Saratoga Passage

2 June 2018 –

After securing SWEET PEA for sea I depart the Port of Edmonds berth at 9:30am. Before leaving the marina there is a quick stop at the gas dock for fuel. Leaving the port entrance I turn to starboard heading up Possession Sound. A very light-to-no-wind that is blowing on the nose, along with a slight adverse current; so the motor runs until 1pm when I’m near Langly and the winds picks up from the NW 5-10 knots. Two hours later I clear East Point and an hour later pass by Baby Island heading south into Holmes Harbor.

At 5pm I arrive in Honeymoon Bay and under sail drop the anchor.

3 June –

There is a lack of protected anchorages in Saratoga Passage. At the north end there is Oak Harbor. Nothing south is protected from all directions and none are protected from the wakes of passing boats.

Honeymoon Bay was uncomfortable. The wind overnight was light to calm but just a bit north at Greenback the wind was blowing hard across a low spot on Whidbey Island from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The resulting waves roll down Holmes Harbor making for a rocking and rolling evening and night. It calmed some in the pre-dawn morning but made for uncomfortable sleeping and difficult cooking. Maybe this rolling is why this place is called Honeymoon Bay? (ha!!)

Logbook notes about wind and waves.

Departing at 9am in a light rain SWEET PEA motorS north. Near Greenback the wind comes up and up go the sails. The rain has not lessened and I’m feeling a bit chilly even wearing long underwear, heavy clothes and raingear. The wind is blowing west-ish of Northwest over Whidbey so I’m able to make a long tack along the western side of Saratoga Passage.

As I reach Snatelum Point the rain is pissing down and I hove-to to make a cup of coffee and have a snack. SWEET PEA bobs happily and Momma Kitty seems annoyed as I have come into the cabin in my wet rain gear.

Wet sails while hove-too near
Snatelum Point.

After fueling the inner fire I sail across the east side of Penn Cove and enter the channel to Oak Harbor. In the lee of Blowers Bluff the wind quickly goes from 10-15kts to light and variable. I drop the sails and motor to the marina where I top off the fuel and dump the porta potti – RULE: always dump the head when the opportunity exists.

After collecting some local knowledge on the bay’s holding ground decide to anchor in the bay. It is a very shallow and the holding is only OK (soft mud). Once the hook is set I pull off the rain gear, shove it into the port cockpit locker and go below for another cup of coffee and cuddling with Momma Kitty. It is 1:45pm.

The late afternoon and evening are spent reading and listening to rain hitting the deck. The wind shifts about 9pm and the rigging is whistling. I check the GPS and it agrees with my visual assessment that the anchor is holding. With that it is time for bed.

4 June –

The wind died down overnight and I slept well. SWEET PEA kept her nose to the wind so she didn’t roll like last night at Honeymoon Bay.

I’ll spend the day here at Oak Harbor. The weather is forecast to improve tomorrow and I’ll need to depart early to have a favorable current to Cornet Bay near Deception Pass.

With the chill and high humidity there is a good amount of condensation inside the boat. Sure would be nice to have a heater to speed drying out!

It rains through the morning and then the sky clears and it becomes mostly sunny. I hang my rain gear across the boom to dry.

A layover means I also give the cabin a good cleaning and organize a few things. A small boat means housework doesn’t take long so the rest of the day is spent reading, warming myself in the sun and taking an afternoon nap. Momma Kitty also does some sunbathing.

After diner I go to bed with no reading as there is an early wakeup to ride the current north to Cornet Bay.

Sun setting at Oak Harbor.

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