From Port Townsend
Departed 0820 with the last of the ebb tide and encountered heavy fog in the Straits. Relied on AIS and chartplotter and a number of VHF radio exchanges re position and headings with other boats. A little daunting at first but after awhile realized how well the electronics and my voyage planning was going. The incoming flood tide pushed us North and through Cattle Pass where we encountered strong rip tides. Kestrel did very well. At times we got up to 8 knots. Decided to bypass Friday Harbor and went to Deer Harbor. Total time about 6 hours all on power. Ann did well as did Wilson. Kestrel Log Book
You can see the difference fog vs sunny skies.
Ann and I enjoyed the rest of the voyage into the San Juan’s and arrival Deer Harbor where we explored local walking paths and enjoyed the company of fellow boaters. Our departure music from Port Townsend was strangely Norwegian Wood aka “this bird has flown”. Does any one understand the story behind the lyrics? I’ll have to check it out on google. I don’t recall Google growing up. Mom bought about 100 pounds of encyclopedia Britannica when I was in middle school. Long since deep sixed.
We are off to Sucia Island the farthest north of the San Juan’s to anchor and explore hopefully no fog or gales. All for now.
Gary, Ann and Ensign Wilson
In the San Juans July 31
July 28, 2019
Motor/Sailed from Olympia a week ago putting into Gig Harbor, Eagle Harbor, Poulsbo and Ludlow. At 5.5 knots long distances are not within reach. So here we are in Port Townsend, Ann and I and Ensign Wilson preparing to cross the Straits of San Juan de Fuca for Friday Harbor. Tomorrow Monday 29th we have a weather window for early morning. So Voyage 3 really begins from here for our third season which will include a stop or two in Canada.
Dorian Brebeck, Ann’s son-in-law, crewed for me only the first week and Ann joined here in Port Townsend.
My grandfather, born in SF in 1895, wow that’s a long time ago, said that “once there were wooden ships and iron men and today iron ships and wooden men”. Port Townsend, a wooden boat Mecca, defies that statement. Walking around the working waterfront we saw wooden hulls in good repair and many under repair. It takes a lot of experience and strength to work in these yards.
In the shipyard under heavy repair is the boat Western Flyer which John Steinbeck went on with his wife Carol and biologist Doc Ricketts sailing from Monterey to the Sea of Cortez in 1940. It is a public funded effort. See pic below.
Our Departure music to date:
Fanfare for the Common Man by Copland in memory of my Brother Don.
Music from Apollo 13 movie in honor of our astronauts’ missions and the landing on the moon. I was in the Navy on that historic day when Neil Armstrong took the first step on the moon and as reported by Walter Cronkite echoing Neil’s first words.
Buckaroo Holiday by Copland
Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin in support of Raeanne Phillips whose home burned down.
Wish you were here by the band Pink Floyd.
Skipper SV Kestrel, Dana 24 hull 345, Olympia WA
Preparing Kestrel to sail tomorrow for Gig Harbor and points north on our way from Olympia WA to Sidney BC. Fair weather forecast for the next two days.
High tide at 0840 Sunday will easily make Tacoma Narrows just before slack and then to Gig. Excited to be on the water for the summer sailing adventure.
In a departure from sailing Kestrel I am celebrating Bernstein on his 100th birthday.
Departure music would have been his Symphonic Dances from Westside Story and as the pianist for Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the New York Philharmonic.
Re Bernstein I’ve always loved his persona in the music world and his gift of classical music during his now famous Children’s concerts which I was a beneficiary. In later life I had the privilege to meet him, shake his hand and speak with him when he addressed the Foreign Correspondents Club while I was a resident in Tokyo. Tucked between his fingers was the well familiar cigarette. I’ve read some about his life and the word complex is fitting. Having watched him conduct, unfortunately not in a concert hall, I’m not sure I could have followed him but that’s my level of play I guess. It would be interesting to know the reaction of say a NY Phil violinist of his time about that question. However it was the glowing acclamations of his music, energy and emotion which obviously went far far beyond the physical motions and stick waving on the podium.
I am forever thankful to Leonard for his musical gifts to so many. Bravo Bravo!!!
Clearing customs in Roche Harbor we did sail to Deer Harbor a smaller delightful marina on Orcas Island compared to the overwhelming magnitude of yachts $$$ in the marina at Roche. We did enjoy the lowering of colors ceremony for the Union Jack, the Canadian and US flags and the music and cannon fire at Roche. I always thought our Port should have a daily ceremony with cannon and flag lowering. Some ceremony for towns is relevant.
From Deer Harbor we went to the busy marina at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island staying two nights. Watching the ferry traffic and other boat traffic is pretty interesting and meeting people and their dogs.
We were ready to head home and checked NOAA weather on the internet and Seattle weather on the VHF. Tides and winds in the Straits of San Juan de Fuca looked ok and so in the early morning we steered a course for Cattle Pass the exit between San Juan Island and Lopez into the Straits and motored to Port Ludlow. The rip tides off Point Wilson got our attention as did the two to three foot waves on our starboard beam at times during the crossing. But winds were light.
After a one day respite at Ludlow to do laundry, shower and take on fuel and water we stopped at Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island and enjoyed dinner with our friends Jean and Doug on board Greywolf. The next day on to Gig a stop to wait on a good tide to take us through the Tacoma Narrows to home port. Our departure music from Eagle Harbor was John Williams “Hymn to the Fallen” from the movie score Saving Private Ryan. As in past voyages we again honored our fallen. 🇺🇸
On our way to Olympia we encountered 3-4 waves in Dana Passage the result of a flood tide meeting an oncoming 20 knot westerly wind. We sailed briefly in Bud Inlet but the gusts overpowered my Genoa and we doused the sail. In the process of furling the sail the Genoa sheet caught the mid ship cleat and caused all sorts of issues until Ann was able to free the line. So our voyage ended with excitement and yet another learning experience about sailing on our newer boat Kestrel. Sailing like life is truly a learning experience. Some scary moments too.
Thankful to be at homeport we stayed the night and cleaned up the boat the next day. So ended 28 days on board our Kestrel living in tight quarters, bumping our heads, rowing ashore for Wilson, and taking in the beauty of the Northwest waters. Finally we did see an Orca whale just off Fox Island and a number of humpbacks off Anderson Island all in the South Puget Sound a rarity. The whales escorted us home. 🐳.
So completes a safe wonderful 28 day Voyage 2
Fair winds and Following Seas to our friends on the sea and at home.
Gary, Ann Marie and Ensign Wilson
Thursday evening 9 August at 2130 hours while at Arabella’s Marina in Gig Harbor both Ann and I did see unidentified flying objects inbound from the southeast about 125M. I saw one incoming bright fiery orange orb without defined circumference or navigation lights like the sun in a smoky sky (sunset was at 2030 one hour before). It appeared to be larger than a helicopter and at the flight level of a helicopter. There was no sound from the aircraft in fact no sound from anywhere. Before getting to a position overhead it turned south to about 175M heading proceeding to climb at an incredibly fast rate of speed compared to its lower level steady slow approach. It’s color and size dissipated to a starlike projection and disappeared into outer space. Gone in a nano second. Then another with the same physical and flight characteristics with no sound and followed by four more orbs all evenly spaced in formation about one minute a part from each other. All 6 orbs the same size and fiery color flew toward us and departed in the same direction from southeast to south on a diagonal departure vector accelerating and climbing rapidly out of sight in seconds.
I Called 911 at 2139 hours and reported my sighting of these 6 flying objects. Having been a Navy pilot and familiar with aircraft and through my current work at the Palm Springs Air Museum I felt that these flying objects were outside of any experience I have ever witnessed in aviation. I did not have my IPhone.
In looking at my charts the incoming direction was from Tacoma and the outgoing toward the Narrows Bridge.
In checking the internet I did find a nearly exact sighting of the same orb description and number in 2017. Uncanny!
So what do you think? I thought about contacting McChord airbase. Possibly the Seattle Times. I guess in moments like this experience I question the reality of my sighting and whether it is or isn’t and I should just pass on it. Or do I not believe in UFO possibility. Are we alone? I’ll keep you posted of any findings.
Ann and I depart for Olympia today with the tide and can say at this time we had a wonderful voyage. Our departure music today will be music from ET!!!
Fair winds to all!
Gary, Ann and Ensign Wilson
On board our sailboat Dana 24 “Kestrel”
Gig Harbor, WA. 10 August 2018
Quiet water motoring just north of Gig Harbor.