Dear Mdms and Sirs,
I have the Honour to Report that between the 9th and the 24th of August the yawl _Ariadne_ completed, in good stead, a Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island from West to East. She logged 857nm, used 16 gals (u.s.) of diesel, and 1 canadian ham, 4 red onions, 1 clove of garlic, rice, cups of soup, 4 bottles of red wine, and one fifth of Jack Daniels, circumnavigating, she motored for 49hrs, and sailed for 162 hrs.
She had broken:1 gooseneck track from the mainmast,1 traveller car, 1 lapper ( built in Mississippi, 1983 - consigned to the deep 45nm West of the Brooks Peninsula).... these small setbacks, and the Conditions encountered were overcome thanks to the Diligence of the Entire Crew, an occasional HailMary, and a cordless screwdriver.
Directly upon the completion of the _WYC Summer SnoozeNCrooze_on a Sundaynight at a time when normally the exhaustion of that WYC weekend has me asleep in a tub, I were instead requiring & requesting Alan Cairns @2230 to please go get us even more stuff and more stuff at the all night Ballard _FredMeyer_- oh, let us see now : hows about - a spare deep-cycle 12v battery; oh, and how about a boom box - only in America....
Day#1/ 0000 / Monday090904
depart Reciprocal moorage at CorinthianYC/ Shils Hole the boat is stuffed with gear, the cabin sole is covered with groceries and gear....."The Ship'sSurgeon" and only crew Dr. Andrew Haputa, my faithful indian guide, prime instigator of my doing this (" before Alan does "), has the helm even though he has just finished his 36 hour hospital shift. I am packing gear below - thankfully it ain't a beat, there's no wind - we are now using the diesel to lay down some miles; to be in synchronicity with the ebb that is to be peaking 17 nm ahead of us. Andrew has 14 days of vacation; then he returns to a final year of the surgical residency grind.
We intend to do the Hard Work first - go around V.I . the wrong way, clockwise, against the prevailing NWesterly and the 1kt current so that , if need be, I can do all the modobodering down the Inside Passage with others, and in increments not bound by his 2 week limit. Plus its Contrarian Aspect had an certain appeal - even for a 24footer."IF Not Now Then When...."Bought some time this year from 2 very chronic health conditions – and turned 50 yrs old; Daughter #1 is off to college; sooooooo - gotta get in a Good sail before its too late. Plus Dr. Haputa, an Glorious Survivor of the VictoriaTrip January2004, ref: some previous dang Despatch, and I have to Test The Plan !! : July 2005 - when his surgical residency is done: We would Return _Ariadne_ home via the Panama Canal and 4 months Offshore to New Orleans. A Good Hard Beat offshore oughta test whether _Ariadne_ had attained Steady State Perforrmance capable of venturing Offshore, and our own vim, and vigor.
"Geaux Dumaine", the loverly Kathrine Bogh were talkin to me in the previous dusk on Blake Island, deep in that forest primeval , awl 'bout The Plan. Curious were she about its many contradictions - " soooo, why not Andrew's boat - a fast 34ftr ";" why go home; won't the stifling heat and humidity and the relentless flatness of it all depress you so – You Can't Home Again – peragine (you fool) ", &c. - I guess you would figure that out; then you and that boat could just head out again East and North and just geaux dumaine (the french boyfriend has her speakin in tongues, twould seem)."Songs of Regret" Alan's made a gift of a lil cd boombox, a cheepie from Fred Meyer. We quickly discover it can't format awl my daughter's specially made cds; the only others cds aboard besides my Dylan and Pavorotti, and Johhny Cash singing"Hurt" is one from Andrew's bag - Willie Nelson - "Easy".....
Finally I can see the floorboards, still calm and flat out there - the diesel has responded to the previous weeks' filter changes and the oil change, and the belt tightenings, and the fuel condtioners, and she is humming along. Even under power running the nav lights, &c. will largely drain one of the batteries - yet we do have 2, plus the new spare nestled down in the bilge astride all the red wine. The red nav light at the table; Andrew on deck; I crank up"Maybe IDidn't Love You Half as Much As I CouldUv".........
Two exhausted guys/ an overpacked small boat........gonna be a long trip - half da music is Dirges - Andrew says listening to this toolong will be like "small prison time" - we laugh. Andrew explains his work is often based on "Parameters" - Four hours _On_/ Four hours "Off is how we'll keep on moving - Boat speed under 2kts Velocity Made Good for over an hour means turn on the diesel and we'll keep the mainsl and mizzen up to more quickly ascertain the wind returning - We'll, like da Spanish, have one reef minimum in the main at night. - We'll "clip in" if we leave the cockpit. - We'll pace ourselves while trying to be in sync with the wind and tides, yet anchoring inshore to rest when either of us need it - We'll know and remember that the Weather IS in charge - and that - Going All the Way - ain't necessary - It is, after all, subtitled the: As Far As We Can Get Cruise Back To Reality:
/0400 - riding a tidal current 7.6 kts - motoring - no wind/ an hour later a rosy fingered dawn and all that, and we swish into the Strait of Juan de Fuca/ modabodamodaboda/ 1100 - sails up and engine off/ 1200- abeam Dungeness/ 1300 - spinnaker up in 5 -10 kts Easterly!/ 1445 - 7.5 kts w/ spinnaker / now running along canadian shore / _USS Enterprise_ abeam, outbound/1945 - becalmed ina sea-bird lovefest/ 2130 - beating in 10kts westerly.
Day#2/ Tues 091004-/ 0030
I call up Andrew to help triple reef the mainsl/ tacking to clear Outbound Traffic as required, beating West / 0400 - becalmed in thick fog on the Swiftsure Bank / 0530 - traveller car busts - dang, thought I had fixed that / 0840- Pachena Pt a beam, light air reaching, slapping around in a set of loopy waves the goosenck mast track gets slammed and breaks - we drop the main and proceed under jib and jigger (mizzen) 1230 - motoring in a calm and medium fog, abeam the Broken Group, 1310 - we pick our way in fog into Ucluelet amid Pacific swells and rocks intermittently visible/ clear customs/ Andrew goes into town for our groceries/ I fix the gooseneck w/ 3 hose clamps and new screws (and duct-tape), and I fix, again, the traveller/ we find dinner ashore/ 2200 - we rig and pack the LastDefense - a new parachute sea-anchor in the glow of the Government Dock's mercury halide light."Seven Tribes...Seven Sacraments"
after a nice breakfast ashore aboard the _Canadian Princess_ waiting for the fog to lift, after topping off with diesel we leave in thick fog/ pick our way out on time & distance and the fathometer and the gps/ all systems go/ 15kts NWesterly/ open ocean swell/ working sails of lapper, 1reef ,main, mzn/ 1500 - sunlight! green water yet, big swell, reef #2/ 1930 - reef #3 heading=270* - 20kts+/ tack inshore/ 1630 - abeam entrance Tofino Inlet (Hot Springs Cove) / 1800 tack to go out for the night/ 2200 - this boat is soaking wet, water laces in at forward hatch, at main hatch, our sleeping bags are wet, the v-berth, mine, is soaked and untenable cuz there's so much debris below I can't get up there with all the pounding, heaving, and heeling; we are hot bunking Andrew's wet sleeping bag........Meanwhile Haputa has created a wondruous necklace of waypoints to guide us as we attempt to go _out and in and up_ the coast - it is a series of Rhumb Line waypoints , RL1 -RL18 starting off Barkley all the way to Cape Scott, each 10nm apart, and each seven nm off the nearest shore - "why seven miles?"................... "seven tribes, seven sacraments" said he! - making us both smile......being a little past laughing by then........
Day #4/Thur091204 -/0000
as we are both on deck - we tack Inshore, jib,3reefmain, jigger/ 0200 - Andrew wends us through a fishing fleet/ 0400 - somethings wrong - w/ blade jib, 3 reefed main, mzn and 20kts we are stuck at 2.0kts boatspeed- weird - Andrew woke me sayin' the rudder was gone; "soon enough" we discover that the jib I had dropped and lashed to the spinnaker pole earlier had been undone by the green-fingered sea and had become a drogue/ 0400 -a waning moon and Venus arise for just an hour to hover over the leech of the reefed mainsl/ 0500 - sunlight and we shake a reef, we discuss options - go out/go in.......Andrew plots out our location/ 0630 - reaching off slightly for Nootka Sound, we have the Crew singing
"YouKnowThere'sNoNootkieInNootkaNoWayYouKnow", all verses/1600- Nootka Sound, Friendly Cove abeam, sunlight - we could stop here right where Capt. Cook was greeted by a thousand Injuns singing! "Let's not, we need showers and to get dry" says Andrew, - aw, comon we'll anchor here, dry out with the diesel heater for a day or even two, and wait for this freakin 20kts NW to switch around"..."Here in this guidebook it says there's a village called Thasis - a nice dock and restaurant - I'll pay! " "How far way up the Inlet is it?" -"Can't be far - diesel on- we went motoring up the fjord, I spent the hour drying the sleeping bags over the boom, duct taping all the hatches, running the heater to dry us out - how far is this place (earlier as we were making landfall Andrew was sleeping. I was enjoying the fact that we had finally figured out how to get _A_ to sail herself completely unattended upwind, and I was encumbered whilst using the looward head when a gust of wind slowly but irrevocably loosed the chart from the cockpit and sent it into our wake) now , below, with the SailingChart of the Island Entire I scaled it - egads - 17nm to Tahsis! "Andrew" - "Oh it's going to be worth" - It was - $12.50 u.s. per night for still water, nice dock, other ocean- going boats way up there somehow?!, showers, a great open air tented Cantina, great food, and a succession of ocean-cruising couples visiting our candle-lit table to tell us how amazed they were "that lil boat" was up here, and how rolling downwind - coming south down the outside was the only way to go, and how we had yet to get around the evil Brooks Peninsula, or the mighty Cape Scott - I laughed appreciatively and kept tapeing together my newly-dried SailingChart.
We had a few drinks. Andrew stayed dockside while I went to _Ariadne_ and continued drying her out and re-packing her, and moved Andrew's berth to port in the hope it might prove dryer. The boat got even toasty by the time Andrew returned and we read each other stories by the light of the flickering heating stove. He was and had been pretty quiet all night long - yet we both were quite exhausted..........
|"She tolt me she was just going out for a pack of cigarettes" or "How I Lost mah Injun Guide"
Day#5 /Friday, 13th/ 0800
There's a dance to living aboard alone together in a 24ft deep and narrow 24ft sailboat; so Andrew got up and out first, joined him a lil later on the dock, he said let's walk down the road to this good breakfast cafe I've been told is worth the walk; after a nice meal on a deck overlooking the Inlet, and after our second cup of cofee, after much conversation about no end of other things I finally posited that we oughta leave Tahsis in time to get settled at Freindly Cove by dusk so as to wait there for Appropiate Conditions."There are no appropiate conditions, and I am not going offshore in that boat ever again." Come back to Seattle w/ me and we can work out how you can get Alan or Tom or Eric to help you get it back
.Aaaaargh - Getting top Nootka Sound was far enough for me - all "we" had to do was head home downwind to Neah Bay - 2 days away - maybe it'll be Indian Heaven - not a chance.I was pushing the boat too hard, going too far out, not reefing soon enough, we were just getting little slaps so far but it could get a lot worse soon and the boat has already reached its limits."End of the Trail"
We had a long walk home to the dock; a "hitched" ride to the East side of the Island where Andrew could catch the bus Southward had been found; he beqeuthed me his St. Christopher medal, and his hand-held GPS, and his woolens/ I went to the fuel dock and topped off and then left/ 1345 - motoring down the fjordinto a 20kt headwind........fix a flashlight, enter a waypoint for Winter Cove, hank on the jib, check the oil, start single-handing career the skipper "Zietgeist", a german, to whom I had given a (wet) chart of the Strait of Juan de Fuca" Good Luck - what's your boat's name - _Ariadne? - oh, like Wagner's opera - of course"- "I will listen of her on channel 16"/" ' Hecate Channel ' - .............but ain't she........... the Goddess of Death ?.............. thus I begin my solo-sailing career"
1530 - I reverse course to return to the unexpected opening off the Inlet I had passed a half hour previous because on re-visiting the SaillingChart below I FinallySawthat it was yet another fjord-like passageway, and one that stretched north, but then West AND out to Esperanza Inlet - 20nm UP the coast/1830 -looking for an anchorage, nervous, no detailed chart, big rocks, 15 kts., if I anchor it'll be a pain and I won't be Getting There 2030- jib and jigger only - 15kts. - Andrew had advised me to keep it simple and not to try not to use the main at all - good call...red sky at night.....2130 - tiller tied, endless falling stars, 3.4 kts @270*/ 2330 - 230* 3,5 kts/
Day #6/ Sat091404/ 0115
20kts/ Willie Nelson/ stars and stars/ 0300- 25kts+ clear and cold! - AND _everything_ is, again, soaking wet/ 0430 - self-steering! email@example.com kts,Shaft of Alter astern / 0630 - jib splits apart on tacking, I clip in, go forward, hoist blade/ 0945 sunny 25kts+, 35nm out - bad angle coming in 010*/ sunshine, big lift to 315*@ 4.0kts/ 1430 closing with coast at Cape Cook, abeam Solander Island, calm, sunny, 15kts Westerly! but fog and 30kts predicted/ 1600 - decide to take the lift and pass between Solander and Cook. 1700 - 10kts westerly past Cape Cook and the Brooks! / 1900 - engine on, racing the sun for Quatsino Sound, 2000 - racing the fog, inside Quatsino, fog directly astern 2130 - enter Winter hrbr WITH the fog, find fuel Dock's neon sign, tie-up, start heater, go to sleep
Day #7/ Sunday091504/ 0730
walk the "town" of boardwalks, get groceries and ice/ 1000 - motor out Winter Hrbr in medium fog /1100 - speak _Pacific Swift_, topsl schooner of Victoria, they tell me its my lucky day - you'll have SW@ 15kts when this fog lifts/; 'cept the fog stays/ the wind comes/ 1500 - trying to enter Sea Otter Cove - dang I DO need a chartplotter type GPS , thick fog suddenly big rocks with breaking surf, after 2 trys , I buckle - even though there's sun the fog is thick and solid, don't want to stay up to go all around Cape Scott yet the SW wind persists I have to keep rolling / following the 18 fathom line/ 1700- course 350* @5kts in 15kts SW ,jibed to stb'd tack - thanks to Andrew's necklace of waypoints I'm here and busily adding new ones to the string (as Andrew says to the new residents logging patients' records -" Oh, I don't care if you don't spend alot of time on this - just make sure it's RIGHT) / 1900 weeze blind, has the sun set?, on 18 fathom line, can hear horn at Cape Scott?/
2000 - firstname.lastname@example.org - of a sudden break through into a completely clear Queen Charlotte Sound - one half of Cape Scott is abeam, what to do now about the time versus my staying awake... the Nahwitti Rip is still 20nm away - midnight - cannot do that can I, sea-birds everywhere, wraiths of fog / 2100 anchor down @ "Nel's Bight", as who could resist - yet it's completely open to the North and East, a tenuous perch, fog coming in, depth alarm set for 1.7 fathoms, GPS anchor radius alarm set, heater rolling, whiskey poured on ice, Pavorotti singing, fog clears to thick stars
Day #8/ Monday091604 /0700
adding some oil, cleaning, sails up, anchor on deck, sail out bight, a spouting and breaching whale/ 100 Cook bank, sunny , coldbeating Eastward. 1100 - engine on, Nahwitti bar - calm - 1400 - sails up 095*, 5.6kts.downwind, 1500 - abeam port hardy, milesmilesmiles/ 1900 - 6kts, jib and jigger downwind in Broughton channel 2100 - @ AlertBay, Comorant Island - free GovnmtDock -= ashore for a chinese dinner....Day #8/ Tuesday091704/0900 - espresso aboard, nice talk w/ Peter of _windsong_ he suggest I go home by way of "desolation sound" to avoid boring Johnstone Strais and their endless Cruise Ships, spend all day fixing things and drying out, buying gorceries, steak dinner with red onions, mushrooms, rice, red wine, "stabat mater" cd starts working! a break from Dylan's "To Ramona"
Day #9/ Wednesday091804
/fogged in/ 1100 - motoring in med. fog/ 1500 - engine off, sails u/ 1630 - email@example.com kts in 20 ktsNW blade, full main. mzn/ Port Neville abeam/ Sunderland Channel/ 2030 - anchored w/ 5 other boats (wow) in Forward Harbor - rolling in and anchoring under sail alone IS a show stopper - it's drizzling - down South by now libations and other exchanges would be populating this snug cadre - these yankees have each all returned to their separate enclosures - I start my heater fire and crank up some Puccini
Day #10/ Thursday091904 /0730
- washing my hair and taking a hot "bath" ina red bucket - all w/ 2 liters of water! just put half in a pot on the stove and use the remainder to adjust temperature, aaaahhhhhhh/ can make a late start because the 4 sets of rapids ahead have to be timed for slackwater/ toilet of venus complete, adonis-like, with clean hair raise anchor / 1120 - Wirlpool rapids under power / 1200 - sails up, sail the length of Cordero Channel / 1530 - dock at Thurlow Bay wow there is _C'est la Guerre_ a UW foobawl motorboat attendee for all the ( 22) years I've been moving boats - we talk for the first time, Don&Dotty, as the lil lodge takes no Visa and I have no Canadian cash - they gladly buy me a beer and we sit together on the sun-drenched deck overlooking the bay where in 1920 there were 1,000 houseboats and a town of 10,000 - mining, logging , fishing - now defunct and deserted - the story seems the same all around Vancouver Island - at least what I have seen from the water - the beautiful greenery is just a 100 year stubble.... / 1700 - motor on to Dent, Gilliard, Yaculta Rapids , @8.7kts./ 2100 - motor into Teakerne Inlet, Desolation Sound, anchor on a narrow 4 fathom ledge between a line of boats, when we swing I'm less than a boatlength clear of the ledged shore but still have enough to float - big trees and big stars in gyre, when morning comes everyone else had stern ties to the shore..... it helps to be lucky and draw just 3 ft with the centerboard up
Day#11/ Friday092004/ 1000
no wind, modaboda day /1400/-quick stop at Lund for ice/ 2100 - Pender harbor way back in Garden Bay, anchored among another 100 boats, directly in front of a beautiful Pub - the music wafting o'er is people singing in unison - I AM in a foreign counrty. Now I know I finally am 2old as I have little compulsion to dash ashore, but am content to just be where I am - cooking rice/ vhf says bad SWer coming
Day #12/ Saturday092104/ 0800
pouring rain/ all day spent on boat projects and reading and drawin' below, heater roars along/ 1600 - weather station says SWGale will be gone_ early_ tonight and NWerly to howl all night and next day!- wow/ 1600 - hoist blade and mzn - damn - it is STILL SWerly out here and @15 -20 kts. - bangabang, tacking off Texada w/ 3 reefed main, mzn, and blade, just zigzagging across Malaspina Straits too close for letting her steer herself much, plenty of tug/tow traffic - a bad night to be out - wish I were at that Pub - too wild to even run back in there, aaaargh, worse a night as has been had / 2400 @ South end of Texada Island - suddenly wind shuts down, seas do not, we wallow, waves too big for motoring - "we" just gained 10nm in that miserable 8 hr beat - making-up for the karma of all the motoring of the last few days
the predicted NWerly IS suddenly finally here, so too are we here, at the very North end of the Straits of Georgia, we start a howling run - have to steer all the while - kept awake by huge gaudily lit cruise ship behemouths that process past every hour/ 0200 Surf city - 7.5kts mostly/ / 0945 - abeam City of Vancouver midchannel buoy"TA"/ 1100 -_Valhalla_, Alan Cairn's Cal 25 hails on the vhf - I somehow keep sailing for San Juans / 1600 -near Waldron Is. it turns into a light beat - I start the diesel / 1800 - rafted to _Valhalla_@ the SJYC reciprocal moorage after I clear customs at Friday Hrbr , GourmetCairns makes a lil feast; I sleep, it starts raining
Day #14/ Monday092304 -/1000
... we spend all morning sailing through Cattle Pass and trying to find wind/ 1500- engine on _V_&_A_ motor across a flat Stait of Juan de Fuca / 1700 - the Circle of the circumnavigation is closed/ 1800 - the PortTownsendPublicPier / 2000the husband of a dear friend visits with us for a Cairnsian dinner and red wine
Day #15/ Tuesday092404/ 0800
to _ride the tide__valhalla_ and _Ariadne_ leave in med. fog and calm and it stays fog-bound and flat - all day long - brutal - however the SEerly howler and rain I was glad to miss- Alan left _V_ at his Shilshole slip, joined me for a ride to the UW, we locked through expeditiously it was raining by then and windy, I got off near my Q, Anne Villa to fetch us a truck, Alan beat the 1600 Fremont Bridge closure, and by 1645 _Ariadne_ was homeagaihomeagainjigettyjig.
That Is All.
"Your author would not abuse fickle weather by the hour,
or berate the Gulf Stream, if it should for a moment go astray,
knowing, as all do, that it is the law of all things on earth to err.
Be the current against us, what matters it?
Be it in our favor, we are carried hence, to what place
or for what purpose ?Our plan of the whole voyage is so insignificant that it
matters little, maybe, whither we go,
for the "grace of a day" is the same!...surely it is this!
for the spiritual beauty of the sea, absorbing man's soul,
permits of no infidels on its boundless expanse."