Reminder - we have no Internet or cell phone coverage here, so please communicate with us via our Winlink.org or Sailmail.com email addresses. As we're often down in fjords (not Chevys), even our Iridium phone has spotty coverage.
We had lot's of fun meeting the folks at the Inaugural Perry Rendezvous North last night and visiting today. The party was much smaller than the big Perry Rendezvous in Pt. Ludlow in August.
There were 4 other Perry design boats in attendance 3 Panda 40s: Warlord with Wilf and Bonnie, Alcyon with Steve and Pauline and Silverfin with Dick and Rennie; a Baba 30 with Harry and Paula and us. A group of very interesting folks: When Dick was a graduate student studying vulcanology, he was 10 miles from Mt. Saint Helens when it blew and took some of the famous poster pictures of it. Steve is a glaciologist and fellow electronics geek - he had loaned some of his instruments to the science teams studying the eruption and it wasn't until this party that they realized that they knew each other from back then. Lots great stories.
Refuge Cove has been a good spot to be in right now. It's a safe haven in bad weather. We got here Thursday, just before a "not normal for this time of year" storm went through. Friday was windy and rolly but we were safe and sound tied up to the dock, boats were rafted to each other as the little dock here was over full.
This is also a very active marina because it has a good store for provisioning, fuel dock, laundry, showers and (expensive) pay phone. These stops are fewer and farther between now that we're beyond "civilization". Many boats stop for just a couple of hours and then are on their way. We re told that during the highest season 600 boats pass through in a single day.
Dock space here is first come, first served with no reservations, just a big long dock where everyone needs to work out how they tie up on their own. As boats come and go all day, there's often lots of space between boats on the dock - not optimum packing. As there's no organization, you have to negotiate with the other boats to move down a bit to make room.
When we arrived space was tight and there were no open spots. As we temporarily rafted up to another boat, Bill ran the dock seeking a large enough spot. About 30 minutes later another boat left at the end of the dock. Spot found, beers promised, he enlisted neighboring Canadians to hold onto it for us. We raced right around the dock and tied up quickly. Did I mention that cleats don't seem to be used here. There is just another raised 4X4 rail along the dock to tie lines to. We miss cleats.
Anyway, our new neighbors didn't care about the beers. In fact they were very generous in sharing their catch. So we had tastes of the local oysters, clams and succulent shrimp. The shrimp were so good, we were tempted to buy a shrimp trap. But that would mean not only another trap but also another 300 feet on sinking line. So no shrimp trap purchased, yet.
The group of Canadians were a big extended family of 12 people on 4 small power boats. The largest was a 1970s era 24 foot Carver. The smallest, a 21 foot bow rider. It was definitely camping. As there wasn't much space on any of the boats, their party was held on the dock. When the rainstorm hit, we invited them on board Raptor Dance and we continued the party in our cockpit.
We did see lots of activity...boats getting in away from the rough seas and high wind. Then when calm came, most of the boats left and a new group filled right in. So we've been getting to know folks and hearing their recommendations as where the best places to go are.
We have definitely decided not to sail to Alaska (more of the same scenery, fewer people and boats, more bears and more rain). We will continue to explore Desolation Sound, The Broughtons, Gulf and San Juan Islands. We plan on ending up in Lake Union for the winter in Seattle in Early November before the weather turns cold.
We forgot to mention in our last email, arriving in Desolation Sound, we're now above 50 North Latitude - much closer to the North Pole than the equator. As a result they daylight hours have been quite long. For example, today morning twilight began at 3:37 AM , sunrise was at 5:21 AM, sunset will be at 9:27 PM and evening twilight will continue until 11:11 PM. This makes for a very long day, good thing we have blackout curtains in our stateroom.
The weather has also FINALLY turned nice, sunshine in the mid-70s today with continued high pressure building contributing to a great forecast for the coming week.
Mary and Bill