The Traveling Foody – Going Yachting

 A big hello to my fellow travelers and food lovers!  My name is David Dewey, and I am honored to be a part of The Traveling Foody.  It is my pleasure to occasionally share stories of my travels and scrumptious food experiences. Following is a short depiction of a recent yachting trip I took:

I spent a weekend aboard my buddy’s new 48 foot yacht.  This thing is a floating mansion; three staterooms, three “floors”, full kitchen and two helms with tons of knobs and switches and buttons to mess with.  This was the first real outing since he purchased the boat so it was kind of an experiment where we learned all about the navigation system, played with the autopilot and learned how to use maritime charts so we didn’t run aground while trusting the computer to take us from way-point to way-point   If you have never been at sea aboard such a big boat, picture a floating double wide mobile home with two huge diesel engines that consume upwards of 17 gallons of fuel per hour of use.  Dual 220 gallon tanks would yield roughly five round trips from Seattle to Victoria at a cruising speed of 12 knots.

Our destination for this trip was the San Juan Islands.  I had the option of waking up super early on a Friday and cruising the whole way from the Deschutes River where the boat is moored or sleeping in and meeting up with the boat at the Skyline Marina in Anacortes.  Option two sounded much better so I made the nearly 3 hour drive up north to meet up with the boat.  Two very important things were my responsibility:  breakfast for the whole crew and beer.  This was easy since I love both.  

Our first destination was Friday Harbor and the fastest route (about 2.5 hours) was to follow the San Juan ferry route.  Right off the bat we encountered a huge tanker ship, which looks fairly docile until you catch up to the wake.  These wakes are no less than 3-4 feet tall and it only takes one pass over them at full cruising speed to realize that NOTHING is secured well enough on board to do that again; although it was fun “jumping” the boat and seeing the kids that were with us suddenly become weightless in space as the boat moved around them in an extreme fashion.  We all laughed after getting over the adrenaline rush but decided that was probably not the best idea in the future….and for the record, everything spilled or got knocked over except the beers.  

We spent the day scouting landmarks and deciding where the scuba divers aboard were doing to drop in the water later in the weekend.  After some research we decided on Cascade Bay that resides within the huge inlet called East Sound on Orcas Island.  There is a huge drop-off just off shore here and supposedly some great marine wildlife to interact with.  The dark came quickly as it does in the fall as we approached the Friday Harbor Marina.  We spent a restful night here and rose early the next day to ensure we catch all the desirable sights.  Breakfast the next morning was homemade cherry pie and scrambled eggs.  Yum!

Cascade Bay:  After dropping in the super cool skiff and cruising around at top speed over the glass like water, we helped the divers get into their dry suits and into the water.  This was great practice for me; being in charge of this huge boat and now responsible for the divers’ safety.   I followed their bubbles in the water to keep track of them and waited for the standard 30-40 minutes (the tanks have about 45 minutes worth of air) then watched for them to surface.  They traveled pretty far from the boat so I had them wait where they were while I went to get them with the skiff.  We didn’t think this through very well and found it impossible to get them aboard the skiff with all the scuba gear on, so we decided to do it like the marines and have them grab a hold of the side as I dragged them back to the boat.  I was having fun with it, but they looked a bit nervous as the thought of losing grip and getting chopped up by the prop passed through their minds.  A few more laps on the skiff with the kids and it was time to head back to Friday Harbor again.  Along the way, we experienced the most glorious and vibrantly colored sun set I do believe I have ever seen.  It is impossible to describe in short length but I will say I was so taken by the beauty that I got all watery eyed with a huge smile while enjoying the multi-colored puffy clouds and the incredibly contoured horizon of the mountains and the ocean.

Sunday:  I rose early and prepared my ultimate breakfast; Hobo Hash.  This has everything you love about breakfast scrambles but I do it up all gourmet with lots of herbs and spices and more.  The crew awoke to Pink Floyd’s, Dark Side of the Moon album blasting in the cabins and the aromas of fresh coffee and breakfast cooking.  Today was a day for exploration.  We visited Blind Island State Park, which is only accessible by boat.  There are no docks, only beaches, so a skiff is necessary.  This park is absolutely pristine.  Small, but big enough to spend several hours hiking on their manicured trails; which is exactly what we did.  Enjoyed a nice picnic there and set out to do some more diving.  The rest of the day was taken up by traveling back to the dive spot where we sent them out to see if they could find anything else cool and exciting.  

Unfortunately this was the last day I could spend aboard, so we slowly made our way back south to Skyline Marina.  I spent a good portion of my young life aboard much smaller boats and sailed a couple times, but this was a new experience.  I learned a ton about navigation techniques and diver safety.  Maybe someday my buddy will appoint me the title Number One, so I can “Make it so.”

-David – A fellow traveling foody

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