Cruising the Pacific Northwest 2021

Fully vaccinated, we look forward to getting back into cruising the Pacific Northwest as COVID dies down.

16 June 2021
02 June 2021 | Portland, Oregon
24 March 2020 | Portland, Oregon
29 August 2019 | Astoria, Oregon
10 June 2019 | Friday Harbor, WA
06 June 2019 | Nanaimo, BC, Canada
20 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
19 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
18 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
14 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
10 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
07 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
04 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
02 May 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
23 April 2019 | Golfito, Costa Rica
23 April 2019 | Pt. Burica, Costa Rica
22 April 2019 | Pt. Burica, Costa Rica
18 April 2019 | Puerto Armuelles, Panama
16 April 2019 | Isla Coliba, Panama

3 Lake Triathlon, San Juan Island, WA

21 June 2021
George Stonecliffe | Sunny
Sue and I cheered on our daughter at the 3 Lake Triathlon near Friday Harbor, WA on June 19th. Representing TriDot, she was the only one in the women's 50 year age group. Racing the Olympic distance, she swam .9 miles in the lake, biked 26 miles all over San Juan Island, and ran 6.2 miles, taking 2:56 to finish. It is always terrific to see her dedication to her sport!

In Friday Harbor, WA

16 June 2021
George Stonecliffe
After a smoother than usual trip up the Washington coast, we stopped overnight at Port Angeles harbor. Then headed on to Poulsbo for a trip to their bakery. Finally, we headed over to Shilshole Bay in NW Seattle to visit our granddaughter who was celebrating her 21st birthday. In addition we enjoyed meeting her friend Dakota Gilbert from Gainesville, Texas. Although the winds were light we had full sails out for a sail in 5 knot winds. Dakota owns a 38' Tayana, and enjoyed being on 'Julia Max'. We left Shilshole Bay the next day, arriving in Friday Harbor on Monday, the 14th.

Summertime in the Pacific Northwest!

02 June 2021 | Portland, Oregon
George Stonecliffe | Sunny and 88F
Sue and I are scheduled to leave Portland, OR on June 6th, and the weather forecast is promising! Initially we will meet our granddaughter in Seattle where she is celebrating her 21st birthday! From there we will head to our condo in Friday Harbor, WA. We hope to meet up with our friends Ken and Ruth on sv Misty Blue for an enjoyable summer of cruising the Islands and Puget Sound.
We are fully vaccinated, and look forward to resuming a more normal life. Have a great summer everyone!

Spring Time in Portland, Oregon!

24 March 2020 | Portland, Oregon
George Stonecliffe | Showers
The last six months (Sept 2019 to March 2020) have been in the Schooner Creek Boatworks facility, repairing fiberglass, repainting, servicing electronics, AC electrical, and updating boat features.
It's good to be free now, just waiting for the Corona Virus 19 pandemic to subside. Maintaining Social Distancing and washing hands in the meantime. Stay Healthy!

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!
Vessel Name: Julia Max
Vessel Make/Model: 45' Passport/Peterson Custom Ketch
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon, USA
Crew: George and Sue Stonecliffe
About: Summer 2021 finds us buddy-boating with Ken and Ruth on sv Misty Blue in the San Juan Islands, WA and Puget Sound. Vaccinated, we are waiting expectantly for COVID to subside, and Canada to open their Border to boaters once again. Cheers to all!
Julia Max's Photos - Pacific NW 2011
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The car carrier
The car carrier 'Positive Passion' took three weeks to bring Julia Max from Auckland, NZ to Grays Harbor, WA
Added 5 May 2011