V-02 Set Course for home

Clearing customs in Roche Harbor we did sail to Deer Harbor a smaller delightful marina on Orcas Island compared to the overwhelming magnitude of yachts $$$ in the marina at Roche. We did enjoy the lowering of colors ceremony for the Union Jack, the Canadian and US flags and the music and cannon fire at Roche. I always thought our Port should have a daily ceremony with cannon and flag lowering. Some ceremony for towns is relevant.

From Deer Harbor we went to the busy marina at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island staying two nights. Watching the ferry traffic and other boat traffic is pretty interesting and meeting people and their dogs.

We were ready to head home and checked NOAA weather on the internet and Seattle weather on the VHF. Tides and winds in the Straits of San Juan de Fuca looked ok and so in the early morning we steered a course for Cattle Pass the exit between San Juan Island and Lopez into the Straits and motored to Port Ludlow. The rip tides off Point Wilson got our attention as did the two to three foot waves on our starboard beam at times during the crossing. But winds were light.

After a one day respite at Ludlow to do laundry, shower and take on fuel and water we stopped at Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island and enjoyed dinner with our friends Jean and Doug on board Greywolf. The next day on to Gig a stop to wait on a good tide to take us through the Tacoma Narrows to home port. Our departure music from Eagle Harbor was John Williams “Hymn to the Fallen” from the movie score Saving Private Ryan. As in past voyages we again honored our fallen. 🇺🇸

On our way to Olympia we encountered 3-4 waves in Dana Passage the result of a flood tide meeting an oncoming 20 knot westerly wind. We sailed briefly in Bud Inlet but the gusts overpowered my Genoa and we doused the sail. In the process of furling the sail the Genoa sheet caught the mid ship cleat and caused all sorts of issues until Ann was able to free the line. So our voyage ended with excitement and yet another learning experience about sailing on our newer boat Kestrel. Sailing like life is truly a learning experience. Some scary moments too.

Thankful to be at homeport we stayed the night and cleaned up the boat the next day. So ended 28 days on board our Kestrel living in tight quarters, bumping our heads, rowing ashore for Wilson, and taking in the beauty of the Northwest waters. Finally we did see an Orca whale just off Fox Island and a number of humpbacks off Anderson Island all in the South Puget Sound a rarity. The whales escorted us home. 🐳.

So completes a safe wonderful 28 day Voyage 2

Fair winds and Following Seas to our friends on the sea and at home.

Gary, Ann Marie and Ensign Wilson

Author: S/V Kestrel

Retired maritime executive and cargo surveyor.

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