So, we finally departed Seattle -again - on May 16, 2007. Zipped over to Port Ludlow, then up to Echo Bay at Sucia Island in the San Juans. Why yes; it IS one of our favorite routes, thanks-for-asking. One thing about the San Juans: when the currents are in your favor, they can REALLY be in your favor.
(FYI to non-sailing readers: attaining 11 knots of speed in a boat is roughly equivalent to going 15 mph in a car. Except in a boat, if you're going 11 knots and conditions are benign, it's really exciting. And if conditions are bad, you're terrified.)
This return trip in mid-May saw a couple of pretty cool boats sharing the anchorage with us in Echo Bay and waiting out the effects of a fairly aggressive low pressure system, including the historic schooner Zodiac with about 30
crew paying customers who were really enjoying themselves. How often does one have a chance to sail on a historic ship like Zodiac?*
We even shared the anchorage with a woman who has circumnavigated twice, in this here 38-foot boat, which, cool:
There is one particular reason, though, why Echo Bay is dear to me despite my having been there so many times. One July, years ago, GB and friends of ours anchored among about 100 other boats in Echo Bay. It was crowded and noisy relative to other times I had been there, so I felt at less than maximum thrill. And then, a 40-foot sailboat arrived and anchored near us, with 3 or 4 gray-haired fellows having a weekend away from the wives. They were laughing and talking excitedly amongst themselves, and it seemed as if at least one of them had never been sailing before - or at least, not here. As the sun set, this one happy fellow checked the anchor one last time, looked past all the other boats into the setting sun, and said to no one in particular,
"Oh, this is the trip of a lifetime!"
*especially in the rain, when you can really feel solidarity with 19th century sailors.