Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sucia Island Rendezvous, 2015

July 10-13 was yet another great gathering of small gunkholing boats in Fossil Bay, Sucia Island, one of the wonderful Washington State marine parks in the San Juan Islands. It's hard to beat the camaraderie of good friends in a beautiful spot aboard some of the most seaworthy small vessels around.

This year there were nine boats carrying eleven sailors. A small but tenacious group, all with credentials as able seamen and women.

Jamie came from Victoria BC in his Phil Bolger Chebacco, Wayward Lass, fresh from the R2AK, where he made it to Johnstone Strait before succumbing to intense headwinds.
This is the view we usually have of Jamie.

Bob sailed Sally Forth, his beloved Drascome Longboat. It's easy to see why he loves this boat so much. He uses a very well designed cockpit tent for sleeping aboard. Additional photos can be found on the Doryman Flickr site.

Paul navigated from Cowichan Bay, Vancouver Island, in his Jay Benford Friendship. He recently upgraded his rigging by moving the headstay to the masthead and installing a roller furling genoa. Sadly the winds were very light, so he couldn't show us how pleased he is with his new wings.

Claire and John came from Whidbey Island in their new Night Bird. A lot of boat in a compact package. Please note the pop-top deck.

Joel and his son Tim winged from Edmonds in their John Welsford Navigator, Ellie. Navigator Joel employs a tidy clothesline anchoring system to keep Ellie close to camp.

Randy arrived in his new Belhaven 19, Clementine. I sailed with Randy in our annual "race" around Sucia. The winds and currents are fickle around this island of many faces and we have yet to complete a single race, in many years of trying. This year may have been the shortest race of all.

Joe trailered from Texas with his wood runabout. He didn't know he came to see us, it was serendipity. I met Joe four years ago while cruising around the Canadian Gulf Islands after this same rendezvous. It was good to see him again, he's a sailor's sailor, with a fruitful life and many interesting stories to tell.

Ron motored in with his efficient outboard driven catamaran, Just Enuf, a plywood EcoCat from Bernard Kohler. Ron really gets around with this little cat. You may have seen his distinctive vessel around the Salish Sea.

I sailed the forty five nautical miles from Port Townsend in Belle Starr. That's her in the photo near the top of the post. She always gets me there and back, safely and in style.

A small but fun group. The Sucia Island Rendezvous was lovely as ever, a tradition well worth keeping.


Alden Smith said...

Nice cruising grounds, really nice little boats!

doryman said...

I'll bet it reminds you of home, Alden. If you ever come this way let me know, we'll go for a sail together.

robert.ditterich said...

I've been wondering at the name of your lovely boat. I've probably missed an explanation somewhere, but when I just noticed the double 'r' in Starr it made me wonder...a person? Maybe way before your time?

doryman said...

The notorious Belle Starr was a professional outlaw who's life was defined by the civil war in the US. She fraternized and married within the indigenous population of the poverty stricken rural South (one of her husbands and partner in crime was a Cherokee named Sam Starr), which earned her a tarnished reputation. I suspect she was an exceptional person in her day and possibly any other day as well, but history is hard on self-determinate women, especially if they are horse thieves and bank robbers.
No, I didn't name the boat, she came with that reputation.

robert.ditterich said...

Great story, thanks. There werent many ways for a woman to earn any other sort of reputation , I guess, in those days. She would be pleased to be remembered.

doryman said...

I like the name. Not that I endorse crime, but am impressed by women who push gender boundaries. Men too, for that matter.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks for the offer Doryman, sounds like an offer that would be hard to refuse. You sail deep in the late William Gardens cruising grounds, an area I have been reading about for years. I like seeing the many and varied yacht designs that are featured on your blog. It's interesting that Bill Garden and John G Alden (my namesake) both found great joy in very small yachts in their later years. Although I own a 30 foot yacht, I am finding myself drawn back to the small centerboarders of my youth.

doryman said...

Yes, a small boat can be big fun. With the current interest in pushing the boundaries of what a small boat can do, new designs are safer than ever. You may, like me, find your bigger boat more often left behind.