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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Catalina Rendezvous, Roche Harbor, 2015

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Catalina Rendezvous at Roche Harbor
April 30- May 3 2015

The first rendezvous for the year on Jah Mon, our Catalina 42, was a success.  (It must be admitted here that I set it up a year ago, ordered the weather, and got all kinds of assistance from all involved.)

The short version is:

April 30- May 3, Roche Harbor Marina, San Juan Island, WA.
18 boats arrived and had fun.  4-5 Canadian boats depending on how you count them.
Very pampered dock sailing.  Roche Harbor really took care of us!
We traveled 84 nm round trip.
We are doing it again next year.

Red dots are stops, red line is motoring, green line is sailing, and OUCH means we touched a rock!

The extended version:

The weather was sunny EVERY day except the  2nd day for about 6 hours and we were at anchor and it was getting dark so no worries.

8 dock carts of stuff to the boat in preparation for an 8 day outing.  Seems excessive but that is the number.  There were three of us on board.  Myself, the Countess, and Bill (who blasted me in cribbage for the voyage.)

We ate too much but my weight was only .9lbs more after the outing than when we started.  The trip included only 3 overnight stops.

Monday:  We left Anacortes, having lunch in Eagle Harbor on Cyprus Island in the tee shirt sun baked cockpit.  It was decided to carry on to Sucia, another 3 hours, while the weather was gorgeous (sun and no wind).  We arrived Monday afternoon in Fossil Bay and had our pick of the 14 moorings.   We took a walk on the beach with the tide WAY out to 2.5' leaving a nice wide path around a point that we had never walked.  The natural beauty of the crown jewel island of the San Juans that is Sucia must be seen to appreciated.

Dinner:  An easy one of  lentil soup and fried bread with cut veggies.

Tuesday:  This was supposed to be a rain day but it came in late, after we took our walk on shore out to Johnson Point.  There were beautiful banks of wild flowers in bloom on this path.  There were 3 schools camping on the island, Job Corps from Sedro Wooley and two other alternative schools.  The kids were getting a science credit and cleaning up debris on the island.  Very cool!  We were walking on freshly raked trails!
The Countess and Bill walking the shore of Sucia.  Great hiking on the flat rocky shore.

Canadian immigrants and their offspring on Sucia

We deployed the dinghy for the first run of the year and it worked better than ever.  New fins on the 10 hp Mercury 2 stroke gave a WAY better hole shot to planing on our 10' aluminum rib.  The Count took the dink out for a speed run (~20 mph) and found Comocean coming in and then lead them back into Fossil Bay.  Love this dink!  It is called L'il Mon.

The rain started around 4 PM but was only a light intermittent shower.

4 other Catalinas arrived and joined us in this bay on other moorings.  Comocean's crew of Sonia and Greg came aboard for cocktail hour and stayed for dinner and a round of Down the River card games.

Bankrupt (C-36), Solaria (C-42),and  It;s About Time (C-34), were at Sucia for Tuesday night.

Dinner:  Chicken garlic pasta with veggies, nan bread, salad.

Wednesday:  A long walk (6 miles round trip) to Ewing Cove with a picnic lunch of sandwiches, water, and Oreos.

Chevy arrived at 16:00 but we had already hiked past Echo Bay so did not know they were there.
Echo Bay on Sucia from one of many campsites on the island.  There is even treated water available now!
11 mooring buoys in this bay.

Dinner:  Chicken brauts, rice and salad.

Thursday:   After going ashore and looking down the waterway towards the west we saw plenty of wind so planned a sail out around Stuart Island.  A perfect day of sun and wind!  We reached all the way to Stuart Island, rounded Turn Point and found 20k apparent wind on the nose.  A tack over to Canada would then fetch us to back directly to Roche Harbor on the other board.  A plan and then just before we were going to tack....

OUCH!  Unfortunately the charts were zoomed out too far to see the rocks that are clearly marked and a last second turn to port was too late and we crashed into a kelp covered rock at around 7k!  The kelp was seen too late to do much but turn and the rock was a big crash but no water coming in and the rudder was untouched.  It was the first time for any of us in that part of the Gulf Islands.  LOOK AT THE CHART!  Famous last words....

Jah Mon finished sailing to Roche along with It's About Time (C-34) and had a great time if one takes out the rocky encounter.  We were about the 4th Catalina at the dock and backed into a slip with dock help from the staff and some of the previous arrivals.

End of the dock with our heated party tent, tables and chairs for 50.

Note the masts... Catalina Rendezvous on the right with another from Fidalgo YC on the left.  They had 20 boats and we
had 18.  More next year,  We hope to gain boats.

'Appy' Hour commenced on time at 16:00 and then with us all in a good mood we had Andy Schwenk and Jerry Vanderveen from NW Rigging come and talk to us about rigging and top down spinnaker furling.  We actually liked it!

Boat Tours all day
Winch rebuild seminar aboard Jah Mon, rescued by Bob of Camelot at the end of reassembly.
Wine and Cheese spread put on by Curt Adams of Bristol Yachts in Oak Harbor WA.

Here is a photo documentation of the boats that attended: (In no particular order)

Skip, Ed, and Babs, on a new 385 from Seattle Yachts on display and sailed up from Seattle for the Rendezvous.

Dave on Pegasus, a 1994 C-270 that he has owned for one month!  Single handed from Bellingham over in the smallest boat to attend.

John and Kate  on Calypso, a C-34 from Canada

John and Anne on Satarie, C-42 from Canada

Comocean, 1993 C-42 with Sonia and Greg from Semiahmoo.

Bill, Lori and the Count on Jah Mon, C-42, 1994 from Anacortes.

Geoff, Madison (1 year old), Rita, and Ken on Solaria, 2005 C-42 from Anacortes.

Gail and Don on Gailforce, a C-34 from Canada

Nick and Gail on Ursa Minor, a 1990 C-42, what a crafted interior!

Bob and Rick with Camelot a 1990 C-42 they have had since new. Maggie and the other pup travel with them.
The boat is kept in Semiahmoo but is usually cruised all summer.

Martin, Wendy and Abbie on Peace a C-28 which they recently acquired last July.  It lives at Cap Sante Boat Haven in Anacortes.

Click here for a video of the dock and gathering.
Mike and Wendy aboard Linje Akevitt, C-42 Mk II

Don and Deon on Tehillah, a C-42 2006 from Canada

Casey and Betty on Invitation II, a C 320 of 2002 from Canada

Patty and Joe on their C-320, a 2005 model.

John, ? ? and Jan on Chevy, a 1989 C-42 that is getting renovated by a new boater.  They have had the boat for
2 years and is their first boat.  It is ripping along when sailing better than ever.
They are Canadian but keep the boat in Blaine so one is not sure how to categorize them.  Renegades?

Boat tours all day
Poker Walk all about Roche Harbor in search of the best hand for door prizes.
Presentation from Vince Townrow of Ulman Sails in Anacortes and he had several interested owners at the end of the talk.
Pot Luck Dinner with too much food and awards.
After trying to eat too much food and waiting on the awards.   Note the quality of the tent on the dock!
(Photo by Joyce)

Full moon gracing us with some special light.  (Photo by Joyce)
Thanks to all who attended and a special thanks to the marine industry for their support.

Seaview Boatyards (Seattle and Bellingham)
Cap Sante Boatyard (Anacortes)
Seattle Yachts (The only Catalina dealer in WA)
NW Rigging (Anacortes)
Ulman Sails (Anacortes)
Roche Harbor Marina (Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA)

Note on future rendezvous opportunities:

 July 25-27 2015 is a great Catalina Rendezvous at Thetis Island in Telegraph Harbor Marina.  It is worthy.
Also coming is a flotilla rendezvous to Canada in September 2015.  Date TBD.  (To Be Determined)
Next year at Roche Harbor it will be May 5-7, 2016.  On the books with winter rates!


Jah Mon motored East and then sailed to Spencer Spit for our final night out.

Bill and the Countess in front of a tide pool at Spencer Spit State Park.  Jah Mon on a mooring to the right.


We sailed off the mooring and all the way to the Dakota Creek Shipyard in Anacortes.  The pump out island and fuel had no waiting so all was as smooth as could be!


  1. Thanks Eric! for all your hard work. I had a great! time. It was fun to meet up with like minded folks and was surprised at how wide the geographical circle of travel was for those that attended. I got some good info. and inside tips on Pegasus. Plus the icing on the cake with Seaview helping me with my haul out next year. Hope all is well with everyone, Cheers Dave

  2. THANKS Eric,
    this is agreat report! hoping for many more events like this for Catalina 42 owners and congratulations to your promotion to fleet 12 captain!!

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