Friday with Family
2/10/2020 - 2/12/2020 🍒
Family Visit From Taiwan
For several months, we have known that Tracy’s family was going to visit from Taiwan in January. There is a group of 6 people coming. Tracy’s mom and dad, her Nephew, Daniel , her brother, Arthur and his wife Sissi, and their daughter, Angela. Sissi didn't join this boat trip because she had to return for work.
Besides the typical touristy things about the Seattle area, we had really wanted to take them to the San Juans for a couple of days. Now, as most of you know, our boat isn’t going to sleep 8 people. So we thought about how we were going to allow them to see some of the islands and get some boat time.
Planning A Boat Trip In February
Enter the horrible January and February weather that we had here in the PNW. It rained everyday in January. Much of that rain accompanied by 20-30 knot winds. Occasionally it looked like a 2-3-day window of reasonable weather would happen, but the forecast kept deteriorating. We could accomplish our plan in the rain, but seas in the 3-4-foot range (as often forecast) are not conducive to “pleasure” boating. Trying to couple the often-changing forecast to a hotel schedule proved problematic as well. We were really beginning to think that this may not happen.
Again, the forecast was giving us a little hope. It looked like Sunday would actually be a reasonable day and it appeared to hold for the next couple days. Things were looking promising. Going to Friday Harbor on Monday and Returning on Wednesday was looking really good!!
Boat, Ferry, VRBO on San Juan
Now…To put this all together….. Tracy found a VRBO in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island that was wonderful. Waterfront, nice view and room for all of us…but a couple miles from the marina or the ferry dock. So, we will need a car on San Juan Island. So, Arthur will drive mom up on the ferry on Monday. The rest of us will take Cerise and meet in Friday Harbor!! Well, the plan worked. I knew which ferry they would be on, so I planned to be ahead of them, expecting the ferry to pass us on the route someplace. Just as we were entering Rosario Strait, WSF Samish was pulling out of the dock at Anacortes. Just on schedule, the ferry passed us just west of Thatcher Pass. Of course, we were in contact with Arthur and mom, and they got the requisite pictures of Cerise under way from the ferry. The entire trip from LA Conner to Friday Harbor was smooth, blue sky and beautiful.
Tracy and I pointed out some of the highlights along the way. Such as the Swinomish Channel, the tankers anchored at Anacortes. We also explained how watch for whale blows. Unfortunately, we never saw any. Angela spent much of the trip laying on the bed playing video games. Occasionally she would come up for snacks, or take pictures. I let Daniel take the helm after the ferry passed us. He had never driven a boat before, but even so, he did a great job. He kept a diligent eye out for logs, and seemed genuinely please when he would point one out before I had seen it. He did learn that logs are an issue in the PNW, especially after big rain, and big tides. We had both this week and we saw a lot of logs. He drove until we got to Brown Island, just outside the marina.
We got settled in at the Port of Friday Harbor and Tracy, Dad, Angela, Daniel and I walked toward town to meet Arthur and Mom. Where the "7" of us got into my car and found the VRBO house and made lunch. And relaxed looking at the view.
A Short Boat Ride With A Full Load of Family
The next morning, all 7 of us got in the boat with the plan to head toward Roche Harbor. The wind had kicked up a bit, so we remained flexible. As we motored west toward Roche, the waves kept getting bigger. They were honest 3 foot waves with whitecaps. So, we turned around and stayed in the protection of San Juan Island. We went into the east end of Friday Harbor and found the place we were staying. Everyone seemed to enjoy being able to see “our house” from the water. After a leisurely cruise between SJI and Brown Island back to the marina, again we got Cerise tucked in for the night and went to Downriggers for lunch. That place has great food. We spent the rest of the day relaxing at “home” in front of the fire and enjoying the surroundings.
A Brewery Is A Nice Ending For This Trip
Wednesday, we had to go home. After lunch at San Juan Brewery (another great spot), we walked through town to the marina and prepared for the trip home. Arthur would drive back alone, and meet us in La Conner. The rest of the group would enjoy the trip back in the boat. After looking at the weather, I decided to take the route back through Cattle Pass in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Deception Pass. The weather was even better than predicted, the entire way home was mostly sunny and barely ripples on the water. The water toward cattle pass looked like the proverbial mill pond. The water crossing the strait was barley rippled. It was a wonderful, smooth and beautiful trip back. We caught a little push through Deception pass as it was flooding about 3.5 knots. This was a great trip home.
Spending this time on the boat was what we needed. Spending it with Tracy’s family made for a very special time. They seemed to enjoy it as much as Tracy and I did. The weather for the boat trips couldn’t have been better. Well, the Tuesday boat ride could have been, but not the trip to and from. We will all remember these two days.
More pictures from this trip...