Desolation Sound 2013

Prior to committing on our boat I had heard stories about the world renowned cruising grounds of Desolation sound and the yearly pilgrimage that Ranger Tugs arranges for new and existing owners, as part of our purchase Kelley and I decided that joining this event would be both educational insofar as taking on a long trip and also an opportunity to make some new friends.

The plan was that I would depart prior to the beginning of the cruise to really run Current Obsession through her paces and also some time for me to cruise the San Juan’s. Below you will find small daily journal like entries describing our trip.

Day 1.

The time had come for the most anticipated trip of the year, the cruise to Desolation Sound, this would be a 2 week cruise comprised of the first week singlehanded and then I would pick up my wife Kelley and daughter Sofie in Sydney BC and from there start our itinerary together with a group of fellow Ranger Tug owners.

On day 1 I spend the morning with the girls at home ensuring that all the things I needed to stow on the boat was ready so when they joined me a week later, the trip on the Clipper high speed ferry to Victoria BC would be as light as possible.

Once at Stimson B43 I stowed everything and am constantly amazed of the capacity of this Ranger R-27, I cast of and head for the locks, as if everyone got the same idea as I the waiting area filled in no time, 10 min later we get the green light for the large lock, our boat being the size it is I am guaranteed that I will be rafting to a larger vessel, making my locking through completely uneventful.

Once through I plot a course for Coupeville, I choose the mellow cruise up through Saratoga Passage and decide to spend the night there before tackling Deception Pass in the AM, my cruise to Coupeville is uneventful and enjoyed cruising at a leasurely pace. Once there I dock, pay my fee and start preparing for dinner.

Having had several shakedown cruises, just completed my 50 hour service (at 71 hours) i find there are still systems I have not yet tested, this time around it was my inverter allowing me to run the microwave oven and heat my dinner, when switching it on nothing happens, I double check fuses, switches and the like to no avail, a quick call to Ranger only confirms my suspicion that indeed something is amiss, it will be dealt with in a week when I connect with the Ranger Tug crew of Andrew and Kenny. After Dinner I grab a book and retire for the night early.

Day 2.

I wake early Saturday morning, the wind and waves from the evening before have completely dies down and replaced by complete still and fog, I make a cup of tea and enjoy the silence, brush my teeth and prepare to hit the showers unfortunately the harbor master is not yet awake and he holds the keys for the marina shower oh well I head back and prepare to cast off.

my trip today is short, I head out to Saratoga Passage going east into Skagit Bay and up north to Deception Pass, my first time traversing the Deception pass but precise timing makes this narrow passage less challenging and everything is eventless.

once in Rosario strait I am greeted by 2-3 feet waves hitting me 45 degrees on the beam making for a rolley ride across to James Island and into Thatcher Pass. Now I am in the San Juan’s and its a short cruise up to the northern part of Blakely Island where I will spend the day relaxing, by now the fog is but a memory and the weather is great, in the marina I see people come in all through the day buckets filled with Dungeness crab, my dinner tonight is the microwaveable Trader Joe’s dinner that went unused last night due to my inverter incident, today i have shore power and Wi-Fi and making good use of it.

The plan as it develops is “must see” Rosario Resort tomorrow and likely onto Friday harbor.

Day 3.

Woke up around 6:30 at Blakely Island marina, prepared the kettle and grabbed my towel and toiletries and headed to the shower, upon showering I proceeded to make tea and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon after bringing the trash to the dumpster I cast off for Rosario resort.

This must see San Juan attraction is a former mansion turned resort/spa with a small marina in the east sound on Orcas Island, its but a 30-40 min cruise from Blakely and along the way I stopped and fished a bit for what I assume was salmon on my fish-finder…no luck though.

I pulled into Rosario and was assigned south dock #11, after situating myself I jumped on the shuttle to East Sound for some restocking of provisions and a collapsible crab pot, my intentions tomorrow is to depart and find a mooring buoy’s and soak the pot and see if Dungeness crab may be on the menu.

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