Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Decided to fly Frontier to SEATAC and take the shuttle to Bellingham In an attempt to save some money.  The result of that was a very early start that morning with a 7:45 AM.  We didn’t want to drive to the airport since parking at a park and ride and using the ecopass required catching the bus at about 4:30.  We stayed at a nearby motel monday night so that we wouldn’t have to get up so early.

We arrived at SEATAC about 9:30, caught the bus and 2 ½  hours later we were in Bellingham.  All things considered, by flying direct to Bellingham, we could have caught a more convenient flight at  more reasonable hour and paid the extra money.  This made for a long day.  A short cab ride brought us to the charter office.  IMG_8803

We had some meetings that started later that included a revew of the myriad of wildlife in the islands.  Perhaps the most  important one was the safety briefing below.  During one of the briefings, LaVonne and Cyndee went to the store for a few days of provisions.

Afterwards there was a BBQ and we we were told our boat was ready for boarding.  John and I had a checklist to go through to discover where everything is on the boat and get some idea of how to operate them.  We had to go through this with a checkout skipper. we did this I continued to stay on the  boat.  John went back for a brat.  He put down the one he was served after he took a bite when it was promptly stolen by a seagull!

When everyone came back to the boat, we decided to turn in early because we all had a very long day.


LaVonne and I decided on the aft stateroom.  The foreward stateroom was much more elegant and sHould be for the skipper but John is well over 6 feet tall and the forward stateroom had sufficient headroom while the aft one  was only about 5 feet.


The aft stateroom. Notice the low headroom. Above this is the cockpit.


Aft Head

Aft Head

Aft shower

Aft shower



Forward Stateroom

Forward Head

Forward Head


The cabin, also called the saloon or salon. Area can be converted to another bed.


For relaxing. Behind and underneath the sofa are reference materials about the cruising areas (charts, tide tables, areas of concern) and the boat itself.


The galley


Steps leading up from the saloon to the cockpit through the companionway. Behind these steps which are removable is the diesel engine.


Vicw from the cockpit forward and of the companionway leading down to the saloon


View of the saloon from the cockpit through the companionway

Safety Briefing

Accidents happen from complacency, distractions

even at slow speed,

remember reverse for manuvering in close quarters
watch for fog and rocks

dock – rover with one or two fenders

3 lines- midship most important

fender stop to attache to chain plate


less than ¼ mile visibility
stay put
more than ? mile – proceed with caution
3 other causes

type A personality – cant wait to cut corner
too close to buoys etc
how to avoid rocks

know where boat is — situational awareness, charts
5 second drill – locate on chart is 5 seconds
tell skipper about upcoming hazards–communicate
when everyone else is distracted, you are “on watch”

Know your where your boat is
ask NSO to show on chart
depth sounder – but on the rocks in 30 seconds


point st francis buoy
sucia is rocks and reefws
prevost and johns pass
pole pass and yellow island (buoy in middle of reef!)
mosquito pass (go west of turtle island)
fisherman bay (don’t go here)
stay south of sinclair is
vhf ch 28 parrots back what you say for radio check
monitor ch 80 and 16
Call thursday afternoon with express check in list

San Juan Sailing provided us with charts noting area where boats have run aground.   Can get expensive since if a boat hits one of the marked areas, it will cost the skipper $$.   Damage insurance won’t apply.   Fortunately, this was not an issue for us since we paid very close attention to the charts and to steering the boat.   Have to maintain awareness of how the currents are moving the boat.   Zooming in with the chart plotter with GPS gives a great indication of this as well as looking at the paper charts to get an overview.



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