Summer Sailstice

Sail Trolling

Under full sail, doing about 5 mph, engine up. I’ve got my salmon rod trolling a lure behind me and my wind turbine is charging my batteries.

I’m pointed north with two sheets to the wind. The breeze this morning is coming from the southeast and I’m on a downwind run heading northeast from Watmough Bay on Lopez Island, to Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island. It’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

As I write this I’ve got my Genoa jib up trying to grab as much of this 10 mph wind as possible. I’m averaging 4-5 mph and haven’t had to tack once in the last 10 miles. I’m dragging a diving lure behind me with a salmon rod and my wind turbine is charging the batteries. My engine is up, out of the water. A solar shower rests in the cockpit with me, the temperature gauge reading about 90 degrees fahrenheit.

This is about as picturesque as sailing gets. Right now it’s very easy to imagine a three-month journey to Alaska. Doing 10-20 miles per day – charging my batteries and trolling for dinner while underway. I’m currently working on insulating the rest of the hull before my trip in September. The work has even got me thinking about the possibility of wintering over in Ketchican.

Solar Shower

My solar shower soaks up heat while underway. Sunset showers in the cockpit are exhilarating!

It’s very close to 125 miles from Anacortes to Texada Island, in Canada. My trip is more than two months away, but the boat and I are ready to leave tomorrow. The last several months of repairs and sail training are paying off.

Solace and I become more intimate with every trip. I listen to her body language and try to give her what she needs; weather it’s a little less sail or a patch of fiberglass over old teak. She responds to my touch and delivers me safely to my destination. We keep each other alive.

How long could I do this for? How many of my basic needs can I fulfill out there? The trip this summer will help to answer that question, but really, I already know the answer: more. I already know that I’ll work to push the envelope; to increase my carrying capacity of whatever elements I lack most.

I can’t wait to get lost up those lonely fjords at the north end of Vancouver Island. Someday.

This summer I’ll content myself with exploring Jervis Inlet and the stomping ground of old Capi Blanchet. Between now and then, I’ll study the tides, continue repairs, and lay in stores.

Related posts:

Surrounded by Porpoises
Debt and Murder
Fixing a Cracked Tiller
2 Responses to “Summer Sailstice”
  1. Kathy says:

    I’m enjoying your story and am pleasantly surprised to hear you were in Eagle Harbor the same day as us. It was a perfect day. The silhouette of Cypress Island seemed to be visible all night.

    • Chris says:

      Awesome! Keep your eyes out for me as I’m in that area a lot and I love meeting other boaters.

      I only stopped in at Eagle Harbor for about an hour to have a beer with a buddy. We both left shortly after and I headed back home to get ahead on some boat repairs.

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