San Juan Islands, 7 S. Dungeness Crab – Week 2

Week two of the 2012 Dungeness Crab season and we are talking about pots, traps and all the different crab fishing equipment there is available! Crab pots and crab traps: Sherrie & I took care of some yard work on Saturday morning and then decided to hop on the boat and take a short cruise. Now there is a surprise! We left at around 2:30 PM with fairly strong tides against us, so it took about 3 hours to reach our planned destination. Upon arriving,…

Northwest Coast Clothing

DIY camping gear

One of the hardest things about trying to enjoy any recreational activity around the Northwest Coast is the inconsistency of weather that we have. While rain is extremely common, so is wind, cold, heat, sun, snow, and fog. Sometimes many of these conditions occur at the same time. It’s not uncommon to be standing in warm sunshine in the middle of a downpour, or hiking in a clear, sunny, but totally freezing January day. Along the Northwest Coast, fog is a common companion throughout the…

Marine Water Heaters–Camping and Boat Showers

We talked about the luxury and decadence of hot water showers in our previous article, “Boating and Camping Showers.” This article goes a bit further, with specific application toward our configuration. While the specifics are, — well, rather specific, — the principles apply across most marine hot water systems. The essential elements are an engine with freshwater cooling capacities, a heat exchanger, and a hot water heater that can take advantage of the he heat exchanger. Marine Hot Water Heater Replacement 3 years ago, we…

James Island Marine State Park

Looking for a great island to visit in the San Juan Islands? James Island is right up there with Sucia Island, but it’s a lot further south. James also makes an ideal staging spot for further exploration into the islands. James Island is a Marine State Park operated by the Washington State Parks. It’s located just east of Thatcher Pass, the ‘gateway’ to the San Juan Islands, so it makes an excellent staging island for boats planning multi-day trips into the islands or beginning a…

Boat and Camping Showers: Equipment and Strategies

Boat showers, like camping showers, are simple luxuries that can change a remote vacation from roughing it, to a pleasurable escape that you, your friends, and your family will look forward to year after year. One of the most luxurious and to my mind, necessary adjuncts to boat cruising, is being able to take a shower after 2 or 3 days. I can manage a weekend, a week or even a month without a shower, washing and rinsing as necessary to keep comfortable and not…

Matia Island State Park

matia island

High winds caught us by surprise while anchored at Matia Island for Memorial Day. Fortunately, I followed the steps listed in my marine safety article before going to bed and we were able to avert running aground when both anchors began to drag. Boating to Matia Island My friends Ken and Sherrie, my wife, and I had made plans months ago to redevous at Matia Island for Memorial Day weekend. I made a hard push in May to get my hands on the new Torqeedo…

Best Place for Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands Washington

One of the many really cool things about living here in the San Juan Islands is our Orca Whale population. We have both resident whales and transient whales and if you know where to go and when, the chances of seeing them are very good. Even if you don’t have your own boat many whale watching tours are available. Whales and Sails Ken and I were fortunate enough to come across three separate pods a single day while transiting and fishing along the West side…

Controlling Fear While Cruising

This article is a followup on my previous post about the virtues of logic and emotional control. I believe that fear is an ever present companion for people that choose a life of cruising. “Did I set the anchor properly? What is the weather doing? What if the winds pick up overnight? Is my anchor alarm working properly?” These are just a few of the fear based questions that makes me hesistate to adopt a cruising lifestyle. They are questions that consistently keep me up…

Fishing for Lingcod, Cypress Island Washington

Heading out to Cypress Island in Washington to one of our favorite Lingcod fishing holes. Fishing from a sailboat is challenge, but bottom fishing for Lingcod can be especially difficult. Ken and I have spent several years perfecting our style and have learned the best times and tides for us to fish for this wonderful fish. One of the places we make a point of visiting during the Lingcod fishing season, is at Cypress Island. There are several very productive holes around the Cone Islands…

Home Port: Cap Sante Boat Haven

It occurred to us, that while we talk about our adventures in the Islands, we never mention anything about our home port, Cap Sante Boat Haven. We have been moored at Cap Sante Marina for over 4 years, since we purchased our first boat the Gwa’Wis. Cap Sante is a public Marina located on the Eastern side of Fidalgo Island, and operated by the Port of Anacortes. While Cap Sante Boat Haven is a wonderful starting point for any adventure, it is also a great…

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