s/v Solstice

John and Shirlee's incredible adventure

10 December 2009 | Cartagena, Spain
11 October 2007 | Long Beach, CA
10 October 2007 | Long Beach, CA
08 October 2007 | Lala land
07 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
06 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
04 October 2007
04 October 2007
03 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
02 October 2007
30 September 2007
27 September 2007 | Morro Bay, CA
25 September 2007
23 September 2007
22 September 2007
20 September 2007 | Monterey, CA
18 September 2007 | Monterey, CA
15 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA
14 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA
12 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA

On to Gorge Harbour

20 June 2007
Yesterday we hiked to the grocery store for provisions, topped off our water and fuel tanks, and left Westview. I wasn't able to get an Internet connection from the boat to check e-mail and let people know that we were setting off again, but I talked with Sydney the evening before.

The wind was in our favor and we sailed all the way to Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island, where we're anchored now. For awhile, the wind was light so John brought out the spinnaker for the first time this year.

It didn't take long before the wind kicked back up to 12 knots and more, and it was time to bring the spinnaker in. We had trouble with that part. The retrieval line that brings the sock down over the spinnaker and douses it got tangled up in the curly hose for the wash-down pump, and John couldn't get it unsnarled. His sailing knife took care of that problem, and the curly hose is shorter and has no connector on one end. Meanwhile, the retrieval line itself had knotted up. John got that undone, and then it snagged on the crab pot … and re-tangled itself while John was freeing it from the crab pot. John finally got the spinnaker on board, not without dipping it in the water a few times, and we could all relax again. We'll need to rinse the sail with fresh water when we get to Campbell River, and we learned some important things: put the crab pot and wash-down hose away before bringing the spinnaker in.

Gorge Harbour is beautiful, almost like a lake. The entrance is through a narrow gorge with a pictograph on the cliff. Otherwise, it's completely surrounded by land, and you can see the distant snow-covered mountains over the trees of the island. The harbor is quite large, but several areas are taken up with fish farms. And there are submerged or drying rocks on the charts. Those are tricky when you're trying to find a place that's shallow enough to anchor. There is a marina here, and a restaurant, but there aren't many houses, so it feels remote. I'm guessing we'll stay here until Saturday, or maybe even Sunday.
Vessel Name: Solstice
Vessel Make/Model: Sceptre 41
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA, USA
Crew: John Forbes and Shirlee Smith
About: Our crew is Märzen (our miniature dachshund) and whoever else is aboard at the moment, if anyone. We welcome friends and family to join us as crew for specific legs of our voyage or to visit at a destination.
Extra: We left San Francisco May 1, 2006, on our proposed 10-year voyage, now reduced to five years due to the economic crisis. Visit our home website for photos, more words, and links.
Home Page: http://www.svsolstice.com


Who: John Forbes and Shirlee Smith
Port: San Francisco, CA, USA