Posts

Showing posts from June, 2014

Sailor Stories

The Strait of Georgia is a big body of water. It's wide and it's long. When leaving from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and you look south out at the Strait, water is all you can see. There is no land in sight. With all that distance, it gives the wind and waves a lot of room to build and get rough. It has been a source of contention for many a sailor in the Northwest.
Our path across the Strait of Georgia was from Nanaimo to Pender Harbor. About 40 miles. 40 miles you may say is no big deal. That's like driving from Seattle to Tacoma down I-5. I can do that in 30 minutes if there is no traffic. You have to remember that we travel at the pace of a fast jog. That 40 miles takes us about 6 to 7 hours. If the weather is rough, that is a long time for things to go wrong.
We have been paying pretty close attention to the weather for the crossing. The forecast didn't look very good for a few days but we were ready to move on. We had our fill of Nanaimo and we wer…

The Stats

Image
I am mostly writing this for my Mom.  We have left the Canadian Gulf Islands and are heading north across the Straight of Georgia tomorrow morning and will most likely be out of range of a wifi signal for a little stretch.  Sorry Mom, we will be out of touch but don't worry.  We'll check in as soon as we are able. 
And since I have always been fascinated with numbers and stupid stats, here is a recap of our trip so far in numbers.  (I really don't have anything interesting to report, but since I have a wifi signal, I feel like I should write something.  Sorry for the lack of inspiration, motivation, or whatever).  
 The numbers:
16 islands explored to date (favorite spot has been Pirates Cove on De Courcey Island)
62 total hours of travel time (34 hours motoring and 28 hours of sailing)
322 miles traveled
27 gallons of diesel burned
5.2 knots average speed sailing and motoring combined...(that is 6.24 miles per hour which = slow)
3 family size boxes of Cheez-its eaten in…

Mutiny

Image
I am going to tell you something about my wife. First of all, I love her dearly. Brenda is an amazing woman and I am lucky to have her. Now that I have said that, I can tell you something else. She has the feet of an Amazon jungle woman. They have to be about a size 16. They must be that big because they are able to carry her and any cargo that needs to be hauled for an ungodly amount of distance. She loves to walk. I can handle about 10 miles in a day and then I'm done. Since we have left on this trip, we have walked an average of 7.9 miles per day. I know this because I carry a gps everywhere. I love gadgets and this little gadget helps to reinforce my complaining. I can say to Brenda, “we have gone far enough!” And she can say, “but we just got started!” And because of my little gadget, I can say, “we have walked 17 miles today and here is the proof!”. So today, because of all of this walking, my dogs are barking and I'm ready for a long nap. I have protest…

A storm of epic proportions

I decided at the start of this trip that I was going to do my best to be honest about our experiences and give you a real feel of what this cruising lifestyle is like for us. Here you go.
I apologize in advance because this is going to be a long story. What I am about to write is true. It takes place on our boat. There are two people involved who are generally prepared for just about anything that comes their way. This is one of the few events that these two people (Brenda and myself) were truly unprepared for. Mom, if you are reading this, you may want to stop now. This is utterly disturbing, scary, and again completely true.
I am going to preface this story with a little bit of boating info and one of the big differences between sailing in Canada and sailing throughout the Puget Sound. This little bit of trivia has to do with human waste. On a boat, as in everyday life, some business has to take place. I call it “big business that takes place in the big house”. Some p…

Things that go bump in the night

Image
This morning I am writing this post at a dock. We tied up at Thetis Island Marina yesterday afternoon after a rough night at Princess Cove on Wallace Island the night before. I was lead to believe by my wife that Princess Cove was named after her so we had to check it out. It was a great little spot. Super beautiful but crowded. It seems that most of these little coves and bays up in the Gulf Islands are pretty crowded.
Anyway, in this little cove it is customary to “stern tie” which is what we did. It's somewhat of a daunting task to do when there are lots of boats around and not much room, especially since our boat does not like to back up in a straight line. It sort of goes where it wants as long as where it wants is sharply to port (left for you non boaters). Anyway, the process is like this. You drop your anchor in the middle of the bay and then back your boat up to a rock wall that has some pieces of chain bolted to the rocks. When you are sort of close to the wa…

Normal people

My assumption is that most people who are reading this bit of nonsense that I have been writing for the last couple of months are non-sailors or non-boaters so I am going to try to give you a quick lesson on some of the terminology that we live with on a daily basis. If you are aware of some of the boating lingo then please forgive me because most of what I am about to write is probably not correct, although some of it may be. I don't really know. All of this will hopefully tie into a point at the end, although it may not. Again, I don't really know.

Let's start with some of the obvious sailor lingo:
1. Walk the plank = get off my boat by means of a wooden plank whereby you fall into the ocean and get eaten by a shark.
2. Ahoy = Hi
3. AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!! = too many meanings to count and open to interpretation. Usually spoken by pirates.
4. Shiver me timbers = Shiver me timbers (I have no idea but I say it all the time)
5. The seas be angry = it's rough o…

Foreigners

Image
We have left the San Juan Islands and are officially in a foreign country. We checked into Canada a few days ago and made the first of many border crossings to come. It was a pretty painless process. You pull up to a dock, pick up a phone at the end of the dock that is a direct line to someone sitting at a desk across the country, give them your passport and boat info, and that's it. We are let in. Pretty simple.



It's pretty surreal to be in a different country with no real time agenda. We would normally be trying to cram as much stuff in as we possibly can in 1 week and then rush back to work. Not this time. I know, its not like we pulled into Tahiti or Australia or some other exotic place, but it is very symbolic to me. I have been planning this trip for as long as I can remember and to actually check into another country, even Canada, is kind of a big deal. I'm not trying to down play Canada, it's a great place. We have sailed up here in the great white no…

Tourists

Image
Tourists
On our boat we have a water maker. It is an amazing piece of machinery. Through a series of filters, membranes, pumps, and valves, we get pure and clean drinking water from the sea. We generally run the water maker every 3 or 4 days for a couple of hours and it makes enough water for us to do everything. Shower, dishes, drinking water, and laundry (yes we have a washing machine onboard). Its a crucial piece of equipment and its great...when it works. We had one of the high pressure hoses fail on us a few days ago, don't worry I had a spare hose, but now that I had to use my spare hose, I had no more spare hose. Its a custom made hose that we just can't get anywhere so I called our good friend Lani in Seattle and he was kind enough to offer to pick up a new one and bring it to Kenmore Air and have them fly it up to us. Amazing. Thanks Lani. It was going to take a couple of days for the hose to be made so we decided to be complete tourists on San Juan Island…

Embarrassing videos

Image
We have a Wifi signal that is pretty good this morning so I am putting up a couple of videos of our trip so far. I have been debating on whether or not I want anyone to see these but what the heck? We aren't around to hear about how terrible they are and you are probably sitting at work, dreaming of doing what we are doing, and since you aren't probably being productive anyway, you might as well waste a few minutes more of your bosses time.

This first one is just some sailing footage of our first week....short and sweet.

The second one is a true story of events that have taken place on Hope Island. We are thinking of entering this one in the San Juan film festival and are pretty sure we will take home the gold (do they give medals?). The acting is superb, the cinematography is nothing short of amazing, and best of all, its a true story (and its a little bit embarrassing). Here you go...4 minutes of your life that you will never get back.

The saying goes like this

Image
There are 2 sayings that have been going through my head for the last couple of days. The first is “I learn something new every day”. And the second I've heard said from other, much more experienced and wiser sailors than myself. I've also read it on the internet so I know its true. The saying goes something like... “cruising is just a chance to work on your boat in more exotic places”....or something like that.

So far we've been gone for 10 days, which by the way is the longest continuous amount of time off I have had in the past 10 years. Out of those 10 days, there have been 2 that I haven't had to work on or fix something, and that was because I refused...I'm on vacation you know. I'm not complaining...I'm just saying...2. That's not a big number. I hope the ratio of work to fun changes.
I won't bore you with all of details of fixing various boat bits but I will share with you my new list. You may remember from a previous rambling th…

Week 1

Image
The first thing that I have to say is that this does not suck. This is at least 12 million times better than working. Its only been one week since we left Seattle but its been a great week. We haven't really done anything that we have planned on doing but that's part of the adventure. At the end of week one, we are still at Hope Island near Deception Pass. I shouldn't really say that we are still at Hope Island, more so, I should say that we are back at Hope Island. We have had a few things go awry with the boat and we had to spend a few days chasing down parts and making repairs. It amazes me that with all of the spare parts that we have brought along, and I thought we brought everything, the couple of issues that have come up weren't in our massive array of spare parts.
We don't really have many rules on this boat...except for one major rule...water is supposed to stay on the outside of the boat. Our first mishap broke that rule and it was a little bit…

Day 1

Image
May 31, 2014



Day one. We finally did it. As of 7 o'clock this morning we are free. Call us what you want; vagabonds, wanderers, homeless, it all works. Whatever you want to call us, it doesn't matter because we won't be around to hear it. We have left and it feels pretty good.
We are starting our way north for the summer which will take us through the San Juan islands, the Canadian Gulf islands, and up the Inside Passage towards Alaska. At this point, we aren't sure how far north we will get since we are going to make a serious effort to take our time and soak in our surroundings.

We tried our best to spend time with family and friends before we took off but it didn't really work out as well as I had hoped. Sorry to all of you who we weren't able to see. You will be missed but you are welcome to come visit :-)
I do have to say that it was a great day to leave. Beautiful sunny skies but unfortunately dead calm. I couldn't have bought an ounc…