Monday, May 31, 2010

Port Townsend to Sidney, B.C.

We stayed up later than we wanted last night trying to figure out how to attach photos to this blog with little success. Boy are we inept around computers! We can never seem to find a teen-age, computer wis for help when we need one. Sunday morning was cloudy but dry with a 10 to 20 knot wind forecast from the southeast...perfect for the run across the border to Sidney. Having completed our repairs, we bid farewell to Port Townsend and slid out of the narrow harbor entrance to gain some sea room for hoisting the jib back up the repaired furler and raising our main sail. Once that was done we pointed "Blue Rodeo" to the northwest, shut down our diesel engine and began sailing happily along. Anne soon busied herself in the galley making a delicious turkey curry in her new pressure cooker. The wind eventually died and a few rain showers returned so we restarted the engine and made swift work of the remaining miles to our destination. Doug and Patricia, who we met last year and own a Pacific Seacraft 37 based in Sidney were on the customs dock to meet us when we arrived and after a quick phone call to the authorities to clear into Canada, we proceeded to a vacant guest slip for the night. Doug and Patricia joined us aboard for dinner and we devoured Anne's turkey curry and a chocolate torte for dessert. Monday will be spent exploring Sidney and trying to get a few boat chores done. We'll also make plans as to our next stop along the way up the east side of Vancouver Island and once again, try to figure out the photo attachment feature of this blog site.

Cheers to everyone,

Mark and Anne

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday in Port Townsend

Today we felt like real cruisers for the first time walking several miles to the grocery store and West Marine for some needed items. Fortunately the rain ended this morning around 9:30am so it was dry.... We went to the local farmer's market and wolfed down cookies and a Salmon bagel with cream cheese... nummeee!!! The upper end of town was very cute and I wished we had more time to explore it. However, we were set up to meet our rigger Brion to finish our rig repair by adjusting the stainless steel cables that hold the mast in place. The rest of the day was spent doing boat chores and trying to stow all the items lying around. The big news of the day was that friends we meet while moored at Seacraft Yachts, Susan and Elba who own a Cape George Cutter, decided to come into port here as well and we got to visit with them over dinner at another local hangout called Sirens. They are really cool gals and have sailed all over Mexico and the South Pacific on a smaller boat and have spent the last two years outfitting this boat for cruising. They are heading to Hawaii and then to Thailand. We wish we could do some cruising with them as they are a riot!!! We also got to visit some more with Brion and his wife Christian and their rather large cat Ben. They are sure neat folks. We are aiming for a 10:00am departure tomorrow but haven't found the time yet to check weather forecasts and tides ect. for the 42 mile run to Sydney. We are still putting things away and its getting late. As explained to us over dinner tonight, 9pm is considered "cruisers midnight" and we are an hour past and it really feels late.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Underway at last...sort of!

After months of work making upgrades to our boat's systems we were finally able to cast off the dock lines on May 27th, 2010 and head north toward British Columbia. The last few weeks have been especially crazy with every waking hour spent finishing projects and preparing the boat for our extended trip. As anyone who has gone cruising knows, the boat is never completely finished and at some point you just have to go knowing that the important things have been done and the rest can be attended to along the way. After all, isn't cruising really about doing boat maintenance in exotic parts of the world? With the last minute discovery of damage to a section of our jib's roller furling foil caused by hurricane force winds last fall in Canada, our trip began yesterday with a 6 hour motor to Port Townsend where repairs could be made. Famous rigging guru Brian Toss had the part we needed and made time in his busy schedule to make the repair today. While Mark helped, Brian and his assistant remove the damaged section and replace it, Anne busied herself cleaning the bilges and continued to stow the ton of gear and provisions that we had been throwing onboard during the last few days in Seattle. As it turns out, the opportunity to spend a little time in Port Townsend was a treat as we've enjoyed exploring the quaint Victorian town and sampling several recommended eateries. We had the most amazing pizza at a little place called Waterfront Pizza. We can't figure out what makes it taste so good but it was the best we've ever had! Tomorrow we plan on visiting the farmer's market and will walk to the local West Marine chandlery for more boat parts and a 2010 Canadian tide and current book. We will also tour the wooden boat museum and workshop that PT is famous for. It drizzled all day today and more is forecast for next week (bummer). We were spoiled by the unusually hot and dry weather we experienced during last summer's visit to B.C. so perhaps this is some sort of payback for last year's good fortune. Our plan is to leave here early Sunday morning and head for Sydney B.C., just north of Victoria, where we will rendezvous with friends who keep their boat there. As always, our family and friends are in our thoughts and we will do our best to keep everyone updated as to our travels.