Friday, April 28, 2006

We are back at our slip now. We spent a night anchored in Sequim Bay where John Wayne Marina is. There were a lot of huge houses along the shore and it looked very upscale. The next day we sailed to Port Townsend. This place was quite different in character.
There are a lot of homes from the turn of the century. There was a huge brick post office with a clock tower, you could hear the clock chime out the hour. The clock tower actually reminded me of the one in the movie Back to the Future. The downtown also had a bunch of brick buildings along the waterfront and a few very Victorian looking office buildings. There were lots of art galleries along the main street and we saw a number of 60's type hippies walking around. It was a different place to visit.
We had a slow sail home, motoring off and on when the wind died. I even pushed up my sleeves and let the sun look at my arms, so it was sunny and warm as well, altogether a nice way to spend coming home.
Tomorrow is the opening day for our yacht club so we are planning to participate in the sailpast of the new commodore, so that should be interesting.

Here is a picture of that ocean going rowboat, I think there are three rowers and they are the U.S. team that is entered in the race, to row across the Atlantic. If you look closely you can almost read their web site. They certainly are adventureous.

The other amazing thing we saw the other day was a U.S. submarine. We had seen a big war ship that had sailed by and then there were these white boats that were pretty close together going in the same direction. I must have been looking in the other direction because the next thing I know between the two white boats was a SUBMARINE. My goodness, then I got out the binocs and figured out the white boats were Coast Gaurd cutters escorting the sub out to sea. It was really neat to see it, I felt like we really in the big leagues, no more small potatoes Gulf Island sailing this was the real thing. It isn't a very good picture, but I am sure if we had got any closer they would have got pretty nervous.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

We have just set a record, two worst's within 24 hours. When we arrived in Port Angeles Barry had THE WORST DOCKING EVER. (Barry calls it a controlled crash) He tried to turn around in a small space within the marina and the wind was against him. He didn't get around and the wind took the boat and blew it broadside into the dock. Thankfully we had the fenders on that side and all the docking lines were on that side and there was no boat in the way, so after we smashed into the dock, we just tied up like we had planned to land there.
This morning leaving from that same dock I had THE WORST DOCK DEPARTURE EVER!!!! ( Barry calls it a departure fiasco) The wind, as Barry will happily tell you, was in my favour and I am not exactly sure what I did but I definitely turned the stupid wheel the wrong way going out and got blown sideways. I madly went forward and then backwards at great speed trying to get the boat turned around at near panic. Several times you could hear me yelling "You come and do it", but there was no loud swearing, believe it or not. I narrowly avoided a collision with a boat, our bow to his stern and nearly took out the starboard navigation light. By some miracle I got the boat going backwards and managed to BACK the stupid thing out of the lane between the slips. (Did you know that when you drive a sailboat backwards the steering reverses, well if you remember I am left/right challenged so from now on when going backwards I am going to face backwards because then you steer regularly.) I think some practise driving the boat backwards in and out of fenders thrown in the water in a wind is called for because it is quite unnerving to do it in a crowded marina.
Hopefully there won't be any more worst's on this trip.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

We are back from Neah Bay. We had a wonderful time there. We spent three days, the first evening after we arrived we anchored and then untied the dinghy and headed over to the dock. It is a wonderful dock and the facilities were great. We walked around town and hit a grocery store. Day 2 we spent wandering around on local beaches, doing some beachcombing, Barry found a skookum 30 ft. piece of line and I found one heavy duty orange rubber glove suitable for handling fish. Then we headed back to the dock to watch the fishermen cleaning their catches, their filleting skills were amazing. Some docks that landed had guys in wet suits on board and they had been spearfishing. Hanging about in the background were sea lions waiting for the left overs. There were fisheries officers noting the particulars of the catches, they told us that the sea lions were spoiled, all they wanted were the remains of halibut, they weren't interested in the leftover sea bass or ling cod!!!! At the other end of the dock we saw about 5 eagles fighting over some scrumpcious morsel, one took off with it and another attacked him and the goodie was gone, sunk in about 15 feet of water.

That evening we were treated to a workout of about a dozen aboriginal women on a dragon boat. They did a brisk warmup of about a kilometer and then after a rest they took of for about a 5 km paddle, man did that boat ever move, and they paddled in perfect sequence. I wonder what they were training for?

Day 3 we headed for Canadian shores, planning on checking into customs in Port Renfrew. We phoned a customs number and were told we would have to go back to Victoria to enter Canada. To heck with that, we weren't about to go back 50 NM to check in so we headed out into the Pacific and took a look around the corner of Cape Flattery. After you round the cape you don't have to go west anymore you can head south. I asked Barry if he had any desire to just keep going and got a resounding NO for an answer. We anchored at Neah Bay again for the night.

Day 4 we headed back to Port Angeles with a west wind on our backs. We just flew down the strait, we did the 50 miles in less than 8 hours, WOW. My arms got tired from wrestling the wheel with the 5 foot swells pushing us in directions we did not want to go. We certainly figured out how to sail the boat downwind today!! As we got into Port Angeles the wind howled down the harbour hitting 30 knots. We saw an ocean going rowboat practising for a race across the Atlantic. I think they are even crazier than we are. I give them credit though they were rowing upwind in 30 knots, good practise, better them than me. We will stay on the American side for a few more days and explore Port Townsend and maybe even stay at John Wayne Marina.

I can't seem to add pictures at this site so will have to do it later. Keep in touch, love to hear from all of you.

Monday, April 24, 2006

We made it to Port Angeles yesterday,that means that we have crossed Juan de Fuca Strait, another big milestone. We had excellent winds yesterday, on the beam at about 20 knots, we crossed the 18 miles in just over 3 hours. I felt a bit queasy with all the waves and swells on the beam, but not too bad.
Today we are headed to Neah Bay which is the last port on the American side of Juan de Fuca before you turn the corner and head south, it is 49 miles from Port Angeles. There is a slight wind directly behind us so we are motoring until the wind picks up. I am hoping to head out to the Pacific for 24 hours and then turn around and head back to Neah Bay. I want to stand 24 hour watches and do some night sailing. We will see what the weather offers. Hopefully I will be able to keep in touch.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Barry’s brother Bruce, his daughter Kathleen and his grandchildren, Monty and Chantal arrived this week. We took them out for a sail yesterday. It was a super day for a sail with kids, the winds were about 10 knots, not too strong but just good enough to get the boat moving.

We went in search of porpoises and WE FOUND THEM. They were fishing in waters where we have encountered them before and after going back and forth over the area three times, they started following the boat. Bruce’s family just loved watching them. There was one fat one amongst the bunch and whenever he appeared no one got in his way. There was also one that was a gray colour and we figured that had to be harbour porpoise. Bruce fell asleep on the front deck on the way home so all in all everyone had a good time.

We are headed out on a 10 day trip this week. We are going out Juan de Fuca Strait to the end and out into the Pacific Ocean. I want to see if I get seasick in the swells and I want to sail on the ocean. I hope to go to Neah Bay and then sail out into the Pacific for 24 hours and then sail back, then head home. We are in Esquimalt tonight so are on are way. I probably won't be able to get e-mail for about 10 days s0 if you want to get hold of us send e-mail to

That is our ham radio e-mail.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

We attended our first spontaneous dock party last weekend. We went to this spot with another couple and there were 3 other boats already there. On Saturday night we went to the dock for happy hour and everyone brought out appetizers. The sailboat guy that was tied up at the dock had gone out in his kayak and picked up a bunch of oysters. He took out his little hibachi and cooked them right there on the dock. They were delicious.


We are finally having our holding tank put in this week. It will be our last major fix on the boat. We are without a head so getting up in the morning and stumbling down to the club house to use the washroom is not my idea of fun. Hopefully the holding tank will be done in a few days.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

We went in a 40 nautical mile race yesterday. It was quite the experience. We had a poor start, the winds were really light and Cat's-Paw does not respond really well in light air so at the start I was dead on the line at the right time, but the wind died and could not make the bouy but had to tack to get across the line. The wind picked up and we started passing people like gang busters, mostly smaller boats whom we should have been ahead of, then we went around as island and ran into the dreaded tide.
My goodness, I have never experience anything like that. For at least three hours we tried to get out of the tidal push. All the other boats were in it as well and you could see people sailing along, sails trimmed beautifully in about a 5 knot wind and they were going backwards. It was very frustrating. We were carried 2 nm across Haro Strait towards the tip of an island, twice we tacked to get away from some rocks. There was a bouy marking the rocks and it became our nemisis, we HAD to get past it, finally at dusk we left it in our wake. While we were caught in the tide we saw one boat that was turned 180 degrees and shoot out of that tidal rip backwards. We actually did 3, count them 3. 360's in one spot, man talk about feeling powerless.
This is one of our fellow racers caught in the tide. He is sailing at about 5 knots but with no forward progress.
While we were being tossed around we saw some sea lions,they are huge sleek creatures and I am sure they were fishing in the tidal front. They make the most unique grunting sounds when they are vocalizing. After dark we were sailing along, under a new moon, with clouds partially obscuring it, and stars peaking out here and there, our navigation lights gave a weird greenish glow to the bottom part of our jib and you here these noises. Thank heavens I had seen and heard the sea lions in the light because I would have been wondering in the dark. A little further along all of a sudden I heard this explosive release of air ppuuuffff, and then again, dahl porpoises were riding our bow wave. I went up to have a look and along the edge of the boat in the water I saw luminescense. The whole night was a gorgeous experience.
We finished the race about 1:30 A.M. We didn't finish last, which was what I was worried about, we may have in the handicap system, but I don't know that yet!!!! The guy at the weather briefing on Friday night was predicting 30 knots, and I am sure if they had materialised our boat would have done better. We had to do some sailing straight downwind and I was at the helm and I know we lost some ground. It was dark, our windex (that I just put up at peril to life and limb) got stuck so we had to guess wind direction from our flag, and we haven't down that much downwind sailing. I think we will have to go out and practise, a ancidental gybe didn't help either, that was more than a little disconcerting in the dark.
All in all I am really glad we went in the race, the night sailing was fantastic and it was nice to get to meet some of the racers. P.S. If you are interested in the race results, in the kind of boats that participated and their handicaps and how they did you could visit our yacht club's web site at We were in the Patos Island Race. The guy said the results should be up sometime today, April 2, 2006.
Notice this guy's fancy, smancy sails, kevlar, I believe, he went really fast.