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

Lund to Nanaimo, ...not

30 September 2013 | Westview Harbour, Powell River BC
Last time I wrote it was from atop the party ice freezer outside the General Store at Lund Harbor. I'd been hiding out there from the weather which was, basically, gale force winds from exactly the direction I wanted to go. Not a happy situation for any boater, but we made the best of it. Not long after I sent off the last post, I dropped in at Mary's Bakery to see if they'd found the laptop case I'd left there the previous afternoon. No luck, but I was INDEED lucky to meet Mark and Caroline.

What I hope is a new friendship with Mark and Caroline started when, as I'm wont to do, I struck up a casual conversation with them in the bakery, asking if they were off the big red sailboat on the other dock from me. The boat, Jonathan, caught my attention not only because of its color, but because it was obviously outfitted for some heavy-duty sailing. Mark looked like he was fit for the rough stuff and Caroline looked at him as if she knew that was the fact of the matter. Well, after just a brief chat we each went our separate ways, but it wasn't long after I got back to Mabrouka that Mark came over with an invitation to dinner that evening. He already had some other friends coming over and, I guess, had decided that he might as well throw one more wild card into the mix.

My mommy taught me always to take something nice to the hostess of a party, so I baked up the last of my oatmeal raisin cookies, grabbed a six-pack of Full Sail amber (What better culinary pairing is there, I ask you.) and walked over to their boat a little before six. The cookies were well received, although I'm not sure if Mark got the full effect because he was busy putting together a lasagna and I don't think he got one while they were still hot. Oh well. But, hey, let's not mess with the lasagna! Can you imagine? Lasagna, favorite!

So, it wasn't long before their other guests, Peter and, ...uh, Moda arrived? (I'm sorry, her name didn't stick. They were both really nice. Peter had recently taken on a 54 foot project boat started by a previous owner something like 25 years ago. Moda (I'll stick with that name and just hope it's something close to right.) bought into the project lock, stock, and barrel, having literally spent days grinding, grinding, grinding the steel hull for its new paint job. The fact that we were all dyed-in-the-wool boat people guaranteed an evening of lively discussion.

On to the hosts, ...I guess more specifically, the host. (Not that Caroline was anyone to shake a stick at. She was both a real cutie and an accomplished sailor in her own right!) Mark, though, stands out in my mind as a true adventurer. If I spend too much time on him it'll sound like I want to marry the guy, so I'll try to hold back, but he'd just brought Jonathan through the Northwest Passage, having holed up in Nome, Alaska for the winter. He and Caroline had just arrived in the PNW and were headed (can you believe it?) for Antarctica! This guy may be a nut, but I admire him. He'd done at least one circumnavigation (maybe two, I can't remember), so he was plenty familiar with the warm places of the world that draw the NORMAL sailors, but the beauty he finds in the icy bits of the world apparently keep pulling him back. He'd even spent a ten-month winter iced into a fjord in Greenland. These stories had to be drawn out of him, so his accomplishments hadn't made him boastful. We all told tales of our own over lasagna, salad, ice cream and coffee, so he did not dominate the conversation and we could not possibly have even scratched the surface of all the stories he has to tell. Check out his web site at Jonathan Adventure Sailing.

Getting back to my own story, it was a bumpy night that made me appreciate the value of a good set of fenders. Mine were squeaking and groaning all night long as the gale winds swirled around the corner and over the hills attempting to grind Mabrouka's hull to dust against the dock. I'm actually not too disturbed by the motion, even though it's pretty jerky when tied to a dock, but I was surely commiserating with the fenders. That kind of night makes me want to stay buried in my covers until the sky is well lit. This time of year that's after 7am, so it makes me a lazy sailor, indeed. When I finally did drag myself out into the cold, wet morning, I was greeted by a harbor that was emptying rapidly. Encouraged by a break in the weather, everyone was heading out to make up for lost time, including Mark, Caroline and Jonathan. I'd promised to drop them one of my boat cards this morning so they'd have no excuse not to keep in touch, so I ran over there quickly and handed one across as they were pulling away from the dock.

Orcas off Powell River

Slightly ashamed of myself for being such a laggard, it wasn't long before I'd cast off my own mooring lines and turned Mabrouka's bow southward. The wind was relatively mild, but on the nose, and the seas had calmed down to a low chop. It could turn out to be a foolish notion, but I hoped to make it well south, possible to Pender Harbor or Secret Cove down on the Sechelt Peninsula. Motoring along, I was visited briefly by a small pod of Orcas, I think only two or three. It always feels like such an honor to see them, but I can never get a good picture. Perhaps it's that their black and grey topsides don't contrast well a sea that's lit only by an overcast sky, or maybe I just can't hold my camera still enough on a rolling boat. Anyway, I still include the picture below as evidence of their visit.

It turns out I wasn't the laziest of the boats that had holed up at Lund, because there was one that followed me down the coast. They gained on me slightly throughout the day and the last I saw of them they were heading off around Grief Point for points south, probably ending up where I'd intended to go. By that time, though, I'd decided to hide out again and was turning in to Westview for the night. The wind had resumed its 20 knot pace and I had no desire to spend the rest of the day pounding into choppy seas, only to arrive at an unfamiliar harbor to navigate around hidden rocks and through narrow channels to anchor in the dark.
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