Thursday, April 5, 2018

23-26June, 2017 A weekend on Spencer Spit

Weather:  Sunny and mild, mostly.  Winds:  Variable, 0-15.  Seas:  Flat to 3ft.

Friday:  Departed Skyline midday and motored out.  Had winds initially through Burrows Pass but then had to motor across Rosario Strait.  Got increasing wind through Thatcher Pass and sailed to a south side mooring at Spencer Spit.  Wind was southerly and the mooring was not comfortable.  The north side moorings appeared to be full, but we kept an eye out.  Around mid afternoon, a couple opened up and we slipped our lines and made our way around.

Once on the north side, we saw the western most mooring was open and took it.  It is not a popular ball because of a lack of depth at the expected low low tide.  With Strider and her shallow draft, this was not a problem!

Thus began a delightful weekend on Spencer Spit.  A little dog walking, a little clamming, a little rowing, a little banter with an Ohio State alumnus, a park employee dumping the trash (said just in case she reads this!), a lot of sitting back and relaxing in the sunshine!

While we had been to Spencer Spit quite a few times and seen the clam information posted on the beach, we had never seen anyone actually clamming.  This weekend would change this.  The low low tide was indeed low.  At the lowest point, the beach was exposed for at least a hundred yards.  From our mooring, I could have jumped from the stern onto the beach.  I had to move the dinghy from the stern to ensure it would not be aground!  Then, about 0900, at first a trickle then a rush, the crowd, mostly families, descended, armed with shovels and buckets, upon the exposed beach to hunt the tasty bivalves.  We joined them one morning and grabbed a few large cockles for fritters.

Sunday was the only change in routine and we decided to explore.  We'd heard Eagle Harbor on the northeast side of Cypress Island was a good spot, a favorite of a buddy.  Slipping the lines, we motored out and picked up wind and sailed under the main and screacher through Thatcher Pass.  Once again, the wind died and we motored across Rosario.

Rounding the south side of Cypress, the wind picked up to about 10kts from the north, straight down Bellingham Channel.  Under main and genoa, we tacked up the channel and reached into the entrance of Eagle Harbor.  It was full...and so was Pelican Beach to the north.  So, we continued north in the good wind and made our way around the north end of the island.  What to do?  Head back to Spencer Spit of course!

Once around the north end and after dodging a couple fishing boats, the wind died in Rosario...again.  We motored through Peavine Pass, fighting a little bit of current.  Once inside, we had some light wind and sailed, main and screacher, at about 3kts towards the Spit.  With the wind out of the north, we headed to the south side and picked up a mooring.

The cool thing, at least for us, is the water encloses the spit on both sides.  While not allowed to be off leash, it is easy to let the dogs run on the sand, knowing they cannot get into much mischief.

Another excellent evening, a great night's sleep and we had to reenter the real world on Monday.  Overnight, the winds had picked up out of the south, blowing 15kts.  Under reefed main and genoa, the ride across Rosario was a bit rough, but we made 7-8kts directly home!

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