Desolation Sound Marine Park

Solace anchored in Desolation Sound Park

The northwest wind was heavy and steady at 15 to 20 knots. It had been like that for three days with no end in the forecast. My engine appeared to be running well, so I shoved off the dock and carefully dodged the other boats transiting the Lund Marina. As I rounded the most northern point of mainland before Desolation Sound Marine Park, my engine began to sputter. I throttled down to just above idle, hoping I could limp in. No dice. With a half…

How To Make Trail Maps

Create A Google Map

I have been using the Open GPS Tracker app on my Android phone to make my own trail maps for a few months. Everyone I have shown it to has been blown away with the ease with which I’m able to overlay my GPS bread-crumb trail onto a satellite map to get an aerial view of where I’ve hiked and to share my own home-made trail maps. All this technology is free to use! And so, my intrepid and adventurous readers, here is a step-by-step…

Cornet Bay, Deception Pass

Solace at Rosario Head

Today was one of those rare days where not one single second of it sucked. The entire day was a conveyor belt of fun and engagement. I started off this Saturday morning by waking without an alarm clock. A friend and I were going to head inside Deception Pass, but I wasn’t sure which island I wanted to end up on. I laid in bed and considered my anchorage options for that evening. Hope Island was a favorite, but the off-season is a great time…

Crabbing with Family

Bayliner 288

After years of cheerleading and encouragement directed at my parents to get a four-season boat so that they could join me on adventures, they finally got one. No-one in my family but me has any sailing experience, despite three generations of avid boating, so it was no surprise when they purchased a Bayliner 288. The four-day trip we took last weekend was months in the planning, yet only considered a ‘trial run’ for the three-week trip we’ll be taking in September. If it wasn’t for…

Mary Leach Natural Area, Sinclair Island

“Wait a minute… you guys! There is a piece of public land on Sinclair Island that I read about. Apparently there was a lady who donated her land to the public before she died. Let’s go find it!” …That’s how our little expedition got underway. My friends Andy and Izak will be joining me on my 250 mile sail to Texada Island in September. They will each have their own boats and our small regatta plans to storm Canada together. This weekend we rendezvoused at…

Sailing in Solitude

Bowman Bay Rocks

When I set out the water was as placid as a lake. The only ripples were those from my bow cutting through the calm, cold water. This weekend I was headed to Bowman Bay, just west of Deception Pass where Fidalgo and Whidbey islands meet. This is a great little bay with a floating dock, three mooring buoys, and another dock at Rosiaro park on the other side of the bay. It’s a tricky entrance though. The mouth has three rocks, one of which is…

Watmough Bay, Lopez Island

Watmough Bay on Lopez Island

I set off towards the sunset, the water as smooth as glass. Every time I leave the dock I get a high, a rush, from the sense of freedom; the sense of escape. It’s a confirmation that I am not defined by my life on land. I am a boater. My home floats. The islands are waiting to feed my body and my soul and my small craft can handle whatever they throw my way. I am one with this environment. This weekend feels especially…

Doe Bay Resort

A few weeks ago, my wife and I got the opportunity to stay at the Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island. We had been there several times by car, but had never stayed there overnight. This weekend we took the Rock ‘n Row and stayed overnight on one of the resorts two mooring buoys. Doe Bay Resort is the un-resort of resorts. It completely redefines what a ‘resort’ is. If you crave room service, fancy rooms, and public displays of wealth, then Doe Bay is…

Gunkholing in the Salish Sea

gunkholing in the san juan islands video

From Wikipedia: Gunkholing is a boating and sea kayaking term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes. While not necessary, gunkholers typically seek out the serenity of isolated anchorages over the crowds of marinas and popular bays, and a minimal draft is preferred, since gunkholers tend to go…

Hope Island Marine State Park

The Victoria Clipper Shuttle

Labor Day weekend dawned and my wife and I were badly needing a get-away. Things have been just crazy at both of our jobs and stress had been running high for several weeks. Before setting out on the boat, we decided on some criteria our destination had to meet: Be calm and relaxing Have good crabbing Be somewhere we haven’t visited before Skagit Bay and Similk Bay, tucked between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands met this criteria nicely. To be fair, we had been to Hope…

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