03 December 2012 | Broughton Islands, British Columbia
The summer was spent based out of Port McNeill, near the north end of Vancouver Island. Spent most of our time at Steve Jackman's Marina and fuel dock. Very nice people, great energy, good docks, electricity, water, no bathrooms or showers, but a 5 minute walk to all services including, laundry, stores, cafes, bars, resturants, and shopping. Its a neat little town. During three different trips over the course of the summer, the boat and I with a variety of invited guests cruised and explored the Broughton Islands. Secluded anchorages, tried to catch crabs, but failed, really good at catching sea stars. Caught some prawns, they were mightily tasty. Got in to stand up paddle boarding with and inflatable board, that allowed me to go explore the nooks and crannies of our various anchorages. It was a mellow summer, but a good one. In the end of September, I left there with a buddy and we took the boat down to Nanaimo. No wind except the last day. My friend left and I sailed down through the gulf islands on my own for about 4 days, exploring places to take the boss in the future. Found some neat little holes to tuck into. Got back stateside the second week of October. Got to see some new country this summer, it was a grand time.
Powell River to Port McNeill
18 June 2012
We stopped briefly into West Veiw, just south of Powell River, to pick up food, and a friend of the owners, Kevin. Not much wind up here, usually out of the Northwest, the same general direction we are traveling. Our first stop put us in the Octopus Islands, there are numerous narrows/rapids that need to be traveled thru, but if done at slack tide, they are no big deal. From the Octopus Islands we proceeded to Hole in the Wall passage where we spent several hours fishing in the deep waters, 250 ft catching rock fish, with the plan to use them for bait in our crab trap. We passed thru Gillard Rapids and spent the night at Dent Island Resort. Good beers and an out door hot tub, very nice.
The next day we passed thru Dent rapids (Devils Hole), Green Point Rapids, and Whirlpool Rapids, however, all of them are about 12 miles apart and so i couldn't make it to two of them on one tide. So we ended up anchoring and fishing and setting out the crab trap near Green Point for a few hours in this beautiful little cove, the trees come right down to the waters edge. Tugs pulling rafts and rafts of log booms down the coast to pulp mills.
Just before Whirlpool rapids area, we watched a black bear on the beach digging thru the end of a log on the beach. Then some bald eagles. After the rapids, we turned in to Forward harbor which is about 2 miles long and has an 8,000ft snow capped peak looming at the head of it. Very cool. We anchored in Douglas bay with about 8 other boats, the most we have seen in any anchorage we have been in.
After a leasurily morning, we headed out down Sunderland Channel and out into Johnstone Strait. Johnstone Strait is notoriously known for rough conditions. But we had a southeastly wind building and so once out on the strait we set our 2000 sq ft ish assymetrical spinnaker, and took off in 10-15 knots of breeze. After about an hour it started to get up into the 20's and pretty soon we are hovering around 30 knots of wind. We were flying, 10knots over the ground against a 2 knot head current, we were going the way we wanted to but the sail was putting a good strain on the boat, so we decided we should shorten sail. In the process of bringing the horseshoe collar down around the sail with is attached to a sock, usually makes it very easy to ease the sheet out and pull the sock down over the sail. Not so much today! The downhaul line got stuck at the top of the sock, and so we only had half the sock down over the sail. We tried to winch it down and chafted thru the line. Our only option was to ease the halyard out until the sail was in the water and then we could pull the sail onto the boat over the life lines. We got it in the water, that took the wind out of the sail, and he had it on deck in a jiffy. Then we continued on our way under power. Tired, but glad that no one had been injuried in the ordeal and nothing had really broken on the boat.
We were soon joined by a pod of 12 white sided dolphins that rode our bow for the better part of an hour or more, some times jumping clear out of the water. It was great. About 12 miles from the harbour of Port McNeill, we put up the jib and the mizzen because the winds had mellowed to 18 knots and had a great sail sitting in our little aft area hut out of the driving rain. It was good, we got to do a bit of sailing while Kevin was on board and see a bit of wildlife, all the while having snow capped mountains dotting the horizon. Pretty sweet!! Til next time, have a good day.
Victoria to Powell river
11 June 2012
As you can tell I don't update this everyday but when I get to a wifi hotspots. We are currently, in Powell river. We left Victoria about 10 days ago. Spent the night in Ganges harbour. Beautiful spot. Then went to Vancouver for two nights. Saw some friends and bounced out of town. Headed to plumper cove marine park with a slow sail all day thru Howe sound. Anchoring up here is tough, waters are very deep but we are figuring it out. Then we went to pender harbor for two nights. Tucked into secret cove very tight kind of funto see what kind of holes we can take a 60 ft sailboatinto.
Then we went up to princess lousia inlet and anchored right in front just off to the side so as not to get to much spray on board. It was great. Towering walls of granite up to 4000 ft straight up.waterfalls galore. Epic!!!
Then we motored head into the wind to leave there all the way to thunder bay. Then we had a great spinnaker run from there to here. Its an easy sail when no other sails are up.
Headed off to the octopus islands and beyond who knows when I get back on here. But don't worry I will return again and again but not daily.
29 May 2012 | Victoria, BC
Well, we attempted the Swiftsure Light Classic race, it was more of a "Driftsure"! The start was less then 5 knots. It took about 3 hours to go 8 miles, then the wind picked up and we went from full sail with the 150% genoa up to the 100% jib to a reefed main sail. The wind got up to 25 to 30 knots for about 4 hours or so. The current was more favorable on the washington side of the straights but the wind was better out in the middle. We got within one mile of the mark, and the wind completely died. We tried for 10 hours to go 1 mile and couldn't do it. So we gave up and motored back. The wind never picked up all of Sunday. Oh well, just wasn't our year. Most of the boats that stayed in the straights had wind for the entire race.
Now, we are gearing up to go cruising, we got the crab trap, the prawn traps, the fishing polls, fuel gauges that finally work, and a desire to eat a lot of shelfish. So in a few days we drop the dock lines and head off into the willy wags of the British Columbia Coastline.
SF to Port Angeles, WA
18 May 2012
Finally, the summer traveling season has begun. I left Berkeley Marina with 3 friends early on a Sunday morning enroute to Humboldt Bay. It took 60 hours, 230 miles, and it was rough. It was calm leaving the SF Bay and we motored out with just the Main sail up all the way out until past Bonita light. Then we raised our Yankee sail, a high cut jib, and proceeded to motor sail for the majority of the rest of the trip. We stayed right along the coast, wind right out of the north blowing 15 to 20. The closer we stayed to show the calmer the winds and the mellower the seas. We got up to just off Shelter Cove, south side of Cape Mendocino and the weather got kind of knarly. We battled a 2 knot current the entire trip but as we headed out west to get around the Cape we were down to a double reefed main and the engine with 36 to 42 knots of breeze coming across the decks for about 8-10 hours. To say the least it was rather uncomfortable. Finally, we got off the tip of the Cape Tuesday morning, was able to set the staysail and gain of much need extra couple of knots. We ended up pulling into Eureka, CA about 1830 Tuesday. The crew were pretty under the weather the entire trip, cold, and even one guys missed a hand hold a broke his nose with about 12 hours to go but they still all said they enjoyed the trip by the end of it. It was super fun to enter Humboldt Bay, we managed to come across the bar nice and safe. Good to see old college friends, get a breather from the high winds that raged throughout the area the following days.
On Saturday, three more friends showed up, and we set sail mid morning on Sunday to go to Port Angeles, WA. We couldn't have had a more opposite and better sail then the previous leg. The first 2 days out we had southerly winds and swells, we were making 6.5 to 7 knots over the ground. By Tuesday, we were 60 miles off shore, the wind swung around to the North, we tacked back towards shore and set our sails on a port tack headed North-east. We never tacked the boat again until we round Cape Flattery some 230+ miles later. We sailed most of that in 15 to 20 knots of breeze, we had one night we reduced sail to just the yankee and a double reefed main but we were still doing 6 knots over the ground and comfortable. Most of the time we were sailing with a double head rig and the main. The trip down the Juan de Fuca straights was a long lazy rolling swell and glassy calm waters, snow on the peaks of the mountains on the Olympic Peninsula, just beautiful. We got into Port Angeles mid afternoon. All the crew fully rested and feeling good.
Sitting at the Dock
13 March 2012 | Berkeley, CA
We have been sitting in Berkeley since last June, doing a lot of day sails in the bay or most recently out to the Farallon Islands. We have done a lot of work to the boat in the last 6 months, nothing super major but its been steady as it always is when trying to keep a boat up to show room quality all the time and sail her too. A few good projects have included repainting the booms, making new bails for both booms, having a new 150% genoa made, valves check on both engines, the watermaker adjusted and a plankton filter added, the base's of the heads repainted, the forepeak area and galley area varnished, the exterior of the boat varnished, new cushions in the salon and a new aft bed, and a new aft awning made.
I have had fun exploring the SF Bay area and reconnecting with old college friends. Having a bike and access to BART, it makes getting around the area pretty easy. The cultural events that happen in the bay area are numerous, its been fabulous.
We are off to Washington, British Columbia, and hopefully up to Southeast Alaska this summer, with our first big destination Victoria, BC to take part in the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race on May 26th.