It’s a wrap on another summer on the boat and with the borders closed we couldn’t venture out of the San Juan Islands again this summer. That said we had a most excellent summer with loads of friends visiting. The parade of visitors started in June and didn’t end until September.
We did a lot of day cruises this summer and it was fun to show off the beautiful San Juans. Vendovi Island with its peaceful nature preserve was a hit with everyone we took there. The Beach House also hosted several friends for longer multi-day cruises. It was a blast having friends onboard and spending time together in some of our favorite gunk holes in the San Juans.
It was also fun to show off our charming small town Anacortes. Even as a land based destination, there is a ton to do in the area. Whale watching, hiking, biking, pickleball… we also took several trips up Chuckanut Drive, toured and lunched in Bellingham. I hope I sent everyone exhausted or at least tired of us!!
One highlight was taking a flight around the San Juan Islands with our friends John and Kristen. They flew their Piper Warrior – Valentina to Anacortes from Newport, Oregon to meet up with a gang of us from our winter playground in Palm Springs. John is a great pilot and we have flown with him and Kristen several times. Wally especially loves it as he has a tiny bit of experience flying so it is alot of fun when John lets him take over the controls.
We also had our first boat tow ever… our early season shake down cruise to Stuart Island turned into a break down cruise – Ugh, definitely not a highlight!!! We have two engines on the Beach House and could have motored back on one engine but the broken shaft was a huge liability and had it become disengaged from the boat, bad things could have happened. I gotta say being towed is uber boring as you can’t go very fast and a bit embarrassing but the Tow US folks from Friday Harbor did a great job getting us safely back to Anacortes. There were a few tense moments with our insurance company as they were not excited about a 35 mile water tow. Of course we broke down at the furthest most outer island. Luckily, it all worked out and they realized after some explaining that there was no where closer to tow us that could accommodate our size boat for repairs. We ended up moving back onto the Road House for two weeks while the boat was out of the water for repairs. Alls well that ends well and a few boat units were spent to get us back in the water!
The other big excitement that happened this summer was the fire in an abandon building next to our marina. This mysterious fire broke out at 1 am and engulfed the old, decrepit, rat infested building quickly. Bentley was our smoke alarm, he woke Wally up when he smelled the smoke and was insistent that Wally get up, even after being told to go back to bed. Some how I slept through the whole damn thing, but woke up to the over powering smell of smoke and charred wood. After jumping out of bed and looking around, Wally sleepily told me the building burned down. HUH…by the time I got up, the building was a smoldering pile. The fire department was there for over 10 hours making sure there were no hot spots remaining. Despite our close proximity, our marina wasn’t damaged. Had there been wind, our old wood structures would have been at great risk. Guess we can thank the arsonist for at least choosing a calm, windless night.
We also did a whole LOT of crabbing not far from our marina … our 13 ft Boston Whaler is a perfect crabbing machine. I think we tagged more than 160 crabs… NO, we didn’t eat all of them…YES, we shared them with friends and YES, I have frozen crab in the freezer. Many a crab feed ensued this summer… and there will be crab cakes this winter!!!
20 plus years of boating in the San Juans and beyond… we have enjoyed every minute of it too. Retirement has been interesting and nothing like we initially envisioned. Our ideas of what we want to do during these healthy years before we need walkers is becoming a keen reality. Nothing like turning 60 to make one introspective… But seriously, its a big world and with that in mind we have come to the reality that now is the time to close a few doors and open a few others…
Our travels in Road House the next 18 months mean a long hiatus from the Beach House. The Great Loop has long been a dream of ours as well. This year long, 6000 mile adventure called the The Great Loop is a system of waterways that encompasses the eastern portion of the United States and part of Canada. It is made up of both natural and man-made waterways, including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Rideau Canal, and the Mississippi and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. I have been a member of the America’s Great Loop Cruiser Association for years and we have been gleaning information from the website and forums. The big winter rendezvous is being held in Fort Meyer where we will be wintering so we re enrolled in the 3 day event and educational seminars. SO EXCITED…
Then, there’s the possibility that a house might be built eventually in Anacortes on the lot we bought last summer. Right now, it’s just a bare 1/3 acre lot with an amazing view of the San Juans.
So, the Beach House is under contract . Yep, we took all our personal items off the boat before we left Anacortes, put it all in storage and signed a purchase/sales agreement with a great couple we know from our marina.
It was an emotionally difficult decision as we love the Beach House and have had 6 great years cruising on her. We have kept a boat at Anchor Cove Marina for almost 20 years. It’s been our “Cheers”, it’s been our go to place to relax, it’s been the gateway to fabulous adventures and most of all its been the place we have made wonderful friendships. Closing up the Beach House and taking that last walk up the dock was sad. Sad as it was, change has been really, really good for us and as hard as this was we are both excited to open the door in the next chapter – no walkers for us yet!!!