Broad Reach

Broad Reach

While anchored at Cortez and getting my internet fix, I started working on the fuel tank. I only managed to siphon out a couple gallons before it ran dry, which led me to think the problem was an almost empty tank. All the varnish coming through must have been floating at the top and it all came through as the tank emptied. Hopefully, I thought, the problem is now fixed and a full tank will be the final nail in the coffin. However, it only…

Considering Time

Considering Time

I’m losing the desire to continue north. I’ve been travelling through remote islands and mountains and they’re all starting to look the same. I love my solitude in nature but I also appreciate the company of like-minded individuals. I’ve had plenty of the former and I’m missing the latter. I like the idea of canning seafood while I’m out in the wild, clean waters, but my desire to voyage, for the sake of voyaging, is waning. Instead I feel an urge to answer the challenge…

Desolation Sound Marine Park

Solace anchored in Desolation Sound Park

The northwest wind was heavy and steady at 15 to 20 knots. It had been like that for three days with no end in the forecast. My engine appeared to be running well, so I shoved off the dock and carefully dodged the other boats transiting the Lund Marina. As I rounded the most northern point of mainland before Desolation Sound Marine Park, my engine began to sputter. I throttled down to just above idle, hoping I could limp in. No dice. With a half…

Nomadic Families

Adam Nash Family

I don’t know at what age I learned to fear poverty. I don’t know at what point I became convinced that wealthy people had better lives. I think it had more to do with watching how people acted and the culture portrayed in the mass media than anything I was specifically told. This whole trip I’ve been going out of my way to connect with cruisers – especially families give their extra risk and cost – to ask them… what? How do they do it?…

Beating Windward

Rock Quarry Selfie

I left in the afternoon from Pender Harbor. The Blues Festival was underway and I pumped gas as guitar strumming pumped out of big speakers above the marina. Dodging the islets guarding the entrance, I worked my way into Malispina Strait and raised the genoa. Texada Island cast a wind shadow on the far side and I tacked to avoid it. I’ve read a lot of firsthand accounts of the psychological states a long distance, solo sailor goes through when crossing the ocean. The boredom…

The Sunshine Coast

From Nanaimo, I sailed due north, up to Welcome Passage. On the back side of the peninsula that houses Smuggler’s Cove, is another, mush lesser known anchorage called Frenchman’s Cove. It’s a crazy tight anchorage. I accidentally (fortunately?) arrived at low tide and idled through a passage that was only twice the width of my boat. At one point a huge boulder loomed in front of my boat, only a foot underwater. I threw the boat into reverse, then forward again, slowly creeping by it…

Canning Seafood While Cruising

Preparing Oysters to Can

At Frenchman’s Cove I came across a pile of perfectly sized oysters in clean water. As a local recently reminded me, the ‘red tide’ will soon be making an appearance with the warmer waters and so the availability of oysters will only go down hill from here. How can I preserve the harvest? I’ve flirted with canning, but it’s always seemed like more trouble than it was worth. The canner I have in storage is a *huge* 24 quart monster. Canners, jars, and supplies take…

Charging North

Yahtzee Goodby

This is it. I’m here. This is what Solace and I have spent almost two years preparing for. I’m in the middle the Strait of Georgia. Water stretches out in all directions. The hills of both sides are mere outlines. I’m doing 4.5 knots beating into the northwest wind with a single reef in my main and my working jib hoisted. Solace is charging through the three foot chop rolling down the Strait. I can feel the tension. It feels like every piece of rigging,…

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

adventure-ducky-sunset

As I write this, I am leaving the US and crossing the Canadian border for the second time in a month. My first attempt wasn’t a false start. I spent two weeks circumnavigating Vancouver Island’s Saanich Inlet. A very populated place, akin to Seattle. The early spring weather was stormy and made a good shake-down cruise. I got to cross Butchart Gardens off my bucket list. While the trip showed me that I was ready to cruise north, it also showed me that a few…

What is Voyaging?

It’s been about four weeks since I started voyaging and the lack of a clear goal, the mentality of conventional ‘productivity’, is starting to get to me; as I knew it would. It’s like a mini existential crisis. I keep asking myself roundabout question about my ‘purpose’ and what I’m ‘doing’. I tried to take solace in Annie Hills book Voyaging on a Small Income which I pilfered from a friend a few days before crossing the border. Here is a woman who has been…

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