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2004 Vancouver Island Circumnavigation, July 2-29
Circumnavigation Photo Gallery
July 2 2004 Trish and her mom, Kathy, left Bainbridge Island for Port Townsend while BJ finished his last day of work. BJ then caught a ride to Port Townsend with her dad Dan that evening. Dan then took Kathy home. Rich aboard his Catalina 30, Narrow Path, ran ahead of Nelle on the way to PT. We had a nice dinner aboard Nelle before Dan and Kathy headed home. The wind and rain filled in late that night.
July 3 2004 We planned a 9:00 am departure to set sail with the last of the ebb across the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Roche Harbor. Rich was not feeling well and elected to stay behind and probably head home so we set off with a 15 knot breeze out of the west. We had a great sail albeit to weather we sailed on a close reach port tack all the way to Haro Strait when we were able to fall off to a reach to Roche Harbor. We maintained 8.5 knots all the way taking a lot of water on deck. We hit 10.5 on the GPS. A great sail although a bit nauseating at times. We rafted with Kalliope and White Swan and had a nice dinner of crab cakes prepared by Dianna and were joined by the Daily Planet with Wes, Ann and Brent and Narrow Path with Rich and Laurie. Rich started feeling better and left at noon and fought the tide north. Narrow path’s engine fuel filters plugged just outside Mosquito pass and I ran the Avon out to help them sail in through the pass. I had a spare fuel filter that I was able to give them and get the engine running again. We had 13 people for dinner in Nelle’s cockpit!
July 4 2004 A day spent in the sailing dingies and joined by Spirit of Freedom, White Swan II, Dun Rushn. and Skookum. Uncle Craig was aboard Dun Rushn with grandma and grandad. Everyone sailed the sailing dingies and went ashore to enjoy the festivities.
July 5 2004
The raft up began to split up with Spirit
of Freedom heading north to Bedwell harbor to clear customs, the Daily
Planet heading to Friday Harbor to take delivery of new prescription glasses
for Ann, and Skookum the tug with Bob and Ellie heading to Anacortes to pick
up friends and Rich aboard his Catalina 30 Narrow Path made the long run all
the way back to Bainbridge. After Narrow Path left we set Bob’s stern anchor
out to replace the anchor that Rich had to keep the raft from spinning in
the current. Nelle Bly, Kalliope, White Swan, White Swan II, and Dunrushn,
all stayed to crab and relax after a long weekend partying. Crabbing was a
lot of work and not very plentiful as there were hundreds of people
July 6, 2004 Set sail for the Port Sidney Marina. Sailed through the Orca’s. Had 15 knots or better, a great sail again!
Thursday, July 8, 2004 After a morning washing Nelle and helping Andy get his old genoa off his boat and the new one on, Trish, Nelle and I headed north bound for Princess Bay on Wallace Island but cut the trip short and ducked into Montague Harbor as we were still tired from the 4th celebration. We had a nice sail with the wind at our backs from Sidney to Swanson channel where we started the motor and pressed on. We hiked the trails at the park after securely anchoring. Andy and Cathy showed up about an hour and a half and anchored next to Lin and Larry Pardey. Trish and I took the 8:00pm Pub Bus to the Hummingbird Pub where we ran into Andy and Cathy and had a slow dinner albeit quite good.
Friday, July 9 2004
Departed Montague Harbor at 6:45
with a flood tide north to Dodd Narrows bound for Nanaimo.
July 10 2004 Slept in till 8:30 when we were awoke by the Dragon boats as they were lining up at the starting line which was about 50ft from Nelle. We had front row seating. We roared out into the cockpit to see the start. What we did not know was that this was to go on all day and into the next. We dingied over to Kalliope in the commercial basin to help Andy get his new sail off and bend on the old one as the new is a piece of crap and is being sent back. Bummer! We then went to lunch at a Scottish restaurant and had a great lunch. Andy and I then took a long walk to the other end of town looking for all the marine stores. There is only one decent one, oh well it was a good walk. The girls went shopping of course. We returned to our respective boats and I worked on an eye splice in my new Sampson double braid stern anchor line. Very frustrating directions. We then went to Dinner aboard Kalliope. Very good! Cathy is a great cook. Got home late and crashed without getting Nelle prepared to leave in the morning. Bad!
July 11 2004
After sleeping in too long we scrambled
to get Nelle ready to set sail up the Straits of Georgia. Then I remembered
that I needed fuel for the dingy so I ran to the fuel dock and fueled up. So
we did not depart until 10:40ish’. We found 15 knots of wind from the south
as we headed out from Departure bay and set sail with a reef in the main and
the 100% genoa and the staysail and made the better part of 7 knots north
toward Lasqueti island. Just south of the Ballenas islands we decided that
instead of heading all the way to Desolation in one shot we would head up a
little and sail into Pender Harbor and anchor in Garden bay. The weather
cleared more and more the more we got away from Nanaimo. Trish slept as her
seasick meds knocked her out so Nelle and I had a wonderful time and sailed
all the way to our anchorage and dropped the hook under sail in the warm sun
and light breeze. What a great sail and wonderful relief from the dismal
rain and clouds we had the last three days. Now it is time to make Tacos and
go ashore and explore!
Monday, July 12 2004
Departed Garden Bay in Pender
Harbor at 9:45am. Clear blue sky and warming up fast. Very nice. Bound for
Lund and the Copeland Islands for oysters and maybe clams! Motoring north up
Malispina Strait with a light wind on the nose. Time to make breakfast and
read a book while Auto drives. Before entering Lund I went to pull the
charts for Desolation and the areas that we will be heading and found my
list of charts that we are supposed to have aboard and found us to be 6
charts short. What the Hell! I guess we will be buying charts in Lund. Very
frustrating as well as puzzling as these are charts that we used last time
we were up here. I am going to have to think hard as to where they could
have gone. I do not remember loaning them out and I do not think that we
would have put them in storage as we keep all charts aboard for the
northwest waters all the time.
Tuesday, July 13 2004
We decided to spend the day
anchored here in the Copeland Islands as it is just about as beautiful of a
place as I can think of and there is a lot of foraging to be done. Lots of
clams and oysters. We just had to scrape the beach with oyster shells to get
all the clams we could eat. The oysters are so abundant that one has a hard
time deciding what size is perfect as they are all so close to perfect it is
unreal and thousands of them. It seems that everyone heading to Desolation
just blows past this little place and has no idea how great of spot they are
Wednesday, July 14 2004 After restocking our clam and oyster inventory we headed north stopping at Squirrel cove store to get our much needed charts that we somehow overlooked. I anchored Nelle in a poor holding bottom and sent Trish ashore to the store while I watched Nelle and spliced eyes in our stern tie line. We then headed north to Teakern Arm to check it out and then headed further north amazed at the remote islands and passages. Nelle took us up Lewis Channel to the northern most end of Cortez Island where we headed south to Von Donop Inlet which has a long narrow entrance with a rock in the middle but has a very protected anchorage at the head. There we met up with Wes and Ann Fitz aboard the infamous Union 36 "The Daily Planet" After anchoring we had them over for dinner and drinks, Clams and Oysters and Spirits. We had a great time with good conversation and planned the next few days travels to the Octopus Islands via Harriot Bay for provisioning i.e. water and cigarettes for the Planet. We will have a water maker the next trip we make. Very soon! Water Maker and Solar Panels are a huge priority. I like my showers!
Thursday, July 15 2004 Awoke to a very calm anchorage that was quite peaceful but did not appeal to me as a place to hang out as foraging was off limits due to shellfish issues. We weighed anchor and motored out of the long channel negotiating our way around the big rocks that lurk just under the surface in the middle of the channel. It was shallow in places 13 feet or so. We motored southwest to Harriot Bay and I spliced an eye in our stern tie line. I learned a lesson that I already had been told but saw first hand. Never put a line under load that you intend to splice before you splice it. That splice fought me for an hour and a half before I finally worked it through. Victory! The only problem was that the wind steadily filled in off the beam to about 15 knots but I was so involved or obsessed with the splice that I just kept motoring. It was for the best anyway because Trish was not feeling great anyway. Wes and Ann took the Planet out in the channel and set a shrimp trap while we fueled and watered Nelle. We were assigned a slip and then they brought the Planet in and fueled and watered her. We then went for a hike up the hill to the local store and got provisions and came across a couple of Indians carving by the marina. They had some very nice pieces but not the perfect one for Nelle so one of the Indians, Mike, drove me to his house to show me an otter he had done. It was very nice but too long so he gave me his number and I am going to call him when we get back and he is going to do a carving for me to the dimensions that we have to work with. We left Harriot bay at 3:10 to go pull the shrimp trap and head to Surge Narrows to make the pass by the 5:03 slack, which we just made. After clearing the narrows we set sail with the wind at our back and our new jib pulling strong. Nelle sailed all the way up to the Octopus Islands and rounded up at the narrow channel entrance and motored in with the Planet close behind. We carefully navigated the rocky passes and anchorages to determine the best spot to anchor and stern tie. The wind was blowing about 8 knots so we wanted to be head to wind. The first spot we chose, the anchor would not set as it skipped along the rocky bottom. We then chose another and did perfectly. The Planet then found a big rock which they were able to sail off of in a very smooth recovery with no structural damage, just some lost bottom paint and pride. They then rafted up with us and we had a nice evening eating clams and a fruit cheese platter that Trish made up for us. Trish has done an amazing job provisioning and organizing the boat for cruising. We stayed up late into the night and into the am watching shooting stars and satellites.
Friday, July 16 2004 Woke to a low tide and went clam digging at the shore behind our boats and got lots of littlenecks and some big butter and horse clams for crab bait. Wes and I then went out to set the traps and find the cabin with the art. No luck crabbing or finding the cabin but had a lot of fun and found a couple abandoned cabins.
Saturday, July 17 2004 Lounged and played at the Octopus Islands and planned to leave to head north to Thurston Bay on the north end of Sonora Island in the morning. We finally found the cabin and were, and still are, in awe of the creativity. This is a must see. We spent hours there. Trish and Ann spent a lot of time making driftwood signs by burning their artwork into the wood with magnifying glasses.
Sunday, July 18 2004 Woke early to catch the slack through upper and lower rapids by Hole In The Wall. Arrived at Thurston Bay around 8:00am. While rounding Chatham Point Trish and I got the stupid idea to keep going around the Island. Not wanting to jump into anything we decided to stop in Thurston Bay anyway and make an itinerary and see if we really had enough time to do so. We did and we thought we had enough time so we told Wes and Ann that we were going to go and they said they wanted to go too so off we went at the crack of noon to make a run on Johnstone Strait. We got our ass kicked by the strong flood but made it to Port Harvey by 8:30pm all the while we were pushing up the Strait a storm system was running just ahead of us and throwing lightening bolts around and lots of rain.
Monday, July 19 2004 Departed Port Harvey with the ebb and raced north up Johnstone Strait in thick fog. We did not get to see the upper Strait at all. We emerged from the fog in Queen Charlotte Strait and made Port Hardy by 2:00pm, a good days run. We moored at the downtown commercial dock with the fishboats. Neat spot. Extremely hard rain but warm.
Tuesday, July 20 2004 Laundry and provisions in the am and afternoon departure with the ebb to Bull Harbor to cross the bar in the am. The storm system has moved north to the Queen Charlottes. A high is building offshore so it looks good. The rain has stopped and the sun is peeking through every so often! The Barometer has risen to 1019. Anchored in Bull Harbor after navigating through lots of logs and drift.
Wednesday, July 21 2004 Left Bull Harbor at 5:45 to cross the bar on the ebb just like the books tell you not to do. The crossing was not bad. Set sail off Cape Scott and had a hell of a down hill run to Winter Cove in Quatsino Sound. We had wind in the mid 20's and ended of with two reefs in the main and just the staysail. With that sail plan we held 7+knots. Anchored behind Mathews island and ate a salmon that Wes caught. Very good. Saw Orcas on the way south too. A very exciting and tiring sail. Hopefully a little less wind tomorrow but I will not complain as long as it is out of the northwest as it was today.
Thursday July 22 2004 Set sail from Mathews Island to sail south around Cape Cook and pull into Walters Cove. The wind was strong out of the northwest and gales were forecast again. We set out with three reefs in the main and just the staysail. We removed the third reef after getting about 10 miles out as the wind was only in the 20's although the seas were quite large. With two reefs in the main we were running at 7+ knots parallel to Cape Cook heading out to sea. The waves were 17 to 20 feet and breaking heavily. We decided that it was a prudent idea to head way offshore. We sailed 20 miles out before jibing and running down parallel to the coast. We were on a course to put us in Esperanza Inlet so we radioed the Daily Planet to see if they were up to the long day. Doing so put us a day ahead and we felt great for it although very tired. We anchored in Queens Cove which is very protected and beautiful. Wes caught a nice salmon on the way down the coast so we had salmon for dinner again.
Friday, July 23 2004 Slept in a little (8:00) and had a relaxing am before a motor to Friendly Cove around the inside of Tahsis Narrows. When I started the engine it did not sound right. It sounded like a belt was slipping so I opened the engine hatch and found the belts to be tight and was unable to locate the noise. Just then the smoke started pouring out of everywhere. I found the starter bendix did not disengage and was spinning with the engine. The starter is dead in the middle of nowhere, almost. We were towed by Wes and Ann to Tahsis via Esperanza where the owner Dean let me use his homemade radio phone to make all kinds of calls and then would not let me pay him. Very nice guy. Got a hold of Mom who got a starter on the way and is flying to Victoria then driving to Tahsis. A six hour drive with the last 20 miles being a dirt road. Very nice of her!
Saturday, July 24 2004 First thing in the am I removed the starter expecting it to be a real pain in the ass as the oil cooler for the tranny had to be removed to gain access. The whole job ended taking me about 15 minutes. Whew! I disassembled the dead starter to try to figure out what caused the fire. I found that the bearing that the bendix rides on to allow it to freewheel when the engine starts therefore allowing the bendix to unload and disengage, was all but frozen up. I believe that the bendix never disengaged the ring gear therefore spinning the armature until it heated up melting the windings and burning its self up. The starter is not repairable in the field. Called to verify that Mom was indeed on her way and had indeed received the replacement starter. Spent the day crabbing and shrimping and exploring Tahsis. Mom arrived about 7:00 making record time from Victoria to Tahsis. We had dinner of kabobs and ginger rice. I then installed the new starter in about 10 minutes and VROOM! We had and engine! We were all pretty tired so we crashed knowing that we had to get up early and get under way. Poor Mom, we unfortunately had to send her on her way at 6:00 am. We felt bad but were now on a very tight schedule.
Sunday July 25 2004
Woke early and got underway after
saying goodbye to Mom. The wind blew all night as it had been doing for the
past week. We motored down Tahsis channel watching all the bear on the
beaches trying to catch their daily salmon. We saw 4 in about a half hour.
After leaving Tahsis Inlet we ran into the 25-30 knot winds which hit us on
our starboard bow as we headed out of Nootka Sound into the ocean to round
the Hesquiat Peninsula. We had decided to use headsails alone although we
were going to be close hauled for about 15 miles to get offshore. The winds
were predicted and reported at 40 knots north by northwest. I unrolled the
jib to the second reef point and Nelle took off leaping across the waves
which were 12-15 foot breakers. I knew right away that I had too much sail
as Nelle was trying to fly and landing deeply in the troughs. I immediately
rolled the jib in until there was only a very small triangle out and she was
still making 4 knots and pointing nicely but I did not like the strain that
my jib was taking being rolled in that much. I unrolled the staysail and she
drove nicely. I did have to drive her up and over the crests to keep them
from breaking across her beam. The helm was very balanced making driving her
a pleasure and a lot of fun. The waves and wind continued to build with wave
heights of at least 20 feet. As soon as we would clear the Hesquiat
Peninsula we bore off and ran down under staysail alone at 7.5 - 8 knots,
hitting 14.8knots while surfing. Nelle never felt as she was going to broach
and drove easily although the motion was extreme from the confused sections
of waves within the breaks.
Monday, July 26 2004 Departed Hot Springs cove with more gale warnings but they never materialized so we motored in nasty slop leftover from the previous weeks winds all the way to Barkley Sound where we anchored in Effingham bay on Effingham Island. Very nice place and a very nasty sticky bottom. Good anchorage in a storm.
Tuesday July 27 2004 Motored to Sooke all the while awaiting the wind that was predicted at 15-20 NW. Never happened. Motored almost all the way. Some wind filled in off River Jordan pushing our speed up to 8 knots. Entered Sooke in the Dark at about 10:30 and ate salmon omelets. Wes caught two more Salmon. Actually three but one got away as he had two on at once!
Wednesday, July 28 2004 Motored from Sooke to Port Townsend
Thursday, July 29 2004 Motored from Port Townsend to Bainbridge then on to Port Orchard.
************************End of Summer 2004 Cruise**********************
After a long week at work we were ready to leave the dock as soon as I got
home. We motored to Blake Island and found it to be very busy with the
marina full as well as all the mooring bouys so we anchored on the backside
(our favorite spot anyway) a couple boats down from Grandma and Grandad
aboard Dunrushn. It was late and we were hungry and tired so we agreed to
visit Grandma and Grandad in the morning. I told them that I would make
breakfast aboard Nelle. The evening was calm and warm. The weather was
predicted to break records and break 80 degrees! Amazingly, it did! Saturday
morning we had a breakfast of my famous vanilla pancakes, bacon, eggs and
homemade hashbrowns. After breakfast Trish and I rigged the sailing dingy,
our 8 foot Montgomery named the Cosmic Muffin. We did not have much wind but
a lot of sun and a lot of tidal flow pushing us to the north at a rapid
rate. Trish was sure there was more wind up stream as there were small white
caps at the south end of the Island. I however was sure that those were tide
rips and figured that she would tire of rowing so far up stream. She didn't
and we ended up bouncing around in the tide rips when the wind filled
in.....off we went sailing hard into the tide rips getting us wet. I reached
off shore to get out of the rips. As we left the rips I headed back up and
found that while sailing as fast as the Cosmic Muffin could we were making
no forward progress over land, Hence the true sailing simulator was born. We
sailed in place for about an hour and a half all the while getting a head
start on our summers tan. We decided that it was about time to go see if
Grandma and Grandad wanted to go for a walk on the beach so we reached off
downstream toward the moored boats. As we headed down at blazing speed we
saw Halcyon motoring in to the anchorage. The anchorage was pretty full so
they anchored across the water at Harpor with intentions of taking their
dingy over for happy hour. Grandma and Grandad were busy varnishing so we
headed back to Nelle to get some lunch. After lunch we went out for another
sail in the Cosmic Muffin. We saw Doug and Nancy starting across the water
in their dingy and kept an eye on their progress which seemed too slow. We
headed back to Nelle and launched the Avon RIB with the 15 Johnson and
headed out to see if they were OK. As it turned out their water pump in
their motor died so we had drinks aboard Halcyon then headed back to Nelle
to start dinner. Trish made a great dinner and we enjoyed our evening. We
headed back early Sunday morning as we were scheduled to do Brunch with
Trish's parents at 11:00. We had a very enjoyable morning motor home.
March 27-28 2004
We planned a relaxing weekend sailing to Blake with friends James and Julia who were aboard their boat Windlass. We had breakfast Saturday morning at the restaurant at the top of the dock at our marina then set out for a sail. After motoring out of the harbor we set sail with a single reef in the main and the Yankee and staysail. We were set to beat our way to Blake as the wind was out of the South at 15 knots. Before we reached Restoration Point the wind had increased to the mid 20's steady against a strong flood. We decided to put in a second reef when I was overcome with the need to be in the head immediately. I spent the remainder of the sail to Blake wishing the head had a seatbelt. Trish and Nelle thrashed their way to Blake. James had a reef or two in Windlass's main and was flying just his staysail and performing beautifully. We found Blake to be packed as everyone was hunkered down to wait out the winds. Trish doused the main and rolled up the staysail and ran to Blakely harbor and anchored deep in the head of the bay well protected from the winds and Windlass rafted alongside. I got a little better and we had a nice evening. Sunday morning was beautiful and sunny with light winds out of the North at 5-7 knots. We sailed out of Blakely harbor and south again to Blake. As we approached Blake Bob and Ellie aboard their Tug Skookum passed us allowing photo opportunity. We grabbed a mooring bouy on the backside and headed in to the beach to enjoy the warm sand and watch baby Emma play. James and I drank beer and lounged in Windlass's cockpit while the girls watched Emma and talked. We waited till sunset to head home and motored back to Eagle Harbor. A very memorable weekend with great friends.
March 23 2004
Departed Winslow Wharf Marina around 4:30 for an evening sail with Mom (Pam) aboard. Winds had been 15kts +/-all day but had died down by the time we got out of the harbor. We set sail just outside the harbor and headed east toward the red nun buoy under full sail. The wind was 5-7kts from the W-SW so we broad reached across to Alki Point where we tacked back to Winslow. The wind slowly eased to next to nothing as we approached the harbor. As it got dark we watched the City begin to light up. We then started the diesel and motored back. All in all a nice evening sail.
January 09-11 2004
We had a relaxed Saturday morning departure and a great forecast for the day with a low pressure system moving in on Sunday for our return which should have brought southerly winds of 15 to 20 knots. We backed out of our slip with a southerly wind of 10 knots across our starboard aft beam. Our prop pulls to port which usually helps with the starboard turn that we need to make once we have cleared the piling upon backing out of the slip. With the wind on the starboard beam and a lower tide we had little room to maneuver to make the turn to starboard into the wind to leave the marina. Nelle's bow blew to leeward just clearing the piling at the end of the slip. I knew that I had to let the wind blow her bow down while bringing her stern to windward with the helm hard to port and powering forward just enough to make her pivot and then back down so as to not be set sideways to the nearby mud flats. Once positioned the wind held her bow down and countered her pull to port allowing her to back all the way out of the marina. I have found her to be very sensitive to the helm while underway in reverse. Once clear of the marina I was able to use that sensitivity and her momentum to spin her around bow to windward and proceed out of Eagle Harbor. Trish set the main, jib, and staysail.
Unfortunately the wind that we had in the harbor was a land breeze and we found no more than 5 knots out on the sound. The day was cold at 30 degrees and clear. We sailed on the light southerly breeze for a couple hours across to Alki Point and tacked across toward Blake when the wind died entirely. We were about a mile and a half from the marina entrance at Blake Island. We were ready to head in and see if there was room in the marina. We motored in to the marina and found one sailboat and Islander Freeport 36 to be in the Marina. We spent a nice evening reading and cooking. Three more boats came in before the evening was done.
The next morning we made a nice breakfast in preparation for the windy day ahead of us. We set sail from Blake in 20 knots out of the north, although it was predicted to be southerly. Trish set the sails with a single reef in the new main and our old 90% jib and the new staysail. Nelle was very balanced on a port tack heading straight for the Elliot Bay Marina where we intended on taking on BioDiesel. As it turned out the BioDiesel pump was broken so we took on #2. Nelle sailed straight to the fuel dock on one tack at 8+ knots.
After having fueled up we had a beam reach home to Winslow. The wind increased to 25+ knots and we rolled up the staysail. Nelle was happy except for the fact that her mast was sagging to leeward just below the spreaders on a starboard tack only.
All in all we had a great
weekend with great sailing. We sailed in the channel into the harbor right up
to the entrance to our marina at sunset when the wind died. We furled the
sails put on the covers, prepped fenders and lines all the while Nelle sat
patiently at the marina entrance enjoying the evening watching Seattle turn
gold as the sun went down. We started her engine and backed her into her slip
to allow her to take the prevailing southerly weather on the bow and allow
easier departures. A very pleasing trip.