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Walt Drechsler

Pellucidar Stretches Her Legs

It started as a whimsical idea over two years ago at the Annapolis Sail Boat Show. Linda and I had sold Sound Decision, our Morgan 323. We were searching for our next boat and I had contacted the Moody Owners Association looking for information on a boat we had found in Seattle. Michael responded and over the next year, was kind enough to supply me with answers to many questions. We corresponded often via email and over time built a great friendship. Michael and Sara were hosting a Moody gathering at the Annapolis Boat Show the next year and suggested we attend. The rest is history.

Michael and Sara landed in Seattle to sunshine and a warm reception. Rain was in the forecast but that would not dampen the mood. By the time we all got settled, it was pretty late and they were still on East Coast time. We visited for a short while and hit our bunks anticipating the week ahead.

Day 1 – Tuesday morning came quickly and brought a few morning showers but nothing we couldn’t handle. We grabbed some breakfast at the Vintage Cafe then headed off to provision for our trip. Our itinerary included  13 days traveling through the San Juan / Gulf Islands. It took us a while to acquire everything on the list but once we got back to the boat, everything was stored and we slipped the lines about 1500 hours.

Our first destination was a bouy at Hope Island to stage for passage through Deception Pass the next morning. We caught a Southerly as we exited the Snohomish River and were able to sail all the way up to Skagit Bay. Here the wind got fluky and due to a mis-calculation regarding our ETA, I barely avoided a mutiny.  I was able to pacify the crew by switching to the Iron Jenny.  What a great way to start the trip!

We ended the evening with colors that are hard to describe……


Day 2 – Morning broke at Hope Island in a fashion you can only expect from the beautiful region we are lucky enough to live near.

We rose early to catch the slack tide through Deception Pass. I’ve been through this channel a few times and it never disappoints.

View of the Deception Pass Bridge as Pellucidar approaches from the East

On this trip with our friends from the East Coast we wanted to experience as many of the islands as possible but at the same time, not adhere to a schedule where we felt rushed. Today we headed North up Rosario Pass, West through Lopez Pass with a thought of stopping at Spencer Spit for lunch. Our destination was Fisherman’s Bay on the West side of Lopez Island. With the tricky entrance to Fisherman’s Bay, we decided to push on around the top of the island and South down Upright Channel. This would provide enough water to get into the bay with our 7′ draft. Our route took us by Fidelgo, Decature, Center, Blakey and Lopez Island. We made it to Fisherman’s Bay just in time asthe water in the channel was getting a bit skinny. I think I hit a few clams on the head coming in. We tied up at Island Marine Center. The staff was pleasant and accommodating but one young man, Rico, stood out from the rest. Anything we needed, Rico was there to handle it.

We walked South to the Galley Restaurant for a nice lunch. Then we walked North to the Lopez Village Market to get some groceries. We got our steps in that day for sure! That evening we made dinner on board and relaxed from our daily activities. It would become our routine at the end of the day to review our options for the next day and make game day decisions depending upon the weather and tides. For me, I never felt rushed or that we had missed out on something we really wanted to see and / or do.

Fisherman’s Bay looking NW toward the entrance.


Day 3 – Today we slept in and enjoyed our coffee in the cockpit as we watched Fisherman’ Bay come to life. Our destination was just across San Juan Channel to Friday Harbor. We had to wait for the tide to bring in enough water for us to leave  so we had a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage and Mickey Mouse pancakes made from Snoqualmie Falls Lodge pancake mix! By this time our guests were really wondering what they had gotten themselves into.

We motored across the channel to Friday Harbor. If you’ve never had the pleasure of entering this harbor by boat, it is something special. Ferries, float planes, whale watching boats, fishing boats and pleasure craft are all funneled into this fun little destination. If you’re not paying attention it can get dicey!

No stop is complete for the Admiral without a visit to the local coffee shop. This is a view of a very quite Friday Harbor. Locals say it will be nuts around the 4th of July.


We spent the afternoon wandering around some of the shops and just getting the lay of the land. The weather wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t spectacular either and we were having such a good time we decided to stay over another night.

We ran into another “Moody” couple. Walter and Lorrelette from Braesail were in the harbor and joined us for dinner at the Downrigger restaurant in town. All three couples have sister ships so we had lots to discuss. The restaurant has been rebuilt from a fire that destroyed the original back in 2013. We had a very nice dinner with good friends and spectacular views of the harbor.


The following day the weather was not that great so we just mosied around town. Michael wanted to see a whale at some point during his trip so he and I toured the whale museum whil the girls shopped. Little did we know this would be the closest we would come to an actual whale!


Tomorrow we head up San Juan Channel to Roche Harbor.

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