Johnstone Straits and the Whale Show

6/15/2021

Got up and had the morning coffee at Barista Steve’s. We departed around 8:30 am so we could get the favorable current in Johnstone Straits.

On the way out we had a great photo op of a bald eagle on the shore. Christian also had the drone out and got some great shots.

Eagle

As we approached the end of Johnstone Straits, Coda called on the radio and said some humpback whales where on the port side ahead.  They were really active, and we got a great show. 

Liz and Christian commenting on the whales!

After the show we continued up to just south of Port Hardy for the night.  We stayed in Patrician Cove and an eagle and deer were on the shore providing us some great scenery. 

Voyage Info:

Small Inlet to Patrician Cove
Time: 11 h 18 m ( 07:50 to 19:08 )
Distance: 91.32 nm

Early Early Early, Whales and a Beautiful Cove

June 14, 2021

We made it out at 3:30 am as planned. Apart from 30 minutes of the trip, the weather window was perfect and the Strait of Georgia was smooth sailing.

A lunch stop was made just outside of Seymour Narrows, so we didn’t hit it at full flood tide. Plus, we had been cruising for 8 hours by then. Lunch was chili with fixings and cornbread along with homemade apple lemon rhubarb crumble and apple, ginger, pecan crumble for dessert. We were stuffed!

We departed the lunch anchorage around 1:30 pm and went thru the narrows. It was great timing as a pod of Orcas were going thru in the opposite direction. Great photo opportunity!

Orcas in Seymour Narrows

At lunch we decided that we already had a long day and the tide in Johnstone Straits would be against us all afternoon, so we stopped about 45 minutes later in Small Inlet inside Kanish Bay (pic at top of post). It was warm and made for a great resting place. The wind did pick up as we expected but calmed down by mid evening.

A great 13-hour cruising day! It allowed for some good drone flight testing.

Tonia preparing to anchor

Voyage Info:

Northwest Bay to Small Inlet
Time: 12 h 4 m ( 03:23 to 15:28 )
Distance: 83.86 nm

Wind, Waves, Water and Rest Day

June 13, 2021

We were all up early after a good night’s sleep. Did wake up now and then overnight to check the anchor and listen to the storm passing. It started up at 3 am just as the advisory predicted. The winds were out of the southeast and the anchorage was great for that direction, so we were well protected.

Seals on the log pond
Storm passing thru

The weather map said there might be a window in the morning, so we decided to start getting ready. We grabbed a quick coffee from the master Steve and started out. As we entered the Strait of Georgia the waves started, and we decided to call it after about 20 mins. Had a few items shift but not quite the severity that we saw on Friday.

As we anchored the water system decided that one of the fittings needed to go and it sprung a leak. It’s the old school plastic water pipes so not a total shock but not something we expected. It did manage to empty most of the fresh-water tank into the bilge. Looks like we’re going to get a good test on the water maker now.

The rest of the plan today is rest so we can get up early. The weather is supposed to be calm between 3:30 to 11 am so we want to get up past the strait and into more protected waters.

Captain Steve!

Voyage Info:

Northwest Bay to Northwest Bay
Time: 2 h 35 m ( 06:19 to 08:55 )
Distance: 8.55 nm

The Alaska Adventure Begins (Via Canada)

June 12, 2021

We were up and at ‘em this morning. Got in the last run we’ll probably do for a couple weeks and then headed over to Coda for morning coffee. Do miss him being my neighbor because he makes a great cup.

Selfie on the morning run by the San Juan Island Distillery

We were off at 7:45 am and headed to the Canadian border. Put out the quarantine flag as we crossed the border and had a nice easy trip into the Port of Sydney. There was already a boat on the dock, so Coda took up the other space and we waited about 30 minutes to dock. While we waited, we did the final call in for the prep work and only had to wait a few minutes after we arrived for the custom officers. The experience was great. The officers were really friendly and easy to talk to. They asked the standard questions about our intent, experience, stuff to declare, and all the normal border crossing questions. One question I found funny is after we told them we didn’t have any firearms they asked how long it had been since firearms were on the vessel. We’ve never had any on the boat since we moved on because we live in the Pacific Northwest, which is pirate free.

QFlag
Coda cruising in Canada

As we were getting ready to be cleared, they had the final call with the clearance folks and at that point they pulled me aside and said there was an issue. Uh Oh! I was asked when the last time I came into Canada, if I was ever denied access to Canada, if I tried to cross the border during the pandemic, and if I had any issues with law enforcement. The answers were pretty much no for all, and they said they’d look into it later and it’s probably because my common name. I guess I may have to move to Alaska if they don’t let me come back in the fall. 😊

After the final questions we were cleared, put up the Canadian courtesy flag, and off north we go.

The remainder of the day was wonderful. Nice calm winds and calm seas. About an hour before the anchorage, we got a notification over the radio that a wind advisory was going into effect starting Sunday morning. We contemplated getting farther north so we could avoid it tomorrow but after 10 hours (customs time included), we called it a day and anchored in Northwest Bay just north of Nanaimo (photo at top of post).

Coda dropping anchor in Northwest Bay
Swimming not advisable! See many orange spots in Coda pic above, which are all jellyfish shown here

Voyage Info:

Roche Harbor to Northwest Bay
Time: 10 h 46 m ( 07:34 to 18:20 )
Distance: 75.68 nm

Rock, Roll and the Shake-down

June 11, 2021

Our Alaska 2021 voyage has begun. We are traveling north to Alaska for the summer with another boat Coda. On our boat is Tonia and myself. We’ve also been graciously joined for the first part of our trip by Christian Tornqvist and Liz Coghill. You can follow Liz’s blog at https://letliztravel.wordpress.com. Coda is crewed by Captain Steve Olsson and his sister Barbara Olsson. You can follow their blog at https://www.adventuresofcoda.com.

Departure day started with the final wrap up of pre-trip projects. Final engine checks, firing up the water maker, and making sure all the spare parts are stowed. Our boat guy Mike (University Yacht Services) was there to oversee the final prep. With everything checking out, we departed the Tyee Yacht Club dock at 9 am. Off we go… That’s when the final gremlins came out. As we neared the locks, the engine temperature on the port engine rose and I went to check and quickly determined that no water was flowing. I shut it down and called Mike. What now? Turn back or wait, the lock light is green. Ok, let’s go to Shilshole Marina.

I’m a little rusty on single-engine maneuvering so the lock was a little more challenging. Only had a minor bounce but quickly recovered and pretty much uneventful. If it were a normal day, we would have declared perfect lock karma as we didn’t have to wait.

Pulled into Shilshole and met up with Mike who was already walking down the dock. Quickly determined that the impellor had failed. We had used a spare that was already on hand. Out with the old, in with the new, and we were running perfectly.

Three quarters of the trip up was pretty uneventful. We did hit a freighter wake that I think was at least 6-foot waves and may have been 8 foot.

Enjoying part of my PC gift from Bill and Julie

Then… we decided to go up Admiralty Inlet and cross the Straight of Juan de Fuca. The wind was straight behind us, and the waves were with us, so we had a pretty decent ride for most the crossing. We had planned to leave earlier and with the engine delay we knew it was going to be a little rough at some point. For about the last 30 minutes of the crossing the wind shifted, and we had a few waves off the beam. This brought Tonia up for her nap right about the same time as we hit a couple big ones and rearranged all the shelves on the boat. 😊

The Mess!

With the boat clutter now on the floor, we hit Cattle Pass and went into much calmer waters. We cruised into Roche Harbor, stopped at the fuel dock to top of so we can make it 8 days without stopping for fuel, and then took a cozy slip. Time for safe arrival drinks! I have lots of Rainer thanks to the wonderful Tyee Past Commodores!

We settled in with a tasty spanakopita and Greek salad prepared by the wonderful Barbara Olsson. And she even made us Key lime pie from scratch for dessert. I may put on weight during this trip if we’re going to eat this well every night!

All settled in at Roche Harbor

Voyage Info:

Time: 9 h 14 m ( 08:41 to 17:56 )
Distance: 75.27 nm

Change of Watch

Thursday (June 10) was the Change of Watch (COW) for Tyee. It’s a bittersweet moment. Two of the last three years have been amazing. I would say three of three, but you know, COVID. Being on the bridge of Tyee is an amazing experience. We have the best club and the best members! As a perk, being part of the Grand 14 is an opportunity that many don’t know about. For other clubs, being on the bridge is mostly work but with the Grand 14 yacht clubs you get to meet wonderful people, attend crazy costume balls, and a few formals as well. It would have been more, but we missed out on a whole year.

The COW went on wonderfully. We did it in a hybrid mode since we’re still under phase 3 restrictions. PC JoAnn Jordan did a wonderful job emceeing the event.

After the COW ceremony in the middle of the meeting, I realized that I could go back to sitting in the back of the room and not have to do all that speaking. I’m pretty much the only Commodore in Tyee history that didn’t have an in-person dinner meeting.

I wish J4 (Commodore Jennifer), Scott, and Rick good luck on their new roles. They will do a great job as the Tyee leadership.

Following the COW was the PC induction for me into the Past Commodores’ “Club”. The process includes a roast/toast and we were visited by my alter ego Hotdog and my companion Ketchup. Randy’s expression says it all! Thank you to all the PCs that joined in the celebration.

If you ever want to join a great club. Join Tyee (www.tyeeyachtclub.org).

Friday starts our trip north to Alaska. We’re ready for the experiences to come.