We were curious about the Swinomish Channel and I had wanted to visit La Conner for many years so we decided to skip another crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and play motor boat for a while.
We had lovely sunny weather for the trip. The channel was relatively easy to navigate and depths averaged about 22 feet. We enjoyed the scenery and tried to identify some waterbirds using a guide we bought in Mystery Bay.
The current rushing past the dock at La Conner marina was impressive but, other than my trying to overcompensate for it with too much speed, it didn't cause us any particular problems.
We made several walking tours of La Conner, choosing to have dinner at the pub. We watched part of a pool league competition and were offered some excellent homemade bread by one of the friendly participants.
The next day we toured the Quilt and Textile museum in the Gaches mansion. We enjoyed the old place but had to spend some time later unbending our ears after the onslaught from a enthusiastic, but extremely talkative, quilting volunteer.
We were greeted by the sight below on the way back to the boat.
We're not always goofing off. George spent some time on the to-do list by installing struts to hold our solar panels in a horizontal position. We have learned by experimentation that we can often gain several amps by changing the angle of the panels.
We made one small purchase at a local shop. We were charmed by "The Little Boat of You and Me" poem which now hangs in the saloon where we can read it often.
We navigated the southern part of the Swinomish Channel the following day. This part was at times much shallower than the northern parts with only three feet of water beneath our keel for much of it.
Once we cleared the channel and the shallow part of Skagit Bay, we poled out the drifter and ran downwind to Langley.
We had wanted to visit Langley again since our first visit in 2002. We had a smaller boat that time and were shoehorned into a tiny slip inside the marina. One of the most memorable moments was when the habormaster kicked our fenders back up onto the deck and said, "You won't need these, they won't fit anyway". Fortunately for us, this time we were allowed to dock at the end of the one of the piers.
We had breakfast at The Braeburn the next morning and highly recommend this restaurant. Afterward we tried to sail in light air and finally gave up and motored once we reached Puget Sound. We spent a rolly night at anchor in Kingston and traveled to Brownsville then Blake Island the following day.