Friday, July 8, 2011

Next Adventure

Hi Everybody,

I got back in late June from an amazing delivery from Hawaii to Point Roberts, Washington.

After a brief visit with old friends in Hawaii we left Ko Olina headed for the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the 5th of June.

The boat we sailed was a Catalina 47 named Tilikum, a comfortable boat that could also go quite fast for a cruising design. She wouldn't exactly be my choice for extreme offshore sailing but she was more than adequate for the passage to the mainland. For a 47 foot boat, she was relatively light and had a long waterline that allowed her to sail quite fast. Even better, she had refrigeration onboard so we were able to eat fresh food all the way across!

My companions on board were a great bunch of people to sail across the Pacific with. Captaining the vessel was my good mate Brian Caldwell, with whom I've made many trips across the oceans with. Tod, our crew member from Portland Oregon was on his first offshore passage, but he did great and was fantastic company. And the final crew member was Jen Edney, a very skilled photographer from Nebraska who did the photography for Zac Sunderland's around the world trip.

For the first week, the weather was perfect, sunny and warm with calm seas and a steady breeze. Tilikum logged 150 to 180 mile days and we shot north like a rocket, reaching in perfect weather. At about 30 degrees north we started seeing garbage from the North Pacific Gyre, and one day collected a huge glass ball that had probably been floating around the Pacific for thirty years or more.

After a week at sea, the weather turned foggy and cold, and it was to stay that way for the rest of the trip. For ten days, we had nothing but fog all the way to the entrance to the Straits. It was quite eerie sailing through fog for so long with only being able to see a few hundred feet. We were very glad to have an AIS aboard to warn us every time a ship was close. Otherwise, we would see the ship when it was way too close to take evasive action.

We got in to Washington after just 16 days, amazing time for a cruising boat, and stopped briefly in my home Port of Port Angeles before continuing on to Point Roberts. The three weeks since then have gone by in a blur catching up with friends and family, hitting up some of the great festivals that go on this time of year, hiking in the mountains, and getting ready for my next adventure, which is crewing on a boat up to Greenland.

Tomorrow morning I'm flying out to Deer Lake Newfoundland, where I'll be working my way up to Saint Anthony. From there, I'll be crewing on a boat up the Labrador Coast to Greenland and back down to Maine. Should be one hell of an adventure!

Fair Winds,