Jewel to Jewel - Sucia Island

Wow... it has been awhile... at this rate I won't finish talking about this trip before the next trip this summer!  I will try to fix that....

Anyway, My sister and I had spent 2 days at One jewel of the San Juans, Stuart Island , and now it was time to travel to another Jewel, Sucia Island! Now, Sucia is an Island that I have been to before, and it is one of my favorites!  There are about six different anchorages around the island, so it is possible you could stay there a week, and never stay in the same anchorage, if you were so inclined.
After a lazy morning of coffee in the cockpit and breakfast of Cinnamon Raisin Bagels , I hauled up the anchor with my sister at the helm, and we started to motor out of Reid Harbor at around 11:30. 

 On the way out, I learned an important lesson.  I suddenly remembered that I never plotted a course in the chart plotter.  Damn!  so I had to do one on the fly.  Now I don't multi-task well, so it was hard to plot the course, and guide my sister at the helm as to the direction we should head out, as when I plot the course it is usually from the destination to the starting point.  I eventually got it straightened out, but lesson learned... do the chart plotting in advance!!!!
It was a pleasant day, but with really light winds, we spent most of the day Motor-Sailing.  There was no really big hurry to get there so we just enjoyed the trip.  The distance was about 15 Nautical miles, So I figured it would take about 4 hours or so.   Along the way, the views were great.

We had great views of Mount Baker on the way.... note the lack of any wind filling the sails of this 40 footer...


Me, looking particularly Pirate-y, with Mount Baker in the background.... Garrrr!
Upon arriving at Sucia we made for Fossil Bay.  This is a great anchorage with Many mooring bouys and a couple of docks.  Since we arrived pretty late in the day, around 1550 (that is 3:50 pm for all you non military types - lol), I didn't expect to get a mooring ball, and I turned out to be right.  So we motored down past the last mooring ball and dropped the hook.  The bottom is soft allowing the anchor to really dig in, and it has really good holding.  We never budged an inch the whole time we were there!
   That being done, we headed for shore to do a little kayaking and hiking, and of course, to take selfie!



My sister and I, in a Fossil Bay selfie!
so as we hiked around Fossil bay, my sister took pictures... it's what she does.  And quite frankly, I think she has a great eye!  But don't tell her I said so...



Yours Truly, and that is Dulcinea in the background...






A Blue Heron we ran into along the way

A great picture of Dulcinea through the dock gangway.



Safe and snug on the hook in Fossil Bay





Shallow bay is the best place to view the sunsets on Sucia Island.  These are called the mushroom rocks, for obvious reasons..
The next day we did some more exploring of the island.  Sucia has many miles of trails that lead all over the island.  We came upon this rock and decided to have some fun with it...
I'm gonna push this rock over...

but of course my sister has to push it back!

See?  I have a good eye too!


As we continued our trek around the Island, we ran into a Women's hiking group coming the other way.  We took some group photos for them, then they offered to do the same for us.  so we started out with a fairly sedate (for us) picture...


Then we started to ham it up a bit...

Then the woman taking the picture said showing a pose that is more like a brother and sister... so we came up with this pose...


Yup! Now THAT was more like it!  We continued on our hike looking for the elusive "China Caves".  Well, ok, they weren't really that elusive as they are well marked on the map, but it sounded good!  Along the way we ran into some Photo Ops...
Don't I look Sexy? LOL... I thought this looked like a headboard, so this was the natural pose...


Then there's this one, framed on all sides with sandstone...
We finally found the China Caves, Which are just really big holes carved in the sandstone by Mother Nature.  So, Naturally we had to climb up and into them!

Lots of hand holds and foot holds!


Sharon was a little nervous in this higher cave



but then, we find our own niche....


Sharon looks really snug in this "cave".  I tried to leave her there.... it didn't work!
Later that day, as we were coming back from watching the sunset, we ran into an issue I don't recall having the last time I was here...   'Skeeters!  So my sister and I had two different approaches... hers was the Proactive approach....



My Sister, covering up every inch... worked well...
While my approach was more Reactive.... I have to admit... hers was the better approach... so, lesson learned... pack sweatpants and a hoodie if you are gonna be out in the evening....

Me, slappin' and Scratchin'... did NOT work well...

So, a couple of days at Sucia, and now it was time to head to Sharon's last port of call on this voyage - Friday Harbor.  This was also the best sailing we'd had thus far on this trip... In fact, after exiting the President Channel and entering the San Juan Channel, the winds freshened up, and we started sailing at about 7 knots!  Of course this meant we started Heeling quite a bit.  My Sister was down below when all of a sudden we started to heel to about 30 degrees.  She started freaking out, as she had never really been on Dulcinea during a "serious" sail before, and she swore we were going to tip over!  It was fun for me, well, because, it is always fun to scare the crap out of your sisters!

After awhile, the winds settled down, and we had a more comfortable sail, heading southeast down the San Juan Channel to Friday Harbor.  Sharon took the helm for awhile, and actually did pretty well managing our point of sail, as we tacked back and forth, because, as always it seems, the wind was coming from the direction we wanted to go. 


My Sister, at the helm sailing toward Friday Harbor












We sailed about 20 nm, and arrived in Friday Harbor at around 1347, a bit over five hours after we left Sucia.  We got some fuel, about 7 bags of Ice for the cooler, then called the Marina on channel 66 and got our slip assignment... H-57.  We Tidied up and then had just enough time to get a shower, change and then get to the Haley's Bar and Grill in time to eat dinner and watch the Second Seahawks Preseason game.  We also happened to run into one of my sister's friends there!  Small world. 

Thus came to a close the first part of this trip.  My sister caught the 1100 ferry bound for Anacortes.... her vacation with us was over, but I still had a bit over a week left!!! 

next up, Jones Island, Patos Island and a second visit to Sucia!  

'til next time!

JEM

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