San Juans.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0315.jpg

It was a beautiful day, at least in the shelter of the islands.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0316.jpg

At Roche Harbor.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0317.jpg

In the Ship Canal in Seattle.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0408-1.jpg

The crew in Lake Union in Seattle.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0414-1.jpg

Mary Elyse back in home waters.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/IMG_0418.jpg

OldToby posted 11-21-2011 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for OldToby  Send Email to OldToby     
And if someone can tell me why I can't seem to post live links to these photos, I'd appreciate it!
Tom W Clark posted 11-21-2011 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/ubbcode.html
george nagy posted 11-21-2011 07:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
That looks like a wonderful trip and thank you for sharing with us.

I must say that the picture of the boat on the sling makes me nervous. That rear sling is very close to the transom. I can inc=vision it slipping backward and popping off the outboard motor etc.... Glad to see it did not.

Tom W Clark posted 11-21-2011 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
That sling is nowhere close to slipping off.

I've launched my 5,000 pound Revenge 25 Walk-Through at the Snow Creek Resort at Neah Bay, WA with the rear sling actually wrapped around the bottom-to-transom corner because that is the only way we could grab the hull with the trailer bunks blocking all but the last inch of hull.

It was not an issue; the pull is forward, not aft so if it slips (which it doesn't) it moves forward, not off the hull.

Folks who have never sling-launched before do not have a good sense of how it works.

jimh posted 11-21-2011 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Separated from an old thread and moved to TRIPS and RENDEZVOUS.]

Please note that in-line graphics are generally not permitted in threads unless the graphic element is absolutely essential to the discussion.

You are welcome to link to images using the URL tags. Creating hyperlinks greatly increases the likelihood of people visiting your images.

OldToby posted 11-22-2011 12:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for OldToby  Send Email to OldToby     
The whole sling operation was very interesting to me, having never seen it done before. And I was surprised at how quickly it went, even though, as Tom experienced with his bigger boat, they had to yank it around a bit to get the sling under the back of the boat due to the bunks.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0304.jpg

K Albus posted 11-22-2011 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Links:

The Whaler gets the AAA treatment.
http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0287.jpg

Not the usual view
http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0292.jpg

In the sling at Skyline Marina.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0307.jpg

In the San Juans.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0315.jpg

It was a beautiful day, at least in the shelter of the islands.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0316.jpg

At Roche Harbor.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0317.jpg

In the Ship Canal in Seattle.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0408-1.jpg

The crew in Lake Union in Seattle.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/ Spring-Midsummer%202011/IMG_0414-1.jpg

Mary Elyse back in home waters.

http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x458/tanitoby/IMG_0418.jpg

JMARTIN posted 11-22-2011 12:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
I remember when the sling at Skyline was self serve. That was very entertaining to watch.

John

george nagy posted 11-23-2011 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Wow that second picture of the boat being slung off the trailer makes me even more nervous. Tom from the angle of the photograph it would appear that any jerking motion of the hoist machine could create enough inertia to pop that sling backward. I would love to see this area in person some day and experiece it first hand. these types of photo essay posts are always my favorite!
george nagy posted 11-23-2011 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Wow that second picture of the boat being slung off the trailer makes me even more nervous. Tom from the angle of the photograph it would appear that any jerking motion of the hoist machine could create enough inertia to pop that sling backward. I would love to see this area in person some day and experiece it first hand. these types of photo essay posts are always my favorite!

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