Thursday, October 6, 2011

Points South

Sidney to Neah Bay

August 26, 2011
Sidney rose garden
The boat was finally ready to take south.  The navigation system was repositioned and tested exhaustively and found to work as it should.  On my last trip into Sidney I took a picture of the rose garden by the library.  I always detoured to go through it; one should, after all, stop and smell the roses.  And I missed my garden.  

After two weeks in the boatyard we were eager to get going so at 4 pm we made the trip to Sidney Spit, a whole 45 minutes away.  By the time we had dinner and cleaned up the day was over.

Last sunrise in Canada
 August 27, 2011
 As usual, Mark wanted to get an early start for the trip to Port Angeles where we would check into the US so the anchor was up at 6 am.  We motored all the way, the winds not being favourable for sailing, about half the time in fog and arrived at about 12:30 pm.    

While we were on our way I thought about the last time we crossed into the US earlier in the summer at Roche Harbor.  As we pulled up to the Customs dock, 5 big burly men in uniform, bullet-proof vests, guns and those big black lace-up boots and a drug dog came to the boat and asked us to sit in white plastic lawn chairs while they searched the boat.  We weren’t singled out for this honour; everyone else checking into the country got the royal treatment as well.  They spent about half an hour going through the boat.  We passed the dog test which was a relief.  The boat had been in charter in Florida so you never know.  It seems we did not pass the avocado test however, and were sternly spoken to and given a printed sheet with the food rules.  And they threw my avocado in the garbage right in front of me!

So, as we were travelling towards the border I took stock of what I might have on board that could cause problems.  After our disgrace in Roche Harbor I was sure that our entry would raise all sorts of red flags and we would be inspected very carefully.  We ate the last of our fruit and I threw a couple of things overboard.  The last lemon and lime I made into Lemon Squares (be sure to get Kate’s recipe for these).  As it turned out, the customs official in Port Angeles didn’t care at all what I had on the boat.  It was like we were entering a different country.  He even made an extra trip to bring our cruising permit out to us to save us a trip to their office.

We went to the local Safeway to get perishables since we had eaten or thrown overboard all we had and on the way back to the boat met up with Holly and Denis with whom we had arranged to have dinner.  We originally met Holly and Denis in the Victoria harbour when we first got the boat.  They also have a catamaran and we’ve shared a few anchorages the past few summers.  They had just returned from Hawaii with Vern and Meline as crew and we got to hear all about their trip and see their photos.

Dragon boat races at Neah Bay
August 28, 2011
We motored from Port Angeles to Neah Bay in the fog.  Travelling in the fog is cold and somewhat disconcerting.  We were able to “see” even the smallest sport fishing boat on radar but I prefer to see the other boats visually.  As we approached Neah Bay the wind really picked up and once we were anchored we felt it was too rough to travel in the dingy without getting wet so we didn’t leave the boat.  We were also anchored a long way from shore because there were dragon boat races there that weekend and we wanted to stay out of their race course.    

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