S/V Hello World's Travel Log

roche harbor

After leaving Sidney Spit, we headed back to Sidney and the familiar confines of Tsehum Harbor to drop off McKenzie and Matt. We rode the metro bus down to Victoria with them and they treated us to an awesome meal at an Irish Pub featuring two for one hamburgers. Kenz and Matt - thanks for a great visit! When are you coming back??

Back to Sidney for a day of city errands and internet. After doing some (unsuccessful) work on s/v PamDemonium's SSB/email setup the following day, we cleaned up the boat, weighed anchor and headed east for U.S. waters for the first time in three months. We pulled into Roche Harbor on San Juan Island at about 1:00 in the afternoon and approached the customs dock. We clearly weren't the only ones with this plan in mind as about 12 boats were milling around the customs dock waiting for a spot to pull in and dock. Nobody wanted to move that far away from the dock for fear of losing their spot in line so everyone crowded up near the dock. When the wind picked up, all the other boats being twin-screwed motor boats with bow thrusters stayed clustered up by the dock while we went back and forth on the throttle and wheel trying to keep the bow from blowing off and into another (much more) expensive boat. This went on for about 45 minutes before Hello World was able to muscle her way to the front of the line and on to the dock.

For all the horror stories we've heard of US customs agents, we met the nicest, friendliest customs agent. Ever. She thought our plan to quit jobs and go sail around was brilliant. A direct quote from her: "I'm a government employee, of course I think about quitting my job. EVERY DAY." She smiled, she laughed, she put us at ease. Which was good because my nerves were a little roughed over from the game of yacht pinball we endured to get ourselves on to the dock.

Our plan was to hook up with my sister Penny, her friend Nicole, and their respective families on Lopez Island Saturday morning. Which means we had a day to kill. Rather than motor somewhere else and burn more fuel, we decided to hang out in Roche Harbor and work on the boat. We attempted to diagnose our not-working watermaker, attempted to diagnose our not-working chartplotter, and managed to remove our supposedly defective GPS antenna. Some days life on a boat is all about stuff not working.

48°36.794'N 123°10.094'W

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