The 11th Voyage of S/V Capella III, 2017

Capella III and her Crew will take an historic voyage from Seward, AK to Bellingham, WA. From Bellingham, she will be trucked to her new home in Superior, Wisconsin on Lake Superior to begin a new era of sailing in the Great Lakes and Beyond!

22 August 2017 | Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham, Washington USA
21 August 2017 | Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham, Washington USA
21 August 2017 | Bennett Bay (Mayne Island), Vancouver Is., BC
19 August 2017 | Comox Harbour, E. Vancouver Island, BC
16 August 2017 | Heriot Bay (Quadra Is.), Desolation Bay, BC
15 August 2017 | Forward Harbor (W. Cracroft Is.) to Heriot Bay (Quadra Is.), Desolation Bay
09 August 2017 | Kwatsi Bay Marina (Broughton Is.), BC
08 August 2017 | Sullivan Bay (No. Broughton Is.)' BC
07 August 2017 | Blunden Harbour, BC
05 August 2017 | Rock Inlet, BC
05 August 2017 | Allison Harbor, BC
04 August 2017 | Namu Harbour, BC
03 August 2017 | Codville Marine Park, BC
02 August 2017 | Gunboat Lagoon Cove
02 August 2017 | Gunboat Passage
01 August 2017 | Shearwater, BC
31 July 2017 | Klemtu, BC
30 July 2017 | near Quigley Creek Cove, Laredo Inlet
29 July 2017 | Laredo Inlet (Princess Royal Island)
28 July 2017 | Alston Cove/Laredo Inlet

Vic's Last Tribute to Capella III

22 August 2017 | Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham, Washington USA
Vic/beautiful, sunny
As taken from Capella III's 2017 LOG BOOK, Vic's final entry:

21 August, 0830-1400, Pt. Roberts to Squalicum Marina:
"Motored. Set Up Go Pro camera for time lapse camera from 0930-1120 to capture solar eclipse at 1021. Got dimmer and cooler but not DARK...only 91% eclipse. Suitable time for a tribute to Capella III on her last voyage with us. She took care of us always. Our warm refuge on often a dark and stormy night when Mother Nature was having a tantrum. I'm sure she shared our delight (especially Skipper's) when porpoises escorted us on our bow with the sails filled 'full and by'. She laughed with us when the whales flew, the birds dived and the bears played on the beach. All we can say is THANK YOU. I think the natives have it right when they say all things have 'Spirit' and are part of a Grand Plan. Capella certainly seemed alive to us. We will miss her." vmm

Crew: Vic, Kathy and Skipper (the Boat Dog) Martin

PHOTO: Morning Sun

The Great American Eclipse

21 August 2017 | Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham, Washington USA
Kathy/absolutely gorgeous
TO JULIA who asked over FB: "Where's Skipper??" This photo portrays him as just drying out in the cockpit after a swim in 69 degree water, being preoccupied with our latest shrimp catch. He's a busy Boy aboard Capella III!
Our 'out of the way' segue to Port Roberts to clear customs resulted in a lovely morning sail into a quiet harbor and a successful 35-minute custom-clearing process. From there we sailed onward to Bellingham with a favorable current, averaging an EXCELLENT speed of 7kts and experiencing a 91% total eclipse of the sun in the Strait of Georgia through a homemade pinhole camera! Who could ask for anything more?! We arrived in Bellingham at 1:30pm with heavy hearts, as usual, sharing a kleenex as we pulled into Squalicum Harbor. These final moments at the end of a memorable 3-month, an-almost 2000nm journey always leaves us with bittersweet sentiments and gives us pause to reflect on all the fabulous adventures along the way. This indeed is a personal eclipse for us, a transition from our beloved Capella III, an end of an era, into another era of adventure in ANOTHER boat traversing the Great Loop. Leaving Capella III is hard to write about, but the 'Ecliptical Change' we're embarking upon holds an excitement that somewhat helps to temper the loss.
For those scratching your heads, unaware of our change of plans, here's the update. We leave Capella III with our broker in Anacortes' WA to sell her, to pursue our next dream of "trawling" the Great Loop, a 6000+mile LOOP from the Great Lakes around and down the East Coast, through the Gulf of Mexico and back up the river systems to the Great Lakes. This journey requires a vessel that handles low bridges and multiple locks...and a captain with good river and shore navigational skills! So our Capella III will be traded in for a trawler to do the job more effectively. Meanwhile, we will spend our winter in our cozy home on Lake Guntersville in Langston, Alabama in search of 'the right boat', and planning and staging our new era of adventure through the Great Loop.
A heartfelt THANKS is sent out to those who sailed with us and to those who have followed us on the blog so faithfully. We thoroughly enjoyed having you along for the ride and reading your supportive comments. See you next summer on "The Great Loop"!
s/v Capella III Crew, Vic, Kathy and Skipper Martin

P.S. Vic's final tribute to Capella III as taken from his last entry in his Capella III LOG BOOK will appear as our Very Last Blog Posting, following this one. You won't want to miss this one:)! km

Customary Crisis

21 August 2017 | Bennett Bay (Mayne Island), Vancouver Is., BC
Kathy/ sunny, warm, windy
The nostalgia is already beginning to set in. We're nestled into a rather 'suburban' setting here in Bennett Bay, a Local's Playground featuring kayaking, swimming, paddleboarding, general boating, beachcombing, hiking, golf and now, sailboat-anchoring (ours). We've obviously seen the last of our REMOTE anchorages:( This may be our final 'anchoring out' because tomorrow we complete the last leg of this memorable trip, a 30-mile trek into Bellingham, WA where we clear customs and proceed to Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham, WA to begin the process of readying our boat for the 'nostalgic sale of Capella III'.
Oh, wait...not so fast! Vic has just contacted the US Customs and Border Control to make sure all of our ducks are in line to make tomorrow's custom-clearing into Bellingham a no brainer. The Customs Officer curtly informed Vic that Bellingham has not been a Port of Entry since 2006, a fact that our Douglass Bible (2009 publication Cruising Guidebook) inconveniently neglected to mention. Our new choices for clearing customs are Pt. Roberts, Seattle, Friday Harbor and Anacortes. Pt. R. is closest, 10nm NORTH of us, however, we are heading 30nm EAST to Bellingham! Checking the charts it became clear that we have a very early get-up tomorrow to be in Pt. Roberts by 8am (2+hrs motorsail) and will be experiencing crosscurrents which implies there will be many drift corrections which will add time to the distance. The good news is, a favorable current exists until NOON from Pt. Roberts into Bellingham, so if the customs guy is fast and friendly and gets us back on the water quickly, we may be able to make this Eclipse-Day Cruise into Bellingham by tomorrow afternoon after all, on schedule and legally! Meanwhile, enjoy this cool photo of a ringed seal rookery we encountered along the way today!

COMOX, a City "DownUnder"

19 August 2017 | Comox Harbour, E. Vancouver Island, BC
Kathy/absolutely gorgeous
We sorely deserved this R&R in the lovely, manicured city of Comox just after coming off a taxing week in the Labyrinth of the 'Back Route.' It's our first landfall under the 50th Parallel (Latitude) in Capella III so we're pretending we're Explorers Extraordinaire since we made it 'down-under something'! :) We've enjoyed the strolls and cuisine in Comox, but we've not taken one photograph to prove it! However, we did some lounging about in our cockpit where the cameras reside near the shrimp on the barbie, and sure enough we found some photo-worthy subjects. Enjoy!

PHOTO: A Blue Heron with Attitude

A Fish Story

16 August 2017 | Heriot Bay (Quadra Is.), Desolation Bay, BC
Kathy/absolutely gorgeous
The generator kept losing its prime. The refrigerator emitted loud gurgling sounds and the toilets were hard to flush. An emergency alarm from the generator warned of impending doom. Only a trickle of raw water was making it through the filters out the thru hull on the stern, so Vic began by removing and thoroughly scouring the 2 main filters, ridding them of the least bit of debris (jellyfish and such). Replaced the filters, re-set the systems, NO GO! More trouble-shooting required. Meanwhile Vic ascertained that he thought the generator was the 'canary in the coalmine' with its shrill raw water alarm still sounding when he started it up. So with further inspection, Vic inserted his Shop Vac nozzle (using 'blow' mode) into one end of the hose from the raw water intake and realized that it was still miserably clogged. Next idea, yank the OTHER end of the hose off to inspect the thru hull connector, and LO and BEHOLD, a tiny herring's head was protruding out from the end of it (see pic), his chubby body stuck tight inside the thru hull connector, obstructing the water intake. Fish extracted. Hoses reconnected. Tools returned to boxes. All systems GO! "Not my kind of fishing", Vic was heard saying as he tossed the fish overboard...
PHOTO: Fishing Hazard

The Back Route

15 August 2017 | Forward Harbor (W. Cracroft Is.) to Heriot Bay (Quadra Is.), Desolation Bay
These past 4 days have provided us with the most extensive hands-on marine navigation education we've EVER experienced! By choosing the 'Back Route', we've managed to stay off the beaten paths, avoiding the heavily traveled main artery of the Inside Passage, the steady stream of vessels from kayaks to cruise ships, the turbulent, fickle Surge and Seymour Narrows and the busy port city of Campbell River. Instead, we chose to transit this labyrinth through 3 Straits (Queen Charlotte, Johnstone and Georgia); 4 main passes (Dent, Gilliard, Yucultas Rapids and Whiterock Pass); 5 Channels (Wellbore, Chancellor, Cordero, Calm and Hoskyn including Whirlpool and Green Pointe Rapids)!! Each day's passage required calculations of ebb/flood tidal movement, currents (direction/speed), the tide tables (hi/low/slack), winds (direction/speed), to sail or motor?, ever-changing weather patterns, morning fog (often less than 1/8 mi. visibility), obstructions (floating debris/rocks) and sunrise/set.
This amazing water-maze demanded every bit of our attention and careful calculations DAILY to insure our safe travel. We encountered endless water hazards...turbulent rapids, extreme currents (both favorable and unfavorable), eddies, whirlpools, traveling log booms, upwelling, deadheads, sleeping whales, littered tidelines, stray logs (only hit ONE...hard), uncharted rocks, turbulent narrows, 'rogue' wakes, crab and shrimp pots, a longliners' fishing lines, breaching Orcas, mama bear and 3 cubs on the beach, a minor gale and a floating rooftop (with house still under it) in mid-channel.
Despite the drama, it's a stretch of water we're not likely to forget any time soon, and may even look back with a great appreciation for the education it provided us. Now we move on to the next great event and feel we are sufficiently prepared to survive the total eclipse of the sun next week!

PHOTO: Traveling log boom hazard

Vessel Name: Capella III
Vessel Make/Model: Island Packet/IP 420
Hailing Port: Seward, Alaska
Crew: Vic and Kathy Martin, Skipper (the Boat Dog)
We are a 'Barely 70-Something' cruising couple from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula and No. Alabama, sailing with sea-loving Golden Retriever (Skipper) from Seward, AK to Bellingham, WA via Alaska's Inside Passage. [...]
Extra: Capella III is currently relocating to Superior, Wisconsin on Lake Superior to begin another era of sailing in the Great Lakes and beyond!
Home Page: Kathleen Martin
Capella III's Photos - Main
No Photos
Created 23 June 2017
Seward to Dutch Harbor back to Seward, May 5-August 1, 2015
35 Photos
Created 27 May 2015
random photos of trip from Seward to Geographic Harbor and Prince Wm. Sound
1 Photo
Created 27 May 2013
photos from May 15-Sept 1 in western and southcentral Alaska
No Photos
Created 31 July 2012
a movie presentation of the prolific bears and beautiful scenery in Kake
2 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 6 June 2011
12 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 4 August 2010
composite of pics of Capella III, various locations
7 Photos | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 28 March 2010
Cruising from Seward, AK to Bellingham, WA via Alaska's Inside Passage.