Tuesday, April 2
After a weekend of beautiful spring weather, spent at work in it’s entirety, I scanned the forecast for the the next few days when I have my days off. Looks pretty good – I see the little cartoon sun and the cartoon cloud, but no cartoon rain. Marine forecast for the San Juans shows no real wind. Although I always have a long list of things I should be doing around the house, what’s the rush? The only one that I will really face punishment for its neglect is the lawn. It’s spring, and it’s growing like a weed, which coincidentally is what it is greatly comprised of. I powered through the lawn, threw some clothes in a bag, gathered some food from the fridge, and after a couple of quick stops in town, I was aboard and ready for an afternoon shove off.
I had current on my tail running out Guemes Channel, and with hardly a breath of wind, Rosario Strait flat as a millpond. I watched ships coming up Rosario by AIS, so I planned my route to stay out of their way for a comfortable crossing at around 6.5 knots, heading for Watmough Bay.
This was my first time visiting Watmough Bay, which lies on the southeast corner of Lopez Island. It’s a narrow bay with a rock cliff on the north side, dramatically rising to 470 feet in elevation. The south side is lined with evergreens and bitter end of the bay is a lovely beach of sand and gravel with some huge boulders where the beach meets the rock wall.
Anchorage was easy in about 12 feet of depth on a mud bottom, where the Bruce Anchor set with authority. Mine was the only boat in the bay, and aside from some families visiting the beach by land, I had the place to myself. I fired up the grill and made some dinner.
The bay was quiet and peaceful. I played some guitar and worked from my Complete Norwegian: Teach Yourself book before turning in for the night.
Wednesday, April 3
When I got up the next morning the sun was shining. I got up and began the day with some morning coffee and breakfast.
I hopped in the dinghy and idled around the bay, which I shared with several pair of nesting Canada Geese.
The beach is very nice, and I bet a great swimming spot in the summer. I beached the dinghy and set out for a hike.
After checking out a trail map, I made my way up a trail leading to the top of Chadwick Hill, the rock which makes up the bay’s northern edge. The “trail” was not much of a trail, rather a scramble up a steep, rocky ravine that I wouldn’t consider an exaggeration to describe as dangerous. After climbing most of the way to the top, there was an intersection with a more obvious, safer trail, which was my route down. Distance-wise it’s not very far- maybe a mile – but a gain of 470 feet is a leg burner. Once at the top of the ridge, the views were amazing.
It was a beautiful spring afternoon, and I just had to pause a while and sit on the beach to enjoy it a while.
Back on the boat, I had a stressful afternoon of napping, more guitar and Norwegian practice, and re-programming the preset radio stations in the stereo…
A little bit of a breeze kicked up out of the northeast. This would not be the place to hide out in a blow from that direction, and I suspect it is not as protected from the south as it would appear on a chart.
Thursday, April 4
Morning saw overcast skies and a few sprinkles of rain. I pulled anchor, headed for home. Another flat crossing of Rosario Strait. Sprinkles ganged up and became rain the closer I got to Anacortes. It was still a nice run home.
Another great cruise…
Trip total: 24.7 Nautical Miles
View my track from this cruise.