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Port Townsend to Stuart Island


Yesterday morning we left Port Townsend on the early side (before 9am) and headed north to take advantage of the perfect weather and great conditions for crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 


And by perfect weather and great conditions, I mean this:


So, yesterday crossing the strait we saw Minke whales, and then up on the west side of San Juan Island, we saw a whole bunch of Orcas. I posted about all the whales in a separate post because…well…tons of photos!

We were cruising with the current giving us a bit more speed than usual….a pretty strong current:


Cool bird with nice face paint:


Nice rock formation along the tip of Stuart Island:


Lighthouse on Stuart Island:


Here's yesterday's track (55.4 nautical miles over 8 hours, including whale watching):

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(You can see where the whales were in both spots…look for the little circle southwest of Minor Island out in the Strait…that's where the Minke whales were, and the Orcas are where the large doubling back happens off of San Juan.)

We grabbed a mooring buoy at Stuart Island State Park in Prevost Harbor and had ourselves a nice deck top happy hour:


Look at our cute little neighbor, named Slo-Poke:


We went to bed early and got up early this morning. If it's early enough when I first wake up, I can usually can tell if the light is worth getting out of bed to go look (and take a quick photo before hopping back into bed) by looking at the edges of the portholes on either side of the stateroom. This morning, it told me I should get up:


Because this:


And then this:


We left Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island after some breakfast and a shower, and decided as we rounded Speiden Island that we'd go back to Anacortes via the back side of San Juan Island again, because maybe more orcas!

Sea lions on the tip of Speiden Island:


The wind was supposed to pick up this afternoon, but we thought we might beat it and have a nice smooth cruise. About half way down San Juan Island (just as we saw three adult orcas trucking north), the waves increased and we were in about 3-6 ft seas. Not super fun, but not scary. We tacked a little to minimize the roll, and decided rather than head around the south end of Lopez Island as was our plan, that we'd go through Cattle Pass (at max ebb). It was actually no big deal, and quite a bit easier than being in the strait.

Entering Cattle Pass, looking back toward the strait:


Cattle Pass, Lopez Island in the background. (See? Not bad.):


I didn't take any photos out in the strait because I was too busy holding on. 🙂

Here's today's track from Stuart Island back to Anacortes (48.6 nautical miles, 5 hours 42 minutes):

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We're back in Anacortes now, because tomorrow we're having a Racor dual fuel filter installed. Fun stuff!