Back to Anacortes
This winter my revolutions have brought me back to Anacortes. I had my heart set on Friday Harbor, but a new, part-time job on the mainland forced the decision. I’ll be working as a website designer for a local newspaper. At the same time, I’ll be building up my own freelance web design business. Both will move me closer to a lifestyle of digital nomadism and continuous cruising in the San Juan Islands.
I’ve said it before: I get a lot of love from my family in Portland. It’s wonderful to visit and hard to leave. The impending birth of my new nephew only strengthened the ties between my network of generous family members. But after only two weeks I could hear the strong siren’s call of the islands. Nothing can beat the sense of homecoming I feel when viewing the islands for the first time, after a long journey back home.With the van (or ‘adventuremobile’ as I’ve taken to calling it) outfitted for extended off-grid living, I’ll be able to explore the inland parts of the Islands this winter. I also hope to explore the Cascades, Olympic Peninsula, and Vancouver Island this winter too. Boondocking in the town near my new job will cut down on commuting expenses too.
The day after accepting my new job, I raced north in the van to prepare for my new schedule. I was greeted by good friends who hosted a sauna to welcome me back to Fidalgo Island. The next day I walked onto the ferry to retrieve Solace.
As Tropical Storm Nora blew itself out over the Pacific, it sent a storm front towards the Washington coast. The weather forecast for the weekend looked nasty and experience told me that storms this time of year are often much more severe than predicted. That’s why I stared in amazement at the placid water and calm skies as I stepped off the ferry in Friday Harbor. I made the snap decision to bring the boat from Friday Harbor to Anacortes that night, in the dark. The tide was against me, but I wouldn’t get a better weather window in the next week.I lit up Solace like a Christmas tree – red and green navigation lights up front and a bright, white lamp hung from the aft stays. The trip was beautiful and fairly uneventful, except for when a power boat blew past me in Obstruction Pass without any lights on. One minute he was there, materializing out of the dark, then next he was gone, swallowed by the dark once again. I dodged crab trap buoys in the moonless night as I came around the east side of Guemes Island. There was just enough light from the glow of the mainland to make out the obstacles.
The next morning the winds began to pick up. Gale force winds, much, much stronger than the 16MPH that had been predicted. It continued to blow for four days. I patted myself on the back for making the right call.