Thursday, 27 September 2007

September 25th to 26th SAN FRANCISCO PICTURES

Entering San Francisco, under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Toasting our arrival with the champagne supplied by Leslie in Victoria.

First sunrise at the marina.

Palace of Fine Arts and Alcatraz Island.

Historic Ships at Hyde Street Dock


We left Crescent City Sept 23rd at 09:20 PDT and arrived at San Francisco Sept 25th at 11:30 PDT, passing the lighthouse and Golden Gate Bridge pictured above.
The trip was great with all winds from the NW or NNW, except for a very brief period of light wind from the SW. Winds did not exceed 15 knts. Seas were primarily from the NW, decreasing as we went and never exceeding 10 ft at 9 seconds. There was no fog and we enjoyed sun during the day and near full moonlight for most of the night. For this section of the trip this is as good as it gets, particularly for Cape Mandocino and Point Arena. Both have well deserved reputations for rough conditions.
We discovered leaks in two of our stove elements just prior to leaving Crescent City, so were on cold rations. This was the only negative on this leg of the trip.


Left Newport at 8:30 PDT, when our wish for NW winds came true.
Be careful what you wish for! By the time we were approaching Crescent City the winds were 30 knts, with gusts to over 40 knts.
The good news is that Passat took the winds in stride, going downwind at 5 to 6 knots, with only the stay sail, sheeted in tight as a steadying sail. The RVG wind steering, working with the Autohelm ST 4000 steered a course as straight as an arrow.
We headed in to Crescent City for a rest, arriving just after midnight. The entrance to the small craft harbour is very tricky. We ended up nudging a mud bank, but were able to back off. The security guard called us on the VHF and guided us in.
SV Solskin was already at the dock, having come in for a new starter motor. SV Passages arrived after daylight, having hove to, awaiting daylight before coming in. This time we all waited for milder conditions.
Crescent City is OK, but not as cruiser friendly as Newport. We had some metal work done on the wind vane and were impressed with the service (pick up, delivery and same day repair) and the very reasonable cost. We finished installing the new depth sounder (a mud bank nudge will help set priorities), while waiting for more stable weather.
We went to a movie and did some grocery shopping, but did not find any tourist attractions within walking distance. We almost rented a car to see the Redwood Forest that is nearby.
The small boat harbour and historic lighthouse are pictured above.

September 12th to 14th, 2007 NEAH BAY TO NEWPORT OREGON

Left Neah Bay September 12th at 06:45 PDT.

Motor sailed in little to no wind from SW. Went out to 125 degrees W in search of NW wind 10-15 kts indicated in weather report. No luck.

After two days of mostly motoring we decided to come into Newport for fuel and wait for wind.

Newport lived up to it's reputation as a cruiser friendly port. Reasonable moorage fee of $18 US, including power and water for our 38 ft overall. Fuel at about $0.72 cents per litre. Free bus to town.

Met Dave, his brother & niece on SV Starshine; Farrell, Christine and their daughter on SV Solskin. Denis & Holly on SV Tango arrived on their way up to Victoria for the winter. Denis was in our HAM radio course in 2006 and it was good to catch up on their travels south. Fellow Bluewater Cruising Association members Pam & John (with Cam as crew) on SV Passages arrived seeking fuel as well.

We enjoyed a tour of the lighthouse and walked across the landmark bridge (pictures above). Sandra enjoyed the large aquarium near the harbour, while I worked on the boat.

September 11, 2007 PORT ANGELES TO NEAH BAY

Left Port Angeles at 08:25 PDT, intending to exit Jaun de Fuca Straight and head south into the Pacific.

Lots of Coast Guard activity. We wondered about this until we remembered that it was 911.

Motored for most of the day, with winds increasing from the WSW after 16:00.

At 16:30 a SW gail hit us at the west entrance to JDF Straight and the fog rolled in. We sought shelter in Neah Bay for the night. The wind was so strong in the bay we let out 200 ft of chain in 20 - 30 ft depth to be comfortable that we would not drag.

September 10, 2007 CFSA TO PORT ANGELES

Left CFSA at 09:45 PDT and motored to Victoria for fuel, then sailed most of the. way to Port Angeles.

Cleared Customs, obtaining a Cruising permit good until Dec 31.

Shopped for groceries that we could not bring into the USA (beef, citrus fruits, etc.) and stocked up on adult beverages.

Went to a Tai restaurant one block up from the dock for dinner.

We were the only boat on the Municipal dock ($10.00 per night, but no power or water available) so had a quiet night.

September 3rd to 10th, 2007 PREPARATIONS FOR GOING SOUTH

A busy round of social activities, including Mom's 94th birthday, SV Sea Quin IV crew party, diner with Alex & Carol (MV Obsession), diner with Mike & Cathy (sorry no picture), drinks and advise from J-G and Fran (SV Antares) and visits with sons Robert, Steve & Mike.
In addition more work on the boat, including new cable for the SSB radio and purchase of a new toilet for the head & depth sounder / knot meter / log.
Finally we are ready to start the trip south to Mexico.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

August 31 to Sept 03, 2007 BROKEN ISLANDS TO VICTORIA

We planned on getting fuel in Port Renfrew and ran out at the entrance to Port San Juan. We sailed into Port Renfrew and anchored next to the dock. It turns out the fuel is at the marina up the river and the water is too shallow for a sail boat! (This restriction was not mentioned in the Douglas or Wagner guides.)
Lucky for us our good friends Mike and Cathy were joining us, with Mike's son Tory driving them out from Victoria. A panic phone call, just in time, allowed them to pick up a carboy and we drove back and forth from the marina until we had 80 litres. THANK-YOU MIKE, CATHY & TORY!
We motor sailed to Sooke and were treated to the interesting moonrise in the picture above. Our son Steve joined us, with family friend Jason, both chefs, with a special desert to welcome us.
The Sherringham and Race Rocks Lighthouses helped point the way home.
After a quiet night on the hook at Albert Head we arrived at CFSA midday on the 3rd.
Thus ended the phase I of our adventure.

August 24 to 30, 2007 BROKEN ISLANDS

Sea / wildlife seen in the Broken Islands (including Alex and Carol) and yet another sunset.


Another long day of motoring, in fog from 11:00 to 13:30, then in sunshine until we arrived in Ucluelet at 19:00. Anchored out at the head of the inlet. On the morning of the 24th we met Dave & Marcia on the SV Juniata, then docked to pick up Alex and Carol for to spend a few days with us in the Broken Group.


We say goodby to the Nootka lighthouse and have a great day of mixed motering and sailing in the sun, ending in a shower in Hot Springs Cove. Passat II has it's name carved on a board walk plank, from a visit with a previous owner in 1999.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007


We say good-by to the abandoned boat in Queen Cove on our way to Nootka sound via the inside passage. A great day, with lots of sailing in challenging low variable wind conditions in narrow channels. We met two young Spanish men in a double kayak in Tahsis Inlet who came over to us as we sailed (drifted) to say that we were the first sailboat they had seen actually sailing since they arrived in Canada.


The day felt like being chained to a rock. Going from the Bunsby Group to Queen Cove in Esperenza Inlet was pure hell. The day included: No wind, sloppy cross swells, navigation computer & radar crashes in the fog and an air lock in the fuel line when navigating between two reefs. We were never so glad to see a day end.


Sunrise as we make the early start to avoid the afternoon winds at Solander Island off the Brooks Peninsula.

The infamous Solander Island on a quiet day. We motored most of the day as the winds did not come up until late in the day.


We say goodby to Sea Otter Cove, with extra special care to avoid the mud bank.

We arrive at North Harbour (south of Winter Harbour) and find the bouys have been removed. Set anchor and were greeted by over 20 sea otters that rafted up together for the night. Unfortunately these particular sea ottters were camera shy, hence the picture of Sea Otter Cove, rather then the animal.

August 16, 2007 SPIDER SUNRISE

We leave the Spider Group heading across Queen Charlotte Straight to Cape Scott and the West Coat of Vancouver Island. We motor sail trying to catch the slack at Cape Scott. No luck, we miss by two hours and are helped through the narrows by a 2 knot current. We avoid all but one set of races and arrive at Sea Otter Cove just after sunset. Total travel time 14.5 hours.

We manage to get hung up on a mud bank in the cove (1/2 hour before low tide) and play cards for 1.5 hours for the returning tide to lift us off. Used the night vision monocle for the first time to locate the mooring buoy (they actually work!).