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We enjoyed a leisurely morning at anchor today as we waited for the currents to shift through Hole-in-the-wall Channel. Ten thirty and slack water was marked by a cacophony of clanking chain as almost every boat in the bay began to get underway simultaneously. The boats filed one by one through the narrow exit and through the quiet waters of Hole-in-the-wall before dispersing across the open waters of Calm Channel. The increase in traffic is inevitable as me move south, but nonetheless is a somewhat bitter pill to swallow after weeks of isolated and wild anchorages.

The good weather continues as we cruise south through the Rendezvous Islands and along the west coast of Cortes Island. We enter the bright blue waters and stony islands of Desolation Sound, set beneath the high rocky peaks of the cascades. Sailboats glided along under white sails, passing the bright red trunks of madrone trees at the entrance to Malaspina Inlet. A pod of Orcas rapidly slipped by our fleet in the opposite direction as we entered the inlet, skimming along the rocks close to shore hoping to catch a seal unawares.

Grace Harbor is a beautiful and protected anchorage tucked well inside the hills of the Gifford Peninsula. Its semi-arid climate and passably warm waters soon enticed some of us into the water to swim, lying afterward on warm slabs of rock on the shore.  In the evening Telita hosted the fleet for appetizers and a cocktail hour on their spacious aft deck, and Judy aboard Eldean gifted each boat a sizable chunk of her wonderful spiced pumpkin bread. With our sweet-tooth sated and a good run of excellent weather under our belt, no one seemed especially to mind the warm rain that began to fall late in evening.

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