S/V Kestrel Voyage 02

Final preparations stow food and supplies for our second voyage north to San Juan Islands and to Canadian waters. Depart Olympia Bud Inlet Sunday 15 July AM with an ebb tide making first port of call at Gig Harbor that afternoon. Crew same as last year, Chief Mate Ann and Ensign Wilson. Hoping to keep you all posted about the voyage. Fair winds!⚓️🐳

Going Aloft the Mast

It’s important to annually go aloft on the mast to check rigging, furler, instruments and running lights. Jason Vannice with Aloft Marine did the climbing and I did the watching. You can see why I’m not climbing the mast. In this picture Jason is 37 ft above the water. Nice view I guess. One plus, he cleaned the underside of the spreader of green mold.

AIS install

After experiencing fog last year and retreating on Voyage 01 I had Aloft Marine in Olympia install an Em-Trak AIS system which stands for Automatic Identification System which supplements my Furuno Radar. The Em-Trak interfaces with the Garmin chart plotter and overlays other vessel positions, their course, speed and contact info via VHF radio. The AIS both transmits my position to other ships as well as receives their positions. Will test it out shortly. Pretty exciting. Jason Vannice did the install. Thanks Jason!

Swantown Boatyard

Kestrel got her red bottom paint in May at Olympia, WA. Pettit Marine did the prep and painting. I waxed the hull and cleaned up the three blade Max prop and new zincs. All went well. It was a feel good moment to see the lift put her back in the water and return to her slip. Ready to go north.⚓️

Spring Cleaning

Olympia WA. March 2018

Well it was a greenish color in the cockpit and on deck and Spring cleaning got it done. Two overnights in port sleeping in the starboard quarter berth and dinner out at Anthony’s. Yanmar started right up the good news. Interior cabin dry the next good news as well as a dry bilge. Low heat Helps the cabin during wet winter months. Will take her out in late April for bottom paint. One sunny day was enjoyable. The beauty of a Dana 24… only 24ft to scrub and wash down all easy in half a day. 😊. Looking forward to spring winds.

Fair winds

Gary and SV Kestrel


Kestrel our Dana 24

quarters on board, galley, nav, head, cockpit and vessel. Kestrel is roomy for 24 ft with 6’1″ of headroom. She can go anywhere the question always is “do you want to go with her.” We we’re thankful for hefty keel and clean entry of her displacement hull particularly under sail.

The head and V berth seemed a bit cramped but a small price to pay for the overall. Easily cleaned following the voyage as you see from the pictures. Quite often strangers would come up to us during shoreside visits and ask if she is a Dana 24 or it’s maker Pacific Seacraft. That made us feel good to know the boat was well thought of. Because I wanted a boat that Ann and I could handle in various sea states and care for we went with the smaller Dana 24 boat without risking quality. Getting older doesn’t mean getting a bigger boat. She took us out on a 28 day adventure we will long remember and back again to Homeport.

Memorable too the people who helped with our itinerary both before and along the way. Like much in life the beauty of it all was enhanced and made alive by the people we met and who helped us navigate the seas. Thanks to all of you along the way. God Bless.

Gary, Ann Marie and Ensign Wilson

20th Day Sept 2 Maple Bay

from Ladysmith harbor we squeezed out from behind a 75 ft motor yacht that looked like a three story building to our studio size Kestrel, the smaller of the hawk family. Heading 117M departure music was “it’s Howdy Doody Time” in honor of the Nordhaven motor yacht named Kawabunga. We used the YouTube of the original show with the kids singing and its a hoot and uplifting. Google Kawabunga for the genesis. On the way I used my air horn for an approaching power boat cruiser and he turned as did I. High probability the boat was on auto pilot and the Captain not on watch until the horn. Always a worry. At the pulp mill at Crofton I saw the familiar freighter Star Hidra loading pulp. A sailboat race with colorful spinnakers greeted us on arrival Maple Bay. Dock hand assisted our tie up.

Lunched at the Shipyard pub with delicious crab cakes and chowder and oh the craft taps.

Kestrel out


Departed quietly from the pastoral setting of Montague Harbor early morning for Ladysmith to the west on Vancouver Island our most northern latitude for the trip. Departure music was In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg in honor of the gnome carver David Compton a local artisan and retired international rep for BC. Meeting David reminds us of the interesting people along the route of our adventure. At Ladysmith we tied up to the long guest dock amidst very big power boats aka Stink Pots to sailors. See picture of Kestrel. Had wonderful tapas at Maya Norte a short walk up the hill. Ann and I had a discussion about Popeyes tattoo.

Kestrel out.


a word about navigation or nav. In addition to the awesome GPS Garmin chart plotter on board and radar we carry a lot of paper charts, tide and current books. Thanks to SV Ubiquity captain Brian Stipak and Leslie for the invaluable current Atlas for the Straits.

additionally Waggoners Cruising Guide a must have for the Puget Sound and Canadian waters. I carry my parallel ruler and dividers as well. Honestly I enjoy along with Ensign Wilson plotting my course the old fashioned way and correcting based on visual sights which are everywhere in the Islands but primarily buoy and channel markers.

The evidence of reefs, rocks as well as shoals is everywhere and undivided attention to the nav is paramount for the safety of the vessel and crew. The picture shows Wilson and I plotting our course from Montague to Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. This will mark our furthest latitude north from home.

My son was the navigation officer on board the Princeton, a Navy guided missile cruiser. I’d like to think nav runs in the family.

Kestrel out