North American Tour 2017-2019

From Portland, OR through Panama Canal to East Coast of USA and back via Caribbean, Panama Canal, Golfito to Victoria, BC and home

20 August 2018 | Scraggy Neck, Massachusetts
16 August 2018 | Weymouth, Massachusetts near Boston
14 August 2018 | Scraggy Neck Bay, Massachusetts
12 August 2018 | Newport, Rhode Island
10 August 2018 | Pt. Judith, Rhode Island
07 August 2018 | Old Saybrook, Connecticut
06 August 2018 | Old Saybrook, Connecticut
03 August 2018 | Greenwich, Connecticut
02 August 2018 | Manhattan Island, NYC,NY
01 August 2018 | Manhattan Island, NYC,NY
27 July 2018 | Manhattan Island, NYC,NY
24 July 2018 | Cape May, New Jersey
21 July 2018 | Cape May, New Jersey
18 July 2018 | Yorktown, Virginia
16 July 2018 | Yorktown, Virginia
15 July 2018 | Norfolk, Virginia
14 July 2018 | Grandy, North Carolina
14 July 2018 | Bell Haven, North Carolina
13 July 2018 | Morehead City, North Carolina
10 July 2018 | Charleston, South Carolina

Last Ocean Leg of Our Journey

29 August 2019 | Astoria, Oregon
George Stonecliffe
While 'Julia Max' was in Friday Harbor and the San Juan Islands of Washington, we commuted by car back and forth from our Cannery Village Condo to our home in Portland several times. Also we enjoyed our grand-daughter Ashley's presence on a week's trip to Spencer Spit on Lopez Island, Sucia Island, up to Canada, Ganges, Sidney Spit, then back to Washington's Roche Harbor, before returning to Friday Harbor. Catching 5 keeper dungeness crab was a definite highlight! Finally it was time to finish the last leg of our two year journey, returning home to Portland. With a forecast of a few days of sunshine, we left Friday Harbor for Astoria on August 26th. We decided to break up the trip with anchoring overnight in Neah Bay, WA at the northwest tip of Washington State. The twelve hour trip from Friday Harbor to Neah Bay requires a tidal (and current shift) in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. But the day was sunny, and light wind required motoring. On the 27th, we headed out at first light to make our way around Cape Flattery. While leaving Neah Bay, we passed a USCG buoy tender coming in with a red buoy lifted on board by its crane for maintenance purposes. When we were rounding Cape Flattery, we noticed the chartered buoy was missing! Aha! The morning was benign, light wind and sunny. Just before dinner the 15 knot winds predicted by the grib files came up. We set a double-reefed jib, turned the motor off and started a sail. The seas were behind us making us yaw back and forth enough to be uncomfortable. But we persevered. Bird sightings on the ocean included a surprise visitor. From our log: "1030 While working with the whisker pole we heard the distinct call of a nuthatch. Soon we saw it on the main mast spreaders, hopping from vertical shrouds to spreaders, and even a foot away from (Sue's) hand holding a line for the pole. After a few more flights around the boat it flew off. Cute little thing with a yellow breast." We were a few miles offshore at the time. Other sightings included a Bald Eagle, a couple dozen Wilson's Phalaropes, 200 Common Murres, gulls (Western, Glaucous- winged,Herring, Heerman), Pink-footed Shearwaters, Jaegers, one Tufted Puffin, Double-Crested and Pelagic Cormorants, and Brown Pelicans. Mammals included California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, and Harbor Porpoises. No whales or orcas however. A surprise VHF radio contact was received from sv Jugo, a new Portland YC member boat that was being delivered from Seattle by 5 members including our friend and past commodore John Colby. Timing the crossing of the Columbia River Bar a couple hours after flood tide begins usually guarantees a flatter bar crossing. While 8-10 miles away from the river mouth, and still in the ebb current cycle, we encountered 2-3 knot out-flowing currents. The resulting seas were confused, and potentially dangerous if we lost power and broached. So we were extra attentive through this section. We crossed the bar (Buoy 10) at 0900, an hour and a half after Slack Before Flood. Lots of recreational fishing boats were in the river from Buoy 10 on in to Astoria. We arrived at West Basin Yacht Harbor in Astoria at 1015, after a close encounter with sv Jugo at the visually obsured harbor entrance where they had refueled. No harm, no foul. It was good to be off the ocean. After a couple days in Astoria we will head up river to Portland.

Back In the US of A

10 June 2019 | Friday Harbor, WA
George Stonecliffe
After receiving 'Julia Max' from the MV Kraszewski in Nanaimo, BC on June 7th, we headed to the transient pier at the Nanaimo Yacht Club. While there we were able to put the sails back on, we added water, topped off our electricity, and set up for our transit south to Friday Harbor, WA. On the 8th of June we left motor-sailing in light winds. Then we headed west through the Porlier Passage into the interior of the Gulf Islands where we were met by S15 knot winds for a fine afternoon sail. Although it was a tacking duel, we had all three sails up, and a double furl with our genoa. The boat was so nicely balanced that we had very little adjustment to the helm. We may have tacked at least a dozen times, getting a good work out in the process. By 6pm we anchored at a bay at Prevost Island on the north side. Sue prepared a delicious salmon dinner with potatoes and peas. After a sound sleep, we left on Sunday, June 9th motoring in no wind, and arriving in Friday Harbor by Noon. The balance of our summer will be driving back and forth from Friday Harbor to Portland, spending time with family, our homes and our boat! It's good to be back in the Pacific Northwest, even if it's 30F degrees cooler than Golfito, Costa Rica!

Golfito to Portland to Nanaimo

06 June 2019 | Nanaimo, BC, Canada
George Stonecliffe
Once 'Julia Max' was on MV Kruszewski heading for the Pacific NW, we flew home to Portland, Oregon. With great thanks to our house sitter, Norma, we reassumed 'ownership' of our house. One of my first tasks was to communicate with all those we do business with to let them know we were no longer at our mailing service address, and were back at our Portland residence address. Over 75 businesses needed to be notified! We re-opened our MAC membership, allowing us to work-out. We spoke with Schooner Creek Boatworks to arrange time in September for painting and other projects. We filled the bird feeders. Put some tomato starts in the ground. Fixed three sprinkler heads in our lawn. Finally, we have headed up to Friday Harbor, and over to Nanaimo, BC, where our ship will come in to off-load 'Julia Max' on Friday, June 7th. It is a chilling 56 F degrees, over 30 degrees cooler than Golfito. Long sleeve shirts, jackets and long pants are uniform of the day!

'Julia Max' Lifted on to MV Kraszewski

20 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
George Stonecliffe
Finally, MV Kraszewski pulled into Golfito this morning, May 20th, about 0700. 'Julia Max' was lifted on by 1800, safely tied down and supported for the trip north to Victoria, BC. The trip takes about 3 weeks arriving June 9th after stops in La Paz and Ensenada, Mexico. What should have been a couple hours of loading turned out to take 8-1/2 hours. There was an inexperienced crew that worked slowly and had several miss-steps that had to be corrected. In any event, we are relieved to be aboard. The ship leaves this evening. We head for home tomorrow flying out of Golfito to San Jose, Costa Rica, and then to Los Angeles and on to Portland, Oregon. Tomorrow night we will be sleeping in our own bed! Cheers everyone!

MV Kraszewski Through the Canal and Refueled

19 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
George Stonecliffe
Our time approaches! The Seven Star Transport, MV Kraszewski, has transited the Panama Canal, 'bunkered' (that is, refueled), and is heading for Golfito to arrive just past midnight tonight. We are scheduled to be loaded on at 10:30am. We received an e-mail with the following schedule: On Monday, May 20th: 0800 Toolbox Crane 3 0815 Start rigging up lifting gear 0830 Discharge Navy boat 0900 Discharge Viking 68 1000 Load Outbound 44 (Sequoia) 1030 Load Peterson Ketch 45 (Julia Max) 1100 Load Bertram 54 Crane 2 1145 Load Lagoon 42 Finish lashing and welding

Once done, the ship will depart Golfito for La Paz, Ensenada, then Victoria, BC, Canada arriving ETA June 9. We now have our airline tickets, and will be flying home on Tuesday!!!

Our Seven Stars Transport is in the Canal!

18 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
George Stonecliffe
Today, Saturday, May 18, we looked at the Panama Canal webcam to find our Seven Stars Transport ride was in the Gatun Locks. Depending on several factors, she may be in Golfito tomorrow! We have removed our sails, dodger canvas, life rings, taped our sling lift points, and had our boat bottom cleaned. Our engine is running fine, fuel sufficient to meet the ship, other tanks empty, and provisions eaten down so that we can turn the refrig off. We will be sleeping ashore at the Fish Hook Marina for the next few nights, as the boat is loaded on to the ship bound for Victoria, BC. We are still waiting for the ship (MV Kraszewski, MMSI 295355000) to make it through the Canal, and head for Golfito. Then we will buy our airline tickets home! Yessss!
Vessel Name: Julia Max
Vessel Make/Model: 45' Passport/Peterson Custom Ketch
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon, USA
Crew: George and Sue Stonecliffe
About: Float Plan: July 1, 2017 Leave Portland, OR; head south along US West Coast; leave San Diego 10/29/17 with Baja Ha-ha Rally; go through Panama Canal 3/2018; Florida 6/2018; NYC and Rhode Island 7/2018; Chesapeake Bay 9/2018; Caribbean 12/2018; Panama Canal 3/2019; home 6/2019
Julia Max's Photos - Main
2 Photos
Created 4 July 2017
8 Photos
Created 5 May 2011