Sailing to Sucia

In Our Life by Courtney1 Comment


We are lucky enough to have some very awesome extended family who live up here in the PacNW. Gary’s Aunt Nadine and her husband Greg recently upgraded their sailboat and were kind enough to take us out on the water for a long weekend. The plan was to sail from Blaine (a border town with Canada), cross the Straight of Georgia and anchor in a protected bay on Sucia Island (a beautiful state park surrounded by other islands in the Puget Sound).

Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney02 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney03 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney04 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney05 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney06 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney07

Above: Nadine. She’s amazing. So fun and full of life. She captained the boat most of the time – very impressive sailing skills! Below: Greg. He’s basically the man, such an inspiration. He is an expert adventurer and has had incredible experiences and stories from around the world.


Above: one for the ocean, and one for the crew – to ensure a safe voyage at sea :) Below: Our girls basically just snuggled and slept during our long sail to the islands.

Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney09 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney10Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney27

We had quite the adventure when sailing across the Straight of Georgia. After a while the wind really started to pick up and we were cruising! It was fun, but challenging. It must have been the beginning of crab season b/c there were literally hundreds of crap pot buoys to try and dodge while sailing across. One buoy in particular got the best of us. It got wrapped around our propeller making it impossible to use the motor (which we needed to direct ourselves into the bay once we reached Sucia Island). But not a worry, because Greg and Nadine are sailing pros :) We tacked and sailed our way right up into the bay like champs. It was stressful and hard work, but with Greg and Gary as her crew Nadine brought us in safely to the protected waters of Fossil Bay. We set the anchor and took a sigh of relief. We made it… but at some point we’d have to address the line caught in the prop if/when we wanted to leave :)

Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney11 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney12 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney13 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney14

Above: fishing during the sunset. Below: the sunrise next to Mt Baker.

Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney15 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney16

Exploring Sucia Island. There’s no roads or homes or anything, just hiking trails, camping spots and beautiful beaches to hang out on.

Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney18 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney19 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney20 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney21 Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney26Sailing-Sucia-Island-Puget-Sound-Gary-Courtney22

Above: the Coast Guard boat happen to be anchored in the same bay, so we called them over to see if there was anything they could do to help us out. After a few attempts at pulling on the rope from various angles, they couldn’t make anything happen either (b/c it was more than just a rope caught in the propeller, the buoy was wedged in there making it impossible to get a full rotation on the prop). So, the only thing left was to have Gary suit up and dive into the frigid water to cut the tangled mess of ropes from the prop. Luckily Gary has lots of experience free diving (he can hold his breath for over 3 minutes and dive down to 80ft deep on a single breath), so it only took one quick dive to cut us free from the mess.


What a fun and beautiful adventure! Big thanks to Nadine & Greg for having us along. We love you!!!



  1. Nadine Van Hees

    We love you too Gary and Courtney, Charlie and Joey. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures. Awesome memories, and more in our futures!
    Nadine & Greg

Leave a Comment