Monday, September 10, 2012

First Landfall!

YeS! the journey has begun.... Actually it began on Saturday with a most wonderful send off by numerous friends and family, along with encouraging emails and notes from all sides. Thank you all for believing we're not crazy, for sending us off with your gifts of food, good luck charms, small necessities, and words of support and love.
Lanham installs a last minute project.

Departure day coffee!

Slim arrived to crew with new sunglasses

Pretty breakfast
Goodbye -- friends and neighbors

Last look back at our city

Warm and safe

 Slim arrived with a smile at 0600. We filled our water tanks, the last time for a while. Lanham did a last minute installation of the new printer shelf -- we realized we would be wanting to print weather faxes often and not digging out the printer from its earlier storage spot -- so Slim made us a shelf -- Thanks, Slim. Coffee was consumed -- along with a quiche-- yum, thanks, Julia.

We cast off from our slip at 0730, with a loyal group of dock friends waving. It was a perfect sail up to Port Townsend and into the Straits. We had a tail wind all the way, averaging 6kn, and the sun broke through late afternoon. All good omens! We took turns at the helm rather than starting our watch rotation. Once we turned into the Strait, we had a rip-roaring ride with the boat reaching hull speed of about 8 kn. Big smiles on our faces. We will need to remind ourselves that it's not a race -- enjoy the pace! 

We arrived at Sequim Bay, caught a buoy that was offered us, and brother-in-law Gary rowed out to pick us up. He hosted us to a delicious dinner and we got to walk the land up to see the property and cabin foundation that he and Carol will have built by the time we return! Looking great!
Looking out at our buoy
The end of a first great day!
We slept soundly, feeling secure while the wind rose and fell. Slim and I heard more of it than Lanham, so that shows how tired he was! 

DAY 2 --  Into a BIG wind day!

Good-bye Sequim Bay

Gary and Molly dog walked to the end of the spit to wave good-bye.

 Monday morning saw a sunrise and smooth water to motor out of Sequim Bay. Gary came out to Solar Wind for breakfast. We didn’t motivate until about 9:30 – probably a little too lazy, because by noon the seas in the Strait of Juan de Fuca had risen to a rollicking 30+, choppy and rolly. The boat did well and so did we. We got to practice putting in reefs with both sails, then replaced the jib with the smaller staysail. Still lots of wind, but on the nose, so not making good time. Water over the rail and even some splashes into the cockpit. We have been vigilant about tethering in and of course wearing life jackets at all times. The foul weather gear has felt good!
 By about 1400 (2pm) we saw we would likely not make Neah Bay by dark and Port Angeles looked like the last good stop. We went in and found the city pier – right by the BC ferry dock – and a bargain at $15 a night. A big bowl of guacamole and some spinach pasta dinner. More weather forecast downloading and I’m heading up to the hotel on main street to post this tonight. Surprise! We ran into Seattle friend, Neala, working on a field study with colleagues here in town.

The “plan” is to leave here by 5 am, catching an ebb tide and probably lower winds. We will make a long day of it tomorrow. Still have 50 nm to Neah Bay. We will either stop there, or head straight on out into the Pacific!! if the timing is right. The weather for the next few days down the coast looks downright good… and then it will be whatever it is.
Lots of hand steering today.
We are really having fun and also anticipating the different feeling we may have when we don’t have stops such as this along the way for the next few days.

 We’ll write next when we can, know we are well and strong!


  1. FANTASTIC post and pics!! Soooo good to hear about the first two days and you all look incredibly happy! Missing you, loving you and following every word and rolling wave!

  2. I'm so proud of you guys! I love the technical jargon and description of your journey! Thank you for sharing. Love you!

  3. Your WONDERFUL post made me cry. Rob says it's just cuz' I want to be ON the trip with you! Well, that's part of it for sure! You both look so happy to be underway! So glad to see the life vests and those smiles! Love to all 3 of you, Weeze

    1. Me too Weeze! But, happy tears... :-) Its just so exciting and inspiring to see someone follow their dreams. Yeah team!

  4. Great stuff, guys! See ya in SF in a few days.

    Jerry & Marty - Sorriso #21

  5. Nice hats captains!
    Don't just enjoy the pace; enjoy the peace-
    and don't forget to turn left at the end of the world