Jones, Patos and back to Sucia

Dulcinea tucked into a slip on the H dock at Friday Harbor
  After seeing my sister off on the ferry in Friday Harbor bound for Anacortes, it was time to move on to the second half of my trip.   I was looking forward to it as I was headed for a couple of Islands I had not yet been to, namely Jones and Patos islands.

  After stopping by the pump-out dock to, well.... Pump out the holding tank, I bid adieu to Friday Harbor.  It is really one of my favorite places to visit when I am out, and little did I know that I would be back in a week under very stressful and ominous conditions.... But that is a story for another post!

  I finally got underway around noon. It was a beautiful day, and my first stop, Jones Island was not very far - only about five and a half nautical miles.  The wind was mostly non-existent as I headed out into the San Juan Channel and winded my way past the western coast of  Shaw Island, past Cliff Island, then in between  Yellow and McConnell Islands.  I motor-Sailed all of the way there and pulled into the South Side anchorage.  There aren't really many mooring balls on this side, maybe 3 or so.  I found out later that on the north side of the Island, there are about 10 mooring balls and a dock.  Oh well, maybe next year.

   I arrived about 2pm and found that all the mooring balls had been taken, so I dropped the hook.  It took me a couple of tries, as the first couple of times I ended up too close to some other boats by the time I had the proper scope out.  It was pretty crowded.  After tidying up a bit, and stowing all of the bits needed for making a passage, I decided to take a nap.  About 45 minutes later, I heard an engine start and looked out the companion way.  I saw the boat next to me, which was on a mooring ball, leaving!  I wasn't really comfortable with the set of my hook anyway, so I hauled it up.  As I have no windlass, it is a bit of a strenuous job hauling up the 25 pound anchor and 20 feet of chain, and of course the rest of the Rode (that is the 3 strand rope that is attached to the chain and anchor).  As I hauled it up this time, it felt... well... weird.  When I had finally pulled it all in, I noticed there was some yellow poly line fouled around the anchor.  Interesting.... I got the line free, but it felt like it was attached to something, so I started pulling.  I pulled hand over hand, when lo and behold, This was at the end of the line!

That's right, a crab trap!  this one had been down there awhile, as it had Barnacles all over it.  There were no crabs in it though.  The rot line had done its job and... well...  rotted, and the escape ring dropped like it was supposed to, so the crabs could get out.  I had no time to admire my catch, as I was drifting in a crowded anchorage, so I quickly got back to the cockpit to maneuver and catch the Mooring ball, which was the reason I started this whole activity in the first place!  I felt better being on the mooring, as I felt the holding there was questionable.

  The next day, I took the trap to shore to see if I could clean it up any.  I spent awhile getting the Barnacles and other growth off the cage, but I basically concluded that the trap was too far gone, as there was a lot of rust and corrosion on it, and as I was told, Crab don't like the smell of corrosion.  So I decided would dispose of it properly at some point.  At least I got it out of the anchorage!  I spent the rest of the day just being lazy and hanging around the boat.

Jones Island as I was leaving and heading to Patos.
 The next morning, after coffee in the cockpit (have I mentioned that is one of my favorite things to do?  Ahh.... a cup of Joe and watching the sun rise...) and a good breakfast, I slipped the mooring ball and set off for Patos Island.  This trip would be fairly short jaunt - about 11.6 NM. As usual, the winds were really light, so I had to motor again. It was another beautiful, sunny day, so I just enjoyed the trip as I traveled up the Spring Passage, then back up the President Channel I had come down with my sister a few days earlier, then finally heading into the tail end of Boundary Pass.  I headed to the NW corner of the island and rounded the tip of Little Patos into Active Cove.
Coming into Active Cove. Patos on the right and Little Patos on the left
 This is a fairly narrow anchorage protected on the southern side by Little Patos, and on the north side by Patos Island itself.  There are only 2 Mooring balls here, and of course both were taken, so I dropped the hook, hoping that one of them would leave.  After about half an hour, I saw a somewhat  Familiar sailboat come into the cove.  A beautiful boat, S/V Seikkailu (Finnish for "Adventure")  and friendly couple (the Gilmores) who waved Hi as they passed by.  Why was it familiar? It turns out they had been anchored out at Jones Island at the same time I was there!  They wondered how I had beaten them to Patos.  Dulcinea is just that good I told them!   I watched them go further into the cove, and saw that the boat currently on the mooring furthest in was just about to leave!  Dang!  That new boat took "my" mooring, because they were in exactly the right place at the right time! Oh well!  About another half hour later, and I saw the other boat making preparations to leave. Sweet!  I head to the bow to bring the anchor up, when I see a Motor boat coming in.... Double Dang! It was going to happen again!  Quickly, I call over to the moored boat to make sure they were leaving, and asking if I could have the Mooring.  They said Sure!  Now, I might have mentioned, getting my 25 pound anchor, plus 20 feet of chain, and 200 feet of rode is all done with muscle power.... no windlass.  So it takes a little time to get it aboard.  sure enough, the motorboat went straight for the boat that was leaving, but they said that I had already claimed it. They also delayed their departure long enough for me to get over there so I could snag it right after they left... what nice people!  I love the boating community!

Looking into Active cove in the gap between Little Patos (left) and Patos island

  Patos is a GREAT little island.  After I got situated, I put the Kayak in the water and decided to take a paddle around Little Patos.  you continue into the cove, and when you get to the end, there is a small opening between the islands that you shoot through.  then you are in Boundary pass.  Take a right and continue down the coast of Little Patos, around the end and back into Active Cove.  It's a great little kayak trek.  I stopped and looked around at a couple of interesting places along the way.

Dulcinea, nestled in the middle of Active Cove.  In the background you can see some kids on a rope swing

  Getting back to Dulcinea it was time for some food and a Sun-downer or two.  Then the Sunset came along and it was absolutely gorgeous!  And I didn't even need to leave the cockpit to see it!

The next morning, after my favorite pastime (have I mentioned how much I love to have coffee in the cockpit int the Morning? LOL..) I decided to go to shore and do some hiking. There is this great trail that goes all the way around the island.  Along the way you will come to the Patos Lighthouse which is a great place to explore, and admire the views


Another evening at Patos, and another Beautiful sunset.  The picture below is of Me aboard Dulcinea, courtesy of Tracy Gilmore of S/V Seikkailu.

I had another great night on the mooring and planned to head out the next morning to go back to Sucia, As it is one of my favorite Islands.  My Friends Left slightly before I did and were headed to Orcas Island, so I waved good bye until next time!

Shortly thereafter I hauled in the mooring line and made my way out of Active Cove for the shortest passage on this summer's vacation... A whole 5.7 NM...

   Little did I know what was in store for me... one of the most harrowing experiences I have had thus far.... But that is the story for the NEXT installment of this adventure!

Until next time!



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