We set the departure date for May 19th from Bellingham. A friend, Kurt, from our NOLS AK days lives there and had offered to drop us off at the Bellingham marine park. We gave ourselves two days to get the tasks done that we needed to do before our actual start on the water. A major one was driving to Canada and mailing our food to several locations that we had arranged to do our resupplies. As we were driving north from Oregon I opened the glove compartment of our car and found a small wooden icon that was given to us by a man we met in Baja. It seemed appropriate for our journey.
We made it to the PNW NOLS branch late afternoon on the 17th and made arrangements to leave our vehicle there for the summer. We also talked with our friend Steve who had paddled the Inland Passage last summer. It was encouraging to talk to him and realize that he had some of the feelings that we were experiencing when one sets off on a journey with so many unknowns. Our next stop was Kurt's and Becca's house. We were greeted by their new dog Henry. Once again we unload our gear and store it in their garage. Dinner at a nearby restaurant had us looking over the bay from which we will begin the paddle in two days. On the 18th our priority was to drive to Canada and mail several boxes of our food to Canadian locations. We were relieved when the custom agent waved us through after several questions and did not ask to look thru our food boxes. We found the closest post office located in Aldergrove and soon were sending our packages to their destination, The post office employees were quite helpful and quite curious about our trip. We were surprised at the low cost and of the speed which they would arrive. On the way back to the states we checked out a potential departure point. There is a small craft warning for tomorrow morning which we are hoping will change tonight. Kurt talked to a friend who does a lot of sailing in the area and he advised us of areas to be cautious due to the strong currents. He also recommended a web site that showed the strength of the currents that we will be navigating thru in the first couple days of the trip. It was easy to see that the currents will be a big factor in how we time our travel. With the weather predictions we have decided that the Marine Park in Bellingham is the place to start and that we should start in the morning.