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Friday, May 9, 2014

Catalina Rendezvous at Roche Harbor/Sucia 2014

Roche Catalina Rendezvous 2014

Party tent where the "End of the Dock" jewelry sale was held.

Photo by Deon

Wednesday, April 30

What a glorious day!  Sunny and warm.  We have gotten used to rather wetter conditions for our Spring Rendezvous but this was inspiring.  We departed the dock in Anacortes at 12:43 PM.  On board was the Countess and myself.  Solaria was still at the dock with the crew scrubbing the decks.

Solaria being readied for the Catalina Rendezvous after a winter off.
Ken, Rita, and Geoff find new uses for toothbrushes.

The current was going with us out Guemes Channel and we got to Thatcher Pass by 1:44 
and then hit a full knot of anti-water and 15-20 knot winds on our nose. We went up between 
Willow and Blakely straight into the wind and then reached off for a bit until we got to 
Shaw where we had to motor.

We ended up in Deer Harbor with the interior of Jah Mon at 73F (without the furnace)  with full sun and no 
wind. A great place to anchor. We had stopped at Blind Bay but the wind was blowing 
at 12-16 knots and it was cold! The only redeeming factor there was a free mooring buoy. We 
eschewed it because of the cold wind and motored on for another 45 minutes. We were glad we kept goin because  Deer Harbor had LOTS of sun and very little wind.

After hooking up in 38’of water with 125’ of chain out and a good hold, popcorn was 
made while rum and hard apple cider was poured over ice. We had an excellent cocktail 
hour reading our books and then we each took a nap.  After naps, showers and then a dinner of burritos we spent the evening in the cockpit watching the sunset.

. Life is good!

Thursday, May 1

Jah Mon motored to Roche Harbor in the sun with only a short 15-20 minutes under sail trying to get to 
Spieden Channel. In the channel we found 4 knots of ‘pro-water’ current running West from the big 
out flowing tide. With the motor near idle at 1500 RPM, we made 9 knots of SOG (Speed Over 

Friday, May 2

Another nice day, slightly overcast but dry and warm.  We were located at the end of the guest dock and had a lovely covered pavillion with tables and chairs and a heater for our meeting space.
The attendance count by the Count came up with 10 C-42s and 1 C-34.

We invited other Catalinas  on the dock to join us like the "Smelly Boys Weekend" group which consisted of 5 boats, three of which were Catalinas.  Some came out for boat tours but missed out on the other bits of fun.  One hopes we can improve the size of the fleet for next year!

Several of our ladies are into jewelry making and set up a "show and tell" in the pavillion.  Lots of gals from another rendezvous down the dock came to look and buy.

End of Dock Jewelry:

The Countess, Anne, Judy, and Sonia all displaying their wares.  They had a good time selling and talking about

We had 10 C-42s and one C-34 for this outing with room for more.  We will try for more Catalinas of all sizes next year.
Maybe when they see this blog we will get more boats showing UP.
Photo by Deon
Disc Golf Outing with the Count:

Not being into jewelry, six of us guys walked out to the 18 hole official disc golf course near the end of the air port which is a great place to play disc.  It is a tight course with lots of trees and only a couple holes with a totally open fairway.  Advice is to watch your disc all the way into the bush.

We decided to play in teams of 2 and do 'best disc' rules which means you play the best throw in the partnership.  Kasee and Dan, Bob and John, and Greg got stuck with the Count....

Six really tired guys returned to the dock in the late afternoon.........  just in time to relax and listen to Vince Townrow speak about sails.

Bob showing good body English on the putt.

John going in deep for a lost disc.

First time disc golfers, not sure what they are in for.
Bob, John, Kasee, Dan, and Greg

Greg, Dan and Bob trying to figure out the best lie.

Ullman Sails with Vince Townrow:

Vince Townrow, from Ullman Sails in Anacortes, came and talked to our group about the various types of cloth that are used in sails and the various types of cuts used to shape the sails.   He talked about sail trim and costs of various sails including chutes, headsails, and mainsails.  It was an interesting and very informative talk.  Based on feedback, it seems he was a hit!    I do know that  the Count is looking forward to getting his new Ullman Sail.  He ordered  a 140% Tri-radial, Endurance cloth, leech and foot cords with hidden velcro clamping, with two telltale windows and furling reinforcement.

Thanks, Vince!!!

Friday night Wine and Cheese by Bristol Yachts of Oak Harbor:

Curt , of Bristol Yachts in Oak Harbor, put on an amazing wine and cheese spread for us on Friday evening.
.Curt brings a wealth of knowledge of all cruising yachts.  As a former charter captain, he has extensive experience with actually sailing Catalinas of all sizes.  He is both a listing broker, and importantly a buyers broker.  A buyers broker brings knowledge of boats that the buyer doesn't have, both in evaluating target boats, and in providing context for how a boat compares to others of its type, other similar boats, and in the context of the market.

Thanks Curt for a delicious evening.

Kurt of Bristol Yachts with his amazing spread of snacks and good tasting wines.
He just does a better job each year!
Go to Oak Harbor to buy a boat.  He does know his boats.
Photo by Ken

Sunset at Roche with bit of dark cloud that gave us rain at night.
Photo by Rita

Saturday, May 03, 2014


The poker walk commenced early for the Count this AM. The cards were shuffled, 3 decks worth, and then cut into random 7 piles with a few card scavenged for an 8th location that was for contingencies

The cards were distributed in zip lock bags as described below.  The 'served' cards were dropped off with a request to give poker walkers a hard time.

Roche Harbor Poker Walk 2014

Created by Count Enrico Alfredo Ferrari

Pick up the playing cards at the various hinted locations, best poker hand of 5 cards wins, 

There are 7 locations for cards plus a reserve location on demand from the coordinator.

Self Serve = Honor System, retrieve your own card from zip lock bag.

Served Cards = Smiling Staff will give you a card if you explain to them who you are and 

what you are doing.

This is a 2-3 mile walk so bring liquids as needed. Dress accordingly.

Route (in any order you choose)

1. Dock Master’s Office (Self Serve)

2. Upstairs Retail over store

3. Grocery Store

5. Alligator Mouth in Sculpture Garden

6. Mausoleum (follow signs for the longer walk ~adds a mile or so to walk~) The 

sign that says “closed” should be ignored and just walk by it. Stay to the left on 

the access dirt road. Look under the trash bin.

7. Tennis Court Entrance.

Note the reflective water and hard shadows.  The tennis courts were next to this tent.

Photo by Deon

Poker Walk Anecdotes:

Tehilliah:  Bribing the Count with the offer of a mooring buoy use in Maple Bag in 

exchange for access to another card. Not only did he rifle the deck for the card he wanted 

to fill the inside of his baby straight but he took the entire resource of cards. It must be 

said he did go and return the cards for others to find.

Satarie:  Getting handed a Joker (an official no count card) and not being able to talk the 

source into getting another card. They were sent to find “the seat that John Dallas never 

sat in” in the Garden.

Chevy:  Made to bring a muffin to the dockmaster. (Could have been in exchange for another card but then were told no muffin was needed.)

Wanderin’ Star:   Had to tell the name of their boat and what the history of the name was.

Solaria:   Had to tell the name of their boat and what the history of the name was

Jah Mon:  Had to tell the name of their boat and what the history of the name was.
Ken having troubles retrieving his card from the Scupture Garden.
Photo by Rita

Don (from BC and 77 years young) and the Count wait in
the heated party tent for the 2.5 hour Poker Walk.

Performance Art: 

Chevy:  Singing a duet: You Are My Sunshine

Solaria:  Had to tell a joke. Had to sing a song and they chose Row Row Row your Boat 

but were told to stop shortly after stopping.

Tehilliah:  Had to dance at the Spa to live music, Walk Like an Egyptian. (Don sent his 

crew, Deon, out to track down the cards.)

Wanderin’ Star:  Danced to a hummed waltz in the Spa and started to sing but were cut 

off before starting at the Grocery Store.

Jah Mon:  Sang Happy Birthday in the Grocery Store, danced a Cha Cha at the Spa.

Comocean:  Sang Happy Birthday with a twist, Sonia danced a strip tease in the Spa.

5 fat C-42s lined up for fun!
Photo by Deon

Roche Harbor Marina Guest Dock.  We were at the end of the dock on the right.

Adventure Walk:

Deon off of Tehilliah (in his first C-rendezvous) and the Count went for a 20 minute walk to locate the elusive distillery.  That was great fun! We encountered at least 3 locals who live here in Roche but had no idea this Distillery was here.

The Count waiting for a gin tasting at the San Juan Distillery.  (Tough to find but worth it).
Photo by Deon

The still and gin tasting counter.  Very fun with lots of tastes one wouldn't expect.
The hard apple cider tasting counter.  There were 4 flavors of the cider made from the apples grown on site.
Photo by Deon

Winch Maintenance Seminar:

This  winch work was scheduled and rescheduled over the weekend but we pulled it off last minute (actually the last hour before our Saturday night potluck ).  The guys watch and learn as the Count disassembles, cleans, lubes, and reassembles a winch.

Count Enrico taking apart his primary winch, showing how to lube and check a winch for annual maintenance.
It was an appreciative audience who assisted with handing parts and tools and most important,
paper towels!
Photo by Deon

Potluck and awards:

Amazing food in our lovely heated tent.

Brock, Heather (of Chevy), Don, Deon (of Telhillah)
John and Jan (of Chevy)
and the Countess (from Jah Mon)

Ruth and Mike (of Wanderin' Star) Greg and Sonia (in pink)
(of Comocean)
John and Anne on the right (of Satarie)
Kasee and Dan (of Ritidian) at the end of the table.

Mike and Russ (of Le Jouet) and
Ken, Rita and Geoff (of Solaria)

Don of Tehillah, being congratulated by the Count chooses the free night's moorage at Roche
for his first place prize.  His crew Deon went to the extremes and
ended up with a baby straight to win the Poker Walk.

Other awards given out  were two $100 discounts on haulouts from Cap Sante South Boat Yard in Anacortes, a $20 Ace Hardware card, a couple of bottles of wine, a lighter and some LED flashlights.  No one went away with nada!

The winning hands were one baby straight to 4-8, Queens over Jacks full house, Sevens over Kings full house, a pair of Kings, a pair of 10s, a pair of 9s, and a hand with Ace high stuff.

Deon preparing his hand by choosing his best 5 cards for poker,
taping them on a paper with the boat name for the final submission.

Sunday May 4, 2014:

'Racing' to Sucia in the San Juans:

We started with coffee and pastries in heated party tent.  Nearly no wind visible, but no rain in the AM after coming down all night..

We were off the dock around 9:00 AM with several boats going home but 5 of us ended up sailing to Sucia in a kind of a 'race'....

We were bucking a 2-3k current of 'anti-water' in Speiden Channel and no wind but once into San Juan Channel we found 10k of wind and the sails came out to play.  Solaria was the last to leave the dock but motored to the end of the fleet, hoisted her sails and ended up 3rd to Sucia.

Satarie with John and Anne found they were too slow with just a headsail but when they went to put the main up the wind came up as well!.  24k made them go to the lee of Orcas to hoist but even with the loss of about 3 miles they were still 2nd to arrive.

Chevy, a new boat (6 months) to John and Jan, with a green crew of Brock of Heather, found themselves rounding up two times when the winds piped over 20k.  They were very excited about their trip to Orcas and nothing broke except his dink's  motor shear pin so all was good.  They were 5th to arrive.

Jah Mon was the first to arrive and the only one with a smallish headsail (115%).  It was a perfect reach all the way for us.  The rail threatened to dip a couple of times but dumping the traveler all the way got her feet solid and we trucked along, hitting a noted 9.2k through the water.

A video of our National C-42 Commodore, Ken Fisher,  sailing single handed off of Waldron Island in the San Juans.  He models ideal racing form for a cruising 42.  The steering is done by 'Otto'.  He is our invisible crew and very helpful!

Click here to watch a bit of sailing

Boats in attendance and in order of arrival for Fossil Bay on Sucia Marine Park:   Jah Mon, Satarie, Solaria, ComoceanChevy, and Journey.  Journey had a busy social schedule going from Roche to Deer Harbor for another rendezvous with Anacortes Yacht Charters, and then back to join us at Sucia.

Adding in 5 gallons of diesel to get the furnace working!
Borrowed off Comocean for a very good price!
A major improvement in living on Jah Mon once that was lit.
~50s F at night!
The Count, John, Geoff, Ken, Greg, Sonia, Rita, Lori, Jan, Heather, Anne
Brock, and John.
The campfire at Sucia on Sunday night.
There was a bit of rain but it is the NW in the spring.
Photo by Rita (on a timer)
For a rare video of oddness: 
 (Demry (sp), Donna, Larry, and Lori are the stars...)
Click here to see singing at the campfire

Next Year:

We have booked Roche Harbor for the first weekend in May again.  We hope to see many more Catalinas there of all sizes.  The party barge is heated and large enough for 2-3xs the number of bodies we had this time.  Roche Harbor really went all out on the support with the tent, garbage pickup at the tent, water, power, tables, chairs, furnace, and all with a $.90 a night/per foot charge for each boat.

Put this on your boating calendar as a must do!  Tell your friends!

The Poker Walk will be enhanced with more challenging clues and tricky clues.

We hope to get the Cat Toss back in the fray.

It is thought that we will have a pre-rendezvous gathering at Sucia on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to going to Roche on Thursday.

Here is a mystery image, if you can see it you have a good system:

Roche Harbor Store and Lime House Cafe behind the gardens.
Photo by Don


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking the time to "relive" the rendezvous for all of us via cyberspace and most of all for the time you spent planning/creating this incredible week-end so the rest of us could just show-up and enjoy all of the festivities. What a wonderful group of fellow sailors and friends, both old and new. Thanks to everyone for helping Kozmo and me on the docks Friday night!! We were sorry to have to leave early and headed home with calm breezes that quickly turned into 30+ knots on our nose. We rocked and rolled down the straits and blew into Port Townsend for the night, not making it home until Sunday. This trip was Kozmo's last great boating adventure, but he is now pain free and no longer trying to cope living with dementia. We can only celebrate the 16.5 years that he shared his life and sailed with us. We're looking forward to seeing all of you again next year...I want to do a Poker Walk!!! Again, we thank you, Erik!!