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

Back in Campbell River

30 June 2007
The day started with loading the Stocks' stuff into the van and a trip to Starbuck's for a birthday latte for Mike. John made a run (walk) to the store for provisions, and Mike helped me top off the water tanks while John put stuff away. After the Stocks left, we decided to stay here another night because we had so much to do and also wanted to visit the local museum. With check-out at noon, we weren't going to be able to do it all. So now we've added to the list of things to take care of at the dock (laundry and oil change), but we'll be able to rest a minute or two too. It also means that we can stay out longer without coming back into a marina, so we'll be off the Internet grid for longer too. Brace yourselves.

Yesterday turned out to be a great day in its way. The sun was out when we got up, but we didn't want to leave Refuge Cove until noon. The plan was to fish a little on the shoal south of Cape Mudge while waiting for the tide to change so that we wouldn't have to fight the current in Discovery Passage to get to the marina. The weather didn't cooperate.

We left Refuge Cove in a drizzle with about 10 knots of southeasterly wind. Not enough off of our nose to use the sails. The Stocks were in the cockpit with me, and we saw more than a handful of boats in the distance following various headings. We were doing a little better than our average cruising speed, and it looked like it would be an uneventful trip. Instead, we came out of the wind shadow of an island into 15-20 knot winds and increasing chop due to the full fetch of the Strait of Georgia. That slowed us to about three knots and made the Stocks glad that they'd put fresh seasick patches on the night before.

It also brought John into the cockpit to take a look around. Just to be safe, he went back and looked for coves we could duck into if things got worse. They didn't. The seas settled down a bit as other islets broke up the waves from the straight, and the wind didn't really lessen, but it didn't get worse, and we got used to it.

A few squalls dropped buckets on us and got me a little wet since I wasn't wearing my fouly bibs, and I got a little cold. So John took the helm after we made the turn into Baker Passage while I went below to warm up. Next thing I knew, he was bringing out the jib and turning off the engine. We got up to 7.5 knots on the jib alone, making up for the earlier three knots, and everyone had fun being able to sail.

When we got to the shoal, Mike thought it was too rough to fish (it really was quite bumpy), so we went on to the marina. Despite the current in our face, with 20-knot winds behind us we only slowed to three knots briefly, still on the jib alone. We didn't start the engine and bring in the jib until we were at the marina entrance. The engine couldn't have gotten us there against that current, but the sail did a great job.

After we topped off the fuel tanks and tied up at the dock, we watched — and listened to — a much bigger squall go past. I think it sounds worse when you're in a marina with the halyards clanging and the wind howling through the shrouds. Sydney thought it sounded like banshees — or some other spooky creature.

So the Stocks got a taste of what our life is like on Solstice - some relaxing, some maintenance, some motoring, and some sailing. We still hope for more sailing and relaxing and less of the other two someday.
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