Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, 21July, 2013: Dockton to Tacoma

Weather:  Sunny and mild.  Winds:  Variable 5.  Seas:  <1ft.

Departed Dockton around 1000, pulling the overnight crab pot with nothing but small crabs in it.  Initially motored, but a light S wind came along and we beat our way out of the bay.  Got distracted watching a crabber searching for his pot, left in the mud by the receded tide and had a busy time tacking with about 8ft under the centerboard.  No really danger of running aground, but we were startled.  Aviate, navigate and communicate - in that order.

Also narrowly avoided another crabber who stopped directly in front of us and we did not see until the last moment.  Fortunately, we were quiet enough they did not see our screw up.

Once out of of the bay, we had a nice reach across to Commencement Bay and the Thea Foss Waterway.  Missed having the screacher.  Still, the main and genoa pushed us along between 3.5 and 6kts.  It was fun passing a monohull....

The water changed to a grayish silt as we approached the inner harbor.  As we got further in, the silt was only on top of the water and the hulls passing over it stirred the clear water up.  Moored in the Foss Marina which was OK being in the process of upgrading.  Location was good for walking to the Glass Museum and from there, into downtown and a grocery store, essentially up a cliff from the marina.  Fortunately, the 7 story stairs back down are now functional and we were going down, not up.

Once restocked, we thought to go out to dinner, but Kelly wanted to do some laundry, particularly to get rid of the dog's frito feet smell from the bedding.  Also, it was hot, so we stayed aboard and grilled.  Nice people in the marina with many live aboards.  Definitely a working feel and not a hoity-toity yacht club feel.

Saturday, 20July, 2013: Gig Harbor to Dockton

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Variable, mostly light.  Seas:  <1ft.

After spending a few days anchored in Gig Harbor, enjoying the company, attempting to crab (a couple small red rock) and sailing the dinghy around we headed out.  Another sail when we can, motor when we have to.  Motored out of Gig Harbor around 1200 and was able to sail initially.  No real hurry as Dockton is only about 10 miles, but the winds died abreast Point Defiance and we motored across Dalco Passage.  Was able to sail again approaching Quartermaster Harbor.  A lot of crab pots to dodge at the entrance.  Nice, gentle sail towards Dockton.  Motored into the King County Park.

Nice park and well maintained.  Good shower facilities.  Clean.  Easy to walk the dogs in the surrounding area.  Upon arrival, checked for moorage fees and apparently few people were paying.  Since there were kids jumping off the roof of the building into the water (66 degrees), they felt there was no supervision around so they could get away with it.

Dropped a crab trap on the way into the park area, a spot no other pots were.  4hrs later, retrieved the pot with 4 large crabs, 3 were female and tossed back.  The 4th was missing 2 legs and both claws, dude had been around the block!  Cleaned him, but did not eat.  Speaking with locals later, the area is polluted by sewage runoff.  So, dinner became crab bate.

There was limited space on the dock, but Kelly has become accustomed to anchoring, actually preferring it over a dock when we have the dogs.  A lot less hassle as the dogs have the run of the boat and we do not need to worry about potential negative encounters with other dogs.  But where to go?  The place is full of private buoys.  I'd had enough of 'private buoys in public water' so we took one not labeled private.  According to the local ranger, most of the buoys there were illegal, having been set by someone unofficially.  The DNR is attempting to rectify and are replacing the buoys as they can with legal, and safe, ones.  Apparently they are finding all kinds of things being used as anchors, including 6-7 car batteries chained together.

Spoke to a kid bottom fishing off the dock, using hotdogs as bait and catching sole, dogfish and...I don't remember.  Gives me ideas though....

Of interest to me, it appears south sound does not seem many multihulls, certainly not the Dragonfly.   Today was the first encounter with someone going out of their way to take pictures and complement the boat.  Later in the trip, one guy paused thoughtfully and stated, "Multihulls and south sound, makes a lot of sense."

17-20July, 2013: Gig Harbor

Weather:  Fair and mild!

Hung out in Gig Harbor!  Visited with RT and MM!  Multiple dinners aboard Captain's Mast, continuing to break in the grill.  Very convenient to dinghy to RT's slip and use Arabella's facilities.

Searched for a new battery for the Raymarine Autohelm ST40+ wireless remote.  Was told by the West Marine in GH they were not available.  Called West Marine Anacortes and was told the same thing.  Visited a couple battery shops and still did not find one.

Epilogue:  A month later, phoned Raymarine, was given a part number and transferred to the order desk.  The lady at the desk was taking the order and told me I'd have to pay $12 shipping if I ordered from them.  "You mean I could order this from someplace like...say...West Marine?"  "Sure," she said.  I thanked her and called West Marine, asking for one of two of my go to guys there.  Got one and made the special order.  Why?  First off, let them pay for the shipping.  Second, points on the rewards program.

Wednesday, 17July, 2013: Kingston to Gig Harbor

Weather:  Cool-thin overcast to sunny and warm.  Winds:  SE 15-20 becoming light.  Seas:  2-3ft becoming <1ft.

Greeted with strong winds and ugly waves coming out of Kingston.  Made 7kts beating with a single reefed main with full genoa.  With the chop, thought to head into the Sound and then tack back west and take the inside passages, Agate Pass, Rich Passage etc, south even though it most likely meant motoring.  Looking ahead, I could see several sails on the east side of the Sound and realized we could get across and reduce the fetch, but still get the winds.

Half hour later, we were in smooth waters off Shoreline and tacking SW.  Stayed on this tack until the waves became uncomfortable and then headed back towards the shore.  Continued this tactic until the winds died just NE of Vashon.  As we continued south, the winds steadily decreased and we shook out the reef around Shilshole.  Still had good winds as we entered Elliot Bay, making 6kts.  We had not been down the east side of the Puget Sound so it was nice to see some of the places we had read about, Shilshole Marina, entrance to Ballard Locks, West Point Lighthouse, Elliot Bay and downtown Seattle.

Had an interesting encounter with a tug towing a barge...nothing dangerous, just an interesting exercise.  We initially noted the tug about 2 miles behind us in the southbound traffic lane.  As we rounded West Point, it was within a 1/2 mile, turning into Elliot Bay.  Our two vessels were on parallel courses, us to the north, and they steadily gained on us.  At Elliot Bay Marina, it was clear they were going to pass us.  Then the wind picked up and we began to slowly increase our lead on them, to the point we were about 300 yards ahead, but not yet in a position to cross in front of them.  With the Port of Seattle looming, instead of a 90 degree right turn, tacking in front of the tug and probably causing a lot of trouble, we did a left 270, gybing and going behind the tug's barge.  The maneuver went smoothly!  Depowered the main by easing it out.  As we turned, the sail started to power up, I sheeted it in, once again depowering it and positioning it for the gybe.  Completing the gybe, we kept the sail sheeted out and depowered, waiting for the barge to pass.  Ended up waiting for a tour boat also....  Once the traffic passed, sheeted in and headed out of Elliot Bay IVO West Seattle.

Kept on this tack to the north end of Vashon and tacked back.  At this point, the winds were light and variable.  Just as I was about to give up, a gust would come along and we were heading south.  IVO the West Seattle Ferry Landing, tacked back and ended up just about were we started on the previous tack...not getting anywere.  Fired up the engine and motored into the Colvos.  Once in the Colvos, S winds picked up.  Sailing proved a better VMG so we tacked back and fourth until the winds became light, about 1/2 through.  Motored the rest of the way Gig Harbor.

Arrived Gig around 1730 and tired.  Tides' Dock was completely empty and fish and chips are on their menu as is Shocktop.  Stopped, walked the dogs and then sat down for dinner.  On the way to our intended anchorage, we checked out the free public dock.  While the end looked open, the spaces were reserved for dinghies or pump out.  Anchored off Arabella's in 20ft at low tide.  Put out 100ft of scope along with the 10 pound kellet.  There were pretty strong tidal currents and we did not appear to move.  The kellet definitely kept the rode angle down!

Tuesday, 16July, 2013: Skyline to Kingston

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  WNW 5-10.  Seas <1ft.

With the garden set, there was no need for us to hang out at home.  This year's trip is south, to south sound vice north into Canada.  RT is restricted to home waters with Emma's swim schedule and MM's work schedule.  No big deal as we had never been to south sound!  Took the dogs with us this time.

Late start waiting for favorable tide and a nice sail today with mostly light winds from a reach or broad reach direction.  Started with main and genoa but was not making much headway with these heavier sails.  Without the screacher, I popped the spinnaker and found the new barber hauler set up worked great!  Was able to move the spinnaker tack upwind, exposing more of the sail and less blanketing by the main.  At one point, we were clipping along at a steady state 6.5kts with no trimming required.  I setup a chair on the back porch, put my feet up on the transom, arms are the rail with a Blue Moon.  Much like sitting is an easy chair!  'twas great!

Wind died south of Port Townsend and we motored into Kingston, arriving too late for Mora's Ice Cream.

Sunday, 30June, 2013: Fox Cove to Skyline

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  W to SW 0-5.  Seas:  <1ft

Woke to calm winds and seas.  Took Bug (our 1990ish Gig Harbor Boatworks dinghy) and my fly rod on a tour of the Fox Cove environs.  Did not catch anything, but it was nice wetting the line!

Interesting day sailing.  Started out motoring.  About halfway to the eastern point of Orcas Island, a west wind started to pick up.  I decided to air out the asymmetric spinnaker.  Have I mentioned the spinnaker is huge?  With a 26ft foot, I finally figured out I had not been able to fully expose the sail in a downwind as there is only 12.5 feet between the bowsprit and the outside edge of the ama.

So, I modified the barber hauler.  This line runs from the cockpit, out to the ama and then forward, up to the bow of the ama and acts as a whisker or spinnaker pole would.  The mod is simply a longer line not ending at the ama bow, but crossing over to the bowsprit.  At the bowsprit, I can attach the spinnaker tack to the line and then pull it out over the water, towards the upwind ama, thus flattening and thereby enabling more of the spinnaker to see the wind.

It worked great!  In 3kts apparent wind, we made 3kts.  In 5, 5kts.  Ultimately, we hit 8kts rounding the eastern point of Orcas.  More data is required, but if we continue to hit a knot per knot of apparent wind, this is an improvement over last seasons run up to Princess Louisa Inlet where we were doing 8-9kts in 12kts apparent.

Once again, San Juan winds proved to be sporty.  As we rounded the point, BAM, the wind smacked us in the face and the spinnaker collapsed.  So, stowed the spinnaker, raised the main and set the genoa for a beat up Rosario only to motor then motor sail etc.  Approaching the south end of Cypress Island, the winds became a steady SW 5 and we had a nice 5kt beat home.  Nice to be sailing!

We continued to be plagued by the battery alarm.  Ammeter showed 45amps into the LiFEPO4, descending as the batteries charged, with the engine start battery switched off.  Voltmeter showed 14volts.  Normally shows 14.2volts with the engine start battery connected.  When the LiFEPO4 batteries were fully charged, the alternator voltage dropped to 13.8 (as it should) and the amperage dropped to 2.5 (as it should).  The alternator appears to function properly.

Suspect a cell in the engine start battery might have failed.   Since the alternator is a stupid alternator, I have kept an engine start battery aboard to control the alternator.  Will need to experiment with this configuration....  Else, I wonder if the battery alarm has started to fail.

Saturday, 29June, 2013: Watmough Bay to Fox Cove, Sucia Island

Weather:  Warm and sunny!  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  Flat.

After a pleasant night in Watmough, we headed north in company with Steve and Janet of Flexible Flyer.  While glass like, it was unfortunately a droning motor trip. 

While they had been to Echo Bay in Sucia, they had not been to Fox Cove.  Being fairly small with cliffs surrounding and only 4 state park mooring buoys, Fox is an intimate anchorage compared to many on Sucia.  I understand it can be rough in there with a strong SW wind, but both times we were there, the winds cooperated and the nights were pleasant.

Kelly and I took a mooring buoy and Flex Flyer tied off during the day and then moved off to anchor for the night.  Apparently Steve had had a rough night with squeaking fenders.  Based on a comment by Steve, I modified our attachment to the buoy, rigging the harness to hold the buoy ridgedly between the ama and vaka.  This configuration was stable and kept the buoy off our hulls!

Whilst Steve and Janet paddled there inflatable kayaks around the cove, Kelly and I rowed Bug around, stopping ashore to register the mooring.  Very pleasant.  Fossil Bay was packed and most of the campsites were in use.

Gorgeous sunset after a shared dinner of italian sausages, mozzarella alla caprese with cookies for desert.  Regarding the sunset.  Last time we were in Fox Cove, we took one of the south moorings.  The sunset was blocked by Little Sucia Island to the west.  I sat there while another boat, in the north mooring, sat in their cockpit, drinking their wine, basking in the glow of the setting sun and announcing, "It don't get better than this!"  Lesson learned:  We took the north mooring and had a great sunset!

A Fox Cove Sunset.  Canada is under the clouds.

Love the reflection.

On a mechanical note, the battery alarm sounded, nearly continuously.  I isolated the engine start battery and the alarm quit.  Perhaps the engine start battery is going bad?  Alternator showed 14 volt, normal is 14.2, but plenty of amps going into the house batteries.

Replaced the block ball bearings on the starboard side.  Like all the others, the old ones were bad.  Kelly assisted and between us, we completed 4 in about 1/2 the time it took me to do 2 previously.

Friday, 28June, 2013: Skyline to Watmough Bay, SE Lopez Island

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable, somewhat NW.  Seas:  Flat.

My mentor Steve and his wife Janet aboard Flexible Flyer started their trip to Desolation Sound today.  Unfortunately for them the winds did not cooperate and they had a motor from their home port and put into Watmough for the night.

Expecting the above, Kelly and I had dropped the dogs off at the sitter's (affectionately called Aunt Nina's).  Steve and Janet have two cats aboard.  Last summer we hooked up and the dogs spent most of the day staring into their cabin at the cats.  The cats spent the night staring into our ports.  No aggression involved, just curiosity on their parts.  Since we did not know where we would end up and if public access to land would be available, we left the dogs.

After an hour motor, including an attempt to air out the spinnaker (too little wind and too northwesterly), we met up and rafted off.  Watmough is a nice place, surrounded by cliffs on most sides with a large sandy beach at the head.  It is open to the east and passing boat wakes do make it into the anchorage.  I would go back!

T'was great hooking up with Steve and Janet.  I picked their brains over many a subject, including how to go through the Ballard Locks.  We grilled chicken, had salad a pasta dish and fresh strawberries for desert!

Monday, 17June, 2013: The search for a Screacher.

I attempted to get a few bids for a new screacher to replace the shredded one on Memorial Day.

First went to UK Sails Anacortes and got a bid of $2774 plus tax for 2.5oz CZ30 cloth.

Second, went to Port Townsend Sails.  Email and talked with the lady there, but no bid was actually received.  This was ok as orders received at the time would have been filled in November...a little late.

On a tip from Phil aboard S/V Naga, a Privilege 37 catamaran, I contacted Rush Sails, the Neil Pride rep in the area.  From Phil, Scott Rush had a lot of multihull experience and recently had completed a set for Naga.  Scott immediately traveled to Skyline and measured and measured and measured and...get it?  Further, we talked a lot and I got a few tips!  Scott then went home and worked up a quote:  $2877 using LSP Pen 60.  Naturally, there was confusion regarding materials and Scott was very patient explaining:
"The LSP Pen 60 is basically a light genoa laminate material.  My thought in recommending this fabric is that here in the NW, you will want to use the screacher as a light air genoa. On the F-31's we have worked with, we used a 2:1 halyard and were able to use the screachers close hauled  to about 12 knots apparent, before luff sag caused the boat to point lower than with the genoa attached to the headstay. I think, given the area of the screacher on your boat, the LSP Pen 60 should be adequate. If you have the 2:1 halyard for the screacher and want to carry it in more than 12 knots apparent, then maybe we should look at the LSP Pen 90.
Quickly, the way of looking at the differences between polyester (dacron), Pentex, and Kevlar (aramid), is that polyester has a relative stretch of 100, Pentex is 250, and Kevlar is about 800. On the other side, Kevlar has bend / break flex issues, polyester and Pentex almost none at all . Kevlar is also susceptible to UV degradation, polyester and Pentex much less so.
The Dimension CZ 30 you were quoted, is designed for a Code Zero application, which is more of a close reaching sail and doesn't have the bias (45 deg.) strength that is needed for close hauled loading. The close hauled loading will cause the draft to move aft in the sail, thus the sail will develop less power and be more difficult to sail to.
Once you ease off to a reach, both materials will work well. I think that the LSP Pen 60 will have better tear strength than the CZ 30."
I asked where the sails were made, Philippines and China.  "Great," I said, "the land of not quite right and dubious."  Scott went to great lengths to explain how the shops were ISO 9000 certified and quality sails were being made.  This sail would probably be made in the PI.

I went with the Neil Pride/Rush Sails.  To be delivered 3-4weeks.  I told him we would probably be in South Sound.  He said no problem, he would deliver where ever we were.

Sunday, 9June, 2013: Fox Cove to Skyline

Weather:  Gray to sunny.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  <1ft.

Departed Fox Cove and continued our tour of Sucia.  Having seen Fossil Bay during our walk about, we skipped past the entrance and made for Echo Bay via the channel between North and South Finger Islands.  Echo Bay is huge compared to the rest of the anchorages around Sucia.  Reputed to have good holding, we know we could go there.  We exited via the channel on the south side of South Finger Island.  There were quite a few boats anchored in this channel.

Mostly a motor home.  Did pick up some SW wind in Rosario and beat home at 6kts.  Great fun watching a lot of boats motor while we sailed!

Saturday, 8June, 2013: Roche Harbor to Fox Cove, Sucia Island

Weather:  Grey to sunny.  Winds:  0.  Seas:  Flat.

Woke again to Kelly asking, "Where to today?"  Love that gal!

Wanted to explore, go someplace new.  Had heard nice things about Sucia, so lets go there.  If we don't find something interesting/available there, we can continue home.

It was a motor, out Roche, east out of Spieden, NE in President Channel to Sucia.  Had intended to motor around the island, looking into all the bays and coves, just to see what was there.  First looked into, but did not enter, Shallow bay and there were a lot of boats there.  Continued into the channel between Little Sucia and Sucia to Fox Cove.  Only 1 of 4 buoys occupied in this quiet little cove!  We took one and did not move on.

First time on a mooring ball for the dogs and they did not know what to make of it.  Their barks are probably still echoing off the cliffs there.  Our mooring harness had more drag than the boat did and the boat kept bumping up against buoy, setting the dogs off again.  So I rigged a drag anchor using a bucket and line.  Tossed it off the back and the slight current dragged us away from the buoy.

Whilst the cove was calm, from the mooring buoys inward, the current in the channel ripped.  A kayaker came by and told us this was a great place unless there was a SE wind and then it would get bad.  Probably why no one was there as we found Fossil Bay crowded when we walked the dogs.  Dinghy ashore was easy with a big, wide beach!

Sunset was behind Little Sucia.  The boat on the north buoy however, had a full view and kept commenting how beautiful it was as they sipped their wine.  North buoy noted.

Next morning, got the fly rod out and toured the cove in the dinghy.  No luck, but it was fun!  Got back to Strider, retrieved the dogs and walked them along the south side cliffs.  Someone had hung from a shore side tree, a wind chime made from driftwood, shells, stones and line found on the beach.  I wondered if Katya had been there.  Rounding the corner, outside the cove, someone had made a 4ft tall driftwood stick man.  Really:  Had Katya been there?

Friday, 7June, 2013: Fisherman Bay to Roche Harbor

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  S 20.  Seas:  2-3ft.

Woke this morning and Kelly asked, "Where to today?"  Small craft advisories and strong S winds and seas dictated a northerly transit:  Roche Harbor!  Motored out of Fisherman Bay at low tide, following the rules.  Apparently there is a rock near the exit on the west side of the channel as we struck something, popping the centerboard.  RT said he had come to a standstill one day hitting something there.

Once out, raised the genoa only and made 7.5kts on a nice sled ride.  Following seas are great!  Winds declined as we entered Spieden Channel and were zero as we motored into Roche.

Once again, on the dock (this place is expensive) but since it was one of the first excursions of the year and we had the dogs, on the dock was ok.  Backed into the slip, misjudging the turn a tad early and narrowly missing a stern/dock kiss as the chicklet on the dock nudged Strider out.

While not a favorite place, Roche Harbor is nice.  Dog walking is easy with a lot of things to see.  Chandlery there is not expensive (Power Stove $20 less than at Fisherman Bay).

Thursday, 6June, 2013: Friday Harbor to Fisherman Bay

Weather:  Sunny and mild.  Winds:  SW 10-15.  Waves:  1-2ft.

A short jaunt across San Juan Channel to Fisherman Bay so we motored deeming the effort to raise sails not worth it.  Entry through the channel was uneventful, though tight.  Thought to anchor out, but the bay is chock full of mooring buoys not allowing much swing room.  Further, the winds were gusting strongly through the bay.  Decided to use the dock at Island Marine Center.  End tie so we did not fold.

Walked the dogs the mile into Lopez Village and grabbed some ice cream.  Had my M hat on and the proprietor of the Bay Cafe asked if we had brought in the trimaran flying the M flag!  Turns out his wife attended another B1G school and noticed the flag on our way in!  Met quite a few people from a week long tour based out of Friday Harbor on a day trip to Lopez.  Previously they had been to Orcas.

Used the good showers at IMC.  Walking the dogs in the evening was interesting as there were a lot of rabbits getting the dog's attention.  Purchased a Power Stove, 65,000 btu stainless steel propane burner at the IMC store.  Found the same burner for $20 less at Roche the next day....

This was an OK place overall.  I understand it is a zoo during the summer weekends.  Don't think I'd go back there though, all the mooring buoys create a problem.  What I don't understand is a private mooring buoy in public water.  Can an unoccupied buoy be used?

Wednesday, 5June, 2023: Skyline to Friday Harbor

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Variable.  Seas:  <1ft.

Typical San Juan sailing, sailed when able, motored when we had to.  Thatcher Pass to Upright Channel and across San Juan Channel to Friday Harbor.  Had winds across Rosario and made 6kts on the main and genoa.  No winds after until Upright Channel.  15kts up the channel and we tacked SW making 7.5kts.  Winds died as we crossed San Juan Channel and we motored to Friday Harbor.

Brought the dogs with us this time.  Enjoyed walking them around town.  Visited one of Kelly's favorite stores, the Pelindaba Lavender Farms store in Friday Harbor.  Lavender shortbread cookies!

Monday, 27May, 2013: Poulsbo to Skyline

Weather:  Overcast and cool.  Winds:  Calm to SE 25.  Seas:  <1ft.

Interesting day and interesting with all its connotations.

Started calm, with the tide and a boring motor making 7-8kts with a 2-3kt current.  An uneventful ride to Port Townsend then a SE (off shore) wind started to pick up.  The main and centerboard were already up so the screacher was unfurled.  Broad reach turned beam reach by boat speed.





30min later, 9kts by Point Partridge.

10kts and still increasing.  With no reefs in the main, decided to bring the screacher down in favor of the genoa.  Made a mistake....  Should have blanketed the screacher with the genoa before attempting to furl.  The stress was too much and the sail shredded along a couple seams.  Damn and a lot of noise!  The genoa was unfurled (too late for the screacher).  Kelly took the helm and turned us more into the wind.  I went forward and managed to stuff the wreckage into a hatch.  All the while making 8kts, depowered, in a close reach!  Since it was an off shore wind, the wind waves were only about 6in!

Once again at the helm, we made for home, quickly accelerating.




We entered Burrows Bay at a sustained 14kts, full main and genoa!  We had previously had momentary excursions to 15kts and have sustained 12kts for 10min or so.  Off Harrisville, MI, we sustained 11kts for a couple hours.  But this was new and we were moving!  Spray was flying off the downwind port ama, to the point I could not see it at times!  All the while, the ama bow was only down about half way - no problem!  It was fun doing speed/distance/time calculations and realizing we would be home lickity split!  Can you tell I'm still excited?

NAS Whidbey flew by (pun intended).  Deception Pass disappeared (historical reference intended).  14kts boat speed GPS, 20kts apparent wind speed in a beam reach.  25kts actual wind was a broad reach.  Perfect!  Finally got a chance to see our planing wake!

Once in Burrows Bay, we tucked in behind the east side cliffs and dropped the main in the lee and sailed under the genoa only to the marina entrance where we furled and motored in.  Winds inside were moderated and mooring was uneventful.

What a ride!

Aftermath:  Took the screacher to a local maker and it was pronounced DOA.  The seams could have been repaired, but there was a lot of delamination, the polyester had stretched causing the mylar to delaminate.  "I like to use this sail a lot."  "I know," he said, "your signature is all over it."  Got a bid from him.

Lesson Learned:  Blanket the screacher or spinnaker with the genoa.

23-27May2013: Poulsbo!

Weather:  Mostly cool with sun breaks.

For the second straight Memorial Weekend, hooked up with RT, Merry Margret and Emma in Poulsbo!  This is a good rendezvous spot for us, about 5hrs for him, but a bit longer for us.  Since they are constrained by girl-in-school and girl-on-swim-team (Emma's Indian names), we give them the shorter distance.  Weather this year was not as nice as last, but still a wonderful place to be.

Brought the dogs with us this time.  The knuckleheads like to awaken at sunrise and it is early this time of year.  Fortunately, Sluys Bakery is open early and I could get a tasty treat while walking them (Viking Cup)!

Did not go out to dinner this time, but extensively tested RT's new grill (worked great).  Did a bunch of newly discovered boat maintenance.  Found many of the plastic bearing in the blocks had deteriorated when the main halyard block was discovered to busted and it was swapped out with a lesser used block off the preventer.

Got hauled up the mast to lube and apply di-electric grease to the wind instruments and VHF antenna.

Thursday, 23May2013: Skyline to Poulsbo

Weather:  Overcast and cool.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  <1ft.

1300 departure with enough west wind to make 7kts initially under genoa and main.  Approaching Admiralty Inlet, winds died and we managed to stay under the convergence zone all the way to Poulsbo.  A motoring day.  Kept getting strong south wind reports from RT throughout the day as he had a great sled ride to Poulsbo, "Strong winds in Liberty Bay."  Until we arrived.  Granted, docking was easy, but a boring motor.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Friday, 19April2013: Anacortes to Skyline

Weather:  Sunny and cool.  Winds:  SE 5-10.  Seas:  <1ft.

April weather slowed the bottom job, but Strider was finally released!  While in the yard, the lower end of the centerboard was sanded narrower and the centerboard now fully retracts.  In the past, it would retract leaving about 6in below the hull.  More than once, we had retracted it too far and it stuck.  Sometimes it was colorful removing the salon table (20 screws) to force the centerboard down.  No more!

Amongst the tasks accomplished during the layup was correcting after finding the reef lines were not routed properly inside the mast - this was after I had pulled the 1st reef line out accidentally.  Whilst trying to re-rig it, the line entered the mast via a block in vicinity of the boom, but then where?  Straight to the deck did not appear correct as the line rubbed the mast fitting.  There is a stainless steel plate riveted to the front side of the mast, directly forward of the entry block.  Could there be another set of blocks here?  Sure enough!  I monkeyed around with various techniques to thread the line through the forward block and did...but something did not feel right.  After screwing around some more, I finally drilled out the rivets and pulled the block set out.  I had accomplished the first reef threading, but through the starboard block and not the port block as it should have been.  Starboard belonged to the second reef line, but no line!  It entered the mast and went straight to the deck, bypassing the forward block and chaffing in too many places.  I rerouted both lines, lubed the blocks and re-riveted the forward block using aluminum rivets vice the original stainless.  There appeared to be galvanic corrosion between the mast and the original rivets so I used aluminum rivets figuring it was easier to replace aluminum rivets corroded by the stainless block plate than a mast corroded by stainless rivets.

Results?  Reefing had never been easy, too much binding/effort.  Now?  None!  Very easy to reef!

Motored out of the Anacortes Marina, encountering a couple kayakers, a couple harbor seals resting on the breakwater and a powerboat coming up our stern.  Once out in Fidalgo Bay, raised main and genoa and had a nice sail out of the bay into Guemas Channel and a port beam reach.  Wind died around Washington Park and we motored home.

Nice day on the water with Kelly!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sunday, 24March, 2013: Skyline to Anacortes

Weather:  Sunny and cool.  Winds:  Light and variable (NW-ish).  Seas:  Calm.

Delivery of Strider to Marine Servicenter for a bottom job.

Richard, a Brit dock neighbor, had just returned from wintering (summering) in Australia and wanted to get out on the water.  The two of us hopped aboard Strider and got underway, sailing initially under main and genoa.  After chasing the wind for 1.5hrs, we gave up around the Anacortes Ferry landing and motored to Fidalgo Bay where the wind picked up again!  Then sailed to the entrance of the Anacortes Marina.

Entry in was uneventful and we tied off at MSC's fuel dock in anticipation of a lift on Monday.  Jude, Richard's Aussie wife, picked us up and delivered us back to Skyline.  G'day!

Winter 2012-2013: Projects: Bottom Paint

Really wasn't much after the big upgrades last winter.

The electronics are just fine.

The sails are just fine.

The batteries, solar etc upgrades are doing great!  I hook up to shore power in the winter only to run a 115v space heater to keep the moisture/condensation down.

The waste hoses concerned me.  RT has had several masserator pump failures, the combo salt/waste corrodes the stainless steel pump head bolts.  Further, the Dragonfly is reputed to have problems with the holding tank rotting.  To date, the holding tank flexes (whomp sound) when pumped so it is still solid.  The hoses are also original, but of high quality.  Further, Strider was in fresh water and Fred hardly ever used the head (easy to see why and hence the upgrade last winter).  I pulled one of the hoses and found it to still be in great shape.  I did replace it with a 1.5in PVC hose - which actually fits better than the original.

Interior is in great shape - just need to keep it clean, wood oiled and leather treated.

Exterior always needs polishing.  Found Flitz works great!

Replaced the ratty main and genoa sheets, genoa traveler lines.  Also got a bottom job.

Strider had Interlux VC17 on her when purchased.  The previous owner put her on the hard every winter and added a coat of VC17 in the spring prior to launch.  During our travels last summer, I noticed some of the paint was flaking off, exposing paint layers underneath.  Too many layers!  Further, algae beards grew very quickly in the marina, 2-3ft in a couple weeks!  VC17 is a slick racing paint, but does not handle long term exposure to salt water.  Made for fresh water....

It was difficult combing through all the product literature and culling the unacceptable.  Interlux or Pettit?  Micron CF W/Biolux/Econea or Trinidad SR.  Liked the colors available with the Micron, but decided on the Trinidad SR.

From the product info:

"Trinidad SR is a hard, protective paint that yields the most durable finish for long-lasting performance that still allows for easy burnishing. It can be applied over most hard antifouling coatings. Be sure to remove old, soft antifouling paint before applying to any surface. Excellent adhesion to fiberglass, wood and steel hulls, but do not use on aluminum.
Trinidad SR is the standard by which all bottom paints are measured. It remains the longest lasting, strongest antifouling paint available. Utilizing the dual biocide combination of a high copper load and slime resistant Irgarol, Trinidad SR provides unprecedented resistance to all fouling. Its hard protective coating has excellent adhesion, and withstands the toughest abuse. Left in the water, it will provide years of dependable service. So effective it earned Practical Sailor’s "Gear of the Year" honors twice."
 Red, Black, Green (yah, right):  Blue (lightish, but could work...)

Skip at Marine Servicenter was very patient and helpful!

The Day After Early November, 2012: Friday Harbor to Skyline

Weather:  Overcast, rain and cold.  Wind:  Occasionally S.  Seas:  <2ft.

Last sail of the year!

Motored out of the marina and headed south through Cattle Pass.  Once into the Strait of Juan De Fuca, we sailed a bit, but mostly motored all the way home.  Disappointing.

Still, the new enclosure was great!  Put the t-top on the windward side and stayed dry and warm inside!

Topped off the fuel at Skyline and put her to bed for the winter...sniff.

Early November, 2012: Skyline to Friday Harbor

Weather:  Overcast and cool.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  Calm.

Sorry, not sure of the date....

Joe, now living in Alaska, came into town and I offered to take him out to San Juan Island so he could visit his siblings.  Predicted weather was to be rough:  Winds SE 20-25 with 2-3ft seas and rain.  Definitely out of my comfort zone and therefore, a challenge!  Kelly would not like it, but Joe would.

The weather did not materialize and we timed our entry through Cattle Pass at slack.  Something I did not know is Steller sea lions winter over in the San Juans and Cattle Pass is crowded with them, lounging on the rocks on the Whale and Mummy Rocks on the east side.

Motoring through the Pass, we were trailed by a sea lion for about 10min, about 15ft behind us.  I noticed him, I'm guessing a him as it was HUGE, when I kept hearing an exhalation.  I finally looked back and saw this brute.  He continued to follow us.  I wondered why.  Joe stated it might be because we almost ran over him.  Joe had seen him off the bow, but did not alter course.  I would not have also.  Could it have pissed it off?  After 10min, he had apparently had enough and departed after an awesome display.  Once again, this is a huge animal and only 15ft behind us.  As we watch, he submerged and then leapt completely out of the water, made a smooth entry back into the water and then immediately leapt back out of the water and another smooth entry and then we did not see it any more.  Really, really cool.

Friday Harbor was nearly empty and we did not need to fold for a slip.  Apparently we impress some other boaters in the marina with Strider's maneuverability, one asked if we had twin engines!

That evening, Joe and I had dinner at his sister's with one of his brothers.  After, I was dropped off at the boat while he went to his brother's for the night.  I had a pleasant night on the boat!

Mid October, 2012: Attempt to Sucia

Weather:  Scattered clouds and cool.  Winds:  NW 15-20kts.  Waves:  2-3ft.

Not sure of the date.

Attempted to go to Sucia Island and would have made it but for an equipment failure, more like a failure on my part to ensure all the equipment was ready.

Exiting Skyline, sailed west under main and genoa to Rosario Strait and then north between Blakely and Cypress Islands at 6kts.  Winds and waves at this point were comfortable enough not to have a reef in.  Rounding Lawrence Point, the east end of Orcas, the full brunt of the wind and waves hit.  Put a reef in the main and genoa and made 8kts.

Just west of Barnes Island, there was a CRACK...from starboard, the windward side.  Nothing seemed out of place, but things just don't go CRACK.  I kept looking, particularly with these strong winds, there was a lot of stress on the rig.  Finally found the source:  The captive pin on a D shackle had released.  This was the lowest shackle, holding the running backstay tensioner to the ama.  The shackle was bent wide open, the pin was still there, holding onto the block.  The other end of the shackle was jammed into the ama fitting.

All seemed stable.  If it failed completely, the rig would not go over the side as the tensioner was only the tensioner, the rest of the stainless backstay was in place.  Sure, the rig would list badly, but not fall over.  Still, a lot of pressure on that side.  Motoring to Sucia, in these winds and waves, would have been insane.  Still plenty of daylight.  No spare.  What would tomorrow be like?  So, with Sucia in sight, we did a 180 and headed home.  A much nicer ride downwind!

Back in Rosario, between Blakely and Cypress Islands, the wind died and we motored the rest of the way home.  Even though a motor, the weather was great and the sun shown to the west.  Very pleasant, with auto engaged, sitting up on the bow, enjoying the moments with Kelly!

Lesson Learned:  Safety wire all the captive pins and shackles.

Friday, 7September, 2012: Daysail/Fishing

Weather:  Sunny and Warm.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  Calm

OK, mostly a motor, but did a little sailing to West Beach off the NW corner of Whidbey Island.  Anchored off and did some fishing...not catching.  Did see one other boat there and it did bring in one salmon, but that was it.  The water was clear and I could see a couple small sole chasing the lure.

After an hour, pulled the anchor and motored around, trying to hit the current interfaces.  Still nothing.

Inside Deception Pass, vicinity of the bridge, was crowded with boats.  After another hour outside, we moved inside and anchored.  The shore was crowded.  Cast the line towards shore but there was no action seen anywhere.  Still, it was a gorgeous day and after a bit, I did some maintenance, awaiting the fish.  Still no action and after a couple hours, we headed home.

We caused a bit of a stir on the shore upon arrival as a trimaran is not a normal fishing boat.  Then the dogs came up and played on the nets.  The kids ashore loved it!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Friday, 14September, 2012: Victoria to Skyline

Weather:  Sunny and mild.  Winds:  NW 10.  Seas:  <1ft.

Mid-morning departure, motoring out of the marina, squeezing between a couple boats moored behind us.  Fortunately, it was calm and departure was easy.  Exiting Victoria Harbor, we could sail!

One of the problems going to Canada is clearing customs on the way back (same for going into Canada...where to clear?).  Entry into the US is at 3 locations, Roche Harbor, Friday Harbor or Anacortes:  All are out of the way for a Victoria to Skyline run.  The Anacortes entry is on the east side of town, where the primary marinas are located and way out of the way for us.  Friday Harbor is also out of the way, less than Anacortes, but getting there means going through Cattle Pass, a pass where there be dragons if the transit timing is not at slack tide.

So, the only real option is Roche Harbor and our route home was determined by this.  So, east along the Brotchie Ridge, to the south of Trial Island, to the east of Brodie Rock and Chain Islets in the Hacate and Plumper Passages, then NE into the Haro Strait via Baynes Channel.  All under sail except for a brief period in vicinity of the west end of Baynes Channel when we needed to motor.

In the Haro, sailed NNE, making 6kts to Mosquito Pass and then had to motor into the customs dock.  Briefly considered folding, but realized there probably was not much traffic so stayed spread.  With no one at the customs dock, clearance in was easy.  Friendly and chatty ICBP official was nice!

Motored most of the way towards home via Spieden Channel, across San Juan Channel to North Passage, through Pole Pass, Harney Channel and into Rosario via Thatcher Pass.  There was wind in Rosario and we sailed home at 6.5kts!

11-13September, 2012: Victoria

Weather:  Sunny and warm.

Moored at the Causeway Floats.  I don't think I can express this experience well enough!  Kelly and I live in the country, so going to a city is a treat.  Our moorage was at the Causeway, directly in front of the Empress Hotel.  To our right, was the Parliament Building.  Government Street, up the steps from the waterfront walkway, is the heart of the tourist district and has many shops and restaurants.

The weather could not have been better.  Sunny and warm!  Being September and mid week, most of the tourists were gone, leaving only 7 other boats at the marina.

Strider in port Victoria

Dinner the first night was at a fish and chips place (Red Fish Blue Fish) discovered while waiting on the customs dock.  It was right there, essentially a shack perched on the adjacent pier!  Further, there was a long line and people were sitting along the pier's rail eating.  Our wait in line was about 30min but worth it.

The days were spent wandering around this fine city, gathering Christmas gifts in the various shops.  Had lunch at a Scottish Pub.  Kelly liked the Saltspring Island Heather Ale so much we had to find a retail outlet!

There were a lot of street performers, usually up on Government Street during the day, but they would migrate down to the waterfront in the late afternoon.  Indian art (First Nation in Canada) was displayed and sold on the waterfront in the vicinity of Parliament.  Float plane and ferry traffic were common during daylight hours.

Essentially, the Causeway is center stage and a great show was seen!  Wonderful city.

Tuesday, 11September, 2012: Skyline to Victoria, BC

Weather:  Sunny and mild.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  Calm

Late morning departure, hopping into the ebb tide, it was an uneventful, mostly motor over to Victoria.  After difficulty finding the Customs dock, then waiting about 30min for clearance in, we moored at the Causeway, right in front of the Empress Hotel.

Sunday, 26August, 2012: Daysail

Weather:  Sunny and cool.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  Calm.

Daysail with our neighbors, Bill and Kathy, in Burrows Bay.  Basically a picnic on the water and a bit of sailing thrown in.  Good time just being on the water was had by all!

Saturday, 25August2012: Daysail

Weather:  Sunny and mild.  Winds:  Light.  Seas:  Calm.

Went for a daysail with Joe in Burrows Bay.  Light winds did not make for an exciting day, but there was a monohull out and about to provide comparisons.  Light boat with a lot of sail made for an interesting comparison between Strider and the monohull as Strider walked away from the 'competition'.  Joe commented, "While not exciting, it is impressive."

Friday, 17August, 2012: Hunter Bay to Skyline

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Calm.  Seas:  Calm.

After a leisurely breakfast and pleasant morning, we motored the 6nm home.  Arrival was uneventful and we spent the rest of the day cleaning, a pump out and off loading things to go home.


This was a great trip.  Saw a lot of new things, experienced some new things and found places we would go back to.

Princess Louisa Inlet:  Not yearly, but every 3-5yrs
Tenedos Bay:  Should be yearly
False Creek, Vancouver:  Should be yearly

Lots of anchorages left to explore!  Throughout the San Juans and the Gulf Islands.

Solar, LED, freezer and batteries were awesome!  Might want a water maker.  Strider only holds about 35gal, enough for drinking and final rinsing of dishes (sea water to wash the dishes).  We made do by conserving and then augmenting non-potable water from creeks/waterfalls etc for showers, dish washing etc.  It worked out, but for longer periods from a marina, a water maker would free us up.

Thursday, 16August, 2012: Roche to Hunter Bay

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Calm.  Seas:  Calm.


Departed in company with Captain's Mast.  Our route took us south through Mosquito Pass where we hopped into the ebb tide.  While we turned east at Eagle Point, SW San Juan Island, RT kept southbound.  Ta ta Captain's Mast!

Kelly and I had been given a crabbing tip and wanted to check out Hunter Bay, the place we had hooked up with Steve and Janet last spring.  Motoring in, we dropped a trap off Crab Island (where else?) and dropped the hook off of the public landing.  Going further into the bay would have been have been quieter, less traffic from the landing, but it would have been a long row to check the pot.

Spent the day lounging, relaxing and napping!  Towards evening, retrieved the trap and had 3 keeper dungeness!  Cleaned them on the back patio and had crab for dinner!

Very quiet night on the hook.  One boat entertained us for a while after sunset, just a lot of carousing.  While sound travels well over water, they were well enough away and fortunately, shut down before too long.

14-16August, 2012: Roche Harbor, WA

Weather:  Sunny and hot.

The pool was welcome!  So were the shrimp purchased at the head of the dock and the ice cream in the booths near the store!  This was our last stop in company with Captain's Mast.  A good time was had!

Tuesday, 14August, 2012: Poet's Cove to Roche Harbor

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light.  Seas:  Calm.

Mostly a slow motor for the 10-sh nautical miles.

Since we were getting a slip in the marina, folded the amas upon arrival.  Folding also made sense with the expected traffic at the customs and immigration dock.

Had heard some horror stories about clearing customs at Roche.  Huge traffic jams, boats barging in and unhappy customs officials.  RT was just clearing customs as we arrived.  After a bit of radio chit chat, we were the 5th boat in line.  While the line remained orderly, we hovered about and 30min later, a spot opened for us and we slipped right in.

I always get a kick out of the official's question about what I do for work.  "Retired."  "You are too young for retirement!  What did you do?"  "Navy!"

Turns out this CIBP official started out as a marine and then retired from the army.  Nice guy and a nice chat!

Motor to our slip was uneventful!

12-13August, 2012: Poet's Cove Marina/Resort

Weather:  Sunny and hot.

Poet's Cove is a nice place.  Not our favorite place, but a nice place.  Restaurant, pool, dog walk area, spa and things boaters appreciate:  Recycling and showers!  Seems to be a place where city folk (tongue in cheek) can come and experience nature and the outdoors in a spa setting.

On hot days like these were, the pool is welcome!

Sunday, 12August, 2012: Vancouver to Bedwell Harbor, South Pender Island

Weather:  Sunny and mild.  Winds:  NW 15-20 slacking to 10.  Seas:  2-3ft then calm.

Great fun and a blasting day!

Departed False Creek during a calm sunrise, casting lines off of Captain's Mast before anyone else but RT was up and about.  Except for us, False Creek and environs were dead!  Uneventful motor into English Bay and raised the main and unfurled the genoa.  NW winds started to pick up and attempting to sail put us on a heading towards West Point and the ship anchorages...kept motoring.

Finally, got out far enough to set a proper tack and avoid land and made 8kts while pointing.  As we cleared West Point, I wanted to fall off south, onto a course towards the eastern point of Saturna Island.  The shallows off of West Point and south (Spanish Bank, Sturgeon Bank and Roberts Bank) had an impact on this desire.  These banks are a steep rise out or Georgia Strait, the water depth changes abruptly from 100ft plus to 24ft or less in about 100ft horizontal distance.  This causes the calmer water in the deeper water to suddenly become nasty and choppy.  So, the 2-3ft waves in the deep water became 3-4ft chop in the shallow.  We continued west, seemingly forever, to get around Sturgeon Bank.  Throw in an entire tree deadhead, root and all, to avoid and it was an exciting time!

Still, as the westerly course took us into deeper water and we could turn downwind more, into a beam reach, we got into a rhythm with the wind and waves and hit a couple sweet spots, where the gusts and calmer water coincided and we had a brief period of 11.5kts and another at 12.3!  We were smokin'!

There is an old saying, if there are two sailboats, there is a race.  RT and I are both competitive and we are no exception.  Normally, RT is first to our next stop, he motors a lot while Kelly and I try to sail.  This works well most of the time as RT is anchored and has prepped our floating dock by the time we arrive!  Today, I understand the conversation aboard C-Mast was something along the line of:

MM:  "Are we going to catch them?"
RT:  "Nope.  Strider was made for this."  RT swears he saw daylight under our hull at one point!

Once out into Georgia Strait, the calmer water was expected on the lee of Gulf Islands so we headed SW towards Galiano Island.  Furled the genoa and brought out the screacher:  Broad reach and following seas, can't get better!  Made a comfortable 10kts.

Once in the calmer water in the lee of Galiano Island, turned SE in a downwind run.  While not our favorite tack as running with the wind limits our speed...well, to less the wind's speed.  Brought the genoa out for a wing on wing double headsail configuration.  Main and screacher were downwind to port while the genoa was upwind to starboard funneling air into the screacher.  Winds were now about 10kts and we made 7kts.

Our course took us east of the Rosenfeld Rock Buoy (the smart side) and we had a really interesting experience crossing Boiling Reef.  This is an area of colliding currents, incoming and outgoing tides.  When we crossed, in 24ft of water, it was calm.  But the following 6in waves gave the impression we were in 1ft of water, like the break on a shore.  Eerie.  Kept checking the charts.  RT crossed the same spot 30min later and was bashed around in 3ft chop!

On the south side of Saturna Island, the winds gradually died.  Head sails were furled, but I stubbornly held onto the main.  We motored.  We picked up winds out of Plumper Sound.  Out came the screacher and we were making 10kts in a beam reach and calm water.  Several monohulls were passed, one close aboard...motoring.  Sometimes I just don't get it.  Conditions were great, why motor?  The helmsman on the motoring boat did watch as we flew by.  I was grinning big!

We sailed into Bedwell, exchanging the screacher for the genoa as it was a beat.  After several tacks, we dropped sail upon approach, brought in the amas and motored into our awaiting slip.

All in all, a great day of sailing!  Vancouver to Bedwell in about 7 hours.  One of the thing I like about sailing is there is always something to do: adjust the heading or a sail, consider the changing conditions, ensure the route is safe, check traffic, etc.  Today, winds, currents, waves and islands kept us on our toes.  I was asked about relaxing.  Relaxing is taken when conditions warrant.  This day, I relaxed a bit on the broad reach to Galiano Island.  Relaxed even more on the downwind to Rosenfeld Rock.  But relaxing doesn't mean not paying attention!  Always pay attention....  But mostly, relaxing is with a beer at the destination!

Monday, October 7, 2013

10-11August, 2012: False Creek, Vancouver, BC

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Nice cooling breeze.  Seas:  Nil.

RT had picked another great spot.  This time on the north side of False Creek, about a 15min row to the Grandville Island Market to the west and about a 3min row to the landing at the David Lam Park.

Whilst I enjoyed the solitude previously experienced, Kelly and I live in the country.  Going to the big city is a treat and Vancouver is a world class city.  High rise apartments cover the north side of False Creek, but there is a large pedestrian/bicycle thoroughfare between the apartments and the creek that was constantly in use.  To the south was a large park.  Just to the NE was another park.  Further east was the Science Center.  All was great for people watching.

Further, being the weekend, there were a lot of boats on the creek.  Dragon boat practice in the morning.  Kayakers and paddle boarders all day.  Party barges towards evening.  Patrolling the creek were the see and be seen boats.  And, of course, the ubiquitous water taxis.

Grandville Market was great, kind of like Pikes Place in Seattle, but with a more relaxed, less crowded feel.  Kelly found a great jewelry shop!  We did little food shopping since we were returning to the US and did not want to have to throw out food we could not bring back.

It was fun just to stroll around.  Trash talked with a ND alumnus, sitting with his brother, a MSU alumnus.  Met a family about to send their daughter off to UM Engineering!  Strolled with Kelly through the market and along the waterfront and the park.  Did not go out to dinner like I would have liked because we still had food to use up prior to our US arrival.

Like Princess Louisa and Tenedos, I will come back here.

Friday, 10August, 2012: Bowen Island to False Creek, Vancouver

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  N 10.  Seas:  <1ft.

Easy run to False Creek.  Once into Howe Sound, raised main and screacher and sailed right up to the entrance!  Dropped the sails and motored in, stopping to fuel under the Burrard Street Bridge.  Fueled, headed under the Granville Street Bridge into False Creek.

C-Mast was waiting and it was an uneventful rafting.  Check in at the Boating Welcome Centre was painless.

Thursday, 9August, 2012: Pender Harbor to Snug Cove, Bowen Island

Weather:  Sunny and mild.  Winds:  N 0-5, calm then 15.  Seas:  <1ft.

Uneventful departure from The Pilot House Marina and out of Pender Harbor.  Once outside, attempted to use the spinnaker, but gave it up after a bit in favor of the engine, for most of the day.  Approaching Schelt, the winds started to pick up.  I could see C-Mast and her spinnaker way off, up ahead (the motoring bastard!).  At this point, ours was packed away so I went with double headsails, screacher on the downwind side and the more easily handled genoa upwind, funneling air into the screacher.  Rounding the SW corner of Bowen, we gybed, bringing in the genoa and riding the rest of the way on the main and screacher, making 8kts in the gusts.

The entrance to Snug Cove was a bit congested with sailboats and a loading ferry was a concern.  We pushed our way through to the Union Steamship Company Marina.  Once again, C-Mast was only 45min ahead of us!  RT had arranged for end ties so we did not have to fold!

Kelly and MM went up onto the grounds proper and did some shopping.  Other than a small shop and restaurant, I have no idea what is there...I just kind of kicked back!

Wednesday, 8August, 2012: Smuggler's Cove to Pilot House Marina, Pender Harbor

Weather:  Stormy to sunny.  Winds:  SE 15-20.  Seas:  >3ft.

Now missing the ama support strut, I rigged a line from the bow cleat to the outside end of the aka.  Pulled it as tight as I could.  Best I can hope for....

Original plan was to head south to Bowen Island.  Departed Smuggler's moments before C-mast and headed south in the lee of South Thormanby Island.  Raised main and genoa, both with single reef.

RT dropped back, maneuvering around outside the entrance to Smuggler's and appeared to be too close to the rocks.  Turns out he was and abandoned the attempt to recover Emma's minnow net.  He attempted to raise sail, but had a lot of trouble as MM could not hold the wind on the bow.

Meanwhile, we made 7kts on an east tack into Halfmoon Bay, felt completely in control, but the ride was rough.  Could we do 6hrs of this?  Probably, but why?  Called RT on the VHF and told him we were turning around.  After the above, he was ready also.

About 5 minutes after the about face, RT called, "Wanna go to Pender Harbor?"  "Sure!"  Turns out MM was not ready for another night on the hook in Smuggler's and so she played cruise director and called all the Pender marinas looking for space.  Only The Pilot House had space.  Very nice downwind run.  Furled the genoa and brought out the screacher, but left the reef in the main.  Made 8kts and closed the gap on C-mast.

Pender Harbor was interesting, definitely had the feel of a working port.  Once in the marina, met an older gentleman who had spent 20yrs building a beautiful Norwegian sailing fishing boat in a barn.  "20yrs?" I asked.  He stated it kept him out of the bars wasting his money on booze!

This same gentleman came up with a screw for RT to repair a sail bag fitting that had popped while raising the main earlier in the day!

Easy walk to the ice cream shop, our first since Nanaimo!  By the way, the ama anti fold line mentioned initially worked!

Tuesday, 7August, 2012: Lund to Smuggler's Cove

Weather:  Sunny becoming Thunderstorms.  Winds:  N 0-5 becoming SW20.  Seas:  Calm to 2ft.

The day held a mix for us!  Uneventful departure from Lund.  Initial winds were N and attempted to fly the spinnaker.  Ended up motoring past Powell River and into Malaspina Strait.  Then the winds picked up and we sailed.  Unfortunately, the winds were on the bow and we beat.  We made good speed, sailing 8-9kts with 6kts VMG.

About 3nm from our destination, the water began to get rough, we tacked to the west and something on our starboard side went CRACK.  We were sailing along just fine and did not see anything obvious.  We continued on.  The winds suddenly slacked and died.  We dropped the sails, fired up the engine and turned south towards Smugglers.  Then, right overhead, lightening like I'd never seen.  A flash in the cloud, then sparks falling like a fireworks display and then a shot of lightening, in the cloud headed east.  Wind died?  Lightening overhead?  The storm was directly over us.  We bumped up the trottle.

The entrance to Smuggler's is interesting.  From outside, only big rocks are visible.  Is there really and entrance there?  Closer, I think I see and entrance.  Closer.  Going between a couple big boulders, dogleg to the left and then a channel.  Bay opens to the left, lots of boats, but no RT.  Continue on to the right, past more boats and shallow areas.  Another dogleg channel and another bay and there is C-Mast, far end, stern against the shore.  There is a small opening between him and the next boat to his port.  Going to be tricky, limited space and gusts.  Strider prop walks to port.  Crossing C-Mast's bow and nearly beak to beak with the other boat, I slow Strider and swing the helm to starboard and drop it into reverse idle.  Strider pivots beautifully.  Increase reverse, gain momentum, Strider completes the pivot and backs down right into place beside C-Mast!  Beautiful!

Moving around between the boats, prepping for dinner, I noticed something odd on the starboard side.  It took a moment to figure it out.  The support strut to prevent the ama from folding was missing!  Must have been that loud CRACK we heard earlier.  I found the inboard piece of the fitting broken off in its attach point on the vaka.  I must released the outboard end of the strut when I adjusted it to prevent it rattling/vibrating while we motored.  The rough waves must have shaken it loose and when the end hit the water, it pulled aft, breaking the inboard end off with a CRACK.

Stormy, nasty night, but we were safe and sound.

Monday, 6August, 2012: Tenedos Bay to Lund

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  NW10 dropping to O.  Seas:  <1ft

I hated to leave, but RT had an end date to his vacation....

Mostly a motor day, attempted to sail a couple times, a beat to just beyond Sarah Point and then once more around the SW corner of the Copeland Islands.  Motored into Lund and rafted off C-Mast on the dock.  Dock dude was very helpful and but was concerned for Strider as the marina gets busy, a lot of times with inexperienced charter boats, and how exposed Strider could become a crash barrier.  No worries for this night!

Lund was interesting for the soap stone seal head sculptures in the Tug-Ghum art shop behind the general store.  Nancy's Bakery has nearly a cult following, but we found it just OK.  Something different, but not worth a stop on its own.  What it has going for it is it is the only place for miles.

3-6 August, 2012: Tenedos Bay

Weather:  Sunny and hot!  Water Temp:  72

If you have read the Princess Louisa write-up, you know how special I thought the place was.  Tenedos Bay is also, just in a different way.

First:  It is more popular and frequented.  There were probably 12 boats within spitting distance and close to 50 within a mile.  Not crowded, just busy.

Second:  72 degree water temp, right off the boat!

Third:  Unwin Lake, a large fresh water lake a short dinghy ride and short hike way.  Water temp there was also around 72F!

Fourth:  A creek out flowing from Unwin with pools and waterfalls.  Great for shower!  The first time I took Kelly, MM and Emma there, I felt like I had stumbled upon a sorority pillow fight.  Laughing, giggling and general carousing!  Great fun watching this!

Fifth:  RT picked a great spot.  Sun around 0800 and then it disappeared behind the cliff and trees off our stern about 1600, relieving us of much of the afternoon heat.

Sixth:  Lazy days.  Wake up, breakfast, perhaps a boat chore.  Jump into the water as the day heated up.  Lunch.  Dinghy to Unwin Lake and swim in the clear, fresh water.  Go back to the boat for a read and/or beverage.  Jump into the water again.  Dinner.  Dinghy back to Unwin for a bath/shower in the creek.  Back to the boat for an evening toddy.  Bed.

Some interesting bits.  There were 3 large (70ft+) power boats moored near us.  One morning they dropped a mooring buoy off their bow.  What's going on?  Soon a float plane, painted crimson and grey with the WSU logo painted on the tail, landed and taxied over to the float and tied off.  As soon as the engine was off and the propellor stopped turning, two pre-teens jumped out of the plane, into the water and while swimming over to the large boats shouted, "Hey grampa!  Hi grandma!"  We now know what the rich people were doing that day!

Thursday, 2August, 2012: Powell River to Tenedos Bay

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable, then NW@10.  Seas <1ft.

Almost a traffic jam exiting Powell River.  With amas extended, Strider is 25ft wide, nearly the width of the channel.  Fortunately, the incoming boat was small enough to move outside the channel.

Motored NW, enjoying the day.  Followed the trail of boats going through Thulin Passage.  Rounding Sarah Point, winds picked up and we sailed 7-8kts, under main and screacher, into Tenedos Bay.  As normal, RT was ahead of us, only by 45min and had chosen a great spot in the NW corner of the bay, behind the island.  Our floating dock, stern tied to a tree, was awaiting!

Wednesday, 1August, 2012: Princess Louisa to Powell River

Weather:  Dark, then grey, sunny then hot.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  <1ft.

0330 departure to hit slack at Malibu Rapids and avoid afternoon up-channel winds.  Dark.  Strider led as C-Mast's chart plotter did not have the resolution required in the inlet.  Uneventful motor and since RT was about 15min behind, slowed upon approach to the rapids, making a 360 for spacing.  Upon RT's arrival, Kelly went to the bow with a flashlight and lit the rocks as we passed through the rapids.  Uneventful!  Great when a plan comes through!

Upon exit and into Jervis Inlet, speeds bumped up and RT left us behind.  Essentially a boring motor to Powell River.  Attempted to sail, particularly between Miller Islet and Thunder Point, essentially across Saltery Bay.  We did see the twin Friel Lake Falls!

RT kept calling and telling of great winds and how he'd had a nice spinnaker run northbound to Powell River.  No such luck for us as the winds died and we motored around Scotch Fir Point and north to Powell River.

Fueled up in Powell River, moored behind C-Mast and took advantage of the ample water to hose the boat off.  Downtown was a bit of a hike but we did manage to stock up and do some laundry.

Apparently there is some confusion between the US and Canadian beer measurements.  In the US, a case of beer is 24.  Apparently in Canada, it is 12.  RT sent MM off to get a 2 cases and she returned with 2 12 packs.  "That's what the store pointed to when I asked for cases!"  Good for him as we had an excess of Canadian beer....

OK a word about BC beer.  Not good.  We used to make runs to Ontario for beer in college.  My fraternity's record run was 37 cases.  Mine was 17.5.  New to beers other than Stroh's or Hamm's, Molson Brador and Labatt's Velvet Cream Porter were worth the trip.

Now, living in the PNW, home of coffee and beer snobs (yes, I'm one), I cannot help but be disappointed by the BC beers.  Even Granville Island Brewery misses something for me.  Part of the problem maybe I try to avoid bottles while aboard Strider.  Glass is too heavy and has too much volume:  I can crush a can.  So, I bought Bowen Island, they were wet.

28-31July: Princess Louisa Inlet

Weather:  Idyllic!  Sunny and warm!  Water Temp:  66F.

After a night on the mooring buoy, we moved to a tiny indentation, hidden from the main docks at Chatterbox Falls.  RT and I stern tied C-Mast via a conveniently placed anchor bolt while Kelly motored Strider around, waiting for an opportunity to raft off C-Mast.  Rafting complete, using both anchors, but a single stern tie, we settled in:

Strider rafted to Captain's Mast in Princess Louisa Inlet

I could not have asked for a better place!  Visible on the cliffs to the left are a couple of the falling streams which feed Chatterbox Falls.  Not visible in the pic are the falls surrounding the anchorage, 3 of which are hidden by the trees.  The fourth:

This waterfall was at our 11 o'clock about 200ft from the boats!  This fall is at least 250ft tall.  Standing in the dinghy, I was about level with the top of the left most rock with falling water.  We were literally surrounded by the sound of falling water!

Just around the point on the left of the upper photo is Chatterbox Falls and the accompanying popularity:

There are 5 tributaries visible in this pic
The boats on the right are moored to a dock.  Those anchored in front of the falls are nearly in the splash zone.

Princess Louisa is a reserve, no fishing etc allowed.  While the water temp was a cool 66F, it was the warmest we had ever experienced in the PNW and swimming we did.  While swimming, and snorkeling, some of the fabled rock fish were seen and yes, they were big.  I doubt the harbor seals residing in the inlet were starved for anything!

Later on the first day here, RT departed for the camp at Malibu Rapids to pick up his wife and daughter, Merry Margret and Emma.  With a reunion and re-rafting, we just enjoyed lazing, swimming, relaxing, eating, unwinding, drinking and de-stressing.

This fall came out of the trees between the two rocks on the right!
This place was great, to the point Kelly joined the Princess Louisa Society, dedicated to preserving the inlet and acquiring more of the surrounding private property.  Four days were not enough, I mean, why leave this?  The only reason is because, further north, Desolation Sound, with alleged warmer water, awaited us.