Back From the Islands

Course in San JuansOkay, we’re back from our first “real” cruise. We’ve done overnighters, but this was our first full-week cruise on a chartered sailboat. We had an Islander 28 for a week in the San Juan Islands from San Juan Sailing in Bellingham, WA.

Lessons Learned:
First and foremost, we can do it all, on our own, with no big problems. We used all we learned in the ASA classes, and more (anchoring, mooring balls, fuel dock, managing the head and provisions, navigating with chart plotter and paper charts, checking on the diesel, etc.).

Additionally, our kids did great. Our nine year-old son fished almost every day, and our seven year-old daughter became increasingly relaxed throughout the trip. We worked hard on not “overdoing it,” and we succeeded.

The trip went so well that we’re already planning next year’s trip. We hope to reserve the same boat for two weeks, but visit Victoria, Canada, for three nights, and then one or more of the Canadian Gulf Islands before checking back in to the US. We looked over a Crealock 34 as a possible alternative boat, but it didn’t seem worth the extra $$$ given that we fared just fine on the Islander 28 with the two kids.

As for the Islander 28, it sailed beautifully. We could balance the boat perfectly when sailing, and let go of the tiller for brief periods with no problems. The main was perfectly manageable, and the roller furling on the 130 genny worked fine. We liked the open interior and fold-up table in the cabin. In fact, my wife has a crush on Islanders now.

Pictures from the trip are available here. (There are 75 images in the gallery, so feel free to feel bored.) A day-by-day account is availabe here.

We’re ready to go again…

Lunch at Obstruction Pass
Lunch hook at Obstruction Pass State Park.

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