Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 23 - Friday Harbor to Hope Island

Friday, August 5, 2011.
One of the best "old traditions" we have when we are in Friday Harbor is to walk up town to the donut shop and get fresh donuts for breakfast.  This is always a treat.  The cafe is always packed with folks because they serve a delicious breakfast too.  This morning was no exception.  We ordered some donuts and apple fritters that we would enjoy for our morning cruise out of Friday Harbor.  As soon as we got back I gave the engine a quick check and untied from our slip at 0920.  The crew helped me out of the slip and then met up with me in the Zipper out in front of the marina where we set up the Zipper to tow.  Again I enjoy this a lot because it's nice to have help that you can trust on the dock.

Once out of Friday Harbor we set our course for just north of Turn Island.  There was no fog but a few light low clouds.   There was a fresh 10-15 knot south wind blowing up San Juan Channel which made for a bit of an uncomfortable chop when combined with the current.  We turned to go up Upright Channel, passing Flat Point to our starboard.  The channel was crowded with all sorts of boats - ferries, fish boats, sail boats, runabouts, and various powerboats.  I tried to stay on the far east side of Upright Channel to avoid most of the marine traffic.  The wind calmed after rounding Upright Head on Lopez Island, but the marine traffic did not.  We motored east through Thatcher Pass, north of James Island, and then turned to go SE down Rosario Strait passing Bird Rocks (well to our starboard) and Williamson Rocks (well to our port) on our way to Deception Pass.  I was surprised at how calm Rosario Strait was and it made for an easy cruise.  I thought because of the wind we experienced back at San Juan Channel that there would as much or more wind here in Rosario Strait.  We were cruising at a relaxed pace at 1,700 rpm.

We were going to be at Deception Pass well before slack.  I figured that the current would be ebbing at 3-4 knots, when in reality the current was ebbing at over 5 knots!  I wasn't too worried and figured we'd be able to make it through without too much problem.  As we approached Deception Pass I could see a sailboat slowly making his way through the narrow passage.  We easily caught up to him and followed him through.  He was definitely struggling against the strong current.  He was right in the middle of the channel and with the current running so strong it would have been dangerous to attempt to pass him, but I kept off his port quarter.  At times we were only making about 2.5 knots headway against the strong ebb current.  A Bayliner came dangerously close behind us and you could tell he was pushing us to hurry through.  The current was really moving and pushing us all towards the small island in the middle of Deception Pass.  I was worried that this Bayliner skipper would attempt a pass between me and the sailboat since he was off of my starboard quarter.  I finally pushed the throttle to 2,100 rpm and made way to pass the sailboat off of our starboard side.  I don't think the sailboat skipper was too happy, but he did move over to let me pass him on his port side.  The Bayliner stayed still dangerously close to my stern (within 20'), moving from the starboard quarter to my port quarter.  After we got out of the strong current he passed me on my port side.  Being out of the current and the stressful traffic I once again lowered the rpm to 1,700 and we once again continued our slow cruise.  Whew!  I was glad to be done with that.

On a buoy at Hope Island State Park
Rounding Hoypus Point we spotted an open mooring buoy at Hope Island - the 3rd buoy from the west.  Good, I wasn't in the mood to anchor here.  We tied up to the buoy at 1345.  It was good not to be motoring - that mess by Deception Pass had me a bit flustered.  I finished reading a book and the crew took a nap.  I also spent time preparing supper - grilled curry chicken and a sunomono salad.  Had a nice evening. 

Part of the evening's entertainment was watching a sailboat from Port Ludlow spend almost an hour or more trying to anchor.  There were about 6 boats anchored and all were watching.  They would drop their anchor with not enough rode and move quickly back to set the anchor.  The wife was working the throttle and letting the skipper know of the depth.  If you've ever tried to anchor by Hope Island you will learn that it shoals rapidly from 60' to 7' and that the bottom is soft and covered with thick kelp.  I could tell that the crew was getting frustrated by the sound of the skipper yelling commands - "turn this way," "no, turn that way," "slow down," "what's the depth," "stop," and "go forward."  Finally, and luckily for the wife they finally were able to get the anchor set.  Finally silence once again returned to the small anchorage.
Stats: 24.2 nm, average speed 5.6 knots, 4:19 hrs. motoring, ending engine hours 6178.7

Grilled curry chicken marinade
  • 2-3 T of olive oil, amount varies on how much chicken
  • 1 T of curry powder
  • 1 T of onion powder
  • 1/2 t ground tumeric
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 2 T Bicks Red Pepper Relish (substitute 2 T of chopped pickled jalapeno's if you don't have Bick's relish)
  • 2 drops of fish sauce (substitute 1/2 t salt)
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 4-5 chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts
Mix all the ingredients well except the chicken in a zip lock bag.  Add the chicken and squish the bag about to working the spices and ingredients into the chicken.  Squish and mix the ingredients about every 15 or so minutes.  Let the chicken marinade for at least an hour or more.  Remove the chicken from the zip lock bag and grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until cooked thoroughly about 15 minutes .  Discard the marinade.

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