Dolphin Days

We had a wonderful summer boating on Nordic Song.  As we had limited internet access, as well as the death of Darlene’s laptop, we weren’t able to share many updates throughout the summer. While we’ll try to provide some highlights later, today we want to share a quick recap, as well as a highlights of a great experience we had with nature this summer.

This summer was a check out summer of our new boat, Nordic Song.  We both agreed we are glad we decided to get a larger boat, given we spend all summer boating.  Needless to say, we are still very happy with the decision to go with a Nordic Tug 42.  And, we honestly feel that the stars aligned for us to get the particular boat of our dreams, with only ~100 hours on her.  That is why we consider this particular summer to be a check out summer, to try to get to know a new boat, as well as trouble shoot any issues with a boat that had such few hours on her.  While we did have to replace the house batteries, we had relatively few minor issues while cruising, and a few items that we want to change for next year.  Overall, she handled well and we found her very comfortable to cruise on.

We spent a good part of the summer in the Broughtons, but also visited favorite spots  along the way, as well as found plenty of new spots in the various cruising grounds (e.g. North of Desolation Sound, Desolation Sound, Gulf Islands, and San Juan Islands).


We did a crew change out the last week, where Darlene spent a week with Leslie (SIL) and Rodney (BIL) and Brad spent a week cruising in the San Juan Islands.

The boat is now on the hard (dry land) and we are going thru the traditional end of summer cleaning and will winterize the boat, before we leave.  In the meantime, we are also enjoying our time visiting with( Rodney & Leslie, as well as other friends in the area.

One of our favorite things about cruising the Pacific Northwest (PNW) is seeing nature in all her beauty, including the wildlife.    We saw plenty of whales, bears, eagles and other birds.  We also saw a small hawk swoop down to catch a small seabird, as they crashed into the water and the hawk had to flap it wings to swim to shore, before giving up on his catch.  But our absolutely highlight this summer was our experience with a large pod of dolphins, over a two day window while on anchor in the Broughtons.

Our first encounter with these dolphins was while we were out on a dinghy ride, where we enjoyed watching the dolphins jump, as well as “bump” our dinghy to play with us.  Later, they came further into the anchorage where we could observe them from our boat.  And, there were multiple times where they raced around our boat, while on anchor.  It was definitely an amazing experience that we will never forget.

Here is a video that Brad made to share this experience with you. If you have head phones, you may want to plug them in and turn up the volume to also enjoy the music while viewing the video.

Definitely a fun Dolphin Days of summer experience for us this year that we will never forget.

We hope you have also had a wonderful summer.


Nordic Song Introduction


Seems like this is a perfect time to introduce Nordic Song and provide an update on what we are up to this summer.  You may recall last summer we sent El Bucanero (our previous loved boat) off to live (and be loved) by a wonderful couple that live in Juneau, Alaska.  We delivered “Bucky” to them in Ketchikan, leaving us “boatless”, till this past Spring when we found the perfect boat for our extended Pacific Northwest Cruising.  To clarify, El Bucanero (Wilbur 34) was truly a perfect boat for us, but when it comes to spending all summer cruising in the PNW we both agreed it was time for a larger boat.  So, we were delighted when we found a Nordic Tug 42, with ~100 hours on it for sale.

While, like Bucky, we keep Nordic Song on the hard in Anacortes, WA, we launched her early June and have been focusing on shakedown cruising, which includes time to get to know a different boat.  Still loads to learn, but we’re now more comfortable, but still have items to troubleshoot.  Needless to say, we’ve both fallen in love with Nordic Song and have been enjoying the summer cruising, in amazing PNW weather.


We are currently in Lagoon Cove, BC, which is part of the Broughton Archipelago which has been one of our favorite places.  And Lagoon Cove remains one of our “must” visit places every year.  Ownership changed hands late last summer and we are thrilled that the new owners are making changes, to make it their own style, while also respecting the history.  There are scenic walking and hiking trails, beautiful scenery, great areas for fishing, crabbing, prawning, as well as super fun pot luck socials nightly and tonight we had a yummy prawn fest.



For those that are out on the water for long periods of time, Lagoon Cove also provides a great reason to visit that you can’t find all that often, the further North you cruise.  The PNW is pretty much a “pack it in/pack it out” type of place.  Large communities may offer trash services, but for the most part you need to carry your trash until you can find appropriate places to dispose.  Lagoon Cove offers a “burn barrel” where you can take care of burnable trash.  Needless to say, we had a very large bag of burnables to take off the boat.


We are both getting to know the new boat, which means learning new mechanical and electronic systems.  To clarify, that also includes a new “larger and more powerful” dinghy.    I think Brad really likes the “go fast” power of the dinghy.


We don’t have a formal schedule for cruising this year.  All pretty easy going: go North till we decide it is time to turn around and go home.  This means we will explore new areas, as well as visit some of our favorite places.

Here are some highlights:


Anacortes, Fidalgo Island – launched on Friday, June 10th, met our boat broker on Saturday for time to go thru the boat for much needed Q&A. Anchored Saturday night in Blind Bay, Shaw Island (San Juan Islands).


While we cruised on to Garrison Bay, San Juan Island and enjoyed more nights on anchor, we concluded the main house batteries were not working.  We called our “Master Boat Magician” Gordy, and made arrangements to meet him in Skyline Marina, Anacortes, Fidalgo Island, where we had new house batteries installed.


We then headed out for more cruising in the San Juan Islands and once we verified things were working, we pushed North into the Gulf Islands, British Columbia.  We cleared customs in Bedwell (Pender Island), Ganges (Salt Spring Island) Montague Harbor (Galiano Island), visited friends in Ladysmith (Vancouver Island), Nanaimo, Pender (BC Mainland), Squirrel Cove (Cortes Island), Octopus, Forward, on to Lagoon Cove.   We’ll continue North spending time on anchor in the Broughtons, before we pop in to Port McNeil (Vancouver Island) to get fuel and provision.    For now, we want to close by letting everyone know we are fine, Nordic Song is doing great, we have amazing weather for cruising and we hope you are having a wonderful summer too!  Here are some more photos that we hope will give you more insight on why we love cruising in the PNW.

2017 cruising plans.JPG

There are so many areas of cruising in the PNW and find them all beautiful, yet different. The views are always amazing.


Hiking thru forests for perfect daily Zen.


Nature is awesome:

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We feel very fortunate to be able to do what we do, to see what we see.  We know there are no guarantees for how long we may have such an opportunity, and that there are also many choices in life for how and where we spend our time. For us, the PNW is where we want to be. At the same time, we also miss being able to visit more with friends and family that are elsewhere.  But we do appreciate hearing from everyone via text, emails, or cell and we hope you too are having a wonderful summer.

BTW – We don’t plan on frequent blog posts this summer.  Actually, awhile back I thought we’d not be posting on this blog any more.  But with a new boat, comes new experiences.  Thus, I think we’ll periodically use this blog to provide a few updates.  While you can check this blog url for updates, you may want to “sign up” for updates via the option in the upper right hand column.  Wordpress allows you to use your email to sign up to receive email updates when we do share such.  I’m not sure technically how it works, but want to encourage those interested in receiving such updates to try that feature.  If you have problems let Darlene know and we’ll try to help.


MORNING UPDATE:  We decided to spend one more night here in Lagoon Cove, before heading North.  It rained a little bit last night, but we hope to be able to get a hike in today, as well as spend more time visiting with other boaters on the docks.  And we’ll probably get more shrimp tonight too!  Yeah!!!



Anmchara Is For Sale

You may remember us sharing insights about Chuck & Carol Worst, whom we met years ago while cruising.  Our paths crossed many times in the Pacific Northwest, including SE Alaska.  Their boat “Anmchara” is a 46′ Canoe Cove (’91)  and is a beautiful vessel perfect for cruising.

Chuck and Carol are excellent mariners, but have decided it is time for them to retire from boating.  They’ve put their boat up for sale and we want to help spread the word  as a new owner will certainly enjoy this boat.  Plus, for the right buyer, I think Chuck & Carol would certainly help “consult” to show them the ropes of cruising the PNW, possibly even going out with them on a cruise to get them familiar with this beautiful boat.


For more info:   Contact Fairhaven Yacht Sales or click thru to view details shared on Yacht World.

New Chapter

We have some exciting news to share, but as it has been awhile since we’ve shared an update, let’s start with sharing how the 2016 summer boating season ended:

We did deliver El Bucanero to the buyers, handing her off in July, in Ketchikan, Aaska. Our delivery cruise had a feeling of sending your daughter away to be married, knowing you may never see her again.   But we were rewarded to be able to meet the buyers in person and show them around the boat, knowing that she’d be in great hands.


The owners of “The Wilbur of Juneau” are a wonderful couple who took her out weekend cruising, for the rest of the summer, catching salmon and having fun.  Jim and Tamera love the outdoors and boating.  Tamera is also a quilter and Jim has a commercial sewing machine and has already made things for the boat!

To clarify, The Wilbur is now home ported in Juneau, Alaska and will winter on the hard (they did a great job having her shrink wrapped).  But we look forward to hearing about her adventures on the water, every summer.  We also hope to see her cruising one day, as we head north to SE Alaska.



2017 has kicked off to be an exciting year for us, as we bought a new (used) boat.  Nordic Song is a 2011 Nordic Tug 42′, which only had ~100 hours on her.  Escrow has just close, so we can officially announce she is ours and we are very happy with her.  We are in the process of making a few changes, which we feel will work better with our extended cruising every summer.  For example, she had an electric stove top and we are swapping it out for a propane oven.  And while she has a much larger refrigerator/freezer, we still like having a large standalone freezer on board. To optimize placement, we are removing the ice maker and having a freezer placed in that spot.


She comes to us empty and given we left everything on board El Bucanero for the new buyers, we are now in the process of compiling lists for what we need (e.g. linens, kitchen items, etc.).  We plan a 10 day trip late March where we’ll be spending time shopping and working on Nordic Song, but we are also trying to order as much as we can online and have it delivered to Brad’s brother in Oak Harbor, till we arrive in March.  We’ll go back up again late May, with plans for some shake down cruising, before we head out for our official summer cruising this year.

We’ve picked out a color scheme of nautical blues, greys and are thinking of probably pull in some soft tans, or creams.  Darlene is working on a quilt for the main stateroom (blues/greys), and hopes to get towels and pillows embroidered, before we go up in late March.  In the meantime, we continue to compile a growing list of things we buy and try to find as much as we can by shopping online.  Fortunately, there is a Costco somewhat near where we keep our boat, as well as WalMart and Target.  But, as we don’t live in the area, it will be challenging for us to know what we’ll be able to buy in the area vs online, or bring with us.

If you have any online sources, for outfitting a boat, or know of stores in the area, please let us know.  For now, we’re looking at:

We also anticipate doing some serious shopping at West Marine and Fisheries Supply.

Looks like we are switching from the mode of shopping for a boat, to shopping to provision a boat, as well as to get her ready to cruise this coming summer.  Needless to say, we are excited and looking forward to spending the summer cruising on a larger boat.   We are in a new chapter of our lives and thoroughly loving it.   But yes, we will miss El Bucanero (aka Bucky) and while we love cruising in the PNW, we do miss cruising with MBYC friends in Southern California.  But if you are wondering if we plan to bring Nordic Song back to So. Cal. – we can honestly say, we don’t have any plans for giving up spending our summers boating in the PNW.  Life is just too good on the water, in the PNW.


Introducing “The Wilbur, of Juneau, Alaska”


With mixed emotions, we have sold El Bucanero.  We truly love this boat and have enjoyed cruising on her on the Columbia River (Oregon), Channel Islands (Southern California), and our absolute favorite – cruising in the Pacific Northwest. The more north we go, the more we love it.  And, El Bucanero certainly has been a reliable boat where ever we have cruised, particularly on our trips to SE Alaska.  But as we spend the entire summer boating, I think I finally convinced Brad we really needed a larger boat.  While El Bucanero is truly a perfect size for us, having a larger boat would give us more space that we could also invite family and/or friends to come join us during the summer.

On a positive side, the buyers are from Juneau, Alaska and they thoroughly researched Wilbur Yachts, our boat manufacturer.  Of course, we think they will also love this boat too and we are very pleased with the new name that they have given her “The WILBUR of Juneau, Alaska”.  Way cool.

We are headed north to deliver “their” boat to them in Ketchikan.  They will take possession on the 20th of July, but we’ll spend a few days in Ketchikan showing them around the boat, before they cruise home to Juneau and we fly south to Seattle (where we will most likely start shopping for a new/used boat).

Lastly, for a critter report while boating:  We’ve yet to see any whales or bears, but we have seen some cute Canadian Geese families with very cute fuzzy wuzzy babies.  And we have seen plenty of Bald Eagles.

Next update to be shared about July 21st, from Ketchikan, Alaska.



In past years, we’ve lucked out to be in BC on Canada Day, a few times.  Always great fun and celebration of the Anniversary of Canada.  We lucked out as this year we’ll be celebrating it in Port McNeil.  It will kick off with a Parade, a special Raise The Flag ceremony, Logging Sports, Pancake Breakfast and more.  It is also the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Port McNeill.  Click here for a flyer with insights on all the fun events.





Cruise North Update

In 2015 we spent the summer cruising on El Bucanero, spending a good part of the time in The Broughton Archipeligo, in British Columbia.  We always enjoy visiting old haunts and exploring new areas.  We also visited areas in the San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and North of Desolation Sound. While we don’t have firm plans for 2016, we believe we’ll be cruising in same general areas this summer again, possibly further north. As we’ve visited and shared insights about those areas before, combined with the fact it is not that often we get internet access during our summer cruise schedule, we have stopped sharing updates throughout the same.  But I do want want to share with you a recent underwater video Brad created, while diving in Kona, Hawaii (Big Island).  No, we didn’t take our boat to Hawaii (flew Alaska Air), but we are enjoying time in the water vs on the water.

Brad’s Youtube channel has more of his u/w videos and  can be found at:


We should be cruising in the PNW no later than the week of June 7th, when Brad’s brother Rodney gets to join us for 7-10 days of boating in the San Juans, before we head North.