Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday, 3Aug2016: Fort Flagler

Weather:  Sunny and hot!  Winds:  Light.  Seas:  N/A

We were in no hurry, only chores awaited at home.  The sun was bright, the weather pleasant, the coffee fresh and a place to we did.

Fort Flagler was part of the 'triangle of fire' along with Fort Worden, near Port Townsend and where parts of "An Officer and a Gentleman" were filmed and Fort Casey, across Admiralty Inlet on Whidbey Island.

The Fort Flagler anchorage is just off a dock next to the Lower Campground, which is huge.  There were 6 mooring balls and the way the tidal current rips through, I wouldn't risk anchoring.  Walking the dogs in the morning, the current was with us and we just let it bring us to the dock.  The campground area has a small convenience store and a large open space.  The open space allowed us to carefully run the dogs off leash, particularly out onto a sand spit, which grew larger as the tide went out.  After a morning run (they need their exercise!), we rowed along the beach avoiding the current.

After a couple boat chores, we leashed the dogs and went for a long walk through the parks many shaded trails.  We thought to go to the main barracks area, but the place was larger than we thought and only made it to Battery Bankhead, about half way to the main facilities.  We then walked to the north shore trails and headed back to the boat...the dogs were exhausted - really.  The terriers were fine, it was our feet!  Something to work on....

Though the sun was not setting - its August and the sun doesn't set until 2100 - it was time for a sundowner once we got back to the boat.  The grill was fired up and a couple of burgers made.  After one more dog run on the spit, we just relaxed, reading and watching other boats coming into the anchorage.

All in all, a pleasant day and we will definitely come back!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday, 3Aug2016: Poulsbo to Fort Flagler

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  S 5 becoming W 10kts.  Seas:  <1ft (except when it wasn't).

Departed Poulsbo with the ebb, motoring out Liberty Bay and through Agate Pass.  Made 9kts through Agate with the current!  Motored across Port Madison and into the Sound proper.  Managed a little sail northward under the main and screacher.

Winds picked up as we rounded Point No Point, as did the washing machine.  Stuck close to shore avoiding the largest of the churning.  Once through Skunk Band and past Foul Weather Bluff, the seas calmed and the west wind picked up.

Sailed upwind at 7kts through Oak Bay and the entrance to Port Townsend Canal.  Motored through the canal and then the remaining 3nm to Fort Flagler State Park.    The waterway to the park is wide, but the navigable channel narrow making motoring up the channel interesting and requiring attention to the markers.  Our back up plan was Mystery Bay State Park, further into the bay, but there was no need as six of the seven buoys were open and we selected the one with the most space around it, which was the one closest to the dock!

We very much enjoyed this park, to the point we stayed an extra day!

Tuesday, 2Aug2016: Poulsbo

Weather:  Predicted dicey with thunderstorms.  Winds:  Variable.  Seas:  N/A

Safely tucked into one of our favorite marinas, we decided to stay and wait out the predicted storms.  After watching the moms exercise class in the park, we ended up walking the dogs all over, exploring further than we had in the past, finding the Safeway and the businesses along/off Hwy 305.

While there was some rain in the day, it was not as bad a predicted.  For us, it is always worth a stop in Poulsbo just to go to Sluy's Bakery.  We got several tasty pastries, including a viking cup, and a loaf of their brod.

Monday, 1Aug2016: Des Moines to Poulsbo

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Variable, 0-10 kts.  Seas:  Flat

Departed around with the ebb and with no real destination, just headed north, just took it easy and thought we'd find some place towards the end of the day.  Sailed off and on with the main and screacher as the wind allowed, else, motor.

Made it to Blake Island around noon.  There were mooring buoys available, but it was too early to stop.  So, we pressed on.  Winds dictated we head towards the Rich Passage and Poulsbo became the obvious destination.  Saw a couple dive boats off the south end of Bainbridge Island apparently harvesting shellfish.  We then sailed between the salmon pens off the SE corner of Bainbridge.

Winds were fickle through here but we were able to sail through most of the pass.  Making the right hand turn at Point White, the winds became consistent and we had a nice broad reach making 7kts northbound to Keyport.  Motored past Keyport.  Once in Liberty Bay, southwest winds picked up and we sailed to the marina.

Once in the marina, there were plenty of slips.  Not wanting to fold, we searched a couple minutes looking a double wide open slip.  Thought we found one and set up for a port side tie.  Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, the slip was too narrow.  So, backed out and moved to another section where the slips were wide enough.  Pulled in and let the wind kiss us against the dock, holding us secure.

The marina was closed for the hour early!  However, there were quiet a few people on the dock and we were able to get the bathroom codes.  There was also a USCG cutter on maneuvers from Bangor tied to the end of the dock.  The crew was pleasant to talk to and they offered a tour...which was politely declined - I'd spent enough time on naval vessels.

A pleasant evening!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

28-31July2016: Des Moines

Weather:  Sunny and hot.  Winds:  Light.  Seas:  N/A

While under the SeaTac airport's flight path, we found Des Moines to be a clean and pleasant place.  Met quiet a few friendly people on the docks and were able to run the dogs up and down the docks - they need their exercise!

We were there in the midst of the Pokemon Go craze and there were a ton of people in the park around the marina, all of whom seemed intent on having a good time.  I asked one if they called themselves pokemonsters or pokemobsters.  She responded with, "Well, I'm Italian so it must be pokemobsters!"  Another guy who was out enjoying the afternoon with friends said both would apply!

With most of the day taken up with a swim meet at the King County Aquatics Center, we really did not have much chance for seeing any local events or enjoy a local restaurant.  We were surprised by a 'farmer's market' in the park on Saturday morning.  We've found most of these markets are more craft fair than farmer's market and this one was no exception.  A local bakery was setting up their stall and I hoped to get a sticky bun before we had to go to the aquatics center.  The person behind the counter said they have them, but would not sell any before 1000.  Since it was only 0830...well, I guess they were confident they would sell and did not want to be bothered by us.  Move along, nothing to see here.

The one big exception to the above paragraph was a Don Gregorios Taco Truck.  Parked in the lot above the marina, it was excellent, easy and a great price.  Further, the two ladies running the truck were gregarious and made me smile.  My opinion:  Worth the stop!

Thursday, 28July2016: Dockton to Des Moines

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

We needed to get to Des Moine and headed out around 1000 after walking the dogs and a pleasant breakfast.  With so little wind, we motored the distance.  The flood tide was against us, but we found a back eddy along the beach on the SE side of Maury Island.  The nice thing about motoring close to shore is being able to take in the wildlife along the beach and see the houses up close and personal.  Definitely helps to break up the monotony.

Much to our surprise, we came across the annual tribal canoe journey as they rounded Maury Island's east and south side, as they rounded Robinson Point.  Quite a parade of canoes.  See here and here for photos and story.

From Robinson Point, it is a short, 2nm jaunt across the Puget Sound to Des Moines.  The marina seemed a little tight, probably because of all the time tied to Freestyle in Gig Harbor and the openness of Dockton.  I'd talked with the marina staff and they were not expecting a crowd and they gave us the go ahead to leave Strider spread.  This may also have contributed!

Des Moines advertises the least expensive fuel in the area and there was a short line for the fuel dock. So, instead of jockeying around in the fairway and generally clogging up the place, we found an open slip a the head of the nearest dock and rested there on a spring line.  There was a little confusion when it was our turn for the fuel dock and the other boat backed off...turns out, they were Sparties!  Once fueled, we backed off the fuel dock and almost directly into our chosen slip.  Quite painless!

Wednesday, 27July2016: Gig Harbor to Dockton

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  Flat

Basically another lazy day, relaxing in Gig Harbor...until:

MM had made a social engagement with local friends for an afternoon sail so our raft off with Freestyle ended.  Around 1600, Freestyle and Strider motored out of the harbor and sailed around in the light winds off Point Defiance.  While Freestyle had main and genoa up, we went with the screacher only.  It quickly became evident the advantages a light boat has over a heavy boat.  While the Oceanus 45 seems to be a fast boat in moderate to heavy winds, Strider sailed circles around Freestyle.

After an hour or so, we split off and headed north into Quartermaster Harbor.  We continued sailing up into the entrance, then motored to Dockton, taking an outside slip unfolded.

Unlike the last time we came to the county park, the place was nearly empty, only about six boats.  All was pretty quiet until later in the evening when, what looked like a group of local high school football players came and started jumping off the facility's roof into the clear water below.  About a 16ft plunge into about 15ft of water.  Along with the boys, other local kids came for a evening stroll on the docks.

This is a nice place for a couple days with plenty of room to walk the dogs and a quiet atmosphere.  A pleasant evening!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

24-27July2016: Gig Harbor

Weather:  Sunny and warm

This is an easy post:  Just lazed about with friends, fun, food and drink.  Sitting on the bay, watching the tide roll away!

Sunday, 24July2016: Kingston to Gig Harbor

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Mostly 0...occasionally 5.  Seas:  Flat.

Departed Kingston after another leisurely morning, enjoying a dog walk in the park and a cafe'  and cinnamon roll from a local coffee shop.  Motoring out of the marina with west winds promised, up went the main and screacher.  Initially made 5kts and dodged crab pots coming out of Appletree Cove.

Rounding the corner and southbound by Presidents Point, the winds died and the dull drone of the engine accompanied us across the mirror flat waters.  3hrs later, off the east side of Blake Island, a potential stopping point, we killed the engine and scrubbed Strider's waterline of her algae collection.

Though there were mooring buoys available at Blake, it was too early to stop.  With Gig another 14nm away, we pressed, arriving around 1600.  RT had Freestyle moored in the harbor, fenders over the side and beers!  Great to have a floating dock available upon arrival!

Saturday, 23July2016: Coupeville to Kingston

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Variable, 0-10.  Seas:  Flat to 1ft.

Departed Coupeville after a leisurely morning, motoring east out of Penn Cove.  Winds started to pick up so the main was raised and the screacher unfurled.  Made 5kts until turning south at Snatelum Point and into Saratoga Passage.  Off and on motor/sail throughout the southbound trip.  North winds started to pick up as we turned west into the Puget Sound at Possession Point, the south end of Whidbey Island.

Our original destination was to be Kingston.  With the wind increase, we were able to make 7-8kts southbound so we changed our minds and thought to head to one of the ports further south, like Eagle Harbor or even Poulsbo.  HOWEVER, as we continued south, the winds started to die...damned convergence zone I suspect.  So, turned to starboard and headed across the sound to Kingston, making 6-7kts.

Not really happy with Kingston Marina staff...basically, they could not tell us if a space was available.  They had not been keeping track of occupied slips and, apparently, did not want to go out of the air conditioned office to actually look.

After negotiating entry past a suddenly underway Washington State ferry, we folded and found one first come first served slip.  Though Strider is technically too long, she fit.  Safe and sound around 1700, just in time for a Beatles cover band to start a concert in the park.

Major Overhaul 2015 Part 2

I realize this has been a long time coming.  I just have not been satisfied with the net edging and have been trying to figure something out.  I may have and will update when completed.


Standard Horizon Matrix AIS/GPS GX2200.  The built in GPS/AIS with display screen were the major selling points.  August in the US Pacific Northwest is called fogust due to the prevalent fog and the major waterways have a lot of shipping traffic.  Since Strider does not have a radar, the AIS could be viewed as a poor man's radar.  The unit also features a fog horn and public broadcast system.

Antenna and Wire:  Need to maximize the power out to the antenna.  While the radio is capable of transmitting 25 watts, the old, small gauge antenna wire drastically reduces the output, by as much as 15 watts.  So, ShowMeCables brand 50 ohm 1/2in UltraFlex low loss coaxial cable was installed.


The nets were OEM and needed repairing every year, usually the edge tape.  However, the vinyl coated nets themselves were starting to come apart.  Time for new nets.

I looked at several materials/designs:  Bainbridge, Sunrise Yachts and ATN.   I liked the ATN 13mm polyamide, but ATN would not sell the raw material, only a finished product.  Further, ATN wanted to adapt the Strider to the net vice the net to Strider.  It became too difficult.

Stumbled across a half remembered entry in the Dragonfly Forum referencing another netting supplier.  Ultra Cross (UC) Silver 42mm BK 20ply Netting by Net Systems Inc, a local company.  The rep was easy to work with I had new, unfinished netting within a week!  This appears to be a DIY project.  The edges will be integrated with dyneema and lashed/sewn where required.

I was concerned how our dogs would react to the new nets.  Though not completely set/tensioned, the nets have received the Little Brown Dog Seal of Approval.

One of the Irish Terriers lounging

Standing Rigging

I got on a roll with the dyneema and thought since it was working so well with the nets and ama cables, why not go for broke and replace some of the standing rigging?  It is lighter, stronger, new and best of all, I could do it all myself (and take the blame).  Replacing the stainless cable aboard has been not all-at-once project, but a step by step process.  Install something new and thoroughly check it out prior to moving onto the next part.  Switching to dyneema is radical enough.  I didn't want to have to test too many things at onceThis is a major reason there are multiple overhaul entries.


The running backstays have 3 components, upper, lower and the nearly horizontal tensioner.  While 1/4in AmSteel Blue had a better breaking strength than the original stainless steel wire, I went with the 5/16in for the greater stretch (therefore creep) resistance.

42ft for the upper section, Suncor Extra Heavy thimbles were used at the mast attach point. Colligo Marine CSS 242 Double Lashing Block, spliced through the big eye, was used at the bottom.

CSS 242

The lower section of the backstay was  also spliced through the Colligo CSS 242 with a standard stainless steel thimble pushed through the OEM Dragonfly stainless fitting on the ama.  The splice was not buried.  A tell tail has been left hanging out of the splice to facilitate tensioning/slack removal as the lines stretch and settle in.

Stainless Thimble

The tensioner.  A 2.5ft pigtail was made with 5/16in AmSteel.  The lower end of the pigtail is spliced through the big eye of  a Colligo Fork Distributor attached to the OEM aft ama fitting.  The upper end of the pigtail is spliced through the eye of a low friction ring.  The adjustable/running part of the tensioner was made with 1/4in AmSteel.  This is spliced through the eye of the pigtail's low friction ring then runs up to the CSS 242, back down to the outer part of the low friction ring, back up to the CSS 242 then down, through the fork of the Fork Distributor then follows the normal Dragonfly pathway to the cockpit.

Bitter End Pigtails Seen Hanging

The guide block at the end of the ama has been replaced with a low friction ring.  The outer layer of some old double braid has been added over the bitter end of the 1/4in line to help with winch/clutch grip and prevent fraying.


Coolant Hoses.  Removed and replaced the 5/8in coolant hoses.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Friday, 22July2016: Skyline to Coupeville

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  0 in places else 5-15kts.  Seas:  Flat

Summertime summertime sum sum summertime, and we are trapped by house chores...mostly.

Managed to get away for a bit.  We'd been invited to watch RT's and MM's daughter Em swim in her first Champs Swim Meet, a USA swimming event one must qualify to participate.  A big deal for Em.  So, we made time and went south.

Winds were cracking out of the west through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, smashing into the west side of Whidbey Island making Point Partridge a nasty place to be.  So we decided to go the inland route, something we do not do very often.

Motored out of Skyline around 1130, about 45min late for the slack at Deception Pass.  Managed to sail some to the pass and then motored through with a 3 knot following current...we were doing 9kts under the bridge!  West winds started to pick up again as we passed Cornet Bay and we sailed most of the way to Coupeville, motoring through a few wind shadows.  Winds were such we were able to stay in the channel easily.

Winds were in our face when we rounded Strawberry Point and into Penn Cove.  Since the day had been good, but long, we motored the final 6nm to the Coupeville dock, making things ship shape while underway.  The available shower made the overnight moorage reasonable.  Shoreline walking path to right off the wharf lead to Town Park and made for an easy dog walk.  Toby's Tavern was a few blocks to the left off the wharf.

Monday, April 18, 2016

27-28Sep2015: Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  0-10.  Seas:  <1ft.

Kelly was off to Austin, Texas on an annual pilgrimage/spiritual renewal with a great friend.  The supermoon lunar eclipse hype had been going on for days.  I wanted to see it.  However, we live on the west side of a mountain with great views to the west...not so much to the east.

So, I loaded up the mutts, moved aboard Strider and shoved off, stopping by the fuel dock to extend the amas - our slip is too narrow to extend both.  Once extended and out in Burrows Channel, there was a nice breeze and out came the screacher and Strider was making 6kts.  Midway across Rosario, the wind died and we motored towards Thatcher Pass.  Inside the pass, the wind picked up and once again, we sailed all the way to the south side of Frost Island and Spencer Spit.  Only one mooring ball was available and I quickly snatched it.

From there, it was just a matter of waiting.  Took the dogs ashore a couple times and let them run on the beach, chasing seagulls, splashing in the water and covering themselves with sand.  Back aboard, I washed them off, getting the salt and sand out.  Dinner, a boat chore or two and simply relaxing with a book.

Around 1915, the sky clear above, a marine haze low and the sun still high to the west, my brother in Michigan calls.  He and his family have been outside with a campfire, watching the eclipse.  "Whatta you see?" he asked.  "Nothing, the sun is still up."  "But what does it look like?"  "NOTHING, the sun has not set yet!"  "Oh, I thought it would be neat to talk about what we were seeing together."  "Yep," I responded, "but I need another hour."  "Well, we've been watching it for a couple hours now and are going to bed."  "Roger."

About an hour later, I thought I saw something through the marine layer.  Got the binoculars out and sure enough, it was the moon, a lot higher in the sky than I thought it would be.  Damn marine layer.  30 minutes later, the moon was high enough above the layer to be clearly visible.

I think I was expecting more drama, a clear, definitive line like I'd seen in other eclipses.  There was no line per say, just a gradual shadow to light.  I watched for 15min and realized this was going to be slow.  So, I grabbed my book and read for 30min.  Looked up and not much had changed...really slow.  Around 2045, still not much change and with cruiser's midnight approaching, I went to bed.

The next morning, took the dogs to the beach and let them run again.  Back aboard, breakfast and coffee.  Sun was up.  Bored.  Life aboard Strider without Kelly is boring.  No wind, didn't want to wait.  Motored back to Skyline, stopping at the fuel dock to fold.

Unbeknownst to me, this would be the last outing of a most excellent year:  San Juans, Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, clams, fireworks, orca, Roscoe Bay and Black Lake!  Shore life caught up with us and we found it tough to even get out for a boat visit.  October would be our best grape harvest ever and grapes needed crushing, soaking and pressing - into November.  Just as the apples were ripening, a black bear decided to visit and eat most of them...had some beautiful honeycrisp...sniff sniff.  The worst part of bear event was it appeared the apples just passed right through it, leaving piles of applesauce in the orchard, along with claw marks on the trees.  Thanksgiving saw us in Maui.  December and the entire winter was the rainiest on record, with storm after storm coming through.  Then, late December, while stopped at a light, Kelly was rear ended totaling the Honda.  Cannot divulge specifics, lets just say she was hurt badly.

As I write this in April, spring has sprung, Kelly is on the mend and this man's eye is being teased by thoughts on the water.  The mast, needing work, is next to the garage.  New solar panels have been ordered and the hull needs a little fiberglass work at the mast base.  Soon.  Soon!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Thursday, 27August2015: Roche to Skyline

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  <1ft.

Motored out of Roche around 0745, using the northeastern entrance for the first time.  Lots of sea grass and we coasted over a couple spots to avoid entanglement.  Slow going in the Speiden Channel with opposing currents.  Once in the San Juan Channel, speed picked up.  Once across, chose to go to the south side of Crane Island, avoiding the currents on the north side.  Pretty much the standard route to and through Thatcher Pass, across the Rosario to the fuel dock at Skyline.

Strider was folded for the first time in a month while on the fuel dock.  Took precautions since we did not know how the new backstays were going to handle it.  No problems!  Refueled and cracked a beer at noon in our home slip.

Wednesday, 26August2015: Montague to Roche Harbor

Weather:  Hazy sunshine and warm.  Winds:  Zero.  Seas:  Flat.

Boring motor the entire way.  Departed to the south around 0900.  Our route was pretty straight forward, east side of Prevost Island, west side of North Pender Island, southeast side of Mayne Island.  We cut south past Rum Island to Mandarte Island, avoiding the northbound currents in the Haro.  Then a straight shot across the Haro and into Roche.

A busy day in Roche, boats and crab pots everywhere.  Had some difficulty finding an anchorage, but one was found on the east side and we were anchored by 1340.

Entry back into the US was painless via the I68 phone call.  Prior to arrival, the remaining fresh veggies were grilled making them legal for entry in the States...'twas a boring motor after all.

Spent the rest of the day aboard Freestyle, on a dock.  Easy access to the company store and ice cream!

Tuesday, 25August2015: False Creek to Montague Harbour, Galiano Island, BC

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  NE 5-10kts.  Seas:  <2ft.

Motored out of False Creek around 0600 and picked our way through the anchored freighters.  Once out of Burrard Inlet and into the Strait, winds picked up and we sailed at 7kts under screacher and main SW directly to Porlier Pass between the north end of Galliano Island and the south end of Valdes Island.

Since Strider made good time across the Strait, our arrival at Porlier was too early and the currents were against us...and they are strong and rough.  A couple exiting power boats probably thought we were nuts, particularly since there was an extensive period when we were making 1kt and crabbing big time.  But we made it and Kelly was at the helm!  She enjoyed the challenge and needed only a little coaching since she doesn't read the water as well!

Once through the pass, the currents relaxed, as did we and it was motoring or sailing into Montague, sometimes there was wind...else the iron genny.  We almost sailed into Montague, but the winds died at the north entrance at Parker Island.

Inside and a hard left brought us to the Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park mooring field.  We found one and moored without incident at 1415.  Though we did not spend a lot of time in the park, it appeared to be very nice and we will definitely go back.  We did however, dinghy to Harbour Marine and do a shelf check of the market.  Ice cream was had...of course!

Towards evening and back aboard, we had dinner and relaxed.  A nice park ranger came by and we chatted for about 20min.  Since we were crossing into the US the next day and had already taken care of most of the fresh veggies.  However, our faithful basil plant would not be welcome.  The nice ranger was kind enough to give it a good home!

23-25August2015: False Creek, Vancouver, BC

Weather:  Sunny and warm!

After a peaceful sleep, we woke to a sunny day, had breakfast and went on an excursion.  MM was kind enough to dinghy use over to Stamp's Landing.  Kelly and I then walked along the south shore, Charleston Park, taking in the sights, seeing a kid's SUP and kayak class in tidal basin in Island Park.

We made our way through Sutcliffe Park, through the community center and then to the Grandville Island Market where strolled, shopped, downloaded a couple books for the Nook and IPad.  We then lunched on fish and chips and gelato, while watching a couple of street shows.  We then walked off island to a bike shop for a lock to secure the dinghy to the park docks.  While Bug is engine-less, she rows easily and could easily have been a temptation without a good lock.  We did not worry about this while in the relative wilderness.  But back in civilization...well, best be secure, especially since we were going to spend a couple days here.

Back on the island, we were kinda pooped so we slow strolled through the market, picking up dinner and making our way to the water taxi.  Took the taxi from Grandville Market to Stamp's Landing, signalling Freestyle on the way by for a pick up.

Back aboard with evening cocktails, caprese salad and fresh, hot, chunky, buttery cinnamon apple sauce for desert, we decided this one day in Vancouver was enough.  Though we would have liked to get to Gastown and Robson Strasse (and the Indian food), it was time to head towards home.

Sunday, 23August2015: Secret Cove to False Creek

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  NW@8kts and dropping.  Seas:  Flat

Motored out of Secret Cove around 0900.  Once out, attempted to sail using screacher and main.  Initially made 5.2-6kts but once south of Trial Bay, approaching White Islets, winds and speed dropped below 4.2kts.  Since we needed to get to False Creek, dropped the sails and motored.  3000rpm gave us 6.5kts.

Winds picked up a bit in Burrard Inlet and we did a little sailing, maneuvering between the freighters and those out for a Sunday sail.  Watched a race and was impressed by a couple F18 cats zooming across the water.

Motored into False Creek and found Freestyle anchored fairly deep inside, vicinity of Stamp's Landing.  Rafting was uneventful and we were secured at 1630.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Saturday, 22August2015: Roscoe Bay to Secret Cove

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  Flat

Why must all good things come to an end?  The days of lounging had been wonderful.  However, life does intrude, dogs must be liberated from the kennel and fruit has to be harvested.

Departed around 0640, well before high tide.  But since we only draw 36in with the centerboard up and the rudder down, there was plenty of water over the bay's entrance to make our getaway several hours ahead of Freestyle.

It was a boring motor, the entire way, making around 5kts until the tide changed and we picked up a couple more.  Did experiment with the radio and new antenna wire, contacting Freestyle when they were in the Copeland Islands and we were vicinity of Grief Point, just south of Powell River, distance of about 17nm.  Freestyle stated we were loud and clear while they came in a bit broken.  New wire proved a success!

Arrived Secret around 1715 and refueled, taking 4.5gal (.43gph), and washed the boat down.  The marina was accommodating and gave us a spot where we did not have to fold.  One of the goals for this trip was not to fold the boat for the entire trip.  So far, so good!  Kelly was also very happy to get a real shower.

Freestyle arrived about 1.5hrs later and moored next to a 65ft sailing vessel making Freestyle look small.

Had a wonderful dinner in the Upper Deck Cafe.  Normally I order something I'd not make at home.  Duck was on the menu and duck was had!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

18-21August2015: Roscoe Bay

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds: Usually calm but occasionally 5-10 up-channel in the morning, 5-10 down-channel in the evening.  Seas:  <1ft or nil.

Just great days spent playing in the salt and fresh water, eating, drinking, doing a few projects, teaching kids to do cannonballs and sliders.  On one of the days, Freestyle went to Refuge to pick up a guest, another friend of their daughter.  This friend was very gregarious and reminded me of the energizer bunny.  Out of the water, fall back in, climb back out, fall back in...over and over.

She is also an observer.  At one point she said, "I don't get it."  Pointing at RT and me, "How are you two friends?"  RT and I do have different personalities, one more somber, the other more...lets just say Peter Pan and he are well acquainted.  I looked at her and said, "Its because we are both assholes.  Have been for the time we've known each other.  We just know how to put up with each other's assholeness."  The look on her face was priceless.

There was only one break in the weather and it was minor.  Saw clouds moving in from the west one afternoon.  Checked the barometer and it had hardly moved down.  So, a weak front.  It passed through the night leaving a couple of  raindrops behind.

Cleaned the cockpit and brushed the mung off the hull.  Laundered bedding.

Replaced original, narrow gauge antenna wire with heavy duty 1/2in wire.  The combination of new radio and wire provided at least 18nm two way conversation.  Picked up transmissions from 35nm distance.

After the too short mess from the other day, remade new dyneema backstays and replaced the stainless steel backstays using Colligo fittings.  Lost 22 pounds with the swap!

Monday, 17August2015: Roscoe to Refuge and return

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  <1ft.

As Freestyle repositioned to the north side, on the point east of the ruins, Kelly, MM and I took Strider to Refuge Cove for fuel, water and some fresh veggies.  Simple motorsail, about 1hr 15min each way.  The kid at the fuel dock remembered us, but was too busy to chat.  Took advantage of the open space and made phone calls, checking in the family who are not used to us disappearing for a while.

Back in Roscoe in early afternoon and splashed in the salt and fresh waters.  Burger burn dinner.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

14-16August2015: Roscoe Bay

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  0 in the morning building to W10 in afternoon.  Waves:  Nil.

Pretty much idyllic days playing in Roscoe Bay, swimming in the lake, swimming in the bay, eating, drinking, loosing weight, SUP, sleeping, reading, watching the fish go by, building/rebuilding rock sculptures on the south side - you know, far niente!

Did do a few projects though.  Repaired a minor water leak under the Vberth.  I had improperly clamped a PEX tube to a fitting and there was a drip causing the system to loose pressure and the pump to come on at inconvenient times.

Stripped and replaced the insect screen velcro in the Vberth hatch.  Pulled the stainless steel keel protector off the dinghy and replaced it with a rubber one to protect Strider's nets and decks.  Repaired a minor watermaker leak.

1st attempt to replace Strider's stainless steel backstays and heavy blocks with Dyneema/Colligo fittings.  The eyeball measurement was 2ft too short.  Damn.

And of course there was a food experiment.  I'd a lamb roast and the grill, with its mods, is too hot.  So, I went ashore, gathered some tennis and baseball size rocks and heated them in the grill.  Once hot, seared the lamb and then shut off the grill and let the rocks do the roasting.  Yummy!  Also put the griddle to work making stir fried veggies.

Thursday, 13August2015: Octopus Islands to Roscoe Bay

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  S 10 swirling around the islands.  Seas: <1ft.

Departed around 0920 via the north channel to Bodega Anchorage.  The narrow-ish channel with the cliffs was particularly fun!  Once into the anchorage, the winds picked up so up went the main and screacher.  Had a nice sail to the Okisollo Channel where we sailed back and forth, mostly east and west waiting for slack current at the west end of Hole In The Wall.  Lost patience again and sailed into Hole In The Wall at nearly slack.  Was able to sail for the first mile.  By then, the current had changed to with us and it was an uneventful motor through the pass.

Rounding Bernard Point, the north end of Maurelle Isand, and entering Calm Channel, the winds again picked up and we made 8-9kts on a SE beat to Raza Passage, between Raza Island and the main land.

Winds were off and on from then on.  Motored along Raza Island, sailed across Deer Passage, motored past Connis Point, north side of West Redonda Island.  Winds picked up again further into Pryce Channel and we made 7kts for the last 4nm before the turn into Waddington Channel.  Was able to sail into Waddington and the first mile!  Winds were then in the face and we motored to the entrance of Roscoe Bay.

Though Freestyle started behind us, motoring, they passed us early on in the Okislollo, arriving about 45min ahead of us at the entrance to Roscoe Bay where they waited for high tide and sure clearance into the bay.  We went ahead and called depths to them and the immediately followed.

We dropped anchor in the bay and Kelly stayed aboard while I assisted with Freestyle.  Bit of a goat rope this time as we were trying to set up on the north side for better solar charging.  First spot, vicinity of the ruins, was too shallow.  Ended up vicinity of the point on the south side, vicinity of our previous location.  Once Freestyle was tied, went back aboard, pulled the anchor and rafted at 1600.

Ran the watermaker for about and hour, drawing 8.2amps while making 7gal/hr...4x the rated 6L/hr.  Kind of shocked.  Tested and tasted and all was good.  I have learned it is the difference in salinity.  The rated flow is for the saltiest of waters.  With all the rain, our water is far less salty so the reverse osmosis does not have to work as hard.  Need to reposition the watermaker controls...and perhaps create a new through hull.  Currently, I've tapped into the cooling water through hull, limiting watermaking to during sailing only.  Further, the controls are in an inconvenient spot, making it difficult to use the device.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

11-13August2015, Octopus Islands Marine Provicial Park

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Waves:  Flat

People rave about this park.  One friend said it was her favorite place.  We just couldn't get into it.  Perhaps it is because we already live in a rural location with a lot of wildlife.  Perhaps it was because the water was too cold to swim in.  Perhaps because we'd been in similar spots.  I don't know.  Don't get me wrong, nice place, just not quite our cup o' tea.

We did do some unique things and saw some unique things though!  Kelly wanted to go for a walk.  One of the nice things about our Gig Harbor dinghy with 7ft oars is it rows really easily.  So, I rowed Kelly to a shore, dropped her off on an island and followed her as she walked along the shore.  While she explored ashore, I explored the marine life, both our interests served!

So, we saw a raccoon searching for breakfast amongst the rocks exposed by the low tide.  It was grabbing rocks nearly its own size with its two hands (paws?), yanking, rolling them over and looking for presumably tasty treats underneath.  We watched it for about 10min and saw it munching something several times.

Kelly was then picked up and delivered to the south end of a different island where she walked around to the north end.  I rowed around, checking out the sea life.  Picked Kelly up on the north end and delivered to the south end of the next island and the process repeated.  In all, we saw starfish, minnows, clams, anemone, hermit crabs and snails.  Kelly collected a tiny limpet shell!

On the north end of the last island, we saw three 8in squid move into a shallow (2in deep) cut and work the sand, presumably searching for a meal.  We watched them for about 5min and while it would have been easy to pick them up and make a meal, we had 200 Von Donop clams waiting aboard!

The rest of the day was just relaxing, no boat projects, no have to dos.  Dinner featured the clams.  Cleaned and sorted, finding 4 dead, and then steamed them in fresh water, took about 5 minutes with the big gun propane burner.  RT and I shucked them and then we made a tomato based clam spaghetti sauce - sauteed onion, garlic, dry Italian herbs with fresh basil.  Simple and tasty!  Had a pinot negro to go with it.

Afterward:  I labeled this one with marine mammals for the raccoon.  The October 2015 National Geographic has an article about a new species of wolf ranging on the British Columbia coastal islands.  While the wolf does not live in the water, it eats almost exclusively from the water.  Perhaps the raccoon is the same....