Starting on 5 October Sage Marine will be at our usual place, Land Sites 80 & 81, at the Annapolis Sailboat Show. The show runs until 9 October 2017.
A Sage 17 and SageCat will be attending. Let us know if you wish to see the boats!
Following the show, 10 & 11 October, by appointment, there will be SageCat demo sails. If you want to sail a SageCat let us know by sending an email to email@example.com
See all’ya’all in Annapolis!
Cody summaries his thoughts on sailing the San Juan Islands, SageCat and provides a couple of packing lists –
This trip through the San Juan Islands really opened my eyes to how much more there is to explore in this beautiful archipelago. My wife and her friend both raved about how great and relaxing of a time they had, and we are already planning for a trip to visit the northern San Juan Islands such as Stuart, Patos, Sucia, and Orcas.
Sweet Potato [my Sage Marine SageCat] performed flawlessly under a multitude of conditions and provided a very comfortable home for the three of us and our pup. I can’t speak highly enough of the merits of a small, seaworthy, easy to rig and easy to handle boat. I know Sagecat is not the only choice out there to fit these requirements, but she does them as well or better than any boat her size that I know of.
The bottom line is, get out there and sail, wherever you are and in whatever boat you have. There are so many beautiful places to be visited and experiences to be had by boat. Especially by small boat!
Below is a list of some of the gear I took along:
- Single burner GasOne butane stove
- 3 bottles of butane
- Primus Stainless Steel Campfire Cookset
- 3 sets of plastic camping plates, bowls, silverware
- 10’6” Jimmy Styks Inflatable Paddleboard, two piece paddle and pump
- 3 gallon bucket and WagBags for legal and odor free waste management
- 3 quality life vests and one dog life vest
- Navisafe portable LED navigation lights
- Honda 2.3 hp long shaft outboard
- 5 Gallons of ethanol free gasoline (we burned less than two gallons on the entire trip)
- 13 lb Mantus anchor, Mantus swivel, 30’ of 1/4” high test galvanized chain, 150’ of 1/2” rode
- 4.4 lb Lewmar Bruce anchor, 15’ of 3/16” galvanized chain, 50’ of 3/8” rode
- Handheld VHF
- Suntactics 14v solar panel
- Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Battery charger
- Flares, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, 3 gallon collapsable canvas bucket for bailing and various other safety items
- Yeti Hopper 30 soft cooler
- 3 boat fenders
- Extensive tool kit
- Seadog telescoping boat hook
- Bushnell Marine Binoculars
- Ocean Rodeo Soul Drysuit
- 3 sleeping bags and pillows
- Multiple charts, current table books and a cruising guide book for the San Juan Islands
- JBL Flip 4 Waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker
- Spyderco Atlantic Salt knife (lashed to my PFD)
Day 10 – Fisherman Bay to Anacortes –
I had shared my tales of Holly B’s bakery with the girls the previous evening, so we all got up early and made a pilgrimage to this baking holy site in the morning. After again being dazzled with their confectioner’s wizardry, we spent a few more hours exploring the village shops and getting a few things at the grocery store for our afternoon sail.
Our plan was to sail back around Lopez Island and spend a few hours enjoying the beaches and views at Spencer Spit state park and then making a short hop over to James Island, another state park, which would be a good jumping off point for crossing the Rosario strait on Saturday morning to get back to Anacortes, where our truck and trailer were parked. There was not a breath of wind when we got back to the boat at around noon, so we motored the roughly eight miles with a hefty current helping us for the first half of the trip to Spencer Spit. Upon arrival, we again anchored and paddled ashore where we had a few fun filled hours of beach combing and hiking. I even got in a quick nap on the warm sand. At about 5 o’clock we got back to the boat and again began motoring toward James Island which was about four miles away, where we planned to stay for the evening.
I had been a bit stressed about crossing the Rosario Strait with the girls aboard since I had experienced some rather rough conditions and unpredicted winds a week and a half ago. The winds were forecasted to be about 10 knots from the north, which should have been fine, but the slack tide window on Saturday morning was very short, with strong currents from the south before the slack and quickly turning to strong currents from the north. The late afternoon slack tide window on Saturday had much more moderate current velocities and a longer slack period so I knew I could always wait for that time, but still I was feeling uncertain about what the conditions would turn out to look like.
As we motored up to James Island on a completely glassy sea state, I was finally able to look across the Rosario Strait. It was as flat as a board. Not a ripple to be seen all the way across to Anacortes. I pulled out my current tables and we were perfectly timed to cross the strait in a large window of slack tide with very small currents predicted on either side of the slack. I made the decision that we would be wisest to cross while the conditions were perfect and find a place to anchor near Washington Park, where the trailer was located, and then simply pull the boat out of the water in the morning and get an earlier start home. The girls both seemed happy with this plan so we enjoyed a delightfully uneventful motor across the Rosario strait.
As we approached Washington Park, I had planned to anchor just off the beach as it was protected from the direction of the light winds predicted during the night. However, I also quickly noticed a huge sign on the beach, facing toward the water, reading “DROP NO ANCHOR. ELECTRICAL CABLES UNDER WATER”, or something to that effect. The sun was getting low on the horizon and there didn’t seem to be any quick protected anchorage to get to, so I tied up to the dock, raised the dagger board, backed the trailer in the water and hauled Sweet Potato up into the parking lot. We were all famished after a long day of hiking and motoring in the sun, so we left the boat on the trailer and drove into Anacortes for a meal. We ended up at a great little Mexican place called Real Tequila and we all ate until we were about to pop. The food was fantastic and the service was equally so. Back in the campground, now nearly dark, I reconnected the truck to the trailer and we all walked down to the beach to enjoy the final colors of the sunset and the lapping of the water on the pebble beach. Now that the boat was on the trailer and had the centerboard taking up one sleeping position, I was relegated to the bed of the truck since I had the warmest sleeping bag.
Roche Harbor to Fisherman Bay –
This hazy, smoky morning began with a shower at the marina, a quick coffee for all of us and a stop by our friend’s boat to pick up our battery before departing on our longest sail of the trip so far. My wife had visited Lopez Village about five years ago for a brief afternoon and had fallen in love with the cute little town and laid back setting. She was really wanting to go spend a bit more time there and show her friend Jen around, so Fisherman bay was to be revisited. We motored out of Roche harbor in no wind at all, but after about three miles, a nice breeze from the north filled in so we killed the motor, hoisted sail and had a wonderful downwind ride for the remaining 11 miles to fisherman bay. On two occasions much larger sail boats clearly changed course to come sail by us, say hello and comment on what a cute little boat we had. Clearly I am biased, but Sweet Potato does have some striking lines. Jerry Montgomery knows a thing or two about drawing a nice looking boat!
We dropped anchor in Fisherman bay once again and, since it was such a quiet and peaceful setting, decided that we would spend the rest of the evening cooking a feast on the boat, watching the sunset, and listening to an audio book. The cockpit was a bit crowded with three of us while trying to prepare and cook a meal, so I was ordered to the foredeck with a cold beverage. A short while later I was handed a delightful plate full of food and a refill of my beverage. We all enjoyed our meal as the sun set, and spent the next few hour telling stories and sharing laughs. Days don’t get a whole lot better than this one as far as I can tell.
Cody spends the day in Roche Harbor exploring and seeing the sights –
The wind forecast or the day had called for a sustained breeze of about 17 knots from the north. This, I figured, was probably not the best type of day for us to make our longest jump from Roche Harbor, all the way back to Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island, so we made the decision to stay put for the day. Roche Harbor is a beautiful resort town on the northwest tip of San Juan Island. The marina is full of numerous multi-million dollar yachts and the resort is quite an upscale place. It is all built around an old lime and concrete quarry operation which operated in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We had ice cream, browsed the few shops there, and hiked to an eerie old mausoleum secluded in a forest which more closely resembles a site for ceremonies than any other mausoleum I’ve ever seen. Although slightly creepy, it is a beautiful setting and structure and I would happily recommend the hike to go see it.
We made it back into Roche Harbor from our hike just in time to watch their nightly “colors” ceremony where the entire place comes to a standstill as the flags are lowered to their various anthems. I nearly had a cardiac event when they set off a small cannon just before lowing the old stars and stripes. It seemed that only the three of us from our boat were startled by it, so I’m guessing we were some of the only first timers there.
Earlier in the day I had bumped into one of the old sailors I’ve known and raced against back in southeast Washington. He and his wife had brought their Seaward 26 up to the islands for a few weeks, a trip which they make nearly every summer. They showed us great hospitality and invited us to enjoy a ginger beer aboard their lovely boat. Another great help they offered us was to leave our portable phone charging power bank to charge on their shore power overnight. This was our only means of electrical power and I would hook it up to a 15w solar panel during the day to charge and then we would all charge our phones off of the battery at night. This worked well when I was alone, but you can imagine how much cell phone usage (and associated charging needed) happens when you have two young women in their late 20’s and early 30’s on vacation together sailing through and exploring beautiful islands. Needless to say, our battery bank was nearly depleted and the overnight charge was much appreciated!
We were all exhausted again from the sun and busy day, so we went back out to the boat and watched an episode of Friends on Netflix while laying in bed. Not a single one of us was awake to see the end of that 20 minute episode.
We will be in our usual location of land sites 80 & 81 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show 5-9 October ’17. Come and see a SageCat and Sage 17!
Following the show a SageCat will be available for demonstration sailing the 10th and 11th of October 2017. Please call, 800-621-1065, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
SageCat Sweet Potato goes from Jones Island to the famous destination of Roche Harbor –
We paddled ashore in the morning with our breakfast supplies and cooked a mountain of a meal. Eggs, hash browns, warmed tortilla shells, coffee and some bananas really started the day off on the right foot. After cleaning up and taking our cooking gear back to the boat, we set off to hike around Jones Island. There is a nice path around the perimeter of the island which is about four miles long and provides some wonderful views of the surrounding islands and waters. After our hike, we were all rather over heated so we paddled back to the boat, changed into swimsuits and went for a (rather short) swim! The water in the islands hovers in the mid to low 50s year round and so you don’t see many swimmers in them and when you do, they tend not to linger too long.
After cooling off, we stowed whatever gear we had out, weighed anchor, and headed off to our next stop, Roche Harbor, about six miles west and slightly north of our anchorage at Jones Island. We again were treated to light breeze and calm seas for our day’s sail. As we cruised along we listened to an audio book and enjoyed the sun and cool breeze. We were able to sail the entire way to Roche Harbor, only dropping sail as we entered the crowded and bustling bay. After a few minutes of motoring around and looking at my charts, struggling to find a spot suitable to anchor, I finally selected a spot to drop the hook very close to a beach and not too far from the full-to-the-brim guest dock. After checking our depth and the tide charts, I decided that it would be most prudent to anchor off the bow with our primary anchor and off the stern with our secondary anchor to prevent us from swinging during the very low tide in the middle of the night toward the beach, which could possibly have left us with our keel resting on the bottom. Stern anchor set, we inflated the SUP and headed into Roche Harbor for a couple hours of sight seeing before the sun set.
It was during this evening that we noticed some very beautiful colors in the sunset, which alerted us to a thickening smoke in the air. The previous day we had thought the air looked a bit hazy, but hadn’t thought much of it. This evening was a different story. As the sun sank low on the horizon, you could easily look straight at the dull orange ball. Our air quality and crystal clear skies would not be nearly as pristine for the remainder of our cruise. As it grew dark, we made our way back out to the boat and slept deeply as we were all exhausted from a long day of hiking, swimming, lounging during a sunny sail and exploring a new town. A day well spent.