Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bellingham Today Anacortes Tomorrow

     I am hearing voices.....

     Mostly through the phone lines, and often from the Capt'n, "Are you going to blog again soon?" they are asking.
     I am certain to not be alone in this kind of thinking...  "I am so far behind, I am not sure where to begin."  I suppose sometimes it is just easy to begin with the now.  We are tied up to the guest dock at gate 3 in Bellingham, Washington.  We have been here since Friday, August 8 at 17:59.  We have been  bouncing back and forth from Bellingham to Anacortes, and Port Townsend to Anacortes, then back to Port Townsend and right back here to Bellingham and tomorrow we return to Anacortes.  This may bring up the question of, "Why the back and forth?"  Well, the best response I have at this time is, "We are passing time."  We have spent the last four and a half months cruising schedule free.  We meandered and dawdled our way as far north as Hartley Bay, BC (53 degrees 42 minutes point 58 seconds north and 128 degrees 42 minutes point 40 seconds west) just south of Prince Rupert.  We arrived at Hartley Bay on June 3rd.  We used the BBQ for the first time and cooked a whole chicken.
Hartley Bay is a village still in possession of the First Nation People (an indian reserve).  The docks are government owned and moorage is free.  The only photo we captured of Hartley Bay was the one we took while leaving.  The streets here are all made of wood.  There are no cars here.  The motorized transportation was that of four wheel ATV's.  The locals call their village ATV capitol of the world.  We did spot a smart car in the village however, the fire truck was a Kubota, and the police car was a Mini Cooper.  A grocery facility with limited goods was the garage of someones home and was open whenever they chose to be open which was not while we were there.  It was worth the visit (especially for diesel fill up.

     From Hartley Bay we decided to make our way back down.  We spent the next 6 days anchored out in small and secluded coves of Princess Royal Island.  We were determined to encounter a spirit bear.  There are approximately 500 of these spectacular creatures in existence and approximately 300 hundred of them inhabit the Princess Royal Island.  A Spirit Bear is a black bear with blonde hair (not albino). Though we would dinghy across to the shore and plant bagels with peanut butter with hopes of enticing the beautiful creature, we never got to see one. We anchored our ever-so-trusting ROCHNA at Cameron Cove, Penn Habour, Bone Anchorage, Cowards Cove, Morris Bay.  During this time we had dinners made from fish that was caught daily (including rockfish, halibut, and salmon).  On June 11, we made our way back to Shearwater Marina where we re-provisioned and had a lunch made by someone other than me (the restaurant at the marina).  Of course Bucket enjoyed his usual meal away from home, a hamburger.  We used $32.00 for laundry, $278.00 for groceries, $10.00 for showers, and $124.00 for fuel.  That night we had cereal with real milk for dinner.

     Then back out into the solitude world of anchoring for the next seven days.  We went into the McNaughton Group, Judd Cove (Watt Bay), Lewall Inlet (where we crossed paths with Ken and Mary on 4th of July), back to Pruth Bay, and Waterfall Inlet of Fish Egg Islands.  We had more rainy days than sunny ones.  We often asked, "Will we ever experience summer again."  We would get in FRESH and dinghy around and explore the shores, rain or shine.  We found fresh water streams for bathing, playing and exploring.  We always brought along a tin can containing a few coins for noise making, which was probably one of the reasons we didn't see any bears. Ya think?

     On June 19th we started getting our first taste of civilization.  Well, sort of.  While anchored at Lewall  Inlet (June 15th) Scott took the dinghy over and had a visit with Ken and Mary.  This was the beginning of buddy-ing up for the two of us.  Velvet Sky and 4th of July would meet and tie up on the docks of Dawson's Landing, on June 19th.  We got held up at Dawson's landing with 4 days of rain and gale force winds.  The best part about this was that we got to know our new friends better and on a much deeper level.  Together we found laughter in the high prices of expired food (most of it was expired at least a year), the milk was brought over by a boat while we were there and cost $16.00 a gallon.  The laughter helped ease the shock of paying a little over $300.00 for a small 3 bags of groceries (less the milk). Civilization?

     On June 23, we left shoved off the dock at Dawson's Landing and set course for Duncanby.  With Duncanby in our sights we decided to put the transmission in neutral and do some fishin'.  This is when Scott caught the "Yellow Eye."  He caught a couple of smaller rockfish a short time before the yellow eye and through them back to in so that they could grow older and bigger.  We discovered that Eagles like the "throw backs."  An unintended consequence of a too-small rockfish being pulled to the surface quickly is that the fish needs to acclimate in order to return to the depths.  In the meantime they float on top the water.  Well....while acclimating (floating) the fish becomes easy prey and the eagle gets and easy meal.  The circle of life.  I cleaned the yellow eye in the cock pit, washed it and put it in the fridge for dinner that night.  Scott got bitten by the fishing bug.  We tied up at the dock at Duncanby at 12:30. He brought his pole and tackle out on the dock (in driving raining, I must add) where he caught the ling cod.  Feast!


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