Voyages North

30 August 2019 | Posted at Port MCNeill
13 August 2019 | Posted at Prince Rupert
03 August 2019 | Posted at Ketchikan
02 August 2019 | posted in Metlakatla AK
22 July 2019 | Posted at Klawock/Craig
09 July 2019 | Posted at Juneau
09 July 2019 | Posted at Juneau
22 June 2019 | posted at Ketchikan
16 June 2019 | Posted at Prince Rupert
07 June 2019 | Posted at Port McNeill
07 June 2019 | Posted at Port McNeill
07 June 2019 | Posted at Port McNeill

Guest Blog by Jack Tar the Sea Cat

04 November 2017
Photo: Jack on Osprey.

Avast ye mateys! Elsie left out important events from this summer's blog. I must take to the computer and do the job myself.

You think I can't write because I'm a cat? You have no idea what cats do at night when humans sleep. Here's a photo of me reviewing one of my blog entries. It tasted purrfect - a strong flavor of fish with a hint of chicken.

Jack blog
Photo: Jack at the printer.

So here's what happened that Elsie didn't write about:

Giant Birds Attacked Me, Three Different Times!

The first attack happened in the quiet town of Port Gamble. Elsie and Steve were sitting in the cockpit reading (as these lazy humans do), and I was watching from my post on top of the dodger next to the sail. I heard a familiar cry, closer than ever before-- the high pitch "chee, chee, chee" of an eagle. Sharp yellow talons were heading right toward me! My heart beating fast, I burrowed under the sail cover and crawled into the folded sail. I heard the beat of wings and then silence. The eagle had flown away. It was warm under the sail cover and when my heartbeat went back to normal, I snuggled down and went to sleep.

Awhile later Elsie asked, "Where's Jack?" I heard the two of them walking all over the boat, looking for me on top of the sail cover, on the solar panels and even in the dinghy. Foolish! Those are my favorite places, but I wouldn't go there with eagles around.

Finally, they stopped.

"I heard an eagle," said Elsie. "I hope it didn't get him."

"Maybe he fell overboard," said Steve. "But surely we would have heard the splash."

That's when I got disgusted and let out a meow, thinking that would shut them up. But oh no, Steve insisted on peeling back the sail cover and dragging me out.

The hiding place
Photo: Steve taking Jack out of his hiding place.

The next attack came at the Poulsbo Yacht Club. It was starting to get dark and I was on my leash, sitting in the middle of the dock, waiting for Steve to get ready so I could take him for our evening walk. I heard a loud "squawk" and the flapping of large wings approaching fast. There was nowhere to hide, so I flattened myself on the dock. A big blue heron flew so close above my head that I could see its long sharp beak clearly. It was just as scary as an eagle, maybe more. That's when Elsie, who was standing in Osprey's cockpit, shouted at the bird, "Get away!" No doubt she thinks that's why the bird flew away, but I'm convinced my orange fur scared it away. After all, the orange scares all those robins and sparrows in our yard. There can't be any other reason why I can't catch them when other cats can.

I got another close look at some of those nasty herons on the way home from our trip to the San Juan Islands. We anchored in Penn Cove off Coupeville to escape some bad weather. But the rain and wind died down that evening and I got to sit on deck and watch the setting sun shine through the clouds. On a nice night I can sit for hours just watching the sea and sky.

Sunset at Coupeville, Penn Cove
Photo: Sunset at Coupeville.

The next morning I was sitting on the dodger cleaning my fur when I looked up to see two big herons swooping down for a landing on the cabin roof. With one quick jump I propelled myself off the dodger, all the way to the cockpit floor and under the mainsheet traveler.

Elsie came running out of the cabin, shouting at the birds. Then she turned to me and said, "Boy are you lucky, Jack. Good thing I came out just in time to scare them away."
What nonsense. I knew those big herons couldn't get down to the cockpit.

A great blue heron takes off from a State Parks moorage buoy in Penrose Pt State Park

Steve Bought a New Outboard!

I can't believe Elsie didn't say anything about the new electric outboard for the dinghy, the most important piece of equipment they bought this year.

The dinghy is one of my favorite places to sit when we're at anchor. I like to be close to the water where I can watch leaves float by, and it's fun to jump back and forth between dinghy and boat, especially after dark when Steve and Elsie can't see me. But I don't like the new electric outboard that Steve bought this year. It's too small for me to sit on and it's so quiet they can start it up without my knowing. Oh well, at least it's not smelly like the old gasoline outboard. And humans seem to like it. There's no accounting for their tastes. Strangers were always coming over to look at it and talk about ampere hours and batteries.

Several times Steve got into the dinghy while I was in it. I waited for the roar of the outboard as a signal for me to jump back on Osprey, but instead of pulling a starter cord, swearing, then pulling it again, Steve just pushed a button. Before I knew it, we were too far away from Osprey to jump back. I had to put up with being paraded around the anchorage where people pointed at me and laughed. One time a woman in a kayak asked, "Is that a boat cat?" What did she think I was? Some little yapper dog?

A ride in the dinghy with Steve
Photo: Jack riding in the dinghy with Steve and the new Torqueedo outboard.

I Went Swimming!

The worst time I had in the dinghy was when we tied Osprey to a mooring buoy off Blake Island. I was sitting in the dinghy listening to the pleasant chuckling noise the water made under Osprey's hull. Elsie got in the dinghy, but instead of asking Steve to pass her the outboard battery, she just untied the dinghy, cast off and started rowing with me on the bow.

I wasn't going to put up with another ride in that dinghy! I crouched down, twitched my hips and jumped. But the current was taking the dinghy away and instead of landing on Osprey's deck, I landed in the water. It was cold! Still, I wasn't afraid. I started swimming. Like all cats, I'm a good swimmer--when necessary. I was almost back to the big boat when Elsie caught up to me in the dinghy. She grabbed me by the harness and fished me from the water. I was furious. Was she going to make me stay in the dinghy? But she must have decided she didn't want a wet cat in the dinghy, as she handed me to Steve who was still on the Osprey. He took me down below and washed me in the sink, then roughed me up with a towel. Ugh!

I admit the jump was overly ambitious. But it got me back to Osprey.

We sea cats are good learners. A few weeks after the swim off Blake Island, I went for another dinghy ride. This time I didn't try to jump while the dinghy was going away from the boat. Instead, I jumped on our return. When I knew we were close enough, I went flying through the air, landing with my front paws on deck, back paws on the hull, then hoisting myself the rest of the way onboard.

Am I a good sea cat or what?
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Make/Model: Annapolis 44 sloop
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Steve and Elsie Hulsizer (author of Glaciers, Bears and Totems and Voyages to Windward)
Elsie and Steve Hulsizer have sailed northwest waters since arriving in Seattle via sailboat from Boston in 1979. [...]
2017: local cruising including South Puget Sound and San Juan Islands 2016:north up West Coast VI, across QC Sound to central BC coast 2015: trip to SE Alaska 2014: Seymour and Belize Inlets through Nakwakto Rapids 2013: SE Alaska and back. 2012: from Seattle up the west coast of Vancouver [...]
Osprey's Photos - Main
No items in this gallery.