V-02 Crossing the Straits of San Juan de Fuca

  1. Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina was quiet when I rolled out of the starboard quarter berth Ann still asleep in the v berth with Wilson. No wind and no fog following a night before of small craft warnings. All looked good for our 30 mile passage to Vancouver Island. I suppose with age I choose good weather to sail and pass on the small craft advisory times even though Kestrel can do it. The Straits and weather are to be respected though and more so that Ann has a comfortable experience. Last line at 0730 we departed the linear dock, passed the ferry terminal (Port Townsend and Whidbey Island) checked AIS for big ship traffic enroute. We left Admiralty inlet, Point Wilson behind and entered the Eastern Strait. Lumpy and calm the currents subsided about 30 minutes out and the glassy face of the water seemed surreal since there were 20 plus knot winds the night before. 5 hours later we were tied to the Customs dock at Oak Bay. Customs is a telephone at the fuel dock. I picked up the phone and didn’t even dial a number. A young male voice answered and after a few questions gave me a number to affix to the boat. That’s it. For sure I had left the US. I had raised the Canadian flag 🇨🇦 on the mast in conformity with tradition and the US flag 🇺🇸 on the stern. Happily we had made the crossing though by motoring and were greeted by our Canadian friends who are hosting us for the weekend. In short the crossing was very comfortable and beautiful views of the Strait. Ann and Wilson are seen on a hilltop that evening enjoying the sunset over the Straits. Shalom. Gary, Ann and Ensign Wilson

Author: S/V Kestrel

Retired maritime executive and cargo surveyor.

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