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

Alert Bay

19 July 2007
Alert Bay was well worth the time, and the ferry ride from Sointula ??" via Port McNeill ??" was free. Alert Bay is on Cormorant Island. Half of the island is owned by First Nations (Indian) tribes, principally the 'Namgis (although we did see the administrative offices for another tribe there as well). The other half is European heritage. The ferry dock seems to be about in the middle. We went both directions from there, but spent most of our time visiting the U'mista Cultural Center.

The U'mista Cultural Center houses the First Nations artifacts — masks, whistles, coppers, ceremonial garb, and such — that have been repatriated from the museums to which they were dispersed after the Canadian government seized them in the 1920s. It also displays copies of the correspondence that documents the rationale the government used when they shut down the native potlatch ceremonies, incarcerated the participants, and confiscated the artifacts, whether directly or as payment to get out of jail. Basically, the natives were spending too much time planning their potlatches and not enough time working in the fish plants.

The other day, when we returned from the store, we had a new neighbor on the dock. The Northern Bounty is a fishing boat from the west coast of Vancouver Island. We enjoyed getting to know Mike and Susie Bostrom. Mike fishes, and Susie owns the general store and post office at Walters Cove (Kyuquot) on the west coast of Vancouver Island. John was excited to gather local knowledge about where to fish, so we invited them over for cocktails and a dock party developed. A cruiser from another dock stopped by looking for Mike and Susie, and everyone exchanged stories. The Portland family who we met at Lagoon Cove docked on the other side of us, and we renewed that acquaintance.

Thanks to Mike and Susie, we learned that there's a rendering plant at Port Hardy that stinks up the whole area if the wind's in the wrong direction. That combined with the promise of salmon and halibut on the west coast has changed our plans slightly. Instead of going into Port Hardy for our major resupply and preparation for the coast, we're going to go to Port McNeill, just across the strait from here. Then we'll go to Bull Harbour and anchor there to wait, if necessary, for our weather window to round Cape Scott. Rain is forecast through the weekend, but it's just rain, not a storm, so that won't keep us from turning the corner. Also, we're definitely going to visit Walters Cove when we get to the area. We might have missed it if we hadn't met Mike and Susie.
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