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Desolation Sound Cruise: Grace Harbor

On Wednesday we rose late, and decided to relocate from Prideaux Haven to a cove called Grace Harbor, a few miles back towards the entrance to Desolation, where Kristal Dockery had mentioned that Surfbird would re-anchor. But when we arrived at midday, after a short hour’s cruise, they weren’t to be seen. We couldn’t raise them on the radio using the fleet’s channel of 72, so we simply dropped anchor in 50 feet of water and settled in.

Only a handful of other boats were in the cove, and after Glenn and Tom dropped the crab trap in the cove’s entrance channel into deeper water, Glenn visited the lone vessel flying a Seattle Yacht Club burgee and invited them for cocktails at 1800, before sundown. We spent the afternoon lounging and cleaning, and enjoying the lay day. Sometime late in the day, from the hidden entrance to the cove, we spied the dinghy from Surfbird with Joe and Kristal and their guests, simply exploring. Apparently they had anchored in the hidden part of the cove behind us after we had arrived, not far from our crab trap

At 1800 three crew from the other boat arrived bearing crackers and cheese, and merged their contribution with ours. We all lounged in the cockpit and swapped cruising stories. They in fact were not part of the cruise; instead, they were finishing a monthlong getaway gunk holing in Desolation, something they had been doing for many years. He is an architect whose biggest customer is Nordstrom’s; their son, barely out of college, is an aeronautical engineer for Boeing. Just before nightfall they motored back to their anchored yacht, and we retreated inside, where Glenn broiled steaks on the fly bridge BBQ, I made a curry mustard salad, and Tom cooked up a mess of home fries and grilled squash. Of the three steaks we had captured while provisioning, one managed to escape from Glenn and jump ship to swim to shore; the others, fortunately for us, were delicious and more than enough to make a full dinner for all of us.

Glenn was tired and fell into his bunk early. Tom and I sat in the cockpit, listened to ABBA and “Chess”, and investigated the absolutely brilliant night sky with binoculars. I tried but failed to find Andromeda, but the Milky Way poured itself across the sky from one end of the little cove to the other. After awhile I noticed Tom’s chin on his chest, and I nudged him awake just enough for the two of us to go below and crash.