Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cascadia Sailing Association Rendezvous in Anacortes

February Sail-in' !

The Cascadia Sailing Association is a group of sailors that live in the pacific northwest. Cascadia is in reference to the mountain range that connects Oregon, Washington and Canada together. The members are spread out from Oregon and up, into Canada. The way we linked up with this nice group of people was through their e-mail based news group. Anyone can subscribe to their list and glean from their regular postings. Mitch had been reading their posts for years and we finally decided it was high time to meet them.

We had planned to attend the Seattle Boat Show with them in January until we found out that my Dad needed emergency surgery. That all went well, and luckily for us Cascadia had another get together planned for February 28th at the Cap Sante Marina. Cap Sante is the municipal marina located a short distance from ours, in Anacortes.

Mitch and I at the rendezvous

Mitch posted that we would like to join them and we were welcomed. We then responded to a post stating that one of the member's, Bob Gwinn, was going to move his boat from Skyline Marina (also in Anacortes) to the Cap Sante Marina, and in the process enjoy a day of sailing, and asked who might want to join him! ? Well, right away Mitch signed us up. We could have also spent the night on the 50 ft "Sienne" a Beneteau Jeanneau Sailboat, in one of her four staterooms with private in suite heads but since our boat, True Blue was in the neighboring marina we politley declined.

Sienne has a regular main sail, a sugar scoop and dual steering.

Sienne's Layout
The Sienne is a beautiful sailboat that the owners have in charter. Bob Gwinn, the owner, picked us up from the Cap Sante Marina along with Skip, Michael and Sandee.

Sienne owner, Bob Gwinn.

We rode over to Skyline in Michael and Sandee's SUV. Everyone was friendly, and talkative. Skyline Marina is on the opposite side of Fidalgo Island, which is the west side. It is more of a high dollar residential area, and the marina has condos with slips, as well as some of the homes close by.

We all prepared Sienne for leaving the dock and were eager for the adventure. The weather was brisk with a high of 45 degrees that day and 85% humidity. It always feels colder out on the water too, so we all bundled up without concern to fashion. I had on a turtleneck, a sweatshirt with hood, a lined windbreaker with hood, and a West Marine Third Reef Foul Weather jacket. I was okay but not toasty! =) Plus Mitch and I had our pajamas under our jeans. =) Bob donned a knitted hat that his daughter made him, and Sandee was as wrapped up like myself.

Our sailing campanions Mike and Sandee Glanz, and Skip Meisch.
(Okay you caught me, obviously these are not current pictures.
I forgot to bring my camera! Can you believe that?)

We had to leave Skyline Marina by 10:30 because the tide was ebbing and the entrance is shallow. The only snag was that the currents were not going to be favorable to make ground, not that we want to really make GROUND =) , in the direction we needed to sail until 1:30pm. We didn't really care. It was a lot of fun to be out on the water in February and catch a nice breeze now and then, even though we couldn't make any real progress. It was easy to get disoriented as to where we were because after an hour or so we had actually lost ground... we could see Skyline at many various times, and laughed a lot about it.

Bob, let Mitch be at the wheel as much as he liked. Sienne has two wheels, port and starboard, and I had fun while Mitch was at the helm and sat down at the opposing wheel and steered hard the opposite direction and waited till he noticed... =)
Skip was amazing with fine tuning the sails. It was almost like having Auto-Sail. Sandy kept me company and talked about: her and Mike's careers, their two daughters, and their boat. They live on a 30 ft Catalina named Solus Deus, in the Everett Marina. Come to find out they had never been to the San Juan Islands. Too bad we couldn't have shown them some of our favorite spots, well, all in due time. She told me that they had been in the process of purchasing a brand new sailboat and had even flown to see it being made at the factory but then had the bank financing fall out from under them. They lost almost $100,000 of their own money. That is heartbreaking. Wow... They had a really good attitude about it and are pushing on.

Bob said he bought Sienne in the British Virgin Islands and had hired a captain to help him sail it back to Florida, which took 16 days, and then had someone truck it to Anacortes. He said the price they purchased her at was still worth the transportation costs. He and another fellow went in on it and they have it in charter through Ship Harbor Yacht Charters. The lay out is great for a few couples to share it. We had fun although it was freezing - just imagine if it were warm!!! =) He already had plans made for his vacation in May with a list of the places he wanted to sail to and was very excited that his wife, Bonnie, was to be joining him for the adventure.

Bob and wife, Bonnie

We did get some great sailing after the currents changed and it was interesting to see how easily it sailed. I loved it!!! Wooohoooo!

We arrived at Cap Sante Marina around 3:30? and were greeted by other sailing members. Ken and Mary took our lines for docking. We then were invited on to Ken Fischer's 42 ft Catalina named Solaria, it was a 2004 which he and a friend bought brand new. He keeps it moored at Anacortes Marina ( he also charters it) and had just brought it over for the night. The lay out was really nice, it looked more like a motor boat inside because of how much room it had. The master head was in the bow and was complete with a shower door. The master stateroom had a real mattress on the captains bed and built in drawers on the outside wall. The salon was spacious with leather-like wrap around settee and a huge all in one monitor/computer on the desk table. The galley was across from the settee and had nice cabinetry and a front opening frigerator. The second head was off the salon. The rear staterooms also had regular type mattresses and many hatches; one that came up through the cockpit for escape, kind of cool.

Ken Fischer of Solaria

42 ft Catalina, Solaria

Destiny at Cap Sante Marina. Cool Teak Floor in cockpit

We then all ventured over to The Zieglers' Destiny which just happened to be our dream boat, a 40ft Beneteau Oceanis. Scott, Diane and Taryn their daughter welcomed us aboard. Their cockpit was enclosed and the heat was on. I loved the cockpit floor, it had teak decorative squares, instead of rubber matting like ours. The cockpit had about 12 people in it and on the table about the same amount of wine bottles! There was also chocolate, homemade tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa. (We finally were able to thaw out. Whew...that was cold!! )Everyone was really nice and you could tell they all had good relationships with each other. They made us feel welcome and even passed around warm, cuddly puppies to hold. Poor Ralph got the bad end of the deal, luckily the rest of us were alerted as to what to do if your puppy started to squeal! =)

Mary and Diane with the sweet puppies
Party on Destiny

Taryn, Scott and Diane of Destiny
Tony and Ginette's Twowowie, 41 ft Sceptre

Mitch had talked about Ralph a lot previously because of his creative postings. He always had a good quip and reminded him of our neighbor, Gene Nelson. Ralph , of Oblio a 27ft Catalina, was definitely everyone's favorite guy. Everyone was very generous and kind. I think Mike and Sandee had brought wine, a long with others, it seemed like more wine kept appearing from various places. Mary from Parallax a Pearson 42, which she had sailed from Bellingham, made the chips, salsa and guac and brought two boxes of wine herself, what a sweet heart. Pam kept us all entertained with her light hearted antics and it was amazing how many people fit in the boat. I sat by Tony and Ginette of Twowowie, a Sceptre 41 who had sailed down from Canada to join us. I loved their Canadian accents and they told us about selling their house and moving onto their boat. There was a mix of people, part came by sea, and others by land.
Skip, Pam, Ralph, Mitch and I, at the Majestic Inn

Mike, host of The Anacortes Sail-in

We all met later for dinner at the Majestic Inn, downtown Anacortes. They had reserved the lounge and we all had drinks. There was a cozy fireplace atmosphere. The leaders of the assembly seemed to be Pam, Ralph and Mike. Mike had made the arrangements and he had done very well. The service and food was great. Ralph went from table to table to make sure no one was left out. He told us the story of Oblio, of which his boat a was named after. He lives in Astoria. We hope to look him up next time we got visit my mom and brother.
There were a lot more people at the dinner than earlier in the day. Probably about 35 people came and all with unique stories. We didn't get to talk to as many as we would have liked but we will, sooner or later. We sat by Les and Lynn Blackwell of Trumpeter, a new 28ft Hunter and apparently they have written a book on some of their adventures. They had just sailed from their condo in Friday Harbor but I think they live in Bellingham. They have had a number of boats in their life time. I would love to read it. Also I met Delphi and Ed sitting by the fire whom I am sure have many a story to tell also.

Ed Merta of Pacific Dream chatting with Tony

Ginette and Delphi warming by the fire... Les and Lynn of Trumpeter, Les is the author of , "Exploring the South Coast of British Columbia"

It was definitely a very full and fun day!! We are so glad we were able to finally meet everyone. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again soon. We have some ideas for future rendezvous' also