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CETUS TALES
After leaving Gig Harbor, WA in 2009, we spent 3 winters in the Sea of Cortez then sailed to the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia up to Hawaii, then to San Francisco Bay. We're now heading down the coast on our way to La Paz.
Mexico!
Heidi
11/05/2009, Ensenada

The fog we encountered when leaving San Diego stuck with us for most of the trip to Ensenada, but lightened up mid morning giving us good visibility to enter the harbor.

We tied up to the dock at Baja Naval Marina a little before 2 in the afternoon, got settled in and enjoyed a nice dinner aboard Galetea then a good nights sleep.

Today's big event was to clear into the country. The beauty of doing it here in Ensenada is they have incorporated all the offices you must visit into 1 building, saving you from walking all over town as we had to last time in Cabo San Lucas. You must go to Customs, Immigration and the Port Captain. All went well and we are good to go!

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GO!!!!
Heidi
11/04/2009, Mexico

We're off !

We left the public dock on Shelter Island at 1 am and carefully picked our way out of San Diego in the thickest fog we've had since Newport, Oregon.

Just crossing the border into Mexico! Still in fog, but the big bright nearly full moon makes it better than pitch dark fog.

Next stop: Ensenada!

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Tsunami Watch 2009
safe at sea
09/30/2009, Off the Southern California Coast

We left Marina del Rey with a bit of unease Tuesday morning because of some somewhat disturbing and conflicting weather reports. The area we would be traveling thru starts in one of NOAA's districts, but before the day was over we'd be in a new area with a different forecast. Near Marina del Rey the weather would be getting rougher as the day went on (with the worst of it by point Conception: 40 knot gusts and 12 foot seas!), but the forecast for the San Diego area looked pretty benign. Then there was the inland report of the strong gusty Santa Ana winds piping up -- would that effect us?
So we gambled that the weather wouldn't move south faster than predicted and this time we won!

Then a strange turn of events. It started with a message from some cruising friends in the Cook Islands sending out a note that they were fine despite the earthquake and tsunami that hit the Samoan islands. Then as I checked a weather report I saw a tsunami advisory for the California Coast!
I knew we were safe out deep as we were -- they aren't even felt. So we were VERY glad we'd left the marina that morning after all!

We were also very concerned for anyone that might be waiting in Port San Luis for weather to round Pt. Conception (as we had), because San Luis was one of the Bays they mentioned as a possible threat. If we were anchored in San Luis and heard there "might be" a tsunami type surge coming in would we go out to sea when the winds were gusting to 40 and the seas were 12 feet high? That would be a tough gamble to make.

So we listened to the updates on the advisories and I searched the internet looking for more info on the Samoan tsunami and word on the California prediction. I never did hear if any areas had any problem on our coast and am assuming there wasn't. But it's very sad how much destruction occurred on those islands.

Other than that it was a very uneventful passage with very light winds that forced us to keep the engine on the whole time -- we were afraid if we didn't move fast enough that weather system might catch us before we got far enough south. We did have great visibility well lit by a 3/4 moon -- it was the 1st passage since leaving the San Juans that we didn't have ANY fog! And we were treated to some outstanding shows by traveling dolphin, too.

We pulled into the dock here in Chula Vista exactly 24 hours after leaving the dock in Marina del Rey, and since we plan to stay here a month (we don't want to go into Mexico until November -- the "official" end of hurricane season) we're at home now.



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Point Conception!
09/24/2009, sunrise in the Santa Barbara Channel

We had a fantastic sail around Point Conception last night!

We pulled up our anchor in San Luis about 2 in the afternoon and we were able to sail as soon as we left the harbor, even though there was light fog cover. As night drew near, the fog settled in pretty heavy and the winds lightened so that we were motor sailing for several hours until we closed in on Conception. The winds picked up (as we knew they would from the buoy reports I was getting on my cell phone) and soon we were sailing again.

There was still a lingering fog and Terry was startled when he looked up and could see stars! Something we've only seen on one other night passage of this entire trip. It wasn't long before the fog disappeared completely and we were sailing under starry skies in 20 - 25 knots of wind! What a rush!

Even before we rounded the Point, we could see the big brilliantly lit oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel. Turning that corner was like entering another world as the seas smoothed and the wind calmed. Once again we were motor sailing, but this time with clear skies and great visibility -- simply beautiful.

Early this morning we were able to take turns getting a few hours sleep as we continued on our trip to Oxnard. We should be docked by about 3 this afternoon and then will spend a couple days at the reciprocal dock for the Channel Islands Yacht Club -- and we'll enjoy the Southern California sunshine!


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09/24/2009 | Monica and Scott
Hi there, glad to see you are now in Southern Calif. We just left the guest dock there on Sunday and are now in Marina Del Rey. Sounds like you're catching up with us.
09/24/2009 | Joni
WOW it looks so nice, hope you are enjoying the new life of care free and easy going. Just thought I'd give this a try. See ya
09/27/2009 | Alex
Great blog. We plan to leave SF Bay 10/16 isch and sail down the coast to Southern California. Hope to get wifi in Morrow Bay and else - because we actually work while sailing :-) - I know it's crazy but better that way - then in an office ha ha ha
Alex
Whoohooie San Luis!
and we still have fog!
09/22/2009, San Luis Obispo, California

We left Monterey with hopes of staying out 2 nights and rounding Pt. Conception so we would officially be in Southern California, and hopefully leaving the land of sand and fog behind us.

Anxious to get going, we left Monterey earlier than we should have to time the rounding of the "treacherous" cape for the night hours, so we amended our plan to stop in San Luis for a brief rest -- and check the weather report -- then continue on.

Again we traveled all day with no wind and light fog. At least this fog was high enough we had about 2 mile visibility during the day and we could even see shore for once! This made the traveling so much more interesting and much easier since you could keep a sense of direction just by looking around instead of having to stare at the compass and other instruments.

The highlight of the day was passing a north bound sailboat, because Richard Reppy, the old cruising friend we met up with in Monterey was onboard! He'd driven down to Santa Barbara the day before to help a friend bring his boat back up to Monterey -- so we knew we might happen to pass on the way, but what a delight to actually see the boat (right as night fell) and talk to a friendly voice and get an idea of the weather ahead!

Shortly after that the fog enveloped us and we had a long night of motoring along depending on the instruments to see our way. The sky began lightening up as we approached San Luis and we were able to pick our way in from buoy to buoy and set the anchor at 8 am.

Once situated we took a nice nap and awoke to sunny skies! Now we'll spend the day enjoying the sun and plotting when the best time to leave to round Pt. Conception -- right now the weather reports are leading us towards leaving here around midnight so we round the point just before sunrise.


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The Golden Gate!
Heidi
08/24/2009, Emery Cove Marina, SF Bay

We left Fort Bragg/Noyo River at 9 am Tuesday August 8th and crossed under the Golden Gate bridge at 7 am the next morning!

We had an uneventful rounding of Pt Arena, which is why we waited in Fort Bragg. The last time we came down the coast in Cetus we encountered huge seas and strong winds with gusts to 50 knots in that area and we didn't want to do that again!

Unfortunately, the winds on the coast this year are either feast or famine, and though we took off the first day the gusty winds and "dangerous seas" subsided, the forecast for some 10 - 15 knot winds from the West and Northwest didn't materialize and we headed out into south winds and fog. So once again we motored along in our little bubble of fog and had little visibility that night until we rounded Pt. Reyes and the fog began to lift, making it easier to spot the buoys we needed to follow through the Bonita Channel to reach the Golden Gate. Were excited to see a large killer whale go by on the 1st day, and that was our only sighting of this short passage.

At 6 am it became light and made for very easy transiting of the channel and we could suddenly see all the huge ships going in and out of the bay. The night before they had just been images on our radar and AIS. Even with the top of the bridge shrouded in clouds, it was an awesome sight to round Pt. Bonita and see the Golden Gate -- it's really a great feeling of accomplishment and we celebrated by opening a small bottle of champagne to toast as we passed under the bridge.

One unusual announcement to mariners came over the VHF radio as we were going through the Bonita channel -- they were telling everyone to proceed with caution through the channel because there were to be swimmers crossing the channel at 7 am! We didn't see the swimmers, but had we been even 15 minutes later we probably would have.

We then proceeded across the bay to the Emery Cove Marina -- it had been our home from 1998 -1999 when Terry worked in the Bay area before we headed down to Mexico the last time. It was nice to pull into a familiar place.

We've been enjoying being here and walking all over town. Yesterday we had a big adventure! We took BART to San Francisco where we caught the ferry to Sausalito and met up with our good friends Liz and Tom (they were in the area for a wedding). We had a fantastic day with them, checking out the Bay Model and then going back to Cetus and then out to dinner at Trader Vic's (the home of the original Mai Tai)

Now we have a free week to explore some more, get some boat projects done and plan the rest of our journey south.

Then Carly flies down on the 31st for a short visit!

Life is good.

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08/25/2009 | Charlie & Diane Long
Congrats on reaching San Francisco! Our Broughtons Cruise officially ended today as we brought Dreamtime back to TYC. She'll stay there until Sunday. We cut a deal with the guy who's leasing our slip at Murphy's--he moves out two days early and, in return, he gets to use the slip while we're gone over Labor Day.
08/31/2009 | SV Scott Free
Hi there guys! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time; saw your comments on our blog. We are in Santa Barbara heading out for the islands Sept 1st and will island hop to San Diego. Hope to bump into you again further South.
An interesting night at sea
Heidi
08/12/2009, Ft. Bragg/Noyo River

Our passage from Crescent City to Ft. Bragg was only about 180 miles, but was full of unusual sightings.

We travel at an average of 5 - 6 knots -- a slow pace, so we have the opportunity to see a lot on the way. Every day we see dolphin (or porpoise), seals and sea lions, lots of different birds including puffin and now pelicans. We've seen shark and whales and even a couple of sunfish, which are a very strange sight. It always amazes us that on the small path we cut through the big ocean we see so much.

We started out with clear skies for leaving the marina, knowing that the fog would soon roll in, but best to find our way out to sea before that happened. After clearing the last buoy, the fog did surround us, but it was light enough that we could see pretty well -- it was like moving across the ocean inside of a bubble because you could see about a mile all around, but then there was the wall of fog. And within our little bubble the seas were smooth, so it was easy to spot every little thing that passed by. We traveled along this way all day and it was pleasant, but as the sun began to set it got a bit eerie...

Because at that time we were approaching the dreaded Cape Mendocino -- noted for it's high winds and waves -- and we have been through there in tough conditions. That's why we chose a light wind window for this passage -- we would rather motor around this notorious cape. We also planned our passage to round it at night, winds are generally lighter after sunset and before noon, so we timed accordingly.

But our little circle of visibility became no visibility when darkness fell, so we had to depend on our chart plotters and radar. Then, BOTH our depth sounder started reading low low numbers -- 30 feet, 15 feet -- and the charts indicated we were in 400 fathoms! Now depth sounders do this occasionally, but we've never had both doing it at the same time -- at the same numbers. Both chart plotters (that get their GPS info independently) were showing we were in the right spot and plotting our position on the paper charts assured us further, but the shallow depths just kept continuing and it was rather unnerving not being able to see anything to get your bearings. All the while there was a blip on the radar about a mile and a half out from us and then we passed a tall buoy that we thought might be a fishing buoy of some sort -- so maybe there were nets under us? We gave a call to Gallatea who was traveling about 2 miles behind us to give them a heads up, and they had already been experiencing the same thing. We felt like we were in a strange episode of "Lost"!

So we very uneventfully rounded Cape Mendocino about 9:30 shrouded in the thick dark mist and thinking it would be a very long night traveling in these conditions. But when it was time for the moon to rise at a bit after 10 we were delighted to see it's light brightening the sky and within 20 minutes the skies were clear and the moon and stars were lighting up the sky -- it was beautiful! We had better visibility than we'd had all day! A bit of wind came with the clearing and we used our genoa to pull us along for a while and it was another good nights travel. Then the real treat came as we watched hundreds of shooting stars dart across the sky during the meteor shower!

When the sun rose at 6 I watched it peak over the coastal mountains, and I could see the high fog forming, then just as suddenly as it lifted the night before, it settled in around us and we were traveling in our little bubble once again. We would be to our destination, Ft Bragg, in just a few hours.

Once again we had to depend on chart plotters and radar to pick our way from buoy to buoy to enter the harbor, but luckily the fog lifted just as we entered the channel and we were fascinated by the sight of the narrow river that we were winding up to the marina. We thought it looked like a movie set out of Universal and it's been described by others as looking like Cannery Row in the 60's as it's lined with wooden buildings built on pilings. Very colorful and full of character -- I hope to get internet access in a couple days and get some pictures posted.

So, 26 hours after we left Crescent City, we happily tied up to another rustic dock amongst fishing boats and we're content to sit here until the predicted heavy weather passes and we can continue on south. Now to explore the town!

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08/14/2009 | Dave C
I wonder if the false depth readings were from a school of baitfish? That happens to me frequently when I'm out fishing and go over a big thick ball of herring.
08/21/2009 | Lynn L.
Where did you go? I was enjoying reading
your blog. Did you see me waving from the
hill as you passed Eureka? Just kidding! Well
I am on a hill in Humboldt though.
08/24/2009 | andy
That's happened to me as well - schools of fish? !!!submarines!!! (we do get them in our area). I've resorted to the old fashioned method - chuck a weighted line over and feel it sink down, and down, and down. Then you know it's a false echo. But if you hear it go 'clang'.......... don't tell anyone! Safe journey - Andy
Crescent City
Heidi
08/10/2009

We were so happy to have Crescent City to come into last Saturday -- it meant we could get out of the building wind and waves that came up and were forecast to last through today. In our previous trips down the coast we've taken the offshore route and just had to take what came along. Nice change to pull in to a dock and sleep easy with no night watches!

The best part was that it is also an easy entry. No bar conditions to worry about, just a straight shot in after rounding the buoys. We had some pretty gusty winds still, even though it is protected from the nastiness out at sea, but we were also lucky to have friends that had gotten in earlier in the day and could tell us what the conditions were inside and that there were slips available. And, it was the 1st port we've entered without fog since we left Garrison Bay in the San Juans!

It's a fishing boat harbor with lots of character, but the docks are in disrepair following a minor tsunami 4 years ago. It was a 5 foot surge that ripped docks apart and displaced boats. Luckily they just received a FEMA grant to restore the marina. Despite the quality of the docks, we've really enjoyed our stay here. It's also a good price, only $17 a night, including power, for a 35 -37 foot boat. We couldn't use the onshore showers until today when the office opened (M-F 8-4).

It's a short walk to town where there's a couple good grocery stores (including Safeway). There's a real nice park not far from the marina, right near the lighthouse set out on a small island so we've had some great walks.

So once again, I'd highly recommend this as a stop on a trip south.

We've been watching the weather to plan our next passage which originally was going to be to Eureka where we would wait for a good weather window to round Cape Mendocino -- an area noted for it's high winds and steep seas. Right now it looks like it will be good until Thursday when things pick up again -- so now it's "leave eve" and we'll head for Ft. Bragg tomorrow. Fort Bragg is about 1/2 way between Cape Mendocino and Point Arena (another blowy spot) and we can be there by Wednesday to hopefully tuck in before the predicted heavy winds and seas come up. So the plan is to sit there until things calm down again.

Today's been busy getting ready to go -- doing some laundry, preparing food, entering waypoints, studying charts and gathering weather info. It's been nice to have our friends, Jim and Ellen, on Galatea to share info with on all the weather scenarios.

We're ready to go -- just hoping they don't change the forecasts on us again!

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08/11/2009 | SV Scott Free
Hi guys, made it to SF yesterday at noon (the 10th). We also got caught out in the dangerous sea conditions, it was very messy. Love how the forcast changed once we were there. We hope you make it without too much discomfort they were predicting the winds through Thursday. We saw 30-35 regular and gust to 41 with messy seas and blowing wave tops. Cup of soup for dinner 2 nights in a row.
08/11/2009 | Dave Calhoun
Still following you, be safe out there! You missed a hell of a party in Poulsbo but honestly I'd rather be partying on the ocean with you guys!
08/12/2009 | gloria spoon
We love the blog and hearing all the detailed ghbigloria
On the road again
Heidi
08/07/2009, 10 miles off the Oregon Coast

We're happy to be out on the ocean again!

So far we are motor sailing as the winds have not filled in yet, and aren't expected to until later today, but it was time to go.

Our last night at the guest dock in Newport was quite different from the rest of the days. For the most part we had the dock to ourselves and one other cruising boat with the occasional boats coming and going. But today marked the 1st day of Halibut fishing and the boats were coming in by the droves! All night and all morning there were lines at the boat launch and they packed themselves in all around the guest dock all evening. Then at sunrise this morning they all set off -- the channel into Newport looked like I5 at rush hour!

We left a bit later, when the crowds had thinned out and after the two other south bound sailboats left. Once outside the harbor, we looked around and wondered where all the fishing was taking place, because we have only seen a few boats all day!

The seas are smooth and the visibility is good with overcast skies. Hoping to get some wind from a good direction later in the day, but content to motor sail for now.

Our next port will be either Crescent City or Eureka, depending on weather and wind. There we'll wait for a good weather window for rounding Cape Mendocino and Pt. Arena -- a couple of spots that can dish out some nasty weather.

For anybody that is planning on heading south, I highly recommend picking up copies of the Pacific Coast Route Planning Maps (there is a north portion and a south portion). They are a great guide showing 3 routes (Bluewater, Express and Inshore) complete with waypoints and harbor charts. We're thankful to Steve Van Slyke for recommending them -- and for recommending harbor hopping down the Oregon Coast!

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Still enjoying Newport!
Heidi
08/02/2009, Newport, OR

The weather forecast didn't look great this weekend, so we stayed on and enjoyed more sightseeing here in Newport.

They have a great city loop bus that the marina gives free passes for, so you can get anywhere on that. Our marina is located on the south side of the river, and most everything else is on the north side, so the bus is a real blessing because I would not be able to walk across that bridge!!

Yesterday we explored the town and today we went up to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse! That was a great walk with terrific views.

We've met up with some other cruising boats that will be heading south with us -- but the biggest surprise was running into a couple that had lived aboard near us at Murphy's Landing! They left to head south two years ago, ran into some trouble and ended up being towed into Newport and have been happy to call it home ever since.

We're enjoying our stay -- it's a nice town, but we are ready to get out of the fog!

Next stop: Crescent City, CA! We are hoping to leave tomorrow (Monday) morning with a planned arrival late in the day on Tuesday.

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Newport!
Heidi
07/30/2009, Newport, OR

We had wonderful weather for our 1st offshore passage of this trip!

Just as forecast, we had light winds from the north and a gentle swell, also from the north. The best part was NO FOG! After 48 hours out to sea we were approaching our first landfall: Newport, OR. We'd heard and read that it was normally an easy entry and the small coastal town had plenty to offer. We wanted to enter the breakwater about 7:30 am at slack tide to ensure no problems with maneuvering through and things were shaping up well for our time of arrival.

I'd been on watch until about 4 am when Terry took over and I went down for one last bit of rest before our big entry. When I got up an hour later we were completely socked in by the dreaded FOG!

So once again we picked our way in to an unknown harbor using the radar and electronic chart plotters as our guides. And once again the biggest worry were the many small fishing boats heading out for the morning catch.

When we finally made it in we tied up to the guest dock at the Newport Marina and have been thrilled at this nice stop!

Terry wanted to replace a fuel filter gauge that wasn't working properly and we located one at the local marine store -- it was only $5 more than my discounted price would have been at West Marine (if there'd been a West Marine here!). And the best part: they delivered it to the boat since they were located on the other side of the river -- not an easy place for us to get to.

We spent the rest of that first day cleaning up: washing the boat, doing laundry, taking showers and just straightening up. Then we rested, didn't realize how tired we'd gotten until we finally stopped.

So today was a day to enjoy our new back yard. We walked to Fishtail's Cafe, which had come highly recommended by our friends Steve and Kay of Kavenga and we enjoyed a great breakfast tasting the Marionberry French Toast that they'd told us about. Delicious!

On the way home we stopped at the Aquarium and found it to be fascinating -- maybe the best aquarium we've ever been to. When the fog finally broke, we walked out the long breakwater to see the channel we'd come down the day before. It would have been so easy without the fog!

Right now our plans are to stay and enjoy this nice harbor until Saturday
morning when it looks like we'll have a good weather window to continue our trek south. But, if it looks like we need to wait a bit longer for conditions to be right, this will be a fine place to stay a bit longer.

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Finally! Heading South
Heidi
07/28/2009, Off the Oregon Coast

We were very happy to leave Neah Bay Monday morning -- after having spent 3 nights there waiting for a good weather window to start our journey.

The trip to Neah Bay was another adventure in navigating through fog surrounded by fishing boats. It was a long 12 hour journey, so we were happy to tie up to the dock and rest and prepare for the next leg. Neah Bay was even worse than I remembered from 10 years ago, and as Terry wrote in "Rick's Place", Neah Bay is God's way of telling cruisers to move on -- there's nothing for you here.

Our weather window has turned out quite nice, except the winds are just a bit too light so we've had to motor sail most of the way. But no fog! And the seas have been gentle swells so life aboard is pretty comfortable, considering.

We were very excited to see 2 Humpback whales swim within close viewing distance of the boat yesterday, as well.

We passed by the Columbia River early this am, and were happy we'd decided not to try to enter the bar there -- we would have had to wait outside for hours for the right tide -- plus we were tired from the night watch and didn't want to tackle any difficult tasks.

Now we're on our way to Newport. The tides look good for our planned early morning arrival and the forecast is calling for clear skies!

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Patos
Heidi
07/06/2009, Patos Island

Sitting in this quiet anchorage of Patos, and being the only boat, the only people in this beautiful tranquil setting, it's hard to imagine the drastic change from our last stop: Roche Harbor on the 4th of July.

We'd heard tales of the "big event" the 4th has become at Roche Harbor with the mega yachts flocking to the docks (they conduct a lottery every year to see who the lucky ones will be).

We arrived early with our friends Jack and Joan on Interlude. We wanted to get a good secure spot to anchor before the hordes arrived. We enjoyed riding in the dinghies to English Camp and hiking up Young Hill among many other good hikes around Roche Harbor.

Day by day the anchorage filled up until it didn't look like it could hold any more boats! We then enjoyed the festivities: a wine tasting on the dock, touring the multi million dollar Ocean Alexander's for sale and listening to Dave Calhoun sing on the West Lawn in the afternoons. It was all great fun culminating in the grand fireworks display on the night of the 4th.

But having enough of the crowds (especially the inconsiderate boaters that would plow through the anchorage full speed ahead in their dinghies flying right past the "No Wake" buoys without a second thought -- most of whom were going to and from the Seattle Yacht Club's outstation on Henry Island) we hauled anchor at 5:30 the next morning and went north to little Patos.

We were thrilled to see both of the mooring buoys open upon our arrival and a couple boats have come and gone since then, but as of this morning the island has been ours. We've walked the trails and the beaches and have been happy to find some of the best "beach glass" of anywhere we've wandered! And the lighthouse is one of the cutest we've ever seen, sitting out on it's lonely point of land.

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Sailing Sailing.....
Heidi
06/05/2009, Shallow Bay, Sucia Island

What a great sailing day! We've had northerly winds since we set out from Gig Harbor last Sunday, so when we've traveled we haven't done a lot of sailing. So when we saw that the winds were going to turn southerly today, we plotted a course north.

Our friend, Dave Calhoun was traveling to Friday Harbor this morning to play a couple gigs on the island this weekend, and we'd hoped to at least wave to him when he passed by on the ferry this morning, but the sun was up and the wind was blowing so we set sail about 8:30 am.

We were able to start out with our spinnaker flying up San Juan channel! Then throughout the day we managed to run a nice reach even having to reef the main for a while, then turn and run wing and wing for a bit. It was a great exercise in getting familiar with all the systems on the boat again -- which is what this 2 month "shake down cruise" in the San Juans is all about.

We don't have cell service here at Sucia, so for a few days the ham radio will be our only link to the outside world -- just like it is when we're out to sea. Once I finally get to internet service again I'll upload LOTS of pictures of these beautiful islands.

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Our new backyard
Heidi
06/04/2009, Turn Island State Park

People always wonder how we can live in such a small space, and our answer usually is "Our home may be small but we've got the whole world for a backyard" !

Right now our beautiful backyard is Turn Island State Park -- just a bit south of Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. It just doesn't get much better than this!

After our long 12 hour motor/sail from Bell Harbor on Tuesday, we were delighted to find an open mooring buoy to tie on to. We decided to stay here our allotted 3 days and just enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this setting. The island is small, but has great hiking trails and some small beaches for exploring. We've had the place to ourselves and enjoy fires in the evening on the beach campsite right in front of Cetus.

During the day we can hop in the "car" (our dinghy) and make the short hop over to Friday Harbor for exploring of a different kind. We couldn't ask for better weather -- and there is always a gentle breeze keeping us from getting too hot.

We have actually come to Turn Island twice before, but only to grab a buoy for the night before moving on, so we've been pleasantly surprised at what a wonderful stop it can be.

We've already begun to change our plans for the next couple months. Originally we thought we'd press up north, maybe as far as Desolation Sound, but now we may not even leave the San Juans for the Canadian Gulf Islands since we realize there is still so much to see here that we've overlooked in our past trips to the San Juans.

I don't have internet access for the computer at the moment, so I am filing this remotely through the Ham Radio email, thus no pictures. Once I do get internet access I will upload an album of pictures for Bell Harbor to Turn Island. We haven't planned our next stop -- we'll make that decision tomorrow morning just before we leave.

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Dockton
02/14/2009, Quartermaster Harbor

We were able to get away from our dock in Gig Harbor for a couple days and made our way over to Dockton for one night. Click on the link to the right and you can see our SPOT report on a Google map and check out the area.

The weather was clear, but cold and we motored over due to the lack of wind, but on the way back the wind more than made up for it! We had good 15 - 20 knots that blew us all the way home, then kindly died down as we went in to dock.

We had a great time and it was a nice change of scenery, but we will be anchoring in the future (as we usually do, but thought we'd take a break since Terry is still recovering from knee and shoulder surgery) because the King County Parks have raised the dock fee again! It's now $30 a night for boats over 32 feet! And they still don't clean the docks of shells and bird droppings.

This coming week Terry will be installing a new roller furling system on Cetus. The old Furlex is still working, but we realized it's almost 20 years old and isn't made anymore, so we thought it prudent to put a new Harken unit on.

We've ordered the new EPIRB and in a couple weeks we'll order our new dinghy and and have the liferaft repacked then we'll be ready to go!!

Terry has a book signing for his book "Adventures Aboard Rick's Place" at the Borders Books in Gig Harbor this Saturday, February 21st from 1 - 3. Hope to see you there!

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The Cetus Crew
Who: Terry & Heidi Kotas and Street Cat Rosie
Port: Gig Harbor, WA
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