Customs the Gulf Islands

Back in the US

Friday, September 27, 2013S.V. CAMBRIA

After a couple of nights tucked into James bay the weather improved, so we took the opportunity to move down to Winter Cove off Saturna Island on Monday – another first for us.  It’s a pretty anchorage, but can be popular during summer months so we’ve always avoided it like the plague . . . until now. 

The bay is large, but shallow, and backed by forested land and a large, open meadow on the southeastern edge that makes up the marine park.  There’s a nice trail through the woods that leads to Boat Pass, where strong tidal currents from the Strait of Georgia create rapids as they enter the anchorage. It’s quite picturesque and a small taste (very small) of the ruggedness we’ve been pining for ever since we left the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  As a bonus, the anchorage is well-protected from all directions; but in a southerly blow, I’d take James bay over anywhere else in the Southern Gulf Islands:  It’s that good. 

Boat Pass

Looking out to the Strait of Georgia from Winter Cove, Saturna Island.

After three days anchored in Winter Cove, we were ready to move on and cross the border back into the US.  So we upped anchor yesterday morning and left with the tide.  After an uneventful passage, we tied up to the custom’s dock in Friday Harbor and were greeted by our friends Richard and Jude aboard Sarita, who are making their winter home here.  We checked back into the US without incident, though Richard and David did receive a slight scolding from the custom’s officer – something to do with Richard crossing an imaginary line and David was off the boat, but nobody was threatened so it was all good.  

With access to the internet again, we learned that our friends who live on their boat in Eagle Harbor have suddenly had to move.  It seems the manager there, on a whim, declared that children under a certain age were no longer allowed to live aboard the docks.  It’s an issue they confronted earlier in the year and were able to resolve, but it seems after a small dispute with the manger, he made good on his threat to establish the rule.  That’s way too flakey for our tastes, so we decided to continue our search and, after speaking to some friends we met in Poulsbo who raved about the marina and staff, have organized a berth for the winter in Kingston


We had dinner aboard Sarita with Kris and Kurt from Linger Longer who are berthed over in Roche Harbor on the other side of San Juan Island.  They’re also waiting for the first of the month so that they can tie up for the winter, but their home port is going to be Victoria in Canada.  It was really good to see everybody again, but the reunion was short-lived:  There’s another major storm headed our way.

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