Maravilla – First outing – solo – Spring 2015

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2015-04-05 19.45.31Maravilla splashed back in the water without incident and nestled in  her summer-time berth at Cap Sante Marina, Anacortes Washington. Rudder repaired, new sails ordered (still waiting for them), autopilot installed, depth sounder transducer installed, new chart plotter wired and working, I whittled down the winter to-do list. It was time to take her out and make sure all this gew-gaw gear worked.

Since first mate Dawn was traipsing around Thailand for a week or so, I decided to take the mistress (1990 F27 Maravilla) down the west coast of Fidalgo Island to little Bowman Bay for a short shake down cruise. I packed a bit of food, some wine, music, my paddle board, warm clothes and pushed off.

Light – ummm – NO wind on the way down, but the autopilot held without fuss, the chartplotter worked excellently and we caught the out-going tide. Plotter had us at 8 – 9 knots over the ground on the way past Washington Park! Lovely!

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I pulled into Bowman at just about slack water. The depth sounder read 10 feet under the boat and the new Rocna 10 anchor bit immediately. Anchoring was a snap (not always the case in weed and kelp-y waters).

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Put the board in the water and paddled about. The light at sunset was stunning and Maravilla was a picture of serenity in a perfect setting.

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Spent a cold night, reading and snuggled inside two sleeping bags – didnt think it would get so cold but the thermometer registered only 40 degrees F in the morning. The tide was going slack at 2 PM, but I couldnt wait. So…knowing better…I up-anchored at about 10 AM and brested the tide into Anacortes. No sailing, just a long, loud motor.

I played the tide behind Allan Island and along the west shore of Burroughs Island – got a wonderful glimpse of the historic lighthouse there – and escaped the worst of the current by staying tight to the shore.

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Around the corner and down Guemes Channnel – the wind picked up just around Cap Sante and I was frozen by the time we got back to the marina.

The chartplotter did not work at all on the way back – but works fine now at the marina. I ordered another – just for back up – but its aggravating to chase this sort of intermittent problem.

Bowman Bay is wonderful little anchorage, convenient to state parks with great hiking, holding and scenery. It is a great refuge if you are heading across Juan Du Fuca or down Deception Pass. Wait at Bowman if the tide is against you – dont go down Deception against the tide – EVER!

And check the conditions – tide and weather – before crossing Juan de Fuca too……What might look benign now, can turn  ugly not much later on.

First time out, this was a wonderful little cruise. Maravilla’s cushions are now in the shop for replacement. Yup….I love this little ship – she and I are going places.

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