Good Friday Harbour

Wai Whare in Friday Harbour
Wai Whare set sail on Good Friday for Friday Harbour, on San Juan island of Washington state. The weather was interesting: 20knots out of the south-west, gusting to 30 knots. (For reference, the coast guard advises “small craft” not to go out in winds above 25 knots). We made excellent speed, averaging almost 6 knots on a beam reach past Sidney Island and Haro Straight.

We had a bit of an incident in Speiden Channel north of San Juan Island. Just as we were about to clear the channel, we were caught by a 30kn gust from our lee. Wai whare turned 150 degrees heeled over perhaps 45 degrees for about ten seconds. Every object on board fell over and spilled onto the floor. This change in course pointed us directly at nearby Speiden island, and the gust had us travelling even more quickly than we had been before. We tried to correct our course, but we could not turn away from the wind as we had only a reefed main up (no foresail). We tried to bring down the main sail, but there was so much wind that we could not pull the sail down. About 30 seconds after we figured out that we could not control our path because we had no foresail, we brought out some foresail, sped up even more, leaned the boat over even more, and turned to safety.

The remainder of the trip to Friday harbour was routine.

This was Wai Whare’s first cross border trip. Let’s just say that neither Canada nor the US consider each other to be security risks. If we hadn’t reported to customs, no one would have known. At both ends there were no customs people present, we spoke to someone on the phone.

Friday Harbour is an interesting small town. The scenery is great and the people are friendly. The chief industries in Friday harbour are tourism and real estate. Unlike the smaller Canadian islands, Friday Harbour lacks both the Yuppies and the Hippies. There are a half dozen bars, a dozen restaurants, some bed and breakfasts, and the the like. We ate a number of excellent meals, and drank some locally brewed beer.

Darusha, Chris, Trina, and Wai Whare

Our return trip was on a quiet day. We sailed off and on, but could barely get the sails to fill, never mind cover any ground. We motored through Speiden Channel with the current, topping out over 8 knots over the ground, a new speed record.

One Response to “Good Friday Harbour”

  1. Tillerman Says:

    Cool story – glad you got back safely.

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