Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Seeking respite from strong headwinds, we traversed an area rife with names related to the career of Horatio Nelson. We headed up Agamemnon Channel along the eastern shore of Nelson Island, past Captain Island, and into Hotham Sound. We found a sweet anchorage for the night in the Harmony Islands, within earshot of a spectacular waterfall. The next day we headed back out to open water along Jervis Inlet, passing Vanguard Bay and Hardy Island. Our visit with British naval history over, we resumed our passage north, along Malaspina Strait.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jedediah and Pender

We had yet another fantastic sail on Saturday with the persistent south winds -- through Dodd Narrows, past Nanaimo, and across the Strait of Georgia to Jedediah Island, a beautiful provincial park. We hiked, kayaked, swam, met fellow Oregonians Jack and Lucy on Wy'East, and shared two great evenings with new friends Gary and Marilyn on Stella. A tough place to leave, but the wind has switched back to the NW, so we have to get a move on. It will be much tougher sledding the rest of the way to Desolation.
A rough but short beat across Malaspina Strait this morning brought us to Pender Harbour, on what is at least for today, truly the "Sunshine Coast." While I update the blog and check emails, Vicki is at the store. Winds are forecast to rise to 20-30 by this afternoon, so we may stay here tonight.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fit to be stern-tied

Another great day of sailing. On our way west from Sucia, we were overtaken by a pod of about 50 orcas in the middle of Boundary Pass. We held our course unless we saw a whale surface ahead of us. At one point, a female came up from our stern quarter, and before we could react, went directly under the boat! We could see her white saddle patches clearly.
While checking into Canada at Bedwell Harbour, we came across a boat that our neighbors had chartered earlier this year. Then we headed north, broad reaching and wing and wing, into Trincomali Channel. I should have let well enough alone, but when I saw a boat that we had overtaken raise a spinnaker, I had to follow suit. We had a pretty good sail most of the way, but a few scary moments getting the spinnaker back into its sock.
We decided to call it a day at Princess Cove on Wallace Island. Great protection from the southerly winds, but a very popular place, so you must stern tie to shore. After an hour of this fire drill, we were secure for the night, but a bit exhausted!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Back on the water

Two wonderful 2 weeks at home: many visits from family and friends, the DaVinci Days celebration, and catching up with the ever-changing scene at work (OSU). Now we're back on the water. Squalicum was a great place to leave the boat - excellent facilities and very helpful and friendly staff - probably our favorite of the many marinas we have stayed in.
Our first day's sail was a hoot. Under jib alone, we headed out of Bellingham Bay on a port tack, and saw this lovely square-rigger footing along on the opposite tack. Didn't catch her name, but I believe it was the Lady Washington. Meanwhile, about 80 canoes from virtually every Indian tribe in the PNW will converge on Lummi Island on Monday. What a sight that would be! But we have appointments to keep with friends and must take advantage of southerly winds to head north. Spent our first night at Echo Bay on Sucia.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

home for awhile

Last Wednesday we spent the night tied to the Olga dock and dreaming we were in the Bahamas. It was hotter than we've ever seen it out here, but we were thankful that we weren't ashore where Seattle was experiencing record heat. On Thursday morning, we hoisted a double-reefed main and sailed across East Sound, where it was still blowing like stink. Once out of East Sound, the wind was back to normal and we were becalmed until we motored to West Sound. Here we tacked up the bay a few times, and then rode the tide through Crane Passage and tacked through the Wasp Islands, past Jones Island, and on up the President Channel past Waldron and toward Sucia. We finally put out the hook in Echo Bay after a full day of some of the best sailing we've had this summer. After a walk ashore and a nice dinner, we rowed over to the neighboring boat for a drink and a chat. Graham's C&C33 was immaculate and well-equipped and we had fun swapping sailing stories until dark.
Thursday we sailed most of the way to Bellingham, where the boat will stay in a guest slip for the next two weeks, and the next morning we drove a one-way rental car home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

...and more wind (and some current too)

Be careful what you wish for, right? After whining for weeks about not enough wind, now we have too much. Two days ago we had a wonderful sail from Anacortes to Clark Island on the N side of Orcas. Enjoyed a peaceful evening at anchor, but awoke to 20+ kts coming at us from the Strait of Georgia, and a small craft advisory on the radio. So we hightailed it for Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island, where we spent the day hiking. Winds in the anchorage were gusting over 20 all day and night. Today we crossed Rosario Strait to see if it was blowing less in the San Juans. The photo shows the wicked ebb current flowing past the N end of Cypress. After coming through Obstruction Pass, we were hit on the nose by 30+ kts blowing out of East Sound. So we tied up to the dock at Olga and are calling it a day!

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Finally - some decent sailing on our way back south to Anacortes. On Thursday the 5th we left Chemainus and ended up at Port Browning on North Pender Island. There was a wedding at a nearby house on shore that evening, complete with flamenco dancing that suited the hot sultry weather.
On Friday we had a very nice day of sailing across Boundary Passage, south through the San Juans to Friday Harbor, where we cleared US customs, and then on to Spencer Spit (Lopez Island) where we dropped the hook for the night. After a great walk along the spit, we met Galen and Shelly on Nirvana, a brand new (to them) Ericson 38 like ours. Its always fun to meet people who validate your own choice of boat :) and we discovered we had other things in common, like a love for SCUBA diving in the Caribbean. I hope our wakes will cross again soon.
Yesterday we pulled into Anacortes for some final adjustments to the rigging work that was done this spring in PDX. We only have a few more days on the boat this time around. Thursday we'll tie her up at the marina in Bellingham and drive home for a two week break from sailing.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Weather has been hot and sunny for the past couple of days. On Tuesday we motored a few miles south of Ganges and anchored in "Grandma's Cove" to explore Ruckle Provincial Park, an old farmstead with miles of trails to explore. Next, we actually sailed for a few miles along Satellite Passage toward Sansum Narrows, but had to motor the rest of the way to a peaceful anchorage at Maple Bay. Sharing the anchorage was Webb Chiles' old Ericson 37, the one he single-handed around Cape Horn (as chronicled in his book Storm Passage).
On the 4th we went to Chemainus, an old mill town that has tarted itself up with many beautiful murals (photo above) to lure in the tourists. We found fresh berries at the farmer's market and delicious apple strudel at the Chemainus Bakery. In the evening we saw a really fun performance of Cole Porter's Anything Goes in the Chemainus Theatre - excellent cast and musicians, and Porter's wonderful songs and lyrics. We saw Annie here four years ago, which was also very well done.
Today we had to turn south toward Anacortes, and we managed to sail a bit of the way in light and fickle breezes, aided by an ebb tide. Now we're anchored in Port Browning, a deep and lovely cove on North Pender Island.

Monday, July 2, 2007


After a restful layover at Reef Harbor, we finally had a bit of sailing today. We gingerly picked our way through the Belle Chain Islets, then through Horton Passage into Plumper Sound. Just inside the sound, a 130' schooner named Roberts II had recently wrecked on Minx Reef. What a sad sight. We're not sure, but we heard they had been relying on a dog for navigation. Speaking of dogs, our second mate has two new pairs of boat shoes that help her grip the fiberglass better. We sailed on into Ganges Harbor on Saltspring.
Looks like we are headed back to Anacortes at the end of the week, to correct a couple of items that were not done right the first time on our rigging and wiring. Anybody want to join us for a few days of sailing in the San Juans after that? We would love to have some guests from Saturday July 7 to Thursday, July 12, who could give us a ride back from Anacortes to our car in Portland on the 13th.


Saturday we headed past Turn Point on Stuart Island, and across Haro Strait into Canada. After clearing customs at Bedwell Harbor, we continued on to a favorite anchorage near the east end of Saturna. It was warmer than it had been since leaving Portland. We saw a long, lingering Green Flash over the Strait of Georgia, and the next day (Canada Day) we hiked around Tumbo Island. Lots of eagles here!