Sailing and (Meteor) Showers

Sailing Mount Baker

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…

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…

Fixing a Cracked Tiller

Tiller Repair

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 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…

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 10

White Sided Dolphin

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…

Adventures at the Friday Harbor Film Festival

Friends At the 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…

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 9

Two Goons

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….

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 8

Happy Face Leaf

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…

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 7

Kayaking with mom

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…

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 6

Wake Cove Sunset

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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