Seattle to Nanaimo

June 19, 2001

We left Seattle on June 12, 2001, only two or three days behind schedule...  Except for a couple of daysails and a Memorial Day weekend outing, this was our first real trip in our new
Outbound 44, Sequoia.  We tried to be ready for anything and everything, but there’s always something more to do, something else to install, and something more to stow. 
Our first stop was Port Townsend, where we were to pick up our storm sails, and obtain some modifications to a sail cover.  (Port Townsend is hometo some of the worlds’ best riggers, sailmakers, canvasmakers and other craftspeople whom make it possible for long distance sailors to cruise the oceans in comfort and security.  Our visit this time was to Inger Rankins (of Northwest Canvas) and Carol Hasse (of Port Townsend Sails).

As we entered the marina in Port Townsend, there was a huge crowd gathered at the far end of the marina -- it soon became obvious they were making a movie. There were security guards with ear phones, camera operators, prop holders, reflector screen holders, and hundreds of eager onlookers with long-lens cameras. The crew had converted the Port Townsend
Wooden Boat Foundation building into the "Harbor Day School" complete with children's climbing equipment, flags, "cute" curtains in the windows and crowds of actor-children. I had to get past three security guards to get to the marina office to pay for moorage. Evidently this is a movie starring Jennifer Lopez (I'm supposed to be impressed?) who is a battered wife who flees with her child to Port Not-Townsend where she hides out. We never did see Jennifer Lopez, although I'm not sure I'd recognize her if I bumped into her. Periodically during the afternoon there would be a huge shout of "rolling." The next morning they were removing all the landscaping, play equipment, and the Wooden Boat Foundation sign was back. I hope the WBF made a lot of money off of that! Maybe our boat will be in the movies???
We concluded our business, and the next morning took off for Anacortes -- again not enough wind to sail. We played with the radar -- it has a feature that will lock onto another boat, and tell you how fast it is going, what its course is, and when you will most closely approach it. Craig inadvertently locked onto a navy plane doing touch-and-goes at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, and only figured it out when the speed reached 108 knots!

We spent a couple of days in Anacortes. Our friends, the McCaughans are in the boat maintenance and restoration business, and they refinished our door boards -- at least the first coat of varnish. They told us it really ought to have 10 coats, and supplied us with a varnish kit! Another project, and it's stowed away in some locker (where?) A high priority project is to get all the lockers catalogued so we have some hope of finding something. I heard Craig complaining about his missing electric screwdriver for several days, repeatedly. I said "why don't you just buy another one" and his response was "I know it's here somewhere." Finally I got so fed up with hearing about it, that I took the McCaughans' car, drove to the Ace Hardware, and bought him another electric screwdriver. $29. Well worth the price!  (And of course we found the other one within a day or two – now we have two–it never hurts to have a spare).

Saturday the 16th we finally departed Anacortes, and got our first good sail. It's really delightful to turn off the engine and push ahead quietly, with only the splash and gurgle of the water as it goes past. We anchored that night at Sucia Island. We tried out the SSB e-mail, and were successful in getting e-mail from Ian, and sending some out.

Even though it's so early in the season, I counted 43 boats in the harbor at Echo Bay on Sucia Island. It was really quite beautiful -- in one direction a pink sunset, and in the other, Mount Baker and the North Cascades, shining in pink alpenglow. The boat anchored closest to us said it was from Jersey -- quite a ways around the world!

I'm having a bit of difficulty transitioning from the extremely intense pace of getting ready for the trip, and working. I'm trying to stay away from the idea that my sole purpose is now to cook and clean, while Craig fixes things and installs things. But sometimes that's the way it seems. I've only had the electric cello out once -- mostly because it's stowed away fairly deeply in a locker (although I do know which locker) and takes a bit of time to put together into playing condition.

Last night I walked along the Nanaimo waterfront boardwalk.  It’s especially beautiful in the late-evening sun. The harbor is full of boats -- anchored and motoring, or in marinas. There are a number of float planes at the float plane terminal. Beyond the close-in islands is the Strait of Georgia, and beyond that the snow-covered mountains of the mainland, with thunder clouds above. Lots of folks are on the boardwalk -- including young people with pierced body parts, skateboarders towing a dog on a leash, old folks, children on bikes, joggers and fitness walkers.

We'll spend the day today in Nanaimo, and tomorrow head across the Strait of Georgia, and north. Craig is working on the computer, which he says is not "designed for manufacturability" and it causes him to curse and swear a bit. The current problem is that  not all the colors of the display are working, and Craig anticipates taking it apart yet again, to jiggle wires, and see which one was disconnected.

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