Cap Sante Marina, Anacortes. The walk along Anacortes’s Commercial Avenue had the usual effect of attacking my wallet. We’re back at the boat now and the wallet is safe. What fun, to stroll down a shop-lined street and take the time to look inside. Anna’s Cross Stitch, a spacious yarn, knitting and needlepoint store, yielded a project for our 11-year-old granddaughter Ashley’s week with us at the end of July. Later, we walked through the 100-year-old hotel/office building/one-time brothel(?)/shops & offices at the corner of 7th and Commercial and explored the myriad of shops within—a surprise at every turn.


One of the shops in the old hotel was Boho Chic, Robin “Bobbie” Nevitt co-proprietor. “Vintage clothing, furniture, frippery and more!” reads the business card. Robin is an attractive, dark-haired, outgoing woman, and she’s passionate about old clothing, the styles, the quality fabrics and construction. She buys a lot of old clothing, and has a lively business selling locally and especially over the Internet. One regular customer is a woman lawyer who wears classic 1930s and 1940s suits when she’s in court. The television series Downton Abbey seriously depleted Robin’s Edwardian inventory, some of which she had held for years. The Madmen television series created a run on 1960s inventory. “Feel this satin,” Robin said, fondling an electric-blue gown. “Look at the seams, the detail. You can’t find that today.”

Across the street, The Watermark Bookstore produced a copy of iPhone 5 for Dummies—“Covers iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4!”—more about that frustration later.

The Safeway near the marina provided something quick for dinner.

Cap Sante

Cap Sante Marina is delight. The concrete visitor docks are wide and stable, with 30 and 50 amp shore power. The restrooms and showers are spacious and spotless. The office staff is friendly and efficient. Complimentary bicycles are available for shopping or local sightseeing. And if a visitor has the least interest in buying a boat, the various brokers’ offerings are enticing. We’re not in the market. Still, we could feel the urge.

Cap Sante was the first stop in this summer’s 7-week-long cruise. We hope to get north of Vancouver Island this time, around Cape Caution, into Rivers Inlet, a stop at Namu, turn-around in the Ocean Falls/Shearwater area. We don’t know how many more trips north around Cape Caution we have in us, but we have this one and we want to take it. Weather, boat problems (hopefully, none), and contacts from home can change all plans. At least we have a plan.

At the end of the trip granddaughter Ashley will fly into Roche Harbor, at the tip of San Juan Island. We’ll show her some the San Juan Islands, and she’ll be with us for the trip back to Seattle.

The iPhone. Despite writing on computers, doing accounting on computers, managing photos on computers and all the rest, I don’t really embrace technology. With smartphones, I don’t understand why people must check for emails or texts every five minutes. So I’ve been happy with my now-ancient flip-style cell phone, from the era when the important thing was to have the thinnest, smallest model possible. Unfortunately, the little hinge that flips the phone open cracked and broke a few days before departure—the flip phone lost its flip! (sorry, I had to do that)—and had to be replaced. The default smartphone seems to be Apple, so I decided on an iPhone4. Now I have to learn how to manage it. People have offered advice. Emily and Malia at the Cap Sante Marina office helped me learn a couple buttons to push or swipe. “My grandmother has an iPhone and she loves it,” one of them told me. The implication was that I would learn to love it too. With any new area of knowledge, a background of definitions or procedures must be learned before we can go further. With arithmetic, it’s the multiplication tables. You just have to learn them. With the iPhone it’s figuring out what all those little icons mean. I can take in only so much at once. It will take time.

We lose our compass. This spring the boat’s veteran microwave oven decided when it would work and when it wouldn’t, and had to be replaced. At Best Buy we found one that would fit, and for 60 dollars it was affordable. We replaced the old microwave oven with the new one a couple days before we set out and we thought all was well. It was when we were under way that we discovered the lower helm station compass was 20 degrees off. The upper station compass was fine, as were the GPS and the autopilot. What was going on? Savvy readers already know the answer. It was the new microwave, sitting below the compass. Thanks to GPS and the Coastal Explorer navigation program, and thanks to the autopilot compass, we’ll be okay until we get home and have the compass swung.

Anyhow, we had a lovely run from Seattle. We went up the east side of Whidbey Island, through Possession Sound and Saratoga Passage. Thanks to dredging, the Swinomish Channel had enough water to take away anxiety. The LaConner waterfront was charming. Cap Sante Marina is wonderful, and the staff is helpful. Downtown Anacortes is a treat. We’re going to have a good cruise.

—Bob Hale

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