Blessed Lady

This is the cruising blog of the sailing yacht Mabrouka. The Favorites in the side bar allow those with discriminating taste to filter for just the stuff you want to read. Thanks for visiting, Roy.

13 September 2015
21 August 2015
21 August 2015
20 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Mazatlan Marina, Mazatlan Mexico
13 April 2015 | Off Club Nautico, Mazatlan Commercial Harbor, Mazatlan, MX
15 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
13 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
25 January 2015
06 January 2015 | Mazatlan, MX
24 December 2014 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
24 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
22 December 2014
21 December 2014
18 December 2014 | Playa Isla de la Piedra, Mazatlan, MX
18 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
15 December 2014 | Ensenada des los Muertos, Mexico

Toward luxury in Gorge Harbour Resort (back-dated from 09/23)

21 September 2013 | Gorge Harbour Marina Resort on Cortes Island in Desolation Sound, Canada
Discovery's anchorage north of Kinghorn Island

I departed Refuge Cove under the gunmetal cover of rain, but arrived in Gorge Harbour under only cloudy skies on the dying gasps of a southerly breeze. Sheltered from intermittent drizzle under the dodger, I passed several picturesque hours with morning mists fleeing the forested islands in shredded wisps and distant grey archipelagos coming and going through shifting banks of cloud.

Teeter totter tree

My course led me along the northern shore of Kinghorn Island where Vancouver anchored his vessel, Discovery, while he and his crew explored and charted the reaches of Desolation Sound. Just off Mary Point, a little further on, I was distracted into a slight detour by the distant silhouette of a wayward tree that had been uprooted and left stranded, apparently teetering on one of the rocks that fringed the Powell Islets. After weaving my way inside the northernmost of the Twin Islands, I rounded Sutil Point at the southernmost tip of Cortes Island to find ominous clouds encroaching from the south. Though I cranked the engine to carry me at top speed toward shelter, the threat came to nothing. Instead I could see evidence of a modest, but consistent breeze that spanned the waters between Mabrouka and her day's destination, so I set the gennaker for a gentle reach northward.

Shredded mists

While I navigate the rocky shores and often narrow passes with increasing, though wary confidence, events arise to remind me that dangers do indeed lurk in these waters. As I hauled the gennaker down out of a feeble breeze that had all but died, I noticed another sailboat a mile or so away whose bare mast and waterline looked to be at awkward angles that indicated something might be amiss. With my sail down and my engine propelling me calmly toward harbor, the changing aspect of the distant boat alternately made me less and more concerned, but just a few hundred yards short of safe harbor, it became definitively obvious that some poor soul had perched his boat on a rock.

I turned back to sea and, with urgency that I hadn't committed to 'til then, headed toward them to see if I could render assistance. As I got closer, I could see even more of their exposed hull, but also the activity of a good sized motor launch that was maneuvering a towing line ashore. My binoculars allowed me to read the name on the stern (which shall remain undisclosed to save embarrassment for the owners) and I was tempted to hail them on the VHF, but they seemed well and truly occupied and I chose instead just to stand by and observe. If they needed my help, they could call me or jump up and down waving their arms.

It wasn't long before they had the boat free of its distressingly exposed position on top of the rock to floating sedately beside it. I watched a while longer to assure myself that there was no evidence of panic on deck and, when this unnamed vessel motored out of sight around the corner, I turned and headed back toward and through the entrance to Gorge Harbour.

Savoring this experience as a cautionary tale to relate in this blog, I got tied up at the resort and prepared to head up to pay my respects (and my fees) to the management for a night's power and moorage. Two steps down the dock, I saw that the once stranded sailboat was itself pulling in across the dock from me, so I turned back to give them that welcoming hand I had so missed in Refuge Cove.

Having been grounded myself more than once (though never on something so unforgiving as an actual rock), it was with some sympathy that I voiced my recognition of their escape. They graciously accepted my commiseration and were open in explaining that it had been the result of an overconfident attempt to survey the little out-islands at close hand. One of the co-owners of the boat was considering buying the islands and thought he could guide the boat in for a closer look. No serious harm was done, though, so they tucked the event into their bag of experience and came on into the resort for some now necessary R&R.

Gorge Harbour Resort is a very nice facility, though their pride is definitely reflected in their rates. Well trimmed gardens around buildings that have shiny bits in all the right places offer all the benefits mentioned in yesterday's post plus a well, if somewhat exotically stocked store, a swimming pool, and what purports to be a fine restaurant.
Vessel Name: Mabrouka
Vessel Make/Model: CT-41
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Roy Neyman
Mabrouka and I have been partners in crime since October 1998, hanging about in West Coast waters, first in San Diego, then in Seattle. All of that time we've lived together aboard. [...]
I've called this blog "Blessed Lady" because that's my preferred translation from Arabic for "Mabrouka". She's a 1980 CT-41, one of several clones of the original Bill Garden design Mariner ketches. At 50 feet from the tip of her mizzen boom to the tip of her bow sprit, she's 16 tons of [...]
Mabrouka's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 10 of 10
On the streets of Freemont
Street art edited.
Elvis the stuffed cat is a memento of my daughters at the age of about 5.  The peace sign was a gift from good friend, Karyn Borcich.  Thanks to both!
This is Swan as I knew him, though in a more rugged environment than we ever shared.  We usually met at the coffee shop or at Voula
This is of Swan as I would also like to have known him, ...cigarettes, cameras and wine.
This is Steve hosting our Elliott Bay Design Group company picnic at his vacation home in Darington.
I never went fishing with Steve, although he let me try out his fly casting rig in the river by his house during one of the company picnics he hosted.  I
The winter slip on Lake Union
Temporary raft up with Molly Bella near my old slip at Stimson Marina
This album shares photos from mainland and Baja Mexico.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 1 March 2015
The beginning of the South Pacific cruise, heading to San Diego and Mexico
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 15 August 2014
Killing time with local sailing and projects before heading south with the Coho Ho Ho cruiser's rally
56 Photos
Created 29 June 2014
Kathy and Karyn (with a "Y") used me as an excuse for a party. I was just fine with that!
25 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
On Lake Union where Mabrouka and I spent the winter
20 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
Shakedown cruise to Port Townsend
7 Photos
Created 25 May 2014
Gunkholing in the Seattle area, with me and Mabrouka getting our sea legs back under us.
50 Photos | 28 Sub-Albums
Created 14 April 2013
Custom made sailing skiff hand-built by NW School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, WA
18 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Pre-retirement cruising pics
27 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Photos accompanying Projects blogs.
43 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 12 March 2013