Joy of Cruising

17 October 2017 | Boat position at Shelton: 47°12.82’N; 123°05.01’W
16 October 2017 | Boat position at Shilshole Marina: 47°40.65’N; 122°24.59’W
15 October 2017 | Boat position at Friday Harbor: 48°32.20’N; 123°0.59’W
27 September 2017 | Boat position on Granville Island: 49°16.35’N; 123°08.24’W
26 September 2017 | Boat position on Granville Island: 49°16.35’N; 123°08.24’W
22 July 2017 | Boat position at Granville Island: 49°16.35’N; 123°08.24’W
21 July 2017 | Boat position at Vancouver Rowing Club, Canada: 49°17.77’N; 123°07.85’W
20 July 2017 | Boat position at the Vancouver Rowing Club, Canada: 49°17.77’N; 123°07.85’W
19 July 2017 | Boat position at the Vancouver Rowing Club: 49°17.77’N; 123°07.85’W
18 July 2017 | Boat position in Active Pass: 48°51.64’N; 123°18.54’W
17 July 2017 | Boat position at Otter Cove, Pender Island, Canada: 48°47.84’N; 123°18.51’W
15 July 2017 | Boat position at Port Bedwell, Pender Island, Canada: 48 44.97'N; 123 13.97'W
14 July 2017 | Boat position at RVYC: 48 27.19'N; 123 17.73'W
13 July 2017 | Boat position at RVYC: 48 27.19'N; 123 17.73'W
12 July 2017 | Boat position at SNSYC: 48 40.44'N; 123 25.02'W
12 July 2017 | Boat position at SNSYC: 48 40.44'N; 123 25.02'W
11 July 2017 | Boat position at SNSYC: 48 40.44'N; 123 25.02'W
10 July 2017 | Boat position at Ganges: 48 51.00'N; 123 29.53'W
09 July 2017 | Boat position at Ganges: 48 51.00'N; 123 29.53'W
08 July 2017 | Boat position at Montague Harbour: 48 53.63'N; 123 24.03'W

Shilshole Marina, Seattle, to Shelton

17 October 2017 | Boat position at Shelton: 47°12.82’N; 123°05.01’W
Pam Lau and Ted Berry
Picture: Tacking under the Narrows Bridge; note the turbulence in the water.
End of the day miles: 60
Miles since Mexico: 26,360

Weather: Cloudy with periods of strong rain, sunny later in the afternoon.
Wind: Sustained S to SW wind to 35 knots reducing to 12 knots about 5 pm.
Boat speed: 1-8 knots with sail and motor.

Breakfast: Breakfast bar, coffee.
Snack: The last of the mixed cereal and apple.
Lunch: Instant potato soup with chick peas.
Snack: Sardines, avocado spread with multi-grain crackers.
Dinner: Cheese omelet, leftover potato soup.

I was cozy and warm in bed when Ted woke me and urged me to get moving. It was seven in the morning, barely light and the wind was still howling. I questioned him about leaving during such a high wind. His response was that the wind will subside later according the weather forecast. As we prepared to drop the mooring lines, a man in the boat across from us was watching us. He was in his bathrobe with a cup of coffee in his hand. As we pulled away from the dock, he looked at me and waved, as if to say, “You are crazy to leave in these conditions.”

Indeed he was right. As soon as we got out of the harbor, I wished we never left. Ted remained optimistic and consoled me, saying that the wind will ease. Soon, he realized that the forecast might be incorrect. Our predicament was that there was 30 to 35 knots of wind from the South and 2 or 3 knots of current from the same direction. Of course, we wanted to go South but under these conditions we were getting nowhere. To make matters worse, the short and choppy waves were continually lifting “Shuang Yu” up and dropping her down with a loud bang. After an hour of this painful, non-productive ride, I decided to lay down because I felt an onset of seasickness and hoping that when I wake up the nightmare would be over. I did not sleep but prayed instead.

Like a miracle, when I got up an hour later, the waves had flattened somewhat and we were able to move about 1 to 2 knots (speed over ground). We hoisted the main sail, reefed to the maximum, and started to tack using the wind to move us. We could not hoist the sail before because of the combination of high wind and rough seas. Now, with the sail up, we were finally losing sight of Shilshole Marina after two hours of battling.

The relative calm did not last long, as soon as we came out the shelter of the headland, we were hit by the wind blasting straight out of Colvos Passage. It reminded us of the time we passed by Icy Strait coming out of Juneau; 40 knots wind came out of nowhere. This time the wind was 30 to 35 knots! Colvos Passage is a shortcut for us, but not today, the wind is far too strong!

Larry, our friend from Shelton Yacht Club, was tracking us on the “Marine Traffic” website which uses our AIS (Automatic Identification System). We were surprised that he called us at Shilshole Marina and then again when we were outside the marina. It was assuring to know that someone is tracking us in these horrendous conditions. Larry suggested we stop at the Tacoma Yacht Club if conditions in “The Narrows” were too unbearable. However, it turned out that the first part of The Narrows was a sanctuary, calm and peaceful. There was a moment of pleasantness and appreciation of the houses near the shore and on top of the cliffs. However, as soon as we rounded the corner towards the bridge, the wind and waves resumed. We continued to tack and look for less turbulent water. By this time, we had favorable currents so we were moving reasonably fast despite the fact that we had to tack back and forth.

After we passed the State Penitentiary on McNeil Island at about 5 pm, we were able to stay on course because wind had subsided to about 12 - 15 knots and the currents were with us. We let out a sigh of relief! But, soon darkness came upon us as the sun retired for the night. We discussed if we should anchor somewhere before our final stretch in Hammersley Inlet. But, like a horse trotting back to the barn after a long journey, we decided to aim for the finish line.

About the time we passed Steamboat Island, I put on my big waterproof coat with a hood and gloves and stood at the bow to look for logs or any obstructive objects while Ted slowly guided the boat home. Ted is familiar with the inlet so it is an advantage and comforting to know. We called Larry and our neighbors, Peggy and Susan to let them know we would be passing by. Larry flashed his light as we passed and Susan and her company came out to her deck and flashed their lights. It was like a hero coming back from war!

We finally reached the Shelton marina and proceeded to dock the boat. I jumped off as usual and secured the middle line, the stern line, and, when Ted handed me the bow line, I took it and started to pull the boat backward and I almost fell in the water! The pontoon was narrower than I thought! Also I was rigid with cold after being out on the bow for two hours. In addition, being on the boat for three days meant I had my “sea legs”, not my “land legs”. All in all “Shuang Yu” coming home was dramatic! One thing for sure, she has been proven time and again in adverse conditions and has shown herself to be a strong, seaworthy boat, and Ted is an experienced sailor and captain!

Friday Harbor to Shilshole Marina, Seattle

16 October 2017 | Boat position at Shilshole Marina: 47°40.65’N; 122°24.59’W
Pam Lau and Ted Berry
Picture: Mt Reinier looming in the distance adds to the serenity of sailing.

End of the day miles: 60
Miles since Mexico: 26,300

Weather: Sunny but cool, cloudy later in the day.
Wind: S wind 5-10 knots
Boat speed: 2-10 knots with sail and motor

Breakfast: Mixed cereal with yogurt, coffee.
Snack: Grahams crackers, cheese, apple.
Lunch: Brown rice, canned beans and cheese (leftover).
Dinner: Instant potato from Japan, cream cheese, fried eggs, smoked oysters and popcorn.

Ted weighed anchor shortly after seven in the morning. As we were pulling out, two ferries were already coming into the harbor. It must be a busy place; we felt regretful that we could not visit the town, but we were racing to beat inclement weather predicted for Wednesday; and today is Monday.

The wind was blowing against us so our dependable motor was humming away. Since we left Ketchikan this spring, we have mostly had winds from the South. It is unnatural and unusual; the prevailing wind is supposed to be from the North! Thankfully the sea was relatively calm until we reached the bar outside Puget Sound. And then it seemed like “Shuang Yu” was riding a bucking horse; short choppy waves one after another. However, the favorable current saved us. Even though we were “bucking” on the surface the current was “galloping” beneath the water. How fortunate! We were moving at around 9 to 10 knots (speed over ground). Otherwise, if the current had been against us, we would have been riding a stationary bucking horse, uncomfortable and miserable and getting nowhere.

This is the first voyage where I have not stocked up on food. We had a small amount of food leftover from our last visit to Granville Island and some leftover from our Japan to Alaska trip. I was rationing out the food and at the same time trying to create interesting and good tasting dishes. I enjoyed the challenge though.

The South wind increased and the currents turned against just as we were coming into the Seattle area. We had previously decided to dock at the Shilshole Marina because we have reciprocal privileges with the yacht club there. It seemed to take us forever to get to the marina because of the adverse wind and sea conditions. Normally we try not to go into a strange harbor after dark but we had no choice this time. Once again I was on the foredeck acting as lookout while Ted slowing motored into the dark harbor. We were grateful to dock because the wind definitely increased as the hours passed and continued to howl throughout the night.

Vancouver, Canada, to Friday Harbor, Washington State

15 October 2017 | Boat position at Friday Harbor: 48°32.20’N; 123°0.59’W
Pam Lau and Ted Berry
Picture: Sunrise as we leave Vancouver on our way south.

End of the day miles: 57
Miles since Mexico: 26,240

Weather: Mostly cloudy with patches of sun.
Wind: SW to S wind 5-8 knots
Boat speed: 5-6 knots with sail and motor

Breakfast: Oatmeal with fresh apple, cinnamon and yogurt.
Snack: Multigrain crackers, cheese, apple.
Lunch: Multigrain crackers and tuna/avocado spread.
Dinner: Brown rice, canned beans and cheese.

Susan, our good friend and neighbor, dropped us off at the Greyhound Bus station in Tacoma, Washington State, yesterday noon. The bus was on time from Tacoma to Seattle, however, we had to wait in Seattle for over an hour because they could not find a driver for the next leg. Finally a substitute bus driver arrived who had never before driven for Greyhound or travelled the route from Seattle to Vancouver. The passengers helped him get to the various bus stations as we stopped at different cities on the way up north. It was fortunate that he was cheerful with a good sense of humor. I must say also that he was a very competent driver. At the border we all had to take our luggage into the Canadian Customs check point. It was painless and we got through rather quickly.

Our original plan was to walk to the ferry landing and take it to Granville Island. However, it was late at night and not the main tourist season so it may not be running and we would waste time walking to the landing pulling our heavy bags. We asked an information officer at the central bus terminal and he told us how to get to Granville Island without taking the ferry. We took the “Sky Train” to Granville station in downtown Vancouver and then took the bus No. 50 to Granville Island. We always feel a sense of accomplishment taking public transportation rather than just taking a taxi. It is also good for the pocketbook.

We stopped at Starbucks for a hot cup of latte and couple pieces of pizzas before heading off to the boat. We had not been able to eat much on the bus because since it was running late, we did not stop anywhere for long enough to buy food. We only had what we brought with us so we were quite hungry. On arrival at the boat Ted immediately went to work checking the engine and making sure that everything was in good condition so that we could leave early in the morning.

It was still dark when “Shuang Yu” pulled away from the Granville Island dock. Ted thought that he would be able to use the harbor lights to navigate. However, it had the opposite effect. The lights were behind us, so that what was ahead of us was even darker. I had to stand out on the bow to do watch. There were large cargo ships at anchor, fishing boats moving about and low lying, dark colored buoys. Just outside the inner harbor, in English Bay, there was a huge barge at anchor with absolutely no lights whatsoever. As the sun came up we found ourselves crossing in front of a barge towing a raft of logs so big that it looked like an island. A little bit exciting but not close enough to be dangerous.

The first day of sailing went reasonably well. We each took turns napping so we were not overly tired by the end of the day. I took a seasickness pill last night before bed to avoid motion sickness. We had a minimum amount of food on board because we were not supposed to bring fresh food into Canada and we did not have time to shop. To make our meals interesting, I made up recipes as we went based on the leftover food we had onboard.

As we approached Friday Harbor we sailed alongside a group of dolphins dancing and sliding through the waves while at the same time we had to “feather” the propellor to avoid getting caught in a large patch of kelp. On arrival Ted called the US Customs Office and an officer dressed in police uniform came and checked our passports and boat documents, after which, we pulled out into the inner harbor and dropped anchor for the night.

Attempt to bring “Shuang Yu” home 2 - Canada Place

27 September 2017 | Boat position on Granville Island: 49°16.35’N; 123°08.24’W
Pam Lau and Ted Berry
Picture: Susan and Pam at Canada Place

Ted had finished his chores on the boat so he joined us for some sightseeing. One of the places we wanted to go was Canada Place so we took a small ferry across False Creek to downtown Vancouver, a ride that only lasted a few minutes. The ferry operator gave us directions to Canada Place, warning us that the walk is uphill all the way. I think she was concerned that we might be too old to make it. She was correct about climb but, at home in Shelton, the three of us walk uphill every morning for our daily walk, so we had practice. I am so glad that we have established an exercise routine to keep us limber and fit. Also, doing daily yoga helps a great deal.

The hike was interesting because we passed through the downtown area where there was an abundance of department stores, an art museum, restaurants and coffee shops, the latter delighted Ted of course. At one coffee shop, after Ted’s insistence, we sat outside sipping latte and enjoying the ambience while watching the people go by.

At Canada Place, the “Fly Over Canada” virtual tour of Canada was awesome! The seats moved back and forth and up and down so we felt like we were flying. At times we “flew” through clouds and past waterfalls and could feel the moist air released by the simulator to make the experience more authentic. We all enjoyed “the ride” immensely.

Even though we could not take “Shuang Yu” home this time, we made a mini-vacation out of it. It was wonderful to spend the holiday with our good friend, Susan.

Attempt to bring “Shuang Yu” home 1

26 September 2017 | Boat position on Granville Island: 49°16.35’N; 123°08.24’W
Pam Lau and Ted Berry
Picture: Pam and Ted standing by "Shuang Yu" on Granville Island

After three months of leaving "Shuang Yu" at Granville Island, there were no serious buyers although many people looked at her. I think she is a beautiful, sea worthy boat, but nevertheless there were no commitments. Since the contract with the broker was up, Susan, our good friend next door at Shelton, offered to give us a ride to bring her back.

When we arrived at Granville Island, the boat was quite dirty on the outside, I was so disappointed and sad because I generally keep the outside spotless. It was like leaving my baby with the sitter and finding the baby with dirty diaper. The broker told us that we cannot pick the boat up because we have not given them 15 days notice even though Ted emailed them that he is picking her up. Anyway, we just have to go back to Vancouver again in two weeks to pick her up. Meanwhile we will try to show Susan a good time in Vancouver. She is the third batch of friends we have had since the boat has been on Granville Island. First were Sasha and Amelia, then Van and Cida, and now Susan.

The day following our arrival, Susan and I walked to Chinatown while Ted stayed on the boat and installed a new engine fresh water pump and fixed the electrical connection for the aft head (toilet). Near the boat, along the waterfront, there is a beautiful pathway with separate lanes for walkers and bikers. The water is on one side of the pathway, with many marinas and anchorages, while on the other side there are attractive condominiums. We noticed that it seemed to be mostly local people who utilized the walkway. Susan and I planned to follow the waterfront to the bridge and then take a bus to Chinatown to have dim sum at a my favorite Chinese restaurant. After consulting the map, there was a shortcut through a park so we took it. The walk was quite enjoyable as was the authentic Chinese food. Susan and I both agreed that it is unusual to find an enthusiastic walking companion, especially among people in our age group.

Granville Island has a brewery so when Susan and I returned and Ted had finished his jobs, the three of us went out for a beer and small snack. We seldom ever go out to a bar but it was fun going out with Susan for a beer and then walking back to the boat. One advantage of staying aboard "Shuang Yu" is that we can engage in public activities and then have the convenience of home (the boat) close by. It is pure luxury.

Back to Granville Island

22 July 2017 | Boat position at Granville Island: 49°16.35’N; 123°08.24’W
Pam Lau and Ted Berry
Picture: Van, sitting on a bench with a sculpture of a homeless person. Even though there are many beautiful areas in Vancouver we witnessed many homeless people, especially around Chinatown. It was depressing to see people in such a horrible state.

End of the day miles: 7
Miles since Mexico: 26,183

Weather: Sunny and warm
Wind: SE 5 knots
Boat speed: 5 knots (with motor)

Van and Cida went sightseeing by bus all over Vancouver while Ted and I worked on the boat, fixing and cleaning, getting ready to leave her with the yacht broker. There were definitely ambivalent feelings about selling a faithful boat that took us everywhere and endured so many storms while bringing us so much pleasure.

Two days after taking Van and Cida to the airport, we loaded our Lexus SUV to the brim with bikes, fuel containers, lines, clothes, tools and everything else, just like moving. In fact it is moving!! Moving off the boat to land! The car was bulging out everywhere, even the luggage rack had two large suitcases. We were praying that immigration officials wouldn't make us unload everything at the boarder, but in the event he did not, thank goodness! Although he did comment on it and we just told him we were moving off the boat to our house. I guess if we were coming from Mexico across the southern boarder things might have been different.

Now we have officially moved off the boat and are hoping for the right people to come along and take her to see the world. She is a fantastic boat!
Vessel Name: Shuang Yu
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 400
Hailing Port: San Diego
Crew: Ted Berry and Pam Lau
Home Page:
Shuang Yu's Photos - Main
These pictures were taken from my two favorite events in Ensenada: the "Women Spanish Class" and the "Knitters and the Dabbers"
11 Photos
Created 9 February 2011
Van, Cida, Ted and Pam went to the Catalina Islands from 12/10 to 12/17/2010.
No Photos
Created 14 January 2011