Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sail to Canada

We have our boat in Anacortes, WA. the gateway to the San Juan Islands.

I'm working part time and I actually get week blocks off at a time. It takes seven hours to drive over.

Friday night our good friends, Gene & Carol Nelson threw me a 50th Birthday party. Then the next morning we drove to the boat for a two week vacation.

The first couple days we just took it easy and got the boat ready. Our first destination was Echo Bay on Sucia Island. It's north of Orcas Island and takes from 4 to 6 hours to get there by sailboat. We planned to moor there for the night on our way to Canada. (We had never been in Canadian waters but we both just obtained our Washington Enhanced Driver Licenses which allow entry into Canada and Mexico, in lieu of a passport. )

Leaving Sucia Island...funny to receive a phone call

The next morning we decided to head straight for Pender Island instead of stopping off at Stuart Island. We were able to take a whole new route which is always fun. There was one spot where the currents and tides wanted to just randomly turn the boat in a circle. That's when I call out "Mitch!"... =) He takes everything with ease. I love the confidence he exudes, I depend on that a lot. I like to sail but I like to keep him near for that sudden blast of wind in the sail that tries to over power you.

We arrived at Poets Cove on South Pender Island. What a beautiful resort. We moored to the Customs Dock and Mitch went up. A little disappointing to find out that there are no real agents there, not then anyway, and we had to use the phone to report in. It was an easy place for entry.

Poets Cove Resort, Pender Island

Canada Border Patrol Office on dock, far right side

There was a nice marina and on the other side of the marina a mooring bay with mooring balls for $10.00 a night versus fifty something for a dock tie. Not that $50.00 is not reasonable but we already had reservations at Roche Harbor for the weekend and didn't feel the need. The hotel rooms started at $250.00 for a lodge room or 300-550 for a villa. Whether you rent a slip or a room you can use enjoy all of the emenities such as pools, spa, tennis courts and showers.

Poets Cove Marina

Amenities of Resort:two pools, spa... view overlooking Bay

True Blue on a mooring Ball : middle of photo near top

The resort was for those that just wanted to get away from the rat race because there wasn't really anything to do there. No real stores, or venues to go to. We did take a walk up the highway like hill and find a scenic overlook. The beach was pretty with stone like shells and such for sand but the water wasn't real clean looking. May have something to do with there being no pump-out facilities for boaters. That is really unusual for a marina. Apparently Canada has a problem with this sort of issue. The U.S. is great. They have pump-outs in a lot of places especially all marinas.

On way from Canada

Strange ramp on Cargo boat in Harrow Straits

We left there after a couple days and re-entered the U.S. at Roche Harbor. There they had ample custom agents, more than they knew what to do with. They came in and out on their aluminum boat with three 275 outboards on the back. They had like 6 to 8 agents on one little craft. They didn't search our boat but while anchored in the bay we saw them board quite a few yachts.
U.S. Border Patrol Boat (picture taken later at Deer Harbor)