• Sailing Mount Baker

    Sailing and (Meteor) Showers

    Monday, December 15, 2014

    Dark grey clouds hung low in the air, muffling sounds and lending a stillness to the morning. Not an ideal looking morning to take the boat out, but the forecast was for clear sky this evening. Still salty from a sauna I’d had late last night with friends, I longed to take a shower but the day beckoned me with a promise of adventure. After a quick trip to pick up a Friday Harbor friend from the ferry terminal, we set out. It was an…

  • outboard_service

    Waiting for Spring…

    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    Waiting… waiting… waiting… Five months to go. I’ve decided to move my departure date to the beginning of May, as opposed to the beginning of June. That will give me time to make any last minute modifications to the boat before taking off. It’s also much easier to get excited about five months instead of six. At this point, in the depth of winter and discontent, I need all the psychological tricks I can pull. The cold weather and early darkness is slowing progress to…

  • Tiller Repair

    Fixing a Cracked Tiller

    Sunday, November 30, 2014

    A log bobbed along the surface of the water, dead ahead. I quickly unhooked the auto-pilot, grabbed the tiller and yanked it up to comfortable steering level. *crack* I looked down to see a small gap between the laminates near the base, where it connects to the rudder. We limped home and I was extra gentle with the tiller, lest it break off and leave us stranded without any ability to steer the boat. Luckily is was a calm day. I replaced the tiller earlier…

  • sailing_selfie

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 11 (The End)

    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    Day 19, Wednesday 9/17/14 I left Garrison Bay about 11 AM. Slack wasn’t until 2 PM, but I was anxious to get started on this long leg of the journey. It’s 22.5 miles from Garrison Bay on San Juan Island to Mackay Harbor on Lopez Island, and a lot of open water. Conditions were forecasted to be calm, so I knew I was in for great sailing, or motoring if the wind faded. I wound my way through the treacherous Mosquito Pass, with a channel…

  • White Sided Dolphin

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 10

    Monday, November 17, 2014

    Day 17, Monday 9/15/14 I woke up early, worried that I may miss my last chance to spend a morning with Andy before the trip ends. We are in a special mental state, he and I. Two weeks without the stress of family and work, we will rarely be more real or honest than we are now. Our conversations are genuine, untroubled by day-to-day distractions. I made coffee and puttered around the boat until he woke up, pulled anchor, and rafted up to me. We…

  • Friends At the Festival

    Adventures at the Friday Harbor Film Festival

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014

    I’ve always lacked a sense of community. It wasn’t even until a few years ago that I began to identify that lack in my life and how important that connection is to many people. A small part of my reason for coming to Friday Harbor this weekend was to open myself up to the community. To join in the celebration of documentary films that focus on this area. Opening myself up to the community is also a part of embracing the synchronicity I so often…

  • Two Goons

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 9

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Day 15, Saturday 9/13/14 The weather up here has been ridiculously great. It’s only rained once, blew hard twice, and no sign of fog. I awoke to another blue-bird day. After morning coffee, we loaded up Izak’s belongings into the dingy and dropped him off at the Aquila as Andy and I made our way to the farmers market in Ganges of Salt Sprint Island. What an awesome market! They had the most beautiful fruits and vegetables I’d ever seen and art of all kinds….

  • Happy Face Leaf

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 8

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Day 13, Thursday 9/11/14 After a good nights sleep, I checked in with my parents over the radio. We decided to leave my boat in Telegraph Harbor while we zipped over to Ladysmith for supplies in their boat. Ladysmith has made efforts to net their share of boater and tourist dollars by building a great short-term dock through the Maritime Society. We walked the half-mile to town where we were treated to a well-stocked hardware store and grocery store. I was able to pick up…

  • Kayaking with mom

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 7

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Day 11, Tuesday 9/9/14 My parents are trying to stick to the schedule of two nights on the hook and one at a marina. We had initially planned to head to Pirates Cove today, but Wakes Park is such a sweet spot, we decided to stay another day before heading south to Chemainus. After getting skunked on the salmon yesterday, my father and I decided to kick it up a notch and troll the pass with my sailboat instead of the dingy. We headed out…

  • Wake Cove Sunset

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 6

    Sunday, October 12, 2014

    Day 9, Sunday 9/7/14 I left Nanaimo around 8 am, heading to Silva Bay on the southeast end of Gabriola Island. The morning was warm and clear. A blue-bird sky without a breath of wind. I was hoping to catch a light northern wind to sail-troll my way to the next destination. The channel around Protection Island that separates Nanaimo harbor from the Strait of Georgia was almost blocked off with a huge log raft being towed by a tug. Cautiously making my way around…

  • Island within an island.

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 5

    Sunday, October 5, 2014

    Day 7, Friday 9/5/14 The day we reached Nanaimo, the winds were blowing 15 to 25 miles per hour out of the Northwest. Crossing to Lesqueti would be a hard beat to weather, heading due north. There was a flood tide for most the day, but with the wind and tide fighting one another, the crossing would be 25 miles of bouncing from wave to wave in boxy seas. Just getting the 6 miles from Dodd Narrows to Nanaimo in those conditions yesterday made me…

  • Rockfish

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 4

    Sunday, September 28, 2014

    Day 5, Wednesday, 9/3/14 Has it really been five days? My typical alarm clock schedule has faded and I feel like we’re all getting into a travelling routine. However, I’m trying my darndest to be present in each moment. Yesterday it rained cats and dogs, and at night the wind blew fiercely at 17 mph from the northwest. We decided to hunker down and make it a movie day. We also made good use of the pub at Thetis Marina. Because there was a lot…

  • Aristotle

    Cliff’s Notes to The Good Life

    Sunday, September 21, 2014

    I’ll continue with my Gulf Island adventure next week. I decided to publish this article in order to break it up a little and continue my series of philosophical posts. As a species, we have made incredible strides the last two hundred years in our quality of life with our tools of culture and technology. But our wisdom: our philosophy and resulting social behavior, have not kept pace. Take war for example. Regardless of your ethos or religious belief, every human knows, deep down, at…

  • andy_motoring2

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 3

    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    Day 3, Monday, 9/1/14 God it feels good to write this date: 9. 1. 14… Nine. One. Fourteen…. How many months have I prepared for this trip? How many hours of labor did I spend with the thought of this date as my carrot before the proverbial horse? I was working for more than this trip, of course. I was building my home and carving out a lifestyle, but this trip was a focal point, a mandala to help me visualize the reality I was…

  • Tumbo to Whaler Bay

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 2

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Sunday, 8/31/14, Day 2 Saturday night we all dropped separate anchors, avoiding the kinetic pinball mistake we’d made the night before. We all slept soundly and woke up refreshed. As usual our initial plans changed completely to take advantage of the changing tide and wind conditions. The original plan was to sail from Tumbo Island to Whaler Bay, off Galiano Island. We all agreed to leave late in the day to take advantage of the evening winds for sailing. That would give us the morning…

Sailing Mount Baker

Sailing and (Meteor) Showers

Dark grey clouds hung low in the air, muffling sounds and lending a stillness to the morning. Not an ideal looking morning to take the boat out, but the forecast was for clear sky this evening. Still salty from a sauna I’d had late last night with friends, I longed to take a shower but the day beckoned me with a promise of adventure. After a quick trip to pick up a Friday Harbor friend from the ferry terminal, we set out. It was an…

outboard_service

Waiting for Spring…

Waiting… waiting… waiting… Five months to go. I’ve decided to move my departure date to the beginning of May, as opposed to the beginning of June. That will give me time to make any last minute modifications to the boat before taking off. It’s also much easier to get excited about five months instead of six. At this point, in the depth of winter and discontent, I need all the psychological tricks I can pull. The cold weather and early darkness is slowing progress to…

Tiller Repair

Fixing a Cracked Tiller

A log bobbed along the surface of the water, dead ahead. I quickly unhooked the auto-pilot, grabbed the tiller and yanked it up to comfortable steering level. *crack* I looked down to see a small gap between the laminates near the base, where it connects to the rudder. We limped home and I was extra gentle with the tiller, lest it break off and leave us stranded without any ability to steer the boat. Luckily is was a calm day. I replaced the tiller earlier…

sailing_selfie

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 11 (The End)

Day 19, Wednesday 9/17/14 I left Garrison Bay about 11 AM. Slack wasn’t until 2 PM, but I was anxious to get started on this long leg of the journey. It’s 22.5 miles from Garrison Bay on San Juan Island to Mackay Harbor on Lopez Island, and a lot of open water. Conditions were forecasted to be calm, so I knew I was in for great sailing, or motoring if the wind faded. I wound my way through the treacherous Mosquito Pass, with a channel…

White Sided Dolphin

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 10

Day 17, Monday 9/15/14 I woke up early, worried that I may miss my last chance to spend a morning with Andy before the trip ends. We are in a special mental state, he and I. Two weeks without the stress of family and work, we will rarely be more real or honest than we are now. Our conversations are genuine, untroubled by day-to-day distractions. I made coffee and puttered around the boat until he woke up, pulled anchor, and rafted up to me. We…

Friends At the Festival

Adventures at the Friday Harbor Film Festival

I’ve always lacked a sense of community. It wasn’t even until a few years ago that I began to identify that lack in my life and how important that connection is to many people. A small part of my reason for coming to Friday Harbor this weekend was to open myself up to the community. To join in the celebration of documentary films that focus on this area. Opening myself up to the community is also a part of embracing the synchronicity I so often…

Two Goons

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 9

Day 15, Saturday 9/13/14 The weather up here has been ridiculously great. It’s only rained once, blew hard twice, and no sign of fog. I awoke to another blue-bird day. After morning coffee, we loaded up Izak’s belongings into the dingy and dropped him off at the Aquila as Andy and I made our way to the farmers market in Ganges of Salt Sprint Island. What an awesome market! They had the most beautiful fruits and vegetables I’d ever seen and art of all kinds….

Happy Face Leaf

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 8

Day 13, Thursday 9/11/14 After a good nights sleep, I checked in with my parents over the radio. We decided to leave my boat in Telegraph Harbor while we zipped over to Ladysmith for supplies in their boat. Ladysmith has made efforts to net their share of boater and tourist dollars by building a great short-term dock through the Maritime Society. We walked the half-mile to town where we were treated to a well-stocked hardware store and grocery store. I was able to pick up…

Kayaking with mom

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 7

Day 11, Tuesday 9/9/14 My parents are trying to stick to the schedule of two nights on the hook and one at a marina. We had initially planned to head to Pirates Cove today, but Wakes Park is such a sweet spot, we decided to stay another day before heading south to Chemainus. After getting skunked on the salmon yesterday, my father and I decided to kick it up a notch and troll the pass with my sailboat instead of the dingy. We headed out…

Wake Cove Sunset

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 6

Day 9, Sunday 9/7/14 I left Nanaimo around 8 am, heading to Silva Bay on the southeast end of Gabriola Island. The morning was warm and clear. A blue-bird sky without a breath of wind. I was hoping to catch a light northern wind to sail-troll my way to the next destination. The channel around Protection Island that separates Nanaimo harbor from the Strait of Georgia was almost blocked off with a huge log raft being towed by a tug. Cautiously making my way around…

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