Pleasure boating. We subscribe to this. If the weather or sea conditions or something about Fiddler cause anxiety or preclude having a good time, we don’t go. I closely watch the marine weather and keep Fiddler in ship shape. When including friends, good food, and activities in the mix, the pleasure factor in greatly enhanced. This two week trip had all of these stars in alignment. The weather was great, the sea was calm, Fiddler was up to the task, and friends, good food, and fun activities topped it all off.
Onboard Professional Chef
That sounds extremely pretentious. But it is true. Our good friend Diane, owner of Diane’s Market Kitchen in Pike Place Market, loves to go boating. We invited her to join us at the MBYC cruise to Roche Harbor, a weekend event with our yacht club friends. That also sounds pretentious, but this is an all-volunteer club that likes to go boating. We joined to meet like-minded boaters, to volunteer, and to enjoy occasional social events like this cruise. But Diane insisted on preparing all of our meals that were not provided at the event. We had no choice but to feast on kobe steak, salmon, and unbelievably mouth watering salads.
The MBYC rendezvous was fun as always. There were two boat renaming ceremonies with champagne, a pet parade, the largest crab contest, beer, wine, more beer, and a tour of the Roche Harbor Resort from an MBYC member who is the grandson of the previous owner of the resort. Every night there is a flag lowering ceremony at the marina. On the last night of our group cruise, the MBYC officers participated in the ceremony and then jumped in the water. That might have become a tradition since it is the second year they jumped in. Chef Diane had to return to Seattle and flew back on a Kenmore Air seaplane, leaving us to fend for our own meals.
Buddy Boating in British Columbia
Boaters are typically easy to talk with. We talk about our boats, anchors, electronics, and boat trips, to name a few topics that we all have in common. But occasionally we meet boaters that offer a little more than that commonality and are just plain fun to be around. We have friends like that at MBYC. We also recently met a couple while Dale was the marine park host at Blake Island State Marine Park this summer. They live in California but keep their boat in Seattle and happened to be anchored near Roche Harbor. After the MBYC festivities ended, we paired up with them and ventured north. The first night we went all of four miles to Reid Harbor on Stuart Island, one of my favorite anchorages with kayaking, hikes, and crabbing. I’m not going to describe our whisky driven, midnight ride to check the crab traps, except to say that we had appropriate lighting on the dinghy.
On to Canada and Montague Harbor. We cleared customs before leaving Reid Harbor, a very easy process with the Nexus trusted traveler card. Montague Harbor is in the Gulf Islands and a very popular anchorage. One of the reasons for its popularity is the Hummingbird Inn Pub Bus.
The bus stops every hour at a nearby intersection within easy walking distance from the anchorage and provides transportation to the pub. It’s not just transportation though. It’s a party. When you step aboard, the driver hands out percussion instruments such as tambourines and shakers. Then the driver plays classic rock music while we all keep the beat and sing along. At the back of the bus is space for hula hooping. Cathleen entertained us with her hula hooping skills.
The pub food was good and then we followed the same routine on the way back. Everyone that goes to Montague Harbor should do this at least once. You won’t forget it.
Next we ventured back into civilization at Sidney, BC, on Vancouver Island. We especially wanted to visit the Thursday Street Market for some fresh produce.
Back in the USA
We went on to Port Browning for a night where we had dinner with the couple that introduced us to MBYC, then back to the USA. We stopped momentarily at Echo Bay on Sucia Island but it was way too windy and bouncy at anchor. We moved to Prevost Harbor for the night where it was dead calm and just as scenic. There is always a protected anchorage in the San Juan Islands regardless of the direction of the wind.
We crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca and stopped at Port Ludlow for more mental battery recharging before heading back to Seattle.
These two weeks rank among the top pleasure boating weeks ever. Here is our track.