August 16, 2016
100 miles of travel boiled down to about 13 miles of sailing and 87 miles of relentless rowing against currents and persistent northwest winds. I long new that sunny weather would hamper my progress due to its high pressure clockwise characteristics- however, being grounded for warm, beautiful weather was never a thought. Well, here I am having been blown back by high winds and gale warnings for a second day straight. 25 knots from the northwest with the wrong tidal direction (flood) and you have yourself a sloppy, hazardous mess very different (and potentially more dangerous) then wind waves experienced on an open sea.
Not to worry, my time spent here has been fantastic. I'm absolutely loving the Canadian hospitality, swimming in 70 degree water (?), stretching, and repairing the boat. Anxious to get back on the road.
Bellingham, WA to Nainamo, BC
August 9, 2016
Race to the finish! With the huge effort by my folks and I on the eve of the trip, the boat was listed as an 'acceptable' work in progress fit to depart (our dog Murphy had other plans, insisting sewing time was over).
I was rushed to catch the final hours of a southerly weather pattern that I could potentially sail with. Slightly behind schedule, my folks pushed me off shore on what became an incredible sail through dark clouds, tanker wake, and a consistent 10-15 knot winds from the southwest.
I met my good college buddy, Travis, at a moorage on Sucia Island 20 miles later. The San Juan Islands continued to prove their gorgeous and awesomeness.
August 10, 2016
The next afternoon was my refresher on tides and currents. I got swept about 5 miles in the wrong direction. Paddling against a current I blistered my soft little healthcare hands. No sailing to be heard of. 17 forward miles later I pulled up to a deserted County Park and camped right there on the dock with beautiful phosphorescence in the water and seals making noises all night.
August 11, 2016
Northwest winds were howling that morning. I didn't think that I was going to get very far but decided to get out there and sail for fun (with no apparent goal) and gain some more experience on the fully loaded and modified boat. I ended up making pretty good headway and ultimately ended up rowing to Montague Harbor where another 150 other boats were moored. Not before being completely surrounded by 4 BC ferries in the middle of a large open crossing to make you feel small and venerable. Montague Harbor is a fantastic cruising hub where I nearly insistantly got adopted by the owner of The Crane and the Robin restaurant, Robin, and ventured to her house to watch an impressive meteor shower with her amazing roomates and sleep on their deck- such a cool group of people.
August 12, 2016
A slower start to today but some pretty decent sailing early- not in the right direction, but fun nonetheless. The Sun has been beating me down- reminding me to slather my body in 70 spf glue. Sans mirror, I sometimes wonder what sort of scrappy, sunblock streaked circus animal I must look like rowing in to an anchorage near you. When I finally got to Telegraph Harbor, I met a friendly couple rowing their dory, and promptly invited to stay at their house convenietly located about 40 yards away with their Klepper kayak sistership (amongst other sailing vessels) right on the water. I went back to their house and enjoyed a home cooked meal, shower, and my own personal room on the water rumored to have been a creative loft space for a famous poet. Gary, also an acclaimed poet, wrote a book about sailing up the Inside Passage on a 31 foot sloop- Sailing Home: A Journey Through Time, Place and Memory. His wife Ann Erikson, a novelist, was researching a book about a women rowing down Vancouver Island. Fantastic evening scanning over a map of the Inside Passage sharing stories. Woke up in the morning and the boat, formally tied up to a dock in deep water, was squarely on land as the tide had drained about 10 feet of water from underneath her. Fortunately, the tide always rolls back in and I was adrift again.
August 13, 2016
All paddling all day. Exhausted, but finally got through False Narrows in the evening and anchored out in a cove for the night. This act (anchoring) is not a pretty sight to behold- first I take half of my stuff out to get other stuff to take out to get the crap in the bow. With about 18 inches of clearance, it takes me about 3 minutes to slither to the bow- often wondering if I'm getting stuck (I actually brought my phone on the second attempt just in case). Mind you my feet are in the air, pumping to to gain inches, shoulders pinched, arms straight out. I then spread personal belongings all over the beach, followed by filling a bag with a couple large rocks, and finally dropping 'anchor'. That night, post delivery of my camp supplies, a couple of locals, Mudge Island's finest, flashed their lights in my direction. Next thing I knew, I was eating lamb kabobs, enjoying an earned Molsten Canadian, staying in my private 'Casita' with these generous hosts. Really enjoyed myself with John and Lisa