Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 20 - Back in the US

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
An absolutely still night made for a very good sleep. There wasn't a ripple or a breath of wind all night long.

We untied from the mooring buoy at Montague Harbor at 0615 for the next leg of our journey - on to Friday Harbor and the US. We left under clear skies and that persistent NW wind of about 10 knots. As we motored down Trincomali Channel, into Navy Channel, and into Plumper Sound we had a brisk SE wind of 10 knots. We seemed to be fighting the current most of the way to Friday Harbor. Crossing Haro Strait/Boundary Pass was lumpy. We crossed the border at about 0846. There were quite a few boats out.

One funny comment, as we were crossing Boundary Pass, we saw a large cruise ship heading W. The VHF radio crackled "This is the Princess of the Seas, calling the Pacific Pearl." "This is the Pacific Pearl. " Princess: "Good morning skipper, what are your intentions?" Pacific Pearl: "We're going to pick up speed and try to cut across your bow." Princess: "Are you sure skipper? We're doing almost 30 knots. I don't think that would be too wise. We're pretty heavy." Pacific Pearl: "Okay skipper we'll slip in behind you." Princess: "Wise choice skipper. Have a great day." Pearl: no answer. Kim and I laughed and laughed. We're familiar with the Pacific Pearl. It's a 40+ foot cruiser. It also proves my axiom, "Never ever mess with a ship."

Once again we found ourselves crabbing across Boundary Pass. I had the bow pointed almost towards Jones Island but the current was pushing us W. We were not making good speed, only about 4+ knots. Once we passed our waypoint W of Jones Island and in San Juan Channel we stared picking up speed towards Friday Harbor. We called Friday Harbor for a slip and were put on a waiting list at #6. Meanwhile we headed for the customs dock. After what seemed to be an eternity a customs agent came down to the boat and asked for our papers and just looked at the boat from the dock. He asked a few questions then left. He told me to wait and then pick up the customs phone. Next thing you know the customs phone rang, I answered, and it was a different customs agent. I answered their questions and was granted permission to enter the US with clearance #: 301420100727142547. One interesting thing I did find out though was that this was the busiest pleasure boat port of entry in the US.

When I returned to the boat, Kim told me that we had received our slip assignment: E21. Kim went off in the Zipper to meet me at the finger pier and help me in. Fortunately the current was not running and I got into the slip - bow in, starboard tie - without any problem. We finally got all tied up at 1150. I was exhausted.

We called Ted Leche - our good friend and retired Episcopalian priest who's wife had recently passed away - to see if he wanted to visit. We enjoyed a beer and snacks down at the boat and then went up to Herb's Tavern for supper. Kim was in the mood for a cheeseburger. Kim had a blue cheese and bacon burger, and I had the beer batter fish and chips. It was really good. After supper I came back to the boat and crashed. I always get so nervous about going through customs and the current in Friday Harbor. I know, I know there's nothing to worry about. And there wasn't.

Stats: 28.1 nm, average speed 5.3 knots, running time 5:20, ending engine time 6048.0.

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