By Kat Bivoino
During the summer months, each weekend, one Oak Harbor Yacht Club member sponsors a cruise somewhere in the islands for a little rendezvous of 10-15 boats. Each member boat signs up for the trip at the OHYC club house. The host or sponsor then makes a plan, an agenda for what to expect on each day of the cruise.
This past weekend’s cruise was sponsored by Mike Rowe, vice commodore of the yacht club, and his wife, Carol. It was a bit of a last-minute cruise without a host, so the Rowes stepped forward, and Mike and let everyone know there were “no plans, no rules, just hangin’ out with members and party on the dock.”
My husband George and I invited my brother Kevin and his wife Diane, from Ashland, Ore., to join us. We loaded up the MV Sunfish and headed to Lopez Island. Stocked with food and mucho beverages, we cruised out of Crescent Bay and headed for the pass. It was an exciting start heading through Deception Pass in our 28-foot Cutwater (virgin overnight cruise) and our first cruise with the yacht club to Lopez Island.
The weather was cooperative, but the marine layer never quite let the sun break through. Our destination was the Islanders Resort, which did not disappoint. We cruised around the west shore of Lopez at Fisherman’s Bay, where we saw a group of dolphins. Unfortunately, we were not fast enough on the camera to get a photo.
The Islander Resort entrance on Fisherman’s Bay is a challenging passage to be well respected. One sailing vessel missed the center and got stuck until the tide changed; they were not with OHYC. It took approximately 3.5 hours from Oak Harbor Marina to Fisherman’s Bay. Average cruising speed was 7.5 knots.
It was an easy dock and beautiful setting. We could not wait to see the resort and find our OHYC friends. Not long after we docked, Mike Rowe came over to fill us in on activities. They were all heading up to a restaurant for dinner, but we ran into the MV Easy Goin’, belonging to Deane and Arlene Hislop of Anacortes. They invited us for burgers aboard their boat.
Saturday morning came quickly with much needed coffee. We decided to walk up to the resort and have breakfast … great menu, service, view and decor. We were excited to see they had a live band and dancing on the weekends. As we ate breakfast we started seeing several OHYC members heading for the Saturday Market and so we followed for a mile walk into Lopez Village. The Saturday Market was just what I expected, artists’ goods, farm produce and food stands. The feeling was friendly and festive, with local musicians playing string instruments for the crowd and lots of dogs on leashes. We also visited the local Museum, which had an interesting and detailed history of Lopez Island.
That afternoon we relaxed at the resort pool, which was full of happy, young swimmers. Back to the Sunfish to relax on the boat, we asked Mike if everyone wanted to go to the Islander restaurant for dinner. Only to find out Mike and Carol already made plans for a dock party, so we canceled our reservations and took food to the dock party. Fun was had by all, then it was up to the Islander Bar for music and dancing.
Again, Sunday morning came early. We just relaxed on the boat and visited with friends.
At 11 a.m., we headed out and took a full circumference of Lopez Island though Lopez Pass. It wasn’t long before we saw majestic Deception Pass Bridge. The water was like a lake, smooth as glass, and the sun finally peaked out. What a gorgeous place we live in.
It was a great cruise, everyone survived and the only casualties on our boat were two bee stings, on Diane’s finger and George’s leg — lots of bees on Lopez.
We look forward to our next OHYC adventure, good people, good fun, and on the water.
Look for more Cruise News with the OHYC in the Whidbey News-Times.