Our next guest on board would be Tara. She had never joined us for an extended solo cruise so this would be a leisurely ten day visit. We were picking her up in Seattle. We arrived ahead of schedule to see an Australian folk band we really like. The Waifs have been performing for years and rarely get to the states but they were playing one night at The Triple Door in Seattle right up the street from Bell Harbor Marina. It was a fantastic venue and a great show.
We really enjoyed Seattle. The Museum of Pop Culture was fascinating and good for all ages. I enjoyed the Chihuly glass museum and gallery. Both are located adjacent to the Seattle Space Needle. Pike Place Market is a major destination for visitors and locals. It is crowded but lots of fun with plenty of restaurants along the waterfront.
After a couple of days in Seattle we slowly cruised back north stopping in Port Townsend, Lopez Island, Sucia Island, Roche Harbor, Deer Harbor Marina on Orcas Island and finally back to Sidney. Tara flew out on the 16th and the very next day we flew back to Vermont for two weeks. It was a great ten days with our number one daughter!
In Vermont we received good news from the orthopedic surgeon. He gave Cath’s knee a clean bill of health. An operation was not required. The torn ACL and crack in the knee had mended thanks to the near daily regimen of physical therapy and exercise. This was not easy to accomplish living on a boat.
Labor Day weekend had us back in Sidney with just enough time to prepare for the arrival of our dear friends, Bob and Tibby. They flew out to visit family in Portland and continued on up to spend three nights with us on board. They had heard all about Big Smile and our adventures and we finally pulled them in. And what a great time we had. We picked them up at our very convenient airport and got them settled. We hustled out of the marina for three fun nights at anchor. A big clockwise loop thru the Gulf Islands started with Tod Inlet and a visit to Butchart Gardens.
From there it was on to Saturna Island. Winter Cove, the anchorage for Saturna was a bit too congested so we dropped anchor 3/4’s of a mile to the NW at Samuel Cove on Samuel Island. The only other boat anchored in Samuel Cove were fellow Selene owners, Bill and Pam Racow, on their beautiful 55, Amavi. Saturna and Samuel Islands were new destinations for Cath and I. The four of us got to explore the shoreline for the first time. The kayaking was breathtaking with views of 10,781 foot tall Mt Baker and a quick kayak ride thru boat passage at the turn of the tide. From Samuel Island it was a delightful 2.5 hour cruise to the anchorage behind Sidney Spit. Three nights went too quickly. It was a wonderful time and we truly miss seeing our old Lake George neighbors.
Three days later cardiologist number two arrived. Marc and Judy, friends we met in Africa a couple of years ago, flew up after visiting their son in San Francisco. We had last seen them on Super Bowl weekend when we stayed at their home in Florida. Like Bob, Marc is a retired cardiologist. The weather had turned a bit cooler for their time with us but it didn’t slow us down. We managed to anchor out for a night and spent two fun nights at our marina. They were our last guests for the season. We hated to see them go.
The season was winding down. We made a quick car trip to the Seattle Boat show but didn’t buy anything. We took Big Smile out for a short trip to the San Juan Islands. We cleared into the US at Roche Harbor. The marina and resort had quieted down now that it was September. From Roche Harbor we stopped for a night at Stuart Island before cruising back to Sidney and clearing customs with Canada Border Services. On September 22nd our season was over. Four days later we left Big Smile and started our long cross country trek back to Vermont.