Monday, 27 August 2012

In Neah Bay, WA (Crewing on SV Sapphire to SF)

Two long motoring days (Day 1 to Port Angeles; Day 2 to Neah Bay) -- at least we had very little bashing up Juan de Fuca Strait.

We are now in Neah Bay, WA. Expecting to leave tomorrow (Tuesday). Forecast calls for 10 kn SE winds with little in the way of seas.

Makah Marina here at Neah Bay has seen better days. (Seems only about 30-50% of the electrical conections work; washrooms need some real cleaning.) But the docks have plenty of room, and it is a calm peaceful place. No complaints.


Sapphire's trip can be followed *live* (AIS tracking) on the web at:
Enter MMSI 338101205 and/or Sapphire.

Note: this only works when our AIS transponder is on (i.e., only when we are underway). Also, we may not show up when we are (i) farther offshore (e.g., 50 nm) and/or (ii) if there are no AIS receivers on shore (as seems the case for the west coast of WA's Olympic Peninsula.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Sailing south to San Francisco -- crewing on SV Sapphire

We are crewing for our friend Jay on his Cambria 48 "Sapphire", Vancouver to San Francisco. Departure planned for this Saturday, August 25th.

SV Sapphire (off of Juan Perez Sound, Haida Gwaii)

We met Jay while sailing/cruising up in Haida Gwaii, last summer (2011).

Sapphire & Pelagia on mooring buoys, Ramsay Island, Haida Gwaii

Sapphire's trip can be followed *live* (AIS tracking) on the web at:
Enter MMSI 338101205 and/or Sapphire.

Hopefully, this will be good experience for our trip next year down to San Francisco. (We'll be back in Vancouver in early September.)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Back home in Vancouver

We had a good sailing trip down from Desolation Sound to Vancouver. Sailed over half the way with winds behind us (with an overnight at Garden Bay, Pender Harbour). Not bad for Summer sailing around here. We had to get back quickly/early due to a death in the family.

After nearly a week back in Vancouver, we took off on Pelagia to clear our heads. This past weekend, we spent 3 nights anchored over at Port Graves (Howe Sound). Thursday night there were only 4 boats (take that, Desolation Sound), and both Thursday and Friday the weather was sunny and the water 22 degrees C. Of course, things filled up by Saturday (perhaps 35 boats -- but there was LOTS more room*).  We finally were successful with our HF SSB radio, checking into the Great Northern Boaters Net (HAM, 3870.0 kHz, LSB, 8 am PDT) three times. Our first amateur radio QSO!

To top it all off, we sailed all the way home from Port Graves to Vancouver -- albeit a somewhat tough wind-on-the nose slog. Shoulders are sore from all the tacking and grinding. (Anyone want to sell a couple of electric winches cheap? No? I didn't think so....)

* Why is it that every new boat coming in has to crowd/jam in with the rest of the boats? The 35-or-so boats were mostly crammed in to the end, leaving the other half of the anchorage essentially empty! Ahh, the "herd mentality"...

Monday, 6 August 2012

When Desolation Sound is no longer "desolate"...

August in Desolation Sound -- it is CROWDED!

57+ boats in Tenedos NW anchorage....

This morning, there were 80 boats in the Tenedos anchorages (57+ in the main nook). About 2/3rds of these were from the USA. Most anchorages down in the Gulf Islands don't get anywhere close to this crowded (except, perhaps, for Montague Harbour and Sidney Spit).

Add to the crowds in the anchorage, the generators, the "let's tow the kids with the dinghy" and/or "how about wakeboarding" and we decided it was time to leave.

Mid-July through August is crazy time in Desolation Sound. With luck, adventure, and creativity, one can find quieter anchorages -- but perhaps it is better to go in June or September.

But the water was warm (Tenedos was 24 degrees C) and the sun was shining!

UPDATE 2015: We finally returned to Desolation Sound in September,  2015.  See our blog post about this (November 20, 2015)