In our departure from Poets Cove the music was the Navy Hymn “Eternal Father” in memory of the sailors lost aboard the John McCain off Singapore.
We sailed a couple of days and hoisted the staysail once and practiced off the Pender Islands in our way to Winter Cove on Saturna Island. Kestrel did well in15 knot winds with main and genoa. She continues to impress us. I’m still in the learning curve when two head sails are flying. Winter Cove was the idyllic anchorage one reads about in the Gulf Islands. Unlike The previous anchor night the Cove was peaceful. On shore there we hiked to Boat Pass with views of the Straits of Georgia.
We departed the Cove to Vivaldi’s “Winter” from his Four Seasons heading for Ganges on Salt Spring Island. Ann is taking the helm more now under sail. We rely a lot on our Raymarine tiller autopilot both with sail and motor. Chow and wines have been enjoyed. Kestrel out
Finally under sails off Sidney with a southwest 8 to 10 knots we made good 5 knots. Tiller steering is a joy under sail as you can feel the helm. I learned to sail 15 ft. Sloops with center boards as a 12 year old. I’m at ease when under sail and enjoy the quiet movement of the hull through the water. Diesel engines silenced. We sailed a couple of times now and getting more confident with Kestrel.
So we stayed over at Princess bay on Portland Island on our way to Pender Islands. We anchored for the first time on this voyage in 20 ft of good holding bottom paying out 110 ft of rode. That night the wind blew a steady 10-12 knots out of the southwest and gusted to 18. Being our first anchorage in Kestrel in tight shoreline quarters I didn’t get much sleep. I had the anchor watch radius set on my chart plotter and wrote down the coordinates. The anchor held and did not drag. Enough scope saved us. Ann rowed the dinghy ashore and walked around this small uninhabited marine park with Ensign Wilson. Delightful to have left the big cities behind us. The next day we hauled anchor and set a course for Bedwell Harbor on South Pender Island.
The departure music, The Navy’s “Anchors Aweigh.”
Pictures from our anchorage.
off to Sidney Spit about 20 nm just East of the city of Sydney where the WA state ferries call. Winds calm so called on the diesel and headed north about 20nm. The protected Spit bay had mooring buoys and easy night there. Set a crab pot and one red rock crab. Good walking trails ashore via our dinghy powered by oars. Kind of fun to not use a motor. The departure music was Peter Boyer’s contemporary Symphony 1. A lot of sailors go ashore to hike. This was a good warm up for the Gulf Islands.
picture is from the Straits crossing. So we arrived Canada and I must admit there was a sense of freshness after the political ordeals and concerns for the US. Canadians are good folk to be with and this trip confirms as well the beauty of the landscape with sea and mountains and the many islands. Customs entry was made by telephone after landing at Oak Bay and the process was courteous and quick. I often wonder why we need a border with Canada. Nice day with good friends and the Pub Penny Farthing for a pint and mussels! Ummmm.
Weather has been nasty with small craft and gale warnings. Saturday from midnight to 7 am the West wind howled through the night while tied up to the Dock. Off and on sleep thinking about the Passage. At 7:30 the wind suddenly went calm and at 7:40 let go lines and with the last of the ebb tide headed out Admiralty inlet passed Pt Wilson to Port and set course 300m for Oak Bay on Vancouver Island a near 30 nm motor into west winds of 8-10. The departure music was “Victory at Sea” by Rogers and Hammerstein used in the epic WWII movie history of the war in the Pacific. The ebb current provided a one knot boost. Lumpy first third and then winds calm and waves subsided as did my heartbeat. Here we were in the middle of the Straits and could not be on a better boat than our Dana 24 for us. We encountered a strong flood current just off our approach to Oak Bay in the Haro Straits and like a cross wind landing found ourselves moving north of target at the whim of what appeared to be a 3.5 knot current. Had to terminate my tiller auto pilot and take the helm changing course to due south. Lesson learned. Arrived Oak Bay which is just east of Victoria in a high brow neighborhood and very nice marina. Met by our friends and stayed over two nights leaving Day 8. We were happy to say that we had made safe passage on our maiden voyage across the Straits. Ensign Wilson provided security watch and fortunately no big ship traffic encountered in the Vessel traffic lanes. . Beautiful day and friendly seas. Pictures later as having wifi issue. Kestrel out.
Day 4 was an easy 3.5 hour motor to Port Townsend where we tied up at the Hudson Point Marina near Admiralty inlet the East entrance to the Straits of San Juan de Fuca. Port Townsend is about wooden boats, architecture and history. Lots to take in around its seaside shore. The music for departure from Port Ludlow was Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture replete with real canon. It's somber rather memorial tribute beginning and canon fire was chosen because Port Ludlow was named in honor of Navy Lt. Augusta Ludlow who served during the War of 1812. A her, he was mortally wounded during a battle at sea. His Captain who also died during that battle issued the famous command to Lt. Ludlow, "Don't give up the ship." Both are buried at Trinity Church in Manhattan.
Due to small craft advisory and gale warnings in the Straits we stayed an extra day and plan to depart Saturday for Oak Bay Marina on Vancouver Island. We had dinner with my cousin Steve Park who lives here in Port Townsend. A consummate story teller and writer we had our fill of tears of laughter. Thanks cousin!
So early light out tonight in preparation for the crossing. It was a nice day of rest and local exploration.
Departed Olympia at high tide to the music of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” in memory of my Brother. Wind calm so motored taking 5 hours. Tied up at Arabella’s Landing for the night. Beautiful day on the South Puget Sound carefree and relaxed. Our Dana 24 Kestrel was all good. New Garmin chart plotter was a welcome addition to the navigator though paper charts also accessed. Toasted our safe arrival at the famous Tides Tavern for a cold draft beer. Picture of Ann under the Tacoma Narrows bridge with a mild ebb current of about 2 knots.
Our dog Ensign Wilson stood watch while we were on tavern liberty. Depart tomorrow for Poulsbo. Fair winds. Gary and Ann and Wilson.