Wednesday, October 08, 2003


Well it happened, I managed to turn 40 and the world did not stop. We had a couple of rousing parties and I saved at least half of my brain cells. Meanwhile I keep on getting calls from this girl, Kalliope. It turns out she wants all kinds of new jewelry and such. She's persistent that one is. So, I get in my somewhat trusty Saab and head back to Port Townsend. We have quite a few projects lined up for her, but first the bad news. It turns out that the bearings on my furler where shot and I can't find any replacements. A call to Pro-Furl comes up with a big nada. But, they are willing to sell me a new unit for super cheap so I decide to spend the extra bucks for a new unit.

Kalliope sans furler with Lady Washington in the background

Meanwhile Port Townsend Rigging pulls down the rig and we start stripping it. I let them do the standing rigging while I replace all of the electrical and rebuild and rebed my winches. In three short weeks it is all done and we manage to stand the mast back up.
Holy crap, it is November 6th and it is time to get out of here. We are moving the boat up to Canoe Covefor the winter. On a cold clear morning with frost on the sails my buddy Bob and I take her out of the country for an 8 hour sail up to Canada. Kathy and Bob's wife are taking the car and will meet us in Canoe Cove. Luckily it is really warm and the wind mostly cooperates. We ended up sailing almost all of the way to Sidney.

Heading out of Admiralty Inlet to Canada

In Sidney I found out that my mother was having surgery the next week and that my 97 year old grandmother was not doing so well and needed someone to look after her. We ended up spending a day closing up the boat for the winter and then headed back to Colorado for two whole days before driving all to Alabama. Whew! That is a lot of miles!

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Port Townsend - End of Trail

We finally left Saturna and headed south. The plan was to clear customs in Friday Harbor and hang there for a day; however, the wind and currents where with us and we managed to arrive outside of Friday Harbor about an hour ahead of schedule. The tide was still ebbing like crazy, so we decided to ride it out of Cattle pass and make our way to Port Townsend for the Wooden Boat Festival. We made it to the boat haven pretty earlier and cleared customs before everything shut down at 5. We even managed to get a nice comfortable slip for the week while we provisioned for our trip to San Francisco and fixed anything that needed attention before we headed off shore.
High on my list was dealing with a sticky engine throttle, and thoroughly checking out the rigging. Things went mostly well, except when I had the local rigging shop go over my rigging, they confirmed what I had suspected all along, the rigging was pretty much shot and needed to be replaced. We even found some cracks in some of the swage fittings. Bummer.
So the question becomes, can we fix it and still make San Fran before the season turns or are we stuck here. After beating my head for a week trying to do the impossible, I finally relax and try to remember that those boaters on a schedule are the ones that most frequently get screwed. Besides, this is supposed to be fun, right? The decision is made to postpone the trip and just enjoy the boat show.

The Lady Washington with her Pirate paint job.

After hanging out in Port Townsend a week we decide to go ahead and have Port Townsend Rigging rerig her for us.
It is mid September and I got a B-day coming up, so it is time to head back to Colorado to see if our house is still there. It takes us several days to unload the boat and get ready for the big drive home.
Overall we had a fantastic summer, with some of the best weather you could possible ask for. It never rained and the skies where mostly just clear and blue. We met a whole bunch of great people and we managed to put 700 nm on the boat with out any major incidents. Now if I can just talk my wife into selling the house :-)

(5/13/2004) - After mulling over the decision all winter we are glad we didn't head south. We will now cruise another summer up here and will probably stay up for a third season. Also, other cruisers that left that weekend got pounded by some serious gales. I heard that some even had to get rescued by the CG.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003


Back in Nanamio we had some wine from the Saturna Island Vineyards and had decided that we needed to do some serious tasting. We also knew that this was going to be our last stop in Canada before our big schlep down south so we decided to live up a bit.
Saturna Island is relatively undeveloped compared to some of the other Gulf Islands. It does have ferry service, a Grocery store and three restaurants. We decided to take up a spot on the public dock in Lyall harbor. Imagine our surprise when we noticed that the majority of the dock was all charred and crispy. It turns out they had a pretty big fire earlier in the summer which completely closed down their ferry. They still had a place for us to tie up, so all was good.
The first thing we did was walk over to the Saturna Lodge and make dinner reservations for that evening. They even sent a shuttle over to pick us and take us back to the boat. We heard that they had some good food and we were not disappointed. It was probably our best meal in Canada.
The next day we walked "downtown" to the grocery store and over a 600' pass to get the winery. The winery was nestled on the southwest corner of the island against some steep cliffs.

Sitting on the Tasting Deck Watching the View

They had a tasting room and place to eat lunch. The Winery and the Saturna Lodge are owned by the same folks, so the lunch was pretty tasty as well. After tasting all of that wine we were feeling lazy and had the locals take us up to the top of the pass while we walked back down the other side.
It was our anniversary, so cooking was out. That evening we had dinner at the Saturna Cafe. It was crab night and we decided to go crazy and get have crab yet one more time.

Happy Anniversary Baby, Got You on My Mind.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Ganges Harbor

Now the good thing about hauling butt yesterday meant that we had only an hour and a half cruise this morning. The plan, Ganges Harbor on Saltspring Island. Now this place is really a time warp. Every fad is present here. Hippies, 70 disco queens, punk rockers, skate punks ... It seems that this town is the last resort for these people. Everything is accepted here and anything goes. The bonus is that there are all kinds of strange and fun businesses to explore. We got your art galleries, book stores (at least 6 in a couple block radius), hardware stores (open since 1907), grocery stores and of course groovy little restaurants. So what did we do? We did a walk about and then headed back to the boat for some serious nap action and some serious sunset watching. We were going to go back and watch some music at the Tree Cafe, but inertia took over and we didn't quite make it.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Monteque Harbor Again

Nothing super exciting here. We left Nanamio after an exciting morning of boat washing and laundry (It is a glamorous life ain't it?). As an added bonus we really couldn't leave until 2pm so that we could hit the slack water at Dodd Narrows. The Narrows were thankfully uneventful and we headed down south to Pirate Cove. Now this particular cove has shallow bar that can only be entered at high water (which was luckily now), but we decided that we didn't want to hang out there for a full day. Since we had been to Montegue Harbor before, we knew that it was an easy anchorage so we decided to head down south.

We arrived at the anchorage at 7:30pm and dropped the anchor, fired up the grill and had some burgers. I also managed to get quite a bit of reading done on the trip down south. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Nanaoimo Again

Another big long day with some mighty fine sailing thrown it. I was a little slack at checking out the distance to Nanamio. The previous evening I was talking with a guy on the dock who was from Nanamio and I asked him how long it would take. "About 5 hours," he said. Well I thought no problem. So the next morning I got up and after a leisurely cup of tee, pull out the charts. It was 40nm to Nanamio, just a bit more than 5 hours. "Holy Crap," I thought and pulled up the anchor while Kathy was making French Toast and Anna was still snoozing. Well we got under way and had some nice French Toast, the wind was blowing and so we pulled up the sails and had a nice scoot down south. Of course the wind died and we had to snub them. But then it picked up to a rollicking 18kts and we managed to beat our way into port. 5 hours? More like 8. But we managed to make it into Nanamio by 7:30 PM and headed over to the Acme for a might fine meal. The next morning Anna headed off to Vancouver and to home. Meanwhile, we explored Nanamio some more and hit the Grocery store. That night we headed back to the Acme and listened to an outstanding Jazz singer (who was only 15!). Not a bad gig when you can get it.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Ford Cove

We did a quick stop over in Ford Cove off of Hornby Island for the night. We didn't go ashore so I really don't have a lot to report about the island. We did manage to have a kicker sunset and a funky old dock to mess around with. What else could you want?

Funky Dock at Ford Cove

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Manson Bay

Well after two serious days of blowing from the NW we were finally able to get off the dock from Harriot Bay marina. I took the rental car over to Campbell river while the girls got the boat ready to sail. I managed to get the car on the last spot on the ferry and had a nice trip over to Campbell River. I then took the car out to the airport. As I was checking the car in, I looked at their map and noticed that there was a Budget drop off right by the ferry. Hmm, since I hadn't checked the car in yet, I decided to head back to town to drop off the car there. This worked great since the ferry was only a block away. Back on Quadra Island, I stuck out the ole thumb to get a ride back to Harriott bay. I got lucky pretty quick, the hot lesbian dock chick picked me up after only a couple of minutes. After another hour of boat work we were ready to go. The wind was blowing out of the south at a lazy 6 kts so we put up all the sails and headed east for Manson Marine Park. For those that have been following this saga, we were there about two weeks ago. This time we arrived from the west after a sneaking through Shark's Spit on the north end of Marina Island (There are NO marinas on Marina island!). Interesting cut, only about 40 feet wide. It is actually marked by buoys (a near first for up here). After anchoring near the head of the bay, we dingied over and hiked to a nearby lake for a nice refreshing swim. Now for a nice chilled bear and a nice bowl of risotto. Yum.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Harriott Bay

We got a nice slow start out of the octopus Islands since we had to wait for slack water at Surge Narrows. The trip through the narrows was pretty uneventful (The narrows are only 147 feet wide and currents can hit 8 kts!) and we had a quick motor down to Harriot bay. The big plan was to anchor at Rebbecca spit, but it was packed and the weather called for a wind shift so I decided to head into the Harriot Bay Marina. This worked out well because we met a whole stack of cool folks at the Marina and pub.

The next day, the wind switched to the North with a vengeance. About half of the folks at Rebbecca Spit pulled anchor and moved on (good thing we didn't anchor). Later that evening, we had another guest show up for a week (Hi Ana, hope you enjoyed your trip!). She picked up a rental car in Campbell river and took the ferry over to Quadra Island. That night we cooked some primo fillets on the barbie.

The next day we used her car to take a tour of Quadra. I was really looking forward to the First Nations museum, but they were closed for renovations (until next year!). So we headed to the south end of the Island in search of Pictographs. These carving are below the high water mark on the south end of Quadra. They can only be viewed at low tide, and are kind of tricky to see. But, very cool indeed. That night we had appetizers at April Point lodge and the took the water taxi across Discovery Passage and had dinner at Painter's Lodge. April point was voted as one Conde Naste top 500 beautiful spots in the world. Okay, the view from April point is across Discovery Passage and views Campbell river and it's wonderful smokestacks. Now, don't get me wrong, it is a pretty place, but the top 500. No way. The food was also pretty average. Good ingredients, poor execution.

The next day, Kathy and Ana headed up north for some whale watching. I hung out at the boat as it got battered by 20 kts winds from the north. Bouncy, Bouncy. It was so strong that I don't think that I could have got the boat off the dock if I wanted to. I had a pretty damn good day, in that I did nothing. I didn't work on this log, the engine, the bilge, the head ... nothin'. What I did do is have a nice chat on the phone and do some serious power reading.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Octopus Islands

I'm really getting into these slack days. Well in theory it didn't have to be completely slack. We had to poke our nose out into Johnstone strait which always has a small craft adisory and we had to negotiate a rapid with a hidden rock smack dab in the middle of it. Well Johnstone Strait was a complete snoozer - good. We hit the rapid just before slack and the rock was covered with seaweed so it was easy to spot - good. Oh yeah, and the head is completely plugged - bad. At least it isn't completely busted. I can discharge directly overboard, but I don't like to do that in anchorages. So I spent about an hour playing with the head and deciding that I didn't really feel like fixing it now anyway. Hopefully it is just a big wad of TP. I'll let mother nature work on some natural disolved before I look at it tomorrow. Even as I write this it is at least dribbling. So the official plan for today was a big row around the Islands in search of mysterious windchimes that are supposed to be here, a big tall beer and finish that silly book that I started yesterday.

The funny thing about this place is that it is only 5 miles as the crow flies from where we stayed last night. But a set of nasty rapids and Johnstone Straits really thin out the crowds. Tonight there are about a two dozen boats anchored in this park. Last night there were five.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Handfield Bay

Today was another cloudy day. But no rain. After a nice slack morning we set sail at the crack of 11 for Thurston Bay marine park - a scant 12 miles away. After some of the big epic days that we had been doing last month it is nice to only travel for a couple of hours and then chill out the rest of the day. We ended up anchoring in a small little anchorage known as Handfield Bay. Only one other boat was anchored there. This bay used to be a home site sometime ago. An apple tree (not ripe yet!) and an old cabin site is all that remains. After a short hike around the old home site and a row around the bay, I hunkered down for some serious reading - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Talk about mindless. Sipping beer and reading children's stories. I may actually be on vacation now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Frederick Arm

Well I was getting a bit ancy to get off the dock. So we decided to go up to the head of Frederick arm and check out Estero Basin a freshwater connected to Frederick Arm by a small channel known as "the gut". So we backtracked east down Cordero channel and headed up into Frederick Arm. The day started out pretty cloudy with a damn good rain the night before. I almost thought I would have to put on the ole rain slickers, but luck was on our side because later in the day the clouds parted and the sun came out. We managed to find a nice little spot to drop the anchor and then waited for high tide. The trick to navigating "the gut" is that you have to hit right at high tide. At that point saltwater flows from Frederick Arm into Estero Basin. So at high tide we packed up the dinghy and headed for "the gut". Well this little pass is pretty shallow and I had to get out and pull the dingy a couple of times, but once we got pass the shallow spot we had a mini whitewater trip into Estero Arm. "Mini" was about 100'. This lake is pretty damn big - about 4 miles across. We headed for the north shore where supposedly there were some streams coming into the lake. We motored and motored and motored until finally we found the most pathetic excuse for a stream. It came complete with some broken down shack. So we hung out for a couple of minutes and turned back. Now on the ride in both of us had smelled sulfur at this one spot. And sulfur can only mean one or two things. The first was ruled out (both of us swore it wasn't us). So we poked around for a the second likely candidate - a hot spring. We didn't find a hot spring, but we found another creek that ran down for a mountain that had been mined for gold. So of course I had to "pan" for gold. Since I only had my bare hands, this was kind of a difficult process, but I did manage to find four or five flakes. By now gold fever was in full swing and I had grand visions of getting up really early the next morning with a proper pan and work on funding some new boat projects. But alas, entropy and laziness got the better of my and I missed the 5am high tide window the next morning. Oh well, at least now I'm a proper pirate, with my gold stashed neatly away in a spice bottle.

Added note of grave importance: Belini is getting braver. She started coming out and hanging in the cockpit right by the companionway.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Blind Channel

We didn't get much sailing today (or any day that we were in the Discovery Islands for that matter), but the scenery more than made up for the madding chug of the Diesel engine. We left Big Bay pretty early so that we could shoot Dent Rapids. We hit Dent just after slack and rode a gentle current North through the pass. As we are cruising along, who do we see but some sailing friends "Magic Dragon" making their way north. They are heading to Shoal Bay so we follow them for a much needed break and a nap (did I mention that we got up really early!)
Shoal Bay is a nice quiet little bay with a small public dock that was pretty much chock full of Bayliners (do you detect a them?) However, it has a nice little pub and looks like it would be a great place to spend a week or so. Our friends on Magic Draon stayed there for several weeks a couple of years ago and enjoyed the experience. We, however, where not able to linger, we had guests and deadlines (the dreaded D word) to attend to. So after a nice mellow nap while we waited for the Blind Channel current to slack off, we pulled up the anchor and headed West through Cordura channel.

Sitting on the Shoal Bay Pub deck
As we came up to Blind Channel, I kept on thinking where the hell is it. Finally at the last minute we saw it (Hence the name). Now Blind Channel Resort is totally unlike Big Bayliner. It is just a fantastic place to spend a couple of days. The place was started and still run by the Richter family. Much of resort is decorated with Annemarie's art. Even the dock pilings are decorated.

Dock Piling Cover and Detail

The staff was super friendly. In the morning you could walk up to the store for fresh Cinnamon rolls. Later on the fresh bread would roll out, followed by cookies in the after noon. In the evening we enjoyed their find German restaurant. We liked it so much, we ended up eating there two nights.
Our friends stayed for one more night and then took a water taxi back to Campbell River.

(5/13/2004): I just read the Shoal Bay newsletter. Turns out that Shoal Bay is now a Nuke Free Zone. So I guess all of you nuclear powered Bayliners are just going to have to go elsewhere!
(5/13/2004): Annemarie Richter of Blind Channel passed away last November. She will surely be missed.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Big "Bayliner" Bay

I'm not sure why we decided to stay overnight at Big Bay Resort. Maybe it was because we didn't feel like busting through two sets of closely spaced rapids. Maybe because it was supposed to have a good restaurant. Well it sounded good in theory.

The day started innocently enough. We got up bright and early so that we could hit Yuculta rapids at slack. Yuculta rapid is one of the big ones, with currents that day running at 5.5 kts. The slack was at 2 PM so we got a nice early start so that we could stop by Teakerne arm and check out the waterfall. Not to much wind today, so we motored up to base of Cassell falls. Normally you would stern tie to anchor hear, but the weather was blowing into the Arm and I was feeling lazy. I dropped the hook in about 60 feet of water and let the stern drift towards the shore. Since I had hiked up to the lake last year, I let the girls go and check out the waterfall and the lake, while I watched the boat and snoozed a bit. An hours later, they came back and we pulled anchor and headed back north towards Big Bay.

The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful as we slowly motored north. The scenery up the channels is just incredible with bald eagles poking their heads above the pines everywhere. We arrived at Yuculta just before slack with a half a dozen or so other boars. Since everyone is waiting for the slack, it always seems like a mad rush to hit the rapids exactly at slack. On the north side of the rapids lies Big Bay. This resort is sandwiched on the north and south by two big set of rapids, so everyone tends to leave the marina at exactly the same time. That probably isn't that big of a deal, but the corollary is that everyone arrives at one time. Even though everyone has reservations, there are only a couple of dockhands dolling out the available dockspace. Two dockhands, 6 big ass boats, 10 minutes to dock a boat. You do the math. The problem was that many of the Big-Ass Bayliners couldn't do the math and they would push there way in front of the other boats (read that - me!) and generally yell at everyone on the radio. We finally did waved in for a spot. The dock space pretty much sucked though. They had us back into a little finger that was about 20' long. Our cockpit was face to face with a big cigarette smoking Bayliner. These resorts do not understand sailboats and inability to backup and move sideways (look ma, no thrusters!). Did I mention out of 40 boats, there was only 1 other sailboat. As an added bonus, they had run out of water the day before because tow Big-Ass Bayliners had sucked up 1000 gallons of water apiece. Friends of ours were begging for 25 gallons. They actually used the water to DRINK. Imagine that!?

Since we got there pretty early, we decided to go for a hike and check out the rapids. We hike towards the southern edge of Big Bay where someone is creating a planned development. Kind of strange considering that we were in the middle of nowhere. On the hike back, Tracy and I checked out the swimming hole, but decided to skip it since it looked to slimy. That night we decided to try out their restaurant (supposed to be good). Well it wasn't. The salmon was dry and overcooked, the steak was rough chewy and just plain gross. Highly expensive and highly gross. Skip it by all means.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Tenados Bay

We got a pretty early start leaving Gorge Harbor. A low had moved in during the night and the wind was blowing right into the gorge from the south west. Luckily we were traveling mostly South and then East, so we were able to get some fine sailing in. It is always nice to have a mellow little wind when you have guests on board. We sailed west towards Desolation Sound marine park and into one of my favorite anchorage in the area: Tenadous Bay. Tenadous Bay have it all. Good shrimping, dramatic cliffs and a warm freshwater lake. The lake has a nice bonus in that there is a nice cliff to dive off (complete with a rope swing!).
I think I also mentioned that this bay had good shrimping. I'm not sure why I said that, because I didn't catch a single damn shrimp. Mostly I just hauled the shrimp pot up and down a couple of times. I think the problem was that I was in to deep of water. Never could find the bottom. Well, next summer I will figure it out!
The Girls Rowing in Tenadous

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Gorge Harbor

The entrance to Gorge Harbor is pretty dramatic, cut into the southern side of Cortes is a narrow slot about 100 feet deep. On the western side of the slot, the cliffs are adorned with pictographs that are thousands of years old. After traveling through "The Gorge," the harbor opens up to a bay that is almost 2nm long. On the western arm, their are tons of places to drop you hook and watch the birds on the shore. Tonight, however, we decided to stay at the local resort since we were meeting our friends Tracy and Katie. They had braved multiple ferry trips from Vancouver Island to Quadra Island and then finally to Cortes Island. Being the ever frugal traveler, they managed to hitch hike across Quadra and almost accepted a lift from the local garbage truck. Ahh, the life of cruising. That evening Tracy had a little swim around the boat and we settled in for some fine munchies.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Manson Marine Park

Ahh, now this is the life! After an uneventful motor up from Lund (no wind), we arrived at the Manson Marine Park. This park is situated around a partially drying lagoon and also includes a warm fresh water lake, complete with sandy beaches. It is hard to imagine that we are in Canada. This anchorage is open to the south and every now and then we get some bouncies from the south. Last night, though, the wind was from the NW and pretty light, so we had a nice settled anchorage with minimal bouncing about. I don't think that I woke up the whole night.

We were joined by a clipper ship. There are about a dozen of these things roaming the waters here taking kids on a sailing summer camp.

Saturday, August 02, 2003


One thing that you start doing when you travel for more than a couple of weeks is start hitting the local festivals. It doesn't matter how small they are. Maybe it is something like the wooden boat festival in Seattle that draws thousands of folks. Or maybe it is like the Poulsbo 4th of July festival or their Norwegian summer solstice festival. Well I am a sucker for local festivals and when I saw the hand painted signs for Lund days I just knew I had to make a bee line up to Lund. The problem was finding the festival. No one knew where it was. Even the next day at 9am, the supposed start of the festival we couldn't find it. Even locals were driving up to us asking us where the damn thing was. Well we finally found it, rather it found us. It was in the lawn outside the Lund Hotel, only a couple of hundred yards from our boat. Only they didn't really start at nine, they finally got their act together around 2 or 3 pm. They started out with a violin recital from the local teacher including such hits as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. The next act had all original material and was composed of the last vestige of the new age movement. Then a local comedy act, and finally the headliner, a local 60-70s era band playing your favorite CSN and dead songs. Luckily, there was plenty of beer on hand, so they sounded pretty good. It is about 11pm now, the local act quit playing an hour ago and the only thing that is left is the new age folks beating on their drums. I think they are trying to revitalize the movement. We did see a brochure today advertising a class about fairies. (Not the San Fransisco type, but more of the Harry Potter type).
All in all, Lund is pretty cool. They pack 'em deep on the dock and weird at the bar. They have a kick ass bakery with about the worst Chai I've ever had in my life. Coffee and bread is good. Chai sucks. Remember that. Also a couple of cool cafes and a nice pub with a great view of the sunset. Billy Bob says check it out.

The Starboard Cafe in Lund
Wacked out house in Lund - Check out the windows
We met another cruising couple, Jim & Judy on Pacific Dreams, a Pacific Seacreast. Nice boat. They are headed North and plan to go a bit farther than us. Good luck to them.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Powell River

To exit Princess Louisa Inlet is a bit easier to time then entering it, since it only takes an hour to get from the head of the inlet to Malibu rapids. We got a nice early 6 am start so that we could take our time leaving the inlet. The other nice thing about hitting an early tide is that you really don't have to worry about other boats entering the pass. The outbound folks had the pass all to themselves. Also we were at high tide, the pass is quite a bit wider and gives you tons more room to move around. The views on the trip out were fantastic. Of course there was zero wind in the moring, so the first couple of hours involved motoring.

Later that afternoon the wind picked up and we beat into the wind (making a healthy 6.5kts)

Monday, July 28, 2003

Princess Louisa Inlet

Princess Louisa Inlet is one of the most popular and premier cruising destinations in the Pacific Northwest. And we were soon going to see why. In order to enter the inlet we had to pass through Malibu rapids, a narrow tidal pass the we could only traverse at slack water. So in order to hit the rapids at slack, we got up at 5:30 am to sail down the inlet. Really we motored though, since there was not a bit of wind. The trip was kind of a schlep, I used Wanda, our Autopilot, for most of the trip. As we got down to the head of Jervis, the views really started getting impressive.

Heading towards Malibu Rapids

At noon, people started moving through the rapids. Everyone uses the radio to commmunicate between the inbound and outbound boats since only one boat at a time can get through. The whole process is really quite a zoo, with dozens of boats trying to navigate the rapids around slack. My favorite was the motor vessel Big Dog. It was about a half-hour before slack and Big Dog gets on the radio and announces that he is coming through. Damn it, he is in a hurry and he is going to get through those rapids come hell or high water (really low water in this case!). Well a half hour later (during slack), Big Dog, announces that he is coming back through the rapids (apparently after a pickup at Princess Louisa). Well it turns out, Big Dog, is just a small 24 foot run about. Doggey maybe. Big, no. After the rapids, we had another four miles to go before we got to the head of the inlet. We really lucked out since there was dock space available. This was the view from our cockpit.
The Dock at Princess Louisa Inlet

As an added bonus, the water was 70 degress, so swimming was in order. I even managed to replace a lost zinc on my prop. We spent three days here exploring the inlet. I even did the 1800' hike up to the trappers canyon. It was more of a climb than a hike.
You call this a trail?
Princess Louisa - Kalliope is one of the tiny dots on the lower right.
Chatterbox Falls w/Kalliope on the dock.
Even Belini managed to get some rest at Princess Louisa.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Agememnon Bay

When sailing up Jervis inlet (Jervis inlet is the long inlet on the NE corner of the map), people usually dock at Egmont and then get an early start to head up the inlet. Since the weather was pretty settled, I decided to Anchor in Agmemnon bay. Nothing exciting, just a pretty little bay to drop the hook for a night.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Pender Harbour

Well we finally managed to cross the straits on Saturday. Ho hum. The wind was about 10 kts from the south. We had a lazy sail for most of the morning and then the wind just up and died. When we finally made it across to Welcome Pass we had to resort to full blown motoring. A couple of hours we pulled into lovely Pender Harbor. We pulled into the Government docks at Hospital bay so that we could get a shower and do some Laundry. According to our "Dreamspeaker" guidebooks, nearby there is a pub with a Laundromat nearby. So we loaded up all of Laundry and headed off for clean clothes and a beer. It turns out that these facilities are close together as the crow flies (or boat rows), but if you are walking, they are almost a mile apart. As an added bonus, the Laundromat consists of one washer and one dryer in a questionable state of repair. The guide speaks with a forked tounge. Since we didn't want to schlep the Laundry all the way back to the boat, I headed back to the boat to re inflate the dinghy and to provide a much needed shuttle service. During the dry cycle we headed to the pub and listened to a First Nation's country western singer that did impressions while he sang. My favorite was the ballad between Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Damn goofy entertainment.

Hospital Bay - Pender Harbor

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Nanaimo - The day trip from hell

The title of this chapter was supposed to be Pender Harbor, but that doesn't seem likely to happen. The title should be more like, "Why the fuck would anyone own a boat?"
The day started innocently enough. We got up at 4am to start Crossing the Georgia straights before the wind kicked up and also to hit Portier pass just after slack. The water at 4am was still as glass as we pulled up anchor.

An hour later, their was still no wind as we headed east through Portier pass into the Georgia Straights. Then things got interesting. Even though we were only a half hour past slack, the entrance waves kicked up to 4-5 feet. It was just like running a rapid on the grand canyon, except that we had a 13 ton sailboat instead of a raft. Just as we rounded the corner a big tug towing an apartment building bucket of woodchips started entering the channel towards us. The barge was swinging all over the place. I had the charts in one hand, the wheel in another as I tried to figure out which way the barge was going to go. I ended sneaking just pass him and a big pile rocks. A damn fine way to start the day. As an added bonus, the wind had already kicked up and was blowing right on our nose. The current was running north against the wind, so the waves stacked up nice and steep, just the right size to crash over the deck. Our speed was only about 4 kts. At this rate we would be crashing through this crap for 8 hours. This did not actually seem like a lot of fun, so we decided to duck back into the Gulf Islands and try to cross further North so that we could actually sail instead of motor into the waves. So we headed west back into the Gulf Islands looking for a tiny little pass to sneak our boat through. This pass was really a bitch to find, so I slowed the motor down to cruise up on it slowly. After I spotted the pass I increased the throttle and I heard a really discouraging thunk from the transmission and then a complete loss of power. "Oh Shit," I thought. I had visions of a dead transmission, Lost Prop. God knows what. THe first order of business was to get some sail up so that we could get away from the reefs that ringed the pass. This took a couple of minutes while we drifted rapidly to shore. Finally I got the jib unfurled and started tacking out of the channel. After we were well clear of the channel we heaved the boat to and I started looking around for the problem. By this time I had cut the power to the engine, so I headed down to the engine compartment for some investigation. I checked the tranny oil and the engine oil for levels, water, etc. Nuthin' wrong there. So we started the motor up and I had Kathy put her back in gear while I looked at the prop shaft. All looked okay there. All the while it is still blowing like stink and the waves are a nice 5-6 ft high. Next, I hung off the stern of the boat and looked down at the prop to make sure that it was there. Still there. We put her in gear, the prop turned. At that point I realized that the transmission had probably just jumped out of gear and that everything was probably just fine. So we went ahead and put her in gear and applied more throttle ... ye hah everything is happy and working! We managed to kill a good hour, but at least the boat seemed okay. After that we headed back into the pass, into the relative safety of the gulf islands. Here the wind was only blowing about 8 kits (vs 20+ in the Georgia Straights).
We then had a leisurely sail to Dodd narrows and managed to make it right at slack. From there is was only about another hour to Newcastle harbor, just outside of Nanamio. Of course the adventure didn't start there. As we started dropping the anchor, the chain jammed in the chain locker. I had to go below a couple of times and unbind it. It seems that pounding the bow into the waves, turned all of my Anchor rode into a giant tangled wad. Fun! Meanwhile, as I was clearing the chain, a power boat drops her anchor right off my stern. So we can't anchor here anyway. Assholes! Finally we pick a spot on the outside of the anchorage in about 40 feet of water. I then go to hit the kill switch ... the motor doesn't stop! So I ended up pulling the engine cover off and put a large plastic lid over the air intake. Jeez what a day.

Newcastlle Bay - A Innocent Looking Anchorage

Now one of the reasons that we picked this anchorage was because there is a really cool pub, The Dinghy Dock Pub, that will pick you up from you boat if you ask them. Now that sounded to good to pass up, so after an hour of watching the anchor and making sure that everything was secure from our trip, we headed over to the Pub for dinner andseveralrum and cokes

Update - 5/12/2010
As I was porting these old logs over I realized that I never finished this post. In a nutshell, that night the wind piped up hard and we ended up dragging. So we had to dork around and reset the anchor after being completely blottoed. Of course this was made even more difficult because of all of the boats in the harbor. We ended up anchoring near the pub and actually had great holding, but where too freaked out to sleep. Looking back, we did all kinds of things wrong that day, one of them being anchoring in this harbor. It is even more crowded today. Avoid it during windy conditions.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Montaque Harbor

We finally made it out of Sydney. The original plan was to cruise up to Nainama, but we decided to take it easy and go for a short trip to Montague Harbor. Montaque Harbor is a well protected harbor with a marine park on the north end. We managed to get in pretty early so we had plenty of time to dingy to shore get some ice cream and check out the shoreline and the shell beaches. The shells are the discarded remains of millions of oysters and clams that Native American Indians harvested thousands of years ago.
That night we had an awesome sunset.

Thursday, July 17, 2003


Dave and Lisa had to hit the road and we decided to let them off in Sydney. It was a convenient point of entry and had really nice facilities. The only problem was that they stuffed us at the very end of the dock. We weren't completely sure if we were ever going to leave. The docks are also really nice, they have a stack of girl friendly features. Flowers on the dock,nice architecture, Private showers, Laundry, studly dock boys.
Thursday is a pretty good time to show up in Sydney. In the evening they close down the main drag and have a street market. There you can find all kinds of goodies. Canadian Girl Scout cookies (called something else, someone tell me what they are called), salmon, samosas, popcorn, fruits, vegies ... hey, we haven't had dinner yet and I am completely starving!

Sydney Fish Market

The next day boomed clear and bright (again!). What trip to Sydney would be complete without a trip to the Butt Dart Gardens. Well Butt Darts it ain't, it is really Buchart Gardens. Like Bush Gardens, right? No, all it has in it is flowers. No rides. No beer garden. Nothin' but millions and billions of flowers. Now what sane person would spend twenty loonies to go look at flowers for an afternoon? I guess four people that have been cooped up on a boat together for three days. Luckily, Dave and I managed to entertain ourselves by being obnoxious and almost playing a rousing game of butt darts.
It does have an entertaining fountains though. Hopefully this little movie can show you one of the high points. Okay, I decided not to upload the movie because it was huge. Instead here is a nice relaxing flower photo. Sit back and enjoy:

That afternoon, Dave and Lisa headed back to Colorado to do the work thang. Kathy and I hung around for a couple of more days for a little more outfitting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


On the sail from Garrison to Sucia we had a nice southwesterly wind of about 18-20 kts. We managed to get Kalliope cruising to 7.5 kts. What a rush. Sucia is a small island two miles North of Orcas. It is horseshoe shaped with numerous protected anchorages. As an added bonus almost the entire archipelago is a state park. The islands mooring buoys, nice trails and killer sunset views. We ended up anchoring in about 30 feet of water with tons of room to our next neighbor. Nice ....

Cool Formations along the beach

Monday, July 14, 2003

Garrison Bay

The Captain decided that we needed to get the heck out of dodge before the next low tide since we were in the mud on the previous low tide. So we got up bright and early and headed out of the snakey channel and turned south to the San Juan channel. The current was flowing fast and furious by the time we hit cattle point and we were picking up about 3 kts of southbound current. The plan was to turn west around the bottom of San Juan Island, but the rips were a little strong so we cruised out into the Straits of San Juan de Fucca (Puka!). My theory was that the ebb was going to last another hour or so and we would ride the flood back North into Haro straight. So we motored around until we were completely encased in a thick wall of fog ... good thing I got the radar working a couple of weeks before. So we flicked on the radar and about and hour later the fog lifted up and the sun came out. Then the wind picked up and we hoisted the sales. We managed to get some pretty good speed out of Kalliope, but still drifted back a mile while we were sailing. What the heck it was a nice day and we were having fun. As we were drifting around we managed to come upon a large school of boats floating around checking out the water ... they were not actually looking at the water, but at the Orcas (killer whales) that were playing in the water. We had about 20 or 30 of them jumping out of the water. Performance on demand, almost like we were at sea world. This was by far the best whale watching experience that we have ever had. After that we headed north and fired up the Iron Pig and headed North up to Garrison Bay.
Garrison Bay is on the west side of San Juan Island and the sight of the British camp during the joint British and American occupation of the San Juan Islands. Everything came to a head when one of the Americans shot a British pig that was rooting up his potatoes crop. The whole episode became known as the Pig War. Currently Garrison Bay is home of a small National Park that has managed to preserve some of the original buildings.

The next day we took a bus to Friday Harbor so that I could pick up some parts that I had ordered from my buddies at West Marine. Friday Harbor is an pretty touristy place. Not nearly as cool as Orcas.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Fisherman Harbor, Lopez Island

In order to make it into Fisherman harbor just before slack we got up a bit early and took off towards the San Juan channel. It was a little bit rainy and cold - the first time since we've been out on the water. Wasp pass was a bit tricky to negotiate since we had to dodge a ferry on the way through. As we turned south towards Fisherman Harbor we hit a bit of current outside of Friday Harbor. We had bonified standing waves, rips, the whole nine yards. The rain did slow down and the sun started peaking out again. Life is not too bad. We entered Fisherman Harbor just after slack on a rising tide and managed to sneak through the narrow channel. We called the dock and they gave us a moorage spot in a finger pier on the end. As I came into the dock I noticed that my slot was might narrow, and the current was cruising through the docks at about 1 kt. Hey! I didn't expect that. I realized that if I tried to make the moorage I would hit the other boat so I hit reverse and starts drifting sideways down the docks. With the current flowing, I could not bring the nose around to get out. The dock hands kept on yelling, "Turn her around, Come up here!" Duh. Well, I noticed a nice double wide free space and I decided that docking there looked like a find idea. So I pulled in the spot and all of the helpful dock hands managed to cross me up a bit. But we made it and didn't scratch the boat or anyone else's boat. I think I prefer anchoring.
The marina is really nice with a pool, restaurant, and bar. I met the owner, Bob, on the dock and he was very helpful. Down the dock we met the Captain and crew of Fun on Water. They had a huge powerboat that was docked in front of us in Olympia about a month ago. They invited us over for drinks later that evening.
I don't think that I really need to get a crab pot and go fishing for crab. The dock hand gave us 4. We bought some the other day for 3 or 4 bucks for two. Cheaper than a license and trap. So that night we munched on crab. Yum.We then went over to visit the fine folks at F.O.W. The guys is a walking liquor store. He had a well going on board with Gin, Vodka, Bourbon and about three or four others that I can't remember. After a couple Martini's we stumbled to the bar for a couple more beers and dancing to some fine music. After the band quite, the locals broke out the instruments on the deck and had an impromptu blues jam session. Cool and fun.
Ugh, my brain hurts. Who was that fool on the dance floor? We stumbled down the street for a little breakfast action and then rented some bikes for a trip around the island to Shark Reef. Lopes is nice and flat compared to some of the other San Juan Islands, so it makes a nice place to ride bikes.
We ended up on the south side of the island (Not far from Aleck Bay) at shark reef. This overlooked the San Juan channel. Between tides, the current just rips through here, creating standing waves and all kinds of whirlpools. On the rocks below the bluff, quite a few seals hung out in the sun. Hmm, shark reef. A good lunch spot, no?

Friday, July 11, 2003

Orcas Island

Dave and Lisa are supposed to arrive this afternoon. Still gotta get a stash of groceries. I unload the groceries and haul off to the ferry terminal while Kathy stows the groceries. Dave and Lisa arrive about 3pm and I bring them over to the boat. They are up for a little first class Orcas touring. So we drive up to Mount Constitution and check out the view.
After that we head down to Rosario Resort to listen to a band. Every Friday night they have a band out on the lawn next to the marina. We then cruise up to the hotel for a drink and appetizer. Damn good crab cakes! Next stop the north shore to check out the sunset. Not a bad place to have a house Diane!

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Deer Harbor - Almost

We had a nice late start so that we could get in sink with the tide at Lopez pass. We hit the pass just after slack and had no problem negiotiating the maze like entrance. Inside the pass, the channel opens up and you have a beutiful view of Lopez island with Orcas in the background. The wind was again blowing close to zero so we had the motor running. About miday is started "hunting." Sometimes it would speed up and then slow down. Hmm, looks like it is time to do some work this afternoon. Of course after an hour of hunting the motor just dies. We are sitting in the middle of not just one, but two ferry channels. We pull out the jib and let Mike try to use the little wind to keep us from hitting an Island and/or a ferry. I dive below and start looking. The first thing I check is the Air filter. Man is it dirty. Man, I thought it was cleaned in Olympia. I guess not. So I set out to clean it up. Clean, clean, clean. Put it back on. Try starting it. Nothing. Okay, I don't want to try and crank it too much and crap out the battery, so it is time to think. I check the injectors for fuel and make sure there is no air in the line ... looks okay to me. How 'bout a little starter fluid? Turns out my buddy Nigel says that I can use WD-40 and spray it directly into the air filter intake. I try it. The engine sputters and springs to life. Yeah. We head off. After about an hour the motor starts sputtering again. I decide to detour to West Sound marina instead of Dear Harbor (since there is a boat yard there, the only boat yard in the San Juans). It turns out that Diane, my brother's wife knows the owners. I must explain, one of the reason's that we are on Orcas is that Diane grew up here, and her mother, Judy, still lives here.
That evening Diane's mother picks us up and takes us to Christiana's for dinner. A very nice dinner. Probably one of the best meals that we've had up in the NW.
Mike and Dianne take a small plane out of Orcas for SeaTac and then off to NY for another wedding. Hopefully they had a good time, we didn't quite have our shit together yet.
As an added bonus, Judy lent us Diane's old college car to use for a couple of days. This is a good thing since we had a ton of Laundry and grocery shopping to do for our next set of guests. I spent the next couple of hours changing the primary fuel filter. Turns out my mechanics put a 2 micron filter in place for the primary which clogged up pretty quickly. The only spare that I have was also 2 microns, so I will try and pick up a spare later.
That night we have pizza in east sound. Nice view for a pizza joint.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Aleck Bay

Now we are really sailling! Mike and I rolled up the dingy for our expected wild ride across the Straits of San Juan de Fucca only to have about zero wind in the morning. But the wind did manage to pick up in the afternoon so I managed to get the wind vane up and working. It seemed to work pretty well. Steared a nice straight course. Pretty cool. Hopefully I will be able to use it again.

That night we anchored in Aleck bay on the south shore of Lopez Island. A really nice large bay with only one or two other boats in the harbour. We got to drop a whole mess of chain and had a really nice secure anchorage for the night. Near the entrance there are a couple of small islands that Mike and I dingied over to explore.

Bonus Note: 8/3/2003

We really lucked out in our crossing. A lot of people I've talked to that crossed in the last week or so have had near gale winds from the beam. They nicknamed it Straits of Juan de Pucca

Monday, July 07, 2003

Port Townsend

So we got up early am to get the hell out of Edmonds before all of the power boats arrived. After hand spinning the boat around the fuel dock we were off. After we cleared the breakwater I turned around to let the dingy out and surprise, not dingy. I looked back to see it floating against the breakwater --- oops, looks like the dingy did not like being in captivity. We quickly turned around and nudge up to the breakwater and speared the dingy ending its short escape. That afternoon as we motored through the dead calm of northern Puget sound another wandering dingy caught my eye floating all by itself. I thought about capturing him, but she looked so happy bobbing around the bay that I decided to let her be free.
That afternoon the wind picked up and we brought out the sails. We managed to get her moving at about 6 kts. It is fun to be sailing.
That night we anchored outside of Port Townsend. The winds were from the NW so we were pretty well protected by the mainland. The ferry also goes pretty slowly by so we managed not to bounce too much. That evening we picked up a bunch of crab in town and had a crab feast on board the boat.
Port Townsed is a cool little town with all kinds of boat facilties and a cute little downtown area. We will have to check it out again when we come back through.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Crossing the Sound - Edmonds

Today my brother, Mike, and his wife, Dianne, arrive for a visit over the next couple of days. They were up in Seattle for a wedding and are Joining us for the trip up to the San Juans.Since they arrived after noon, I decided that I probably didn't want to schlep all the way up to Port Townsend and decided, instead, to do a short trip to Edmonds. Kathy had picked out a Restatement that she was interested in. They had dock space. Mike and Diane had arrive, so away we went. As is usual during the early afternoon, there was no wind on the sound.It was a beautiful day though and we turned on Wandering Wanda our shift auto-pilot and relaxed and chatted as we plodded towards Edmonds. Now this trip is only 15nm, so it didn't take us long to cruise up to the breakwater at Edmonds. I think it is a breakwater, it looks more like the entrance to the Bat cave. Narrow, with twin 90 bends at the end of it. I'm supposed to take my boat into that. The folks at the marina assure us that we have a space, "Just turn south after the breakwater and circle around to the back of the fuel dock". Well the back of the fuel dock is a very narrow space with no mooring signs painted all over it and a small travel lift at the end for all of the local Bayliner folks to drop their boat in the water for a day. But, there was a space for the boat and we squeezed it in. We really had no option since turning was completely out of the option. Turns out that was were they wanted us, so we choked exhaust for another hour or so until the lift closed and then headed in town for dinner. Maybe not the best introduction to boating life, but tomorrow we are off to Port Townsend. Hopefully it should be a bit better.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Back to Bainbridge

On the 4th we headed back to Winslow on Bainbridge to finish up some work. My brother Mike and his wife, Diane are showing up on the 6th and we still have a pile of stuff to do. However, the raft group decided to raft up in Eagle harbor to view Seattle's and Union Lake's firework show. We dingied over there and watched the fireworks with them.
A ton of small projects and a car reorganization took up the bulk of the morning. In the afternoon we went to Lake Union for the Wooden boat show (but not before stopping at West Marine to spend a couple more boat bucks.) to meet Beth and Eric. Eric was showing his boat and we managed to take it out of the water. The wind was a little weak, but we managed to get an assist from a passing plane.
That night, Eric and Beth joined us downtown for dinner at a little French restaurant and then dropped us off at the ferry terminal back to Bainbridge. They ended up driving our car home to keep for the summer. It felt a bit weird parting with the car. You really get used to having one and it really gives you a sense of mobility. Now we are dependent on the boat, dingy, and public transportation. Hopefully we have outfitted the boat so we can make it through the summer.
The ferry ride back was just gorgeous. A nice clear night with a slight breeze. Mike and Dianne arrive tomorrow. It must be time for vacation to start.

Thursday, July 03, 2003


BJ and Trish, on the Nelle Bly, invited us to raft up with them at Poulsbo. Poulsbo is actually pretty close to Winslow by car, but take several hours by boat, since you have to sail completely around Bainbridge Island. Poulsbo (home of Viking Days) has a pretty big fireworks celebration on the 3rd of July each year. About 500 boats anchor in the harbor to check out the festivities. Everyone on all of the boats was super nice and we met some fine boating folks. That night the fireworks were first rate and Belini didn't even get scared too much!
The next morning we hit downtown to get some bread and munchies at the Bakery. They make some awesome bread, so don't forget to check em out next time you are there.

Rafting up is fun

Downtown Poulsbo

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Eagle Harbor

We actually pulled the sails up and got a little sailing in today. The wind was from the NE and we pulled out all of the canvas. As I was using one of the lower winches to crank in the outhaul, the winch just completely broke off the mast :-(. Looks like the threaded stainless screws pulled out of the aluminum mast. Possibly they were not bedded correctly.

Ranier from Puget Sound

That night we pulled into Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island to stay for a couple of days (turned out to be more like a week).
Bainbridge Island is across Puget sound from Seattle and has a ferry that connects with downtown that runs about once every hour. It is a cute little town and has a nice small town feel to it. As an added bonus, it is pretty easy to take the ferry across to Seattle, have dinner, and ferry back. The last ferry leaves at 1am (or something like that). We stayed at Winslow marnia. It has a littl marine store, a groovy coffe house and a couple of resteraunts.
We also met a fine group of people while we were there. BJ & Trish on another Tayana 37; David and his wife living on a WWII dentist boat; and Bob, a retired minister, on his Hans Christian, getting ready to start sailing a bit.
On Friday morning I hoped on the ferry to Seattle from there I took Amtrak back down to Olympia to pick up our car. All went well, except that the Amtrak train terminal is out in the middle of nowhere with a bus that shows up once an hour. Of course, the bus schedule and the train schedule are not synchronized, so I had just missed the bus by about 10 minutes. While I was digging in the phone book trying to catch a cab, a guy came up to try to buy some tickets at the station. Of course the station attendents had bugged out early before closing time and he was out of luck. I, however, was in luck and managed to score a ride downtown to pick up our car. The next stop was West Marine to pick up a new Battery and a bunch of electronics. Because this is a boat, nothing can ever go smoothly, so of course, the charger I ordered was the wrong type. Seems the catalog had the incorrect numbers in it ... hmmph. Okay, I'll just order this thing and pick it up at some other West Marine .... Everything else seemed to be there and I was off to pick up an outboard motor for our dingy. You guessed it, they were sold out. This was after the sales guy told me two days ago that they had plenty in stock and I didn't need to reserve on. Well they did call around for me and found another motor up in Auburn. Turns out it was on sale and about 100 bucks cheaper than I was going to pay anyway. So a bonus. I didn't have time to hit Auburn today, but could do it on Saturday. So I head back up to Bainbridge Island for a much needed nap.
Saturday - Road Trip
So we have a bunch on our plate ... and it mostly involves spending money .... ye hah. First stop, Auburn to pick up our dingy motor. Cha-ching - 1 unit. Next stop, Union lake to pick up an inflatable. Cha-ching - 2 units. Next stop, Fisheries Supply to pick up a bunch of random crap. Cha-ching - 1 unit. Ye hah. Got to stop.
Afterwords, we went up north to Kenwood to visit one of Kathy's friend's sister and husband for dinner (Beth & Eric). They have a nice house in the woods just north of lake Washington and a nice little wooden boat on the lake. We all seemed to hit it off and they offered to let us keep our car up there for the summer (we were going to keep it at the airport). We will think about it. Anyway, we had a great fun at there house and hope to get up with them soon.
That evening we took the Edmonds-Kingstion ferry at about 11:30pm and hit the pillow pretty hard when we got back at 12:30am!
Beth, Eric and the Kids came over to see our boat. We had a nice time hanging out in Bainbridge and had lunch at a suprisingly good Mexican resteraunt. We couldn't go out for a sail, since I still had to fix the batteries - tomorrow.
Monday - Thursday
Boat work day! Replaced battery bank 2 with new gel. Replaced alternator with high output Balmer. Added new external charger. Rewired battery banks. Fixed a bunch of other crap. Whew. I am beat. Is this the fun part? Somewhere in here we go to Seattle pick up our newly regalvonized anchors and our newly inspected life raft (another unit! anyone keeping track?)
Somewhere in there we had a really nice dinner in Bainbridge.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Gig Harbor

The next morning we hung around Boston Harbor for a bit so that the Tacoma Narrows tide was running in a favorable direction. The views were just kicker!
Many people really like Gig Harbor. I'm not sure what the appeal is. We thought it a bit dumpy. The highlight was the mega-yacht "Mystic" that had just been commission. All of their crew was running around trying to get the damn thing to work. They had people flying in from all over the country trying to get it set up. They even had a fleet of mopeds with "Mystic" engraved on them at the head of the dock. Truly ghastly.
Mt. Ranier from South of Tacoma

Boston Harbor

Damn, now the boat is ready and we still have to buy food. That is just friggin' crazy! But we load up pack the boat and pull away from the dock at about 4pm. It feels good to get away. Never mind that our destination is only about an hour away in Boston Harbor. We are finally moving. We don't quite have our shit together to anchor so we are going to moor in Boston Harbor.
Boston Harbor is a cute little community just north of Olympia. It has a cool little store with kayak rentals and nothing else.

It also has some kick butt views of Mount Olympia.

After Kathy and I got back from a walk a guy was having a his picture taken in front of our boat for an album cover for his latest album. He said it was spiritual music. I'm not sure what that means in Olympia (they have a Magic/witchcraft store in Olympia), but I suspect it is more of the traditional burn in hell good old time religion.
We also met a nice couple that had a boat for sale across from us, Gary and Susan. They were in the process of selling off all their possesions, buying a new boat and heading for the open water. Susan gave us a couple of prints of her artwork to liven up our boat. We wish them good luck and hope to see them again on the high seas.

Monday, June 23, 2003

See Ya Olympia


The sails are done. We cruised over and picked them up. Lookin' good.

Monday - Still in Olympia

It looks like we are really going to get out of here. The pulpit is done. It took most of the day to reinstall it and drill new holes in out new platform. But it went mostly well. I installed the running lights and they even seem to work. Now for a little of this and a little of that and we can cruise.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Summer Solstice

But fist, what Saturday would be complete without a trip to the boat store? Three of them. At the first store we picked up a new burner for our stove. It seems the previous one was only held together with epoxy and managed to break and produce all kinds of funky flames. The trip was interesting we managed to hit tons of traffic around .... Later we found out why. We were only mere steps away from another famous summer solstice event. The Fremont summer solstice, let it all hang out, parade. Complete with a bevy of nude bicyclist to top off the day. Now that is some pagan fun.But there is more boat crap to do so we head over to Budget Sound Inflatables and check out some dinghies.
Now we are off to the Vikings. And these guys really know how to party. Tug of war. Fish toss. Bonfires. A good time, you betcha.

Don't forget to enlarge this baby so you can zoom in on the fish during its flight to the bucket.

Sacrificial Virgin

Ahh the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the time when all good pagans go a bit crazy. Since we are pretty much stuck for the next couple of days we decide to check out Poulsbo's summer solstice festival. Poulsbo is a tiny town located on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula. Years ago, as their fishing and farming lifestyle waned, the town fathers dug hard and deep into their collective creative selves and decided to reinvent the town. The town would now be Norwegian. They would have Vikings and rename the shops and make downtown look like a bit of Norway (Heck they were even located on a fjord ... of sorts). And like any good Viking town, they must celebrate all of the Viking holidays.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Limbo Land

We brought the sails by Cox Molded sails for them to have a look. The owner was pretty nice and is going to try to have them done by next Monday (1 week). So Kathy and I think that we can leave on Thursday for Gig harbor and use our old beater sails and just pick up the repaired sails when done. Sounds like a plan.
Shurtz finally got to work on the bow pulpit platform. I've been waiting over 2 1/2 weeks for the stupid thing and am ready to get the damn thing on! So far it looks pretty good, but the anchor rollers are now 2" back. Now I am just praying that the anchors will fit. I was supposed to get the anchors back from the galvonizing place today, but they are behind schedule so I won't get them until Wednesday. A Thursday departure is starting to look unlikely.
On Tuesday I finally dry fitted the pulpit itself. This is another thing that should have probably been fixed a week ago. I ended up taking it over to a local welding shop to have some of the cracked welds replaced. Maybe they will be done by Friday. I am sure now that we are here for the duration of the summer.
Now it is Wednesday morning and we have a funky misty-rainy day. We will pick up the anchors and liferaft.
The anchors look good. I brought them down to the boat and tried to have them fitted ... of course the big 60# CQR is way too big. Didn't these guys measure the old pulpit platform. So now even a Friday departure is looking like a no go.
On Thursday, the Shurtz guy comes over and we enlarge the roller holes so that the big CQR fits. Right then the welder guys calls and says the bow pulpit is ready. Holy crap! I may make it out on Friday. I cruise on over and they've missed a couple of welds ... damn! However, I did get the new backstay mounted radar mount in the mail (to replace the old crappy one that was mounted to the cap rail). Of course I am batting about only 0.300 today, so of course there is a problem with the fit. After farting around with it for about two hours I realize another h/w store trip is in order and decide to blow it off until Friday.
Friday morning rolls around and I head off to the library for some serious dingy research on the Internet and then off to the h/w store for some parts and a grinder for the drill. It is amazing how easy things go together when you have the right equipment! The new radar mount goes right up and looks great. Now I just need a waterproof cable pass-thru for the electrical cable and it is good to go. As an added bonus, after reading the manual, I noticed that the unit was not properly grounded. I wonder what other fun surprises I'll find as I dig deeper into the bowels of the boat. The pulpit is still not done. When the hell do we get to leave? I've made an executive decision. If the pulpit is not done by noon on Monday, then I take it with me and have it fixed in a couple of weeks. It is time to get out of here!

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Week of Boat Prep

Saturday, Olympia
This week was boat prep week. I've been slowly knocking items off my list. The big surprise project this week was installing a new water strainer. Earlier in the week I was feeling positively lazy. I was going to let Shurtz install the strainer for me. So on Wednesday we cruised over to the work dock and started the process. Turns out the old strainer had two different size hoses on it: 1 1/4" where it connected to the thru-hole and 1" where it connected to the water pump. I, of course, just measured one side of the strainer and picked up 1 1/4" fittings. So we nipped that project in the bud. Shurtz was also supposed to install my new bow sprit platform, but that wasn't quite ready so we delayed that until Friday.
On Thursday, Kathy and I cruise back up to Seattle to get parts and to look at our life raft. The life raft is getting ready to be repacked and is sitting fully inflated on the floor of Puget Sound Inflatables. It is kind of nice to see what the thing looks like before you need to use it. The raft also has a dome light and flasher that needed replacing. but the (rather small) battery cashed out at $180, we are already paying $600 to get his thing serviced. Screw that! The existing one still had a good charge on it and we have a strobe on our EPRIB, so I decided to nix it. Then another trip up to Fisheries Supply to pick up all of the water strainer parts. Hmm, it is 5pm and I have all of my strainer parts so I decide to install the damn thing myself. Of course nothing is ever as straight forward as one might expect. I had to move by charger first (to a drier location!) and remove the inverter that was mounted on the opposite side of the bulkhead. Now the inverter was not connected and I was going to see if it even worked. When I removed the inverter it made the most amazing rattling noise. I opened it up and noticed that someone had let all of the smoke out of the power transistors that were connected to the AC output. Looks like someone had connected the inverter directly to shore power --- oops. Pitch one inverter. The rest of the installation was pretty straightforward and three hours later and it was all done.
New strainer with old leaky strainer below.

Charge it
Friday morning was wet. After being here for about two weeks it was our first rainy morning. I had to cancel the bow platform installation because of the weather. Of course about an hour later it cleared up a bit. I spent the rest of the morning deciding what to do about my batteries. Kalliope has two battery banks. Bank 1 consists of 2-4Ds. Bank 2 consists of a 4D and a DF180. On the charging side of life a nice multi-step shore charger (Truecharge-40), Solar panels, and a Delco-type Automotive Alternator. This set up is seriously broke and I suspect it is why bank 2 holds less of a charge than a AA battery. When I bought the boat, the Truecharge had been set on AGM instead of gel. I initially thought that was why bank 2 was trashed. But I have other issues. First the solar panels put out an unregulated voltage of around 18v. So they will just charge and charge as long as there is sunshine (there is a cutoff switch though). Second, the alternator puts out 14.8 volts and is unajustable. This voltage is way to high for gels and is probably what cooked them. So now I am looking at replacing the alternator and Bank 2. After thinking about this on and off for about a month I've decided to rewire the boat so that it has a single house bank (Bank 1) and starter bank (Bank 2). I think this will be easier than it sounds since the only major thing that I need to do is move the dedicated electronic connection from Bank 2 to Bank 1. The other thing that I decided was to use independent chargers for each bank instead of using a combiner or an isolator. So the Trucharge-40 stays since it can charge multiple banks independently (by the way, the house switch was typically set on both at the dock, this defeated the advantage of having multiple charger outputs). A couple of months ago I picked up a FlexCharge Solar charge controller with dual outputs (PV7D), it also stays. And the final piece will be a Balmar alternator with dual outputs and two chargers. Monday Update: On monday I called up Balmar. It turns out that the dual outputs are not independently regulated like I thought. It only uses one charger. Kind of a goofy solution. So now the change is a single output alternator with a digital echo charger for the starting bank.
So with the pieces in place, I decided to install the Solar charger next to the Truecharge-40. I also placed an off switch so that it won't fight with the Truecharge when I'm at shore. Today I've turned off the Truecharge and just using the solar panels. I had a light on all morning and have been running the fridge and playing the radio. It has been mostly cloudy and the panel seems to be keeping up. Tomorrow it is supposed to be sunny so I'll measure the current at noon and see how these panels are doing.
Wash Day Sunday
The panels put out a peak of around 4.3 amps when connected to the charger. Average seems to be around 4 amps. So we should get around 40 amp-hours a day on an average day and maybe up to 50 amp-hours on a really sunny day. Probably enough to run the fridge!
So we pulled the sails up to the grass to wash them and also to inspect some of the random sails that we have. We had a bit of a nasty surprise when examing a couple of them!
Sail Inventory:

  1. Main: Heavy duty main. Dirty, but seems to be in good shape.

  2. Staysail: Original sail. This sail has a rip at the head and needs repair. As an added bonus it's luff cord is basically gone. We will repair it for now and replace it at the end of the summer.

  3. 130% Genoa: In really good shape except that the UV cover stiching is completely dead and must be restiched - bummer.

  4. 100% Jib: The original jib. Pretty dead. We will use it until we get the Genny back from the sail maker.

  5. Storm Jib: Really good shape. Doesn't look like it has been used much. Use it until the Staysail is repaired.

  6. Big Ass Asymetrical Spinaker: Fine shape.We will probably stow this for now and bring it out once we have our shit together.

Thursday, June 05, 2003


Saturday was mostly a day of rest. We probably only worked on the boat a couple of hours. However, we did manage to explore Olympia for most of the days. Olympia is the Southern most part of Peugeot Sound and also the capitol of Washington.In recent years Olympia has bee fixing up their water front. There are multiple marinas, a boatyard, and grocery stores all within easy walking distance. Multiple restaurants line the water front and nearby 4th street. One of our favorite lunch spots is Pho Olympia (Vietnamese). Kathy and I shared a nice hot bowl of pho one cool day. Other spots of interest include the Spar (on 4th). They have wireless Internet access for about $3/hr. A block away on 5th, The Tea Lady, offers free WiFi access and a nice spot to have a cup of tea. Also check out Mercato a nice Italian spot near the farmers market.
Probably one of the nicest features of the waterfront area is Olympia's farmers market. They are open Thursday thru Sunday and are a great place to provision on vegetables, organic meats, fresh breads, pastries, and seafood. We picked up some fresh whole scallops for the evening meal. I had never had scallops in the shell, but kind of knew what to expect. They are amazingly disgusting! But after cleaning, they were delicious.

Back to working on the boat. I decided to start up with some of the basic maintenance. I checked the raw water strainer and saw a bit of seaweed in it ... so I decided to clean it. Opened it up cleaned it and noticed corrosion on the brass around seal. I tried to put it back together, but was unable to seal it completely ... looks like it is time for a new strainer. Nothing is easy about this. The existing strainer is this tiny thing that was custom built in Taiwan. Replacement strainers won't fit into the existing strainers space. Time to reroute the water inlet!
So when I bought this boat it had a battery charger that was had been set to charge AGM batteries, the problem was that I had GEL batteries. Bank 2 has always seemed to be a bit weak. I started doing some load tests and concluded it was really hosed. I started trying some of the Nigel Cader tricks to revive it. Next week I'll try the more drastic measures and the replace it if I need too.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Homeward Bound

We had planned on taking the Anchors up to Seattle to get them galvanized in the afternoon and then swing back and get a hotel room near the Airport since both Kathy and I had early flights on Thursday. Of course the Anchors were not completely sand blasted to we found the afternoon off. We decided to drive up to Tacoma and check out their water front. We had earlier read an article about how Tacoma was developing their water front and trying to attract cruisers. The article included a couple of pretty photos of the new glass museum. Well Tacoma still needs a bit of work before it hits my list of places that I want to hang out. They have some good ideas going, but they are at least a year or two away from getting everything done that they need to.

We did manage to get to Point Defiance Park that afternoon. It is a really nice urban park with a really pretty drive around the perimeter. It also includes a zoo, multiple gardens, and miles of hiking trails. Definitely worth a look if you are in the area.

That night we stayed at a hotel near the Airport and ate at nice little strip mall Italian place called Luciano's. Very tasty.

We are truly insane. Our next couple of days will cause us to travel thousands of miles all around the cou. I'm off to Huntsville, Alabama to visit some high school buddies from the debate team (you already knew I was a geek, right?) and Kathy is going back to Colorado to bring back Trier's remains to our house and to get Belini so she can stress out on the boat.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Steppin' Out

Ah, today we get to be a sailboat again. It is kind of embarrassing to be docked without a mast. People actually come up to you and say things like, "That sure is a funny looking boat. It almost looks like a sailboat." But first we get to change the oil. I decided to let Shurtz do the change since I didn't feel like buying an oil pump. So we motor on over and they do the oil change. Now it is time to step the mast. I start up the motor and start pulling around the dock and the engine just dies ... damn, they forgot to turn the fuel back on. Luckily we aren't too far away from the dock and I get a line to Kathy and we proceed to line her around the dock. This is really quite the chore since we weight over 13 tons. But the mast finally goes on and we are a sailboat again.
Tonight I found an open WiFi location that I can access from my car: The Tea Lady on 5th. We ended up going there the next day and connecting as well (also got a spot of tea).

Monday, June 02, 2003

Fishing for Anchors

Road Trip to Seattle

We decided to road trip to Seattle and do some marine related errands. The first was too get a new battery for our EPIRB and get the life raft serviced. We took them both to Puget Sound Inflatables. Servicing these guys is not cheap and will probably cost us another unit.

We also found a galvanizing place to get our Anchors cleaned up. This place was truly a dump. Later we found another place, Ace Galvanizing, that was only a mile away from the Puget Sound Inflatables that we ended up taking the Anchors to. I dropped off three Anchors: 65# CQR, 45# CQR and ~30# Dansforth. It will cost about $75 to get all of them dipped.

Our next stop brought us to Fisheries Supply where we managed to buy all kinds of goodies. These guys are already cheaper than West Marine and if you get an account with them the savings can be even larger.

After that we took a break and did a bit of touristing. We visited the Market in downtown Seattle and had dinner at Wild Ginger. I had eaten at Wild Ginger about 10 years ago. They've moved since then and have greatly expanded their space. I liked their old satay bar better, but the food was still outstanding.