Farewell, O Canada!

(By Ann)
Today we crossed the border (I think the tidal change actually created a line in the water) back into the US. We celebrated with hotdogs for lunch. We are now in Roche Harbor. We celebrated with a fabulous bottle of champagne with Camembert cheese and the last pear picked from Gord and Glenda’s tree. So yummy! So much to celebrate! Five years of cruising…closing quickly.


Sorry for the lack of blogging over the last week. We have been busy soaking in all of the last moments. And spending special time with our British friend, Carol who came to enjoy it with us. We brought Carol on board while still in the Gulf Islands with Karen and Jim from Raven. The silly singing fun of the Hummingbird Bus was followed by spectacular hiking on Wallace Island.

Followed by an even more spectacular rescue of Charisma while Carol, Bob and I hiked further. Short version…Jim and Karen ended our hike early to attend an early happy hour on another boat. When they got back to the anchorage they noticed Charisma had shifted on her stern tie and was a bit close to shore. They boarded her and set a new kedged anchor until our return. Many thanks to both of them! All is well.

We followed that excitement by taking Carol to Victoria! The welcome we received was amazing! Dancing ferries, red carpets, welcome speeches by Justin Trudeau, lots of singing of “O, Canada!”, and even a 21-howitzer salute! Okay, maybe we timed our arrival for the same time as the Royals (William and Kate and their “littles”) but I am sure it might have equally as spectacular even if the Royals were not in town. What timing! I saw their heads just 100 yards away!

In front of the venerable Empress Hotel

The plan now is to spend a few more days in the San Juans and then cross the Strait back to Port Townsend where we will begin to remove the personal items off of Charisma and get ready to show her. We already have several people very interested in her. Hopefully finding her the best new owner will not be difficult…other than letting go. Thank goodness for the memories!

Channeling My Inner Chipmunk (by Ann)

I thought of many titles for this blog as I went for my second hike today on the stunning island of Sucia….”A Week In The San Juans”, “Closing In On Canada”….. but the chipmunk thought kept coming back to me as I reveled in the beautiful hiking.

My friend Linda, from SV Bright Angel, once commented as we prepared to leave New Zealand for Fiji that she couldn’t wait to get back to the tropics where she could reunite with her inner mermaid.  That thought has always stuck with me.  And I thought about it today as I hiked along Echo Bay looking down on Charisma.

No Charisma, but still lovely.
















Hikes in lovely wooded areas feed my soul…like Linda’s mermaid. Only I knew it wasn’t a mermaid in my case. I finally decided it must be my inner chipmunk that was being channeled.  Chipmunks always make me remember growing up in the Rocky Mountains and catching a chipmunk with my brother, Gerald. We were 9 and 10 and very determined. And we won. We caught the cute little chipmunk….only to bring him back to Denver where he deftly escaped.

Pacific Madrone
















The Pacific Northwest is so very different than the South Pacific. The water is a different set of blues…but stunning shades of blues to greys.  Unlike the South Pacific that has so much teal and turquoise.  And the shoreline here is so rugged!  I love seeing the eagles and blue herons roosting in the tall trees.  I am amused by the geese and their gosling broods.

Grove of Aspens, what a surprise!

I am blessed with a husband who appreciates this love of hiking. I overhear him in discussions with locals questioning them on the best places to go. He always says that one of the big requirements is that there must be access to hiking. Boy did he hit the jackpot on Sucia Island. Lucky me.

The best part of sharing this with you, our readers is that for most of you it is someplace you can get to.  You don’t need to fly thousands of miles to the South Pacific to experience this area.  The San Juans are stunning. And I am told that the scenery is only going to get better as we head further north…well, there are Orcas to see….wow!

Charisma anchored in Echo Bay.


Strait of Juan de Fuca

That’s Charisma’s new location for a while.  We’re currently in Port Angeles, a modest marina across the Strait from Victoria, Canada.  Charisma’s new adventures will likely include sailing the San Juans, around Vancouver Island, and up the inside passage into Queen Charlotte islands and maybe to Alaska.  In the mean time, here’s a couple pics of the change in scenery from the tropics to here.

It's going to be a different adventure, but this is a beautiful area.

Reefs were one of the bigger hazards in the South Pacific, but up here it's deadheads. No not the fanatical music fans (although there are plenty of them), but the result of logging activity. There are tons of stray logs just waiting to punch a hole in your boat. We saw ones up to 25 feet on the way to the marina.

We’re In Port Angeles

OK, we’ve worked our way in the Strait and are now in Port Angeles which is about 11 miles across the Strait from Victoria.  At some point we’ll go across, but for now, we’re just blissfully resting!


It was a two day trip from Neah Bay.  We did a short leg, with some salmon fishing (we caught an Atlantic Salmon but it was too small so we dropped him) to Clallam Bay the first day.  It was only about 20 miles, but rained the last two hours, so we were really glad not to be out longer.  The docks were pretty funky, but we got in about 1600 and left early the next morning.


Today, 33 miles to Port Angeles.  Nice day, mostly sunny and very glad to get in a get a slip.  Now we can relax for a while.  Nice to be in a real marina with other sailboats instead of lots of fishing boats.


OK, so stay tuned!  We finally have some good internets and I’ll put pictures of our Honolulu to here passage.


And…now the NEW adventure starts!  Cruising the San Juans, Vancouver Island and maybe up the inland passage to Alaska.  Who knows, so keep watching!    Charisma’s not done yet – we’re just taking a break from a very long passage.