Duckworks
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The Online Magazine For Amateur Boat Builders


Sucia

by Greg Stoll
Part 2

(Review Part 1)

After the first night on shore, it had become painfully obvious that our tent had shrunk since the last time we went camping. Before we left, Bill Childs had told us to call if we needed anything brought over from the mainland. So I put in a call to Bill and had him purchase a tent for us before he left for Sucia. He obliged with a top of the line Columbia tent, complete with “Cyclone Ventilation” and skylights. It was a wonderful place to sleep the rest of the weekend.

On the sail from Bellingham to Sucia, I had wondered who was there and who had been put off by the morning wind and waves. It seems that in addition to Frank and John being delayed, the other two Chebaccos were delayed as well as a number of other boats who had planned on attending. Jim Ballou had paddled over in his CLC Kayak on Thursday, and Jamie and his father Les had sailed over that morning. Jay had motored over with the Micro, and Ryan had cruised in on his fiberglass ketch Makoolis.

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We awoke Saturday morning to this gorgeous scene in Fox Cove

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Jamie Orr, Andrew Linn, and I decided to take our boats out for a sail to greet the incoming Rendezvousers. The winds were fickle, and we had to motor quite a bit. You might be surprised at the amount of traffic on the water there; we were greeted with a number of powerboats and sailboats under power. There was even a trawler yacht with a 17’ runabout as a dinghy!

We sailed around for a couple hours trying to catch the shifting winds and avoid the current and tide rips. A power boater decided to motor by us about 100’ off and try to swamp us, but we foiled him by taking the waves on our stern quarter. Wayward Lass was able to find more wind than we were, and quickly sailed away from us.

Jamie and Les Orr with Jim Ballou in Jamie’s Chebacco Wayward Lass

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Mike and Thea Schifsky sailed over from their home on Orcas Island in their “extended” H28, and Randy Wheating and Chuck Gottfried showed up in their Chebaccos. John Kohnen came over in his Footloose Skiff Pickle, accompanied by Frank Mabrey in his MFG runabout.

As one would expect, the main topic was boats and the trip over. If you have never been to a boat gathering like this, you need to find one. Even if there isn’t one close by, it’s worth whatever it takes to get there. The camaraderie that comes from being around boats, the water and other boat people is hard to explain.

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(L-R) John Kohnen, Sandy Childs and Bill Childs sitting around the afternoon campfire discussing boats

 
(L-R) Jim Ballou, Bill Childs and John Kohnen solving all the world’s problems

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The Saturday night sunset on Sucia Island

We slept in a little on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, Andrew had to take the Aurors back to Bellingham to be back home that night. We bid him fair winds and following seas as we ate our breakfast of eggs, sausage and pancakes. Some of the rendezvousers had chided us about how much stuff we had, but they stopped complaining when we fed them. After a bite to eat, we tagged along with Frank Mabrey in his MFG runabout to go to Orcas Island for some fuel and ice. I had also neglected to bring my checkbook to pay for our campsite, so I had to get some cash to keep myself out of trouble with the ranger. The trip over went fine, we overran our destination, but arrived at the dock before too long. We discovered that the recreation map Frank had was wrong; it had listed this marina as having fuel and a convenience store. We found it had neither.

A quick call to Orcas Island taxi had us trucking over to East Sound for provisions, and after a quick drive back we were cruising back to Sucia with all we needed. The ice was much appreciated by those who were chilling their beverages in our coolers, and we whipped up some hamburgers for those who chose to stay on shore. The evening was again filled with lots of boat talk and storytelling around the campfire until the wee hours of the night.

Randy Wheating’s Chebacco Bluster

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Chuck Gottfried’s Chebacco Full Gallop

 
John Kohnen’s Footloose Skiff Pickle

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Frank Mabrey’s MFG runabout

 
Bill Child’s 19’ Bartender

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Jim Ballou’s CLC Kayak

 
Ryan Shellborn’s ketch Makoolis

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Monday morning had us up around 9:00. We had hoped to catch the high tide and beach the boat for ease of loading, but found the tide wasn’t high enough. Ryan of the Makoolis took pity on our situation and ferried out most of our gear in his 9’ dinghy. We were a little nervous about the trip home, as our dinghy “Red Racer” had taken a beating over the weekend and had started to leak. We knew we would have to try to make it across anyway, and set out on our voyage.

...On to Part 3...

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