Thursday, May 30, 2013

Club member Anthony posts a video from Duck Dodge, where he skippers club boat "Charlotte," a Catalina 27 along with club member Josh (who's also our Purser)

Josh Solomon and I bought the Kabuki Maru, a Japanese-built 30 footer kept in Salmon Bay, with some others over the winter in order to give us easy day-sail access to Bainbridge Island BBQ (which subsequently went out of business after only one trip). A group of us have been taking out Charlotte to Duck Dodge for the past few weeks, and in addition to our inability to start on time, we decided to take it easy and not fly our chute this week. As a result, the two boats were particularly inseparable this past Tuesday, hence the sappy tune I decided to set this video to.

Report from club member Marc in Alaska May 13-14

As said previously we spent Monday morning at the Squirrel Cove General Store to refuel, shower, etc.  

We first docked at the public dock failing to find a fuel dock. Somebody pointed out that fuel would be available at the general store when it would open at 9 am. So I walked over there to check things out and found a tiny dock with a single fuel hose leading to it. I peered into the water and saw it was deep enough for Mariposa. So we moved her to that tiny dock and eventually the store opened and we went at our business. 

A guy walked up to me and said he owned the same sailboat as I did and thought I was very "brave" for daring to dock there since at low tide the whole dock would be aground... Needless to say we moved Mariposa back to the public dock as soon as we were done!. 

It rained badly all day.  While we had lunch, safely moored to the public dock, with the little fuel dock now nearly hitting bottom, we were lashed by unbelievable downpoors of hate rain again. There was a continuous stream of water over the portholes as we were looking out, not rivulets but a thick uninterupted layer of water gushing down the entire side of the boat like a waterfall! We stopped eating and watched in amazement.

We would have toodled around Deception Sound before moseying on to cross the rapids, but with the rotten weather we just stayed put at the dock until about half past three when we had to leave to still make it to the rapids on time. 

We arrived at the Yukulta Rapids at 7:15 pm, 15 minutes earlier than planned and it looked calm enough to proceed. We'd have three knots of current against us *on average* at that point. Laszlo had piloted us through tiny vicious Malibu Rapids on the way out of Princess Louisa Inlet, at perfect slack without turbulences, and now it was time for him to measure himself against a big guy like Yukulta with current still flowing. He had read the cruising guide on how to tackle it and how to play the eddies, he had looked up the tides and currents, and I had shown him the general route on the chart.  All the homework was done so in we went. The two first eddies caught him by surprise and the boat got pivotted 90 degrees each time, but after that Laszlo held the tiller with a firm hand and quick reaction times. It was fun to see our progress on the chart plotter. Even though we were pointing in a certain direction, the actual direction in which we were progressing could be 90 degrees to one side and then a second later 90 degrees to the other side!  Worst speed over ground was around half a knot and Laszlo had to find another way amongst the eddies at that point. As time went by, the currents and eddies abated and we passed through the adjoining Dent Rapids at full slack at around 8 pm, which was the goal of taking an early start in Yukulta Rapids. 

Over an hour later, as we approached our dock for the night in Shoal Bay, one of our fenders was dropped over board. It was black and it was night but we managed to keep track of it and fish it up. Soon we were all safely docked and sound asleep. 

Tuesday we got up at 5:10 am to catch the slack at Green Rapids. Jenny took the helm to tackle this one but we encountered hardly any turbulence since we hit it right at slack. It's always weird to sail over a placid rapid that doesn't seem different than the rest of the channel yet to know that at full strength it has the power to swamp boats or to smash them against the rocks.  

We kept motoring on, all the way to the Johnstone Strait where we started sailing the wind that was forecasted to keep increasing.  At he end of our run with the current on the Strait, to avoid the coming counter-current of the flood, we turned back into the side channels where we first had to motor again against the now strong winds. (In the Havannah Channel). 

The depth sounder had been acting up and was now refusing to display our depth at all. Since we were headed towards the Chatham Channel, which is shallow and narrow, I wanted to check that thing out and simply started by wiggling the wires. To my surprise water just dripped out of the enclosure!  (Thank you so much, hate rain.) I took it apart and the thing isn't even caulked. It worked for a while again to get us through the Channel but then gave up on us and life and the universe. It stubornly displays two dashes, no depth. We'll see if its attitude changes after a night of drying. 

When we neared the Chatham Channel our ever intrepid Laszlo decided to unfurl the headsail to motorsail against over 25 knots of wind while I was inside. Needless to say that the result was a big roll while I held on to all our stuff inside, followed by lots of flogging of sail and sheets, and then a neetly furled headsail again after I had come out to lend a hand. Somewhat subdued by the events, Laszlo and Jenny then motored most of the way downwind in the Chatham Channel. I came back outside in the cockpit a while later and promptly fell asleep with Jenny at the helm. When I awoke we were in Knight Inlet and found there was good wind and lots of space.  The engine was shut off altogether and we sailed for nearly the remainder of the day. 

We even passed in between the islets located between Spring and Retreat Passages under sail, which required a lot of play with the ever shifting and dissapearing winds of those near landlocked areas, and good fun was had avoiding the shores and reefs under those conditions. Then we motored into Waddington Bay, our landlocked anchorage for the night, forecasted to be pretty stormy. 

No pictures were taken due to the weather again.

Report from club member Marc May 20-21

 On Monday morning the crab pot yielded only one starfish:

We refueled at Shearwater and then slowly motored and sailed the first bit of the Seaforth Channel to allow Laszlo to trawl for salmon. No fish were encountered, not even on the fish finder. 

The second part of the Seaforth Channel, which is open to the ocean, was a hard pounding into the waves at a high RPM and a slow speed. Near the end of it we tucked into Reid Passage and started trawling under sail. In Percival Narrows quite a few fish showed up on the fish finder but we just lost our lure and hook again, one of the new ones bought in Port Hardy. 

We sailed all the way to Rescue Bay where we anchored for the night.  It is located on Mathieson Channel and Jackson Pass. A dark sky compelled us to unfold the tarp over the cockpit and soon enough light rain trickled down till darkness fell. 

The next morning we found a single crab, male, and of legal size, in our crab pot to our delight! This is only the second one we catch during this whole trip. The remains of the little rock fish were used as bait. 

We motored at a really slow pace to preserve fuel and visited the whole Fiordland area. A radiant sun dissipated the rain and clouds within one hour of our departure and the tarp was slid aside. The weather got so warm that at some point I considered sailing in T-shirt but I just quite didn't. It was perfect to take many pictures again. 

In Fiordland there are oodles of towering waterfalls, many of which can be approached by boat until you can almost stretch your hand out and touch them. 

Jenny declares this one to be the coolest:

A few falls later, another one is declared to be her favorite and she has stuck with it ever since. 

Kynoch Inlet in Fiordland park:Kynoch Falls.  We switched off the engine and had lunch drifting around with this awesome background. 

We found quite a bit of a yellow algal bloom in this inlet:

Report from club member Mark May 19

From Ada Cove we motored the short distance to Shearwater which is next to Bella Bella.  It being a Sunday in Canada, everything was closed including the fuel dock. We still managed to shower there and refill  our tank and jugs with their yellowish water, to which we added some bleach. 

We heard that the fuel dock in Bella Bella was open so we motored back that way. 

About six crows and bald eagles were chasing and harassing another with a fish in his claws. Ultimately he dropped it and another bird caught it in flight. Obviously that just made it the next target and when the fish was dropped again it fell all the way into the water and was lost to all. I'm sure there is a powerful message here but don't ask me which. 

After tying to the fuel dock and checking things out it turned out that on Sundays you can call the attendant over the phone and ask her to come to the dock but you have to pay a "call out" fee of $25 for the privilege. 

She came over for another boat that did just that but then still wanted us to pay that fee too even though she was already there and in all logic we couldn't possibly "call her out" anymore and therefore also not pay a "call out" fee. The logic was lost on her.  It was already 2 pm by then so we opted instead to anchor next to town and to go refuel at Shearwater the next day. 

Ventilating our stuff at Bella Bella fuel dock during endless wait for attendant on this radiant day:

 At anchor we even removed the tarp from the frame over the cockpit to enjoy the sun!  It was a perfect time to caulk the depth sounder. It is drying more and more and is now working more or less reliably in shallow depths but we don't use it anymore. There is a fish finder that came with the boat and that I thought didn't work until the depth sounder quit on us and we started tinkering with it. The fish finder gives us our depth reliably.

During our endless wait at the fuel dock we had chatted with another boater there. He'd been throwing out fish at the bald eagles to photograph them and that's what we had seen them fight over. I used this opportunity to take a few shots of my own (with my good camera, not with this iPod so I can't send them along).  

This friendly Canadian also explained to us how to fish for bottom feeders such as rock fish and halibut. Obviously we don't have the gear for halibut which can weigh hundreds of pounds but we tried for smaller fish. 

Laszlo went at it for a while without result. I myself don't really care about eating fish and even less about catching the slimy things but seeing how low the morale of the troops had fallen on the fishing front I got up and grabbed the rod and loudly declared: "It's time for some beginner's luck!". I had never fished in my life before and just did what the Canadian at the dock had explained to us. 

10 minutes later:
 We had finally caught our first fish! 

The deal was that fishing would be allowed on this trip but Laszlo and Jenny would have to do the killing and cleaning. Laszlo had fished on lakes and rivers before but never done either of the above himself.

His plan was to hit the fish with the back of the blade of our kitchen knife to knock it out and then to cut off the head. 

The hit only produced a dull thud without any other effect and the fish gave us an indignated look:
 The poor little rock fish was not much of a struggler so it was attempted to go straight to the cutting part but the blade broke from the handle!
 After more fumbling with another knife the poor thing was finally out of its misery.

Before the grill:
 After the grill:
After this victory, Laszlo had tried to catch more before dinner but we got only the one.  Its flesh didn't feed the three of us of course but the morale was greatly boosted.  Personally, I would have let the little guy go.

Report from club member Mark May 18

Saturday 18 May

We left Fury Cove in furious rain. Even though we waited for it to calm down before exiting the cabin to pick up the anchor, we had no more than 10 minutes reprieve and by the time we motored out of the cove into Fitz Hugh Sound both Laszlo and I were drenched, tarp or no tarp. Fortunately it didn't get through any of our clothing. Laszlo offered to stay out by himself in the hate rain and I took him up on it. Jenny had opted to stay inside from the beginning. 

Fortunately it didn't last and less than an hour later we went back to normal light rain after which we had a pretty dry day overall. 

We managed to put quite a bit of sailing in too, in between bits of motoring and motorsailing. At some point I was inside and heard Laszlo crank the winch followed by a loud bang!  Out of the corner of my eye I saw the starboard sheet block (pulley) kind of explode. Then it was dangling on the sheet (a rope) in more or less one piece even though partially distorted and Laszlo reported that only the clevis pin had snapped. I was already with my head in my tool bin and passed him the right tool as he opened his mouth to ask for it. I had a little trouble finding a replacement clevis pin of the right size and had to take the cotter ring off a spare block but nevertheless, about 10 minutes after the incident all parts were bent in shape again and reassembled, good to go. 

Laszlo fixing the block:
 We dropped the anchor in Ada Cove near Bella Bella in the evening. A few playful sea otters were splashing around. 

Grilling at sunset in Ada Cove:
After Dinner Laszlo wanted to fish some more, but after 10 days of trying nearly all day long every day without any luck he suddenly quit in disgust and exclaimed: "There is no fish in British Columbia!"

Report from club member Mark May 17

Friday 17 May

At 6 am we extricated Mariposa from her spot on the dock which was smaller than herself (yes you can park your boat in a spot that is smaller than itself because unlike cars, they're not square and you can overlap bows).  We then moved from the inner bay to the city warf in the outer bay from where it was an easy walk to Cafe Guido, the only place in Port Hardy that I know of where you can get free internet. We arrived there at 7:02, just when they opened up. With hot beverages we stayed for nearly an hour. It was the first decent internet connection we had on this whole trip. I could finally see the pictures in e-mails I had received earlier but unfortunately my iPod already no longer listed some of those. 

A Coast Guard found us in the cafe to warn us that there wouldn't be enough water at low tide where we docked the boat but this time that was fully anticipated. We had approached our spot on the dock with the utmost prudence with the intermitently working depth sounder and had a fair guess of its depth. We were only staying for an hour around high tide anyway. 

Port Hardy at 6 am:
 As you can see in the picture above Port Hardy is a fishing town--and you'll know for sure by the smell as soon as you enter the inner bay. While we were doing laundry the previous day, Jenny and Laszlo got in a conversation with an old fisherman. He told them he had just seen the largest pods of whales behaving so wildly at close quarters that he had the scare of his life in his boat. Unfortunately we didn't get to see them ourselves on our approach to Port Hardy. Wales move fast.  

The other bit was that there is no fish this year. So yes, congratulations to ourselves! We finally did it. We killed all them scaly bastards!

After our internet fix we motored away and were engulfed in fog pretty rapidly. 

Motoring in fog:
Jenny was at the tiller and remarked how easy it is to get completely disoriented.  Fortunately it didn't last more than half an hour. We motored for a couple more hours before we had enough wind to kill the engine. 

It was a really slow sail, mostly between 3 and 4 knots across the open stretch of Pacific Ocean. With the frequent rain showers we didn't hoist the spinnaker since as you can imagine, there's no practical way for us to dry it. When our speed finally fell to under 2 knots, we motored again for 3 hours then could sail a bit more but still had to motor for the last hour. The weather forecast had been for 20 knots of wind pushing us...  We ended up motoring for about 7 hours out of 13.

The mild ocean swell didn't agree with Jenny. She took a pill and skipped most of dinner. 

We surprised a sea otter on the way. It was clearly asleep resting its head on some kelp and only about 2 meters from us did it start and dive under. 

Fury Cove was reached well before dark, my favorite anchorage in the Pacific Northwest. We're in the boonies now and should finally have frequent encounters with whales!  It is getting bitterly cold but we're mostly acclimated. I'll still add a third layer of socks. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Report from club member Marc's Alaskan Adventure

Friday 24 May

We got 3 crabs at Nettle Basin but only one was both male and borderline of legal size and after some debate we decided to release all three. 

The day was bitter cold and without much visibility. All of it was spent motoring boringly in a straight line up Grenville Channel with only one person outside at any time. I did a number of hours starting in persistent rain that was rivuletting from my face. Then Laszlo spent the rest of the day exposed but fortunately for him it wasn't as wet anymore. Inside we mostly did some reading and napping.

Before the anchor had touched the bottom, Jenny had ignited the heater and we all enjoyed its caloric output very much that evening. 

We're now roughly 20 miles from Prince Rupert, the last town in British Columbia (where this e-mail will probably be sent from) before we hop over to Alaska. We should arrive in Ketchikan Sunday or Monday. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Report from club member Marc's Alaskan Adventure

Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 May

Nothing came up in the crab pot except for this big sea star:
 We left Goat Harbor and motored through the Hiekish Narrows. Even though current can run at up to 4 knots there they are not a rapid and you can always go through provided you're fast enough. Of course, we timed it to be pushed through. 

From there we motored all the way up the Princess Royal Channel. We had good enough weather all day to slide the tarp aside. 

Outside Goat Harbor:
Butedale, an abandoned fish cannery that I visited last year:

 After leaving Princess Royal Channel we finally had some wind to sail for the last few miles of the day. It died quickly so Laszlo wanted to fly the spinnaker even though it was hardly worth it for the distance left. By the time it was ready to launch, the finicky wind in those channels was blowing quite hard however. I told Laszlo we wouldn't be able to hoist it without mainsail to blanket it. Laszlo insisted and my gut feeling was totally against it. That's where I should have listened to it and aborted the whole thing. But Laszlo was so eager that I didn't want to disappoint him.  In accordance with the immutable laws of physics, we got what we deserved and were dealt with instant punishment and a hilarious slapstick clusterf*ck. 

Laszlo started hoisting the spinnaker, that's done on the foredeck on Mariposa.  As soon as the sail opened up the wind caught it with violence and the boat gave a big roll.  The halliard was yanked out of Laszlo's hands, burning his fingers, coiling around a foot and lifting it high, making him fall flat out on his back on the foredeck. This seemed to somehow impede his hoisting abilities. 
Mariposa rounded up displeased with this unkind treatment. I turned her back downwind while fumbling with the guy and the sheet but she gave another big roll and the spinnaker touched the water. I just turned upwind voluntarily then to right her and aborted the whole circus act. The order to douse the spinnaker was promptly executed by a seemingly half disoriented Laszlo. It was a quick struggle to pull the sail close to the boat and then it was grabbed and came down readily. 
So much for eagerness. 

A short subdued sail on the genoa only brought us the rest of the way to Bishop Bay, our destination for the night. 

The free dock at Bishop Bay:
 It's a small dock but there are also two mooring balls. 

The attraction of the place are the hot springs:
 There's a tiny tub where you can wash and then you can soak for a long, long time in the two bigger basins:
 Breakfast under way:
 Plenty of falls in Princess Royal Channel:

The ceiling and walls are decorated with mementos and graffiti of many boats that have stopped there. You can only get to it by boat or seaplane. There's no road, no ranger station, nothing. 

We spent the evening on the big catamaran to which we were rafted up. It's Dutch crew has been sailing for 8 years now. A Canadian couple from a small motorboat joined in the fun as well. 

On Thursday morning we soaked again and then found a truly gigantic sea star in our crab pot. Jenny promptly baptized it Houdini because we were quite puzzled at how it had been able to enter the cage.  We left for Hartley Bay to refuel, went around Gribbell Island, a spectacular route. We switched at least ten times between sailing, motoring, or motorsailing. 

Leaving Hartley Bay the wind had picked up to over 30 knots. We motored for an endless time against it and some current to cover the very few miles to the Grenville Channel.  By then it was back to a reasonable strength fortunately and we sailed downwind to our anchorage in Nettle basin in Lowe Inlet, a side arm of the Grenville Channel. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A tale of an Ocean Safari - Snooze 'n Cruise Spring 2013

Hassan’s account: I am sure Tom would be interested in telling the tale in his own very capable words, and I would be happy to contribute to it. I would just say, since you asked, that not all parts of the story are glorious, and maybe even a bit embarrassing at times. In short, we first capsized when I reached inside the cockpit to adjust the jib car position while Tom was on the wire and I at the helm, which resulted in our losing the heel and tea-bagging Tom. I tried to right the boat after dry-capsize, but the centerboard - which had been constantly giving us grief in the past - broke off right at its base by the hull, resulting in turtling the boat and putting me in the water. The scary part came next, when Tom almost drowned because he was still clipped to the trapeze wire (his harness remains permanently clipped, unless he releases it manually). Luckily he was able to bring his face to the surface, take a breath and release himself.

Then, on the way back to the WAC while being towed by Frenesi, the boat capsized again between the Ballard and Fremont bridges, this time with its sails unrigged. This was partly because the 470 bow was filled with water and so very low to the surface. During the capsize the main sail was lost, which was Tom's second least favorite part of the boat (after the centerboard). The moral of the story is that Tom managed to get rid of the two parts that bugged him the most, on the dinghy that he loves the most (recently named Ocean Safari).

Tom’s comments:  Hassan's account is accurate and reasonably complete.  I would add a few points, though. When Frenesi (with Hassan and me aboard) was towing the 470 out in the Sound, the boat tracked reasonably well and did not have any obvious problems with hull trim.  We towed her across some large freighter wakes without incident.  Consequently, I figured we ought to have no trouble at all while towing her through the ship canal, and I was not nervous about leaving the sails inside the cockpit.  While in the locks, I rerigged the lines centering the tiller.  When we left the locks, although the tiller appeared reasonably well centered, the boat was tracking off to the starboard side.  This undoubtedly caused, or at least contributed to, the subsequent capsize.  We were traveling fast enough that the tow line parted close to the center.  We saw the mainsail and jib fall from the cockpit, and I urged Evan to circle back as quickly as possible.  Of course, Frenesi does not turn on a dime, and the mainsail sank too rapidly to retrieve.  I managed at the last possible second to snag the jib with a boat hook.

Although it is true that the centerboard and mainsail were my two least favorite parts of that boat, that should not be construed to mean that I actually wanted to lose either of them.  My fear is that now the boat might be on its way to 470 Heaven or some alternative afterlife.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Update from club member Mark, who is headed to Alaska with crew

Sunday 12 May

Our alarm failed to work or wake us up but Jenny fortunately had a look at her watch only 15 minutes later and she quickly got all hands on deck. It was 6:15 am and we had to get back through Malibu Rapids at 7:15. With 5 nautical miles to go from the dock at the end of Princess Louisa Inlet, we still made it just in time and were the last boat to get through the placid rapids. 

I almost wouldn't have left due to the incessant hard rain but Jenny and Laszlo said they wouldn't mind steering. Fortunately, Once past the rapids in Jervis Inlet, the showers were much milder. We motored all the way back to the Strait of Georgia, which took about 7 hours.

On the way we saw the most colorfull rainbow either one of us ever saw in our lifes. Jenny took a panoramic photo of it with her iPhone 5 and I hope to send it soon. 

We crossed a large pod of about 20 dolphins but they were too bussy hunting to come and play. 

In the Strait of Georgia, the wind blew really hard. We motorsailed close hauled for a little while to clear the headland to the north.   We smashed into waves that were quite big for our little boat but finally rounded this lee shore and had an exiting and sometimes exhilarating downwind run from there on. At one time I saw an opaque wall of rain catching up with us. "Waw, that's cool!" said Laszlo as I pointed it out and not a second later we were drenched. I could litterally feel the force of the water on my back pushing me forward. I've never been in rain this nasty in my life before. 

We kept goig for 6 hours, milking that wind till sunset. We past on several anchorages along the way, just to keep going, and ended up in landlocked and tranquil Squirrel Cove, a bulletproof anchorage. 

Laszlo attempted to fish from the anchored boat after dark but again for naught. And this morning our crab pot came up empty as well after spending the night on the bottom of the cove. 

We have spent all morning at the local general store to refuel, refill the propane tank, and the boat water tank--with jugs because there is no hose. We did some boat cleaning and showered and will aim for the evening slack around 8 pm to go through the Yaculta and Dent Rapids area. 

No photos were taken except for the rainbow due to the nasty weather. Today, Monday 13 May, is still as bad.

Saturday 11 May

Those were the days, such as BBQing in sunny Green Bay yesterday:
 But that same evening, knowing our good luck was running out and we would go back to "normal" Pacific Northwest weather, I rigged up the tarp over the cockpit and as I write this evening it is sheltering the companionway from an endless downpour. Fortunately we are docked and don't have to sail or motor through this. We're just playing cards without any motivation to even deploy the crab pot. That's telling!

But let me go back to this morning.  We left Green Bay at 6:30 am without catching any crab overnight, a mayor disappointment obviously. So we had to fall back on mere cereal for breakfast. 

After motoring up the rest of Agamemnon Chanel we debated for a little while on whether to refuel there at Secret Bay which would be our last opportunity to do so on our way to Princess Louisa Park and back. This would have taken an additional hour and we decided against it.  We'd simply risk to go the whole way with what was left over in our tanks. We had to make it through Malibu Rapids on time after all, at slack water.  So we continued into Jervis Inlet without worrying much about the issue anymore. Except 20 minutes later stronger than expected current against us slowed us down 30% and would therefore increase our fuel needs! We started to skirt the shores to avoid as much current as possible and made the best of it. 

Light rain fell on and off for the remainder of the trip and Laszlo's fishing line somehow ended up all twisted and mangled and he had to cut off some to solve the issue. Needless to say we still didn't catch any fish!

Here are a couple of pictures taken in Jervis Inlet:

 We got to Malibu Rapids without emptying what was left in our first fuel tank and since the second was still filled to the maximum we knew fuel wasn't going to be an issue. Not this time.

The entrance to Malibu Rapids:
 We arrived there about half an hour later than we should. Slack only lasts a few minutes and then the current increases frightenigly rapidly again. Fortunately we heard the boats that were coming through chatter over the radio and we knew we would arrive only about 15 minutes after true slack water. 

So we battened up the hatches, checked our life jackets, switched to the second fuel tank to make sure we wouldn't run out if gas in the middle of the rapids, and held on to our cameras, and then I gunned the engine and committed Mariposa into the narrow mound of the rapids. 

I saw a sign saying "Slow." There's a rather curvy S-turn so I reduced speed. But the very first eddy threw Mariposa quite a bit off course. Muttering an appropriate four letter word I immediately gunned the engine again and could then overcome all further turbulences without problem. We zoomed through pushed by about 2.5 knots of current with a highly excited crew. 

We were now in Princess Louisa Inlet where waterfalls come crashing down from all sides:
 With beautiful 120 ft high Chatterbox Falls at its end:
 This is a place described by a certain Earl Stanley Gardiner as follows: "There is a calm tranquillity which stretches from the smooth surface of the reflecting waters straight up into infinity. The deep calm of eternal silence is only disturbed by the muffled roar of throbbing waterfalls as they plunge down from sheer cliffs. There is no scenery in the world that can beat it. Not that I've seen the rest of the world. I don't need to. I've seen Princess Louisa Inlet."

Obviously the good earl could have travelled more, but this is still a pretty darn good place to visit (only 6 daysails on Nightshade from the WAC, hint, hint).

We hiked to the foot of the waterfall and also about an hour up the trail to the trapper's cabin. That's when the downpour began and we haven't left the shelter of the boat since we reached it. We rotated our soaked clothing and shoes in front of the propane heater and now that we're about to go to bed most of it is already dry. I hope this rain will abate by the morning...

Some hiking pictures:

Friday 10 May

We have found a wonderful anchorage here in warm and sunny Green Bay. There's even a little waterfall. A short fishing attempt is being abandoned in favor of the deployment of the crab pot as I write.  We have kept the remains of the previous crab as bait. 

Fishing and crab pot deployment:
We left Nanaimo at 10 past 10 after showering and breakfast. Nanaimo:
After listening to the radio to make sure the military area was open to boaters and after motoring out of the bay, enough wind was found for an ideal sail. Unfortunately, it very gradually died away. We decided to have lunch and do dishes before hoisting the spinnaker. By the time we had done all this there was hardly any wind left to keep the spinnaker full and we took it back down after only 10 minutes. Once more we moved along with the dull noise of the engine for about 5 hours, But tiny Green Bay is totally worth it. There are still a few houses but they seem to be unoccupied vacation homes.  This is the first anchorage of the trip that we have all to ourselves! Our only neighbor is a curious seal who came to check us out. 

And now for another BBQ with this unbelievable stroke of good weather!

Friday, May 10, 2013

WYC-Not Your Father’s Yacht Club (1965-1969 history by Ken Howe)

Invitation to join SYC parade
Seattle Yacht Club
In 1968, the Seattle Yacht Club invited the University club to enter a float in their 
Opening Day parade of boats.  The theme of the event was Aqua Carnival.

Ralph Jackson told the story about what the club planned for their float:

“Our entry, Aqua Carnivore was great fun.   A whale: Husky hull, hoop structure for frame-covered with black plastic sheets for body,  styrofoam teeth, pressurized beer keg for whale's spout,etc.   Connected to the Husky was a Penguin with 3 girls in mermaid tails.  Norm was a big part of this.”

Norm Ahlquist added that the water shooting up from the keg was powerful enough to go over the Canoe House.  The spray landed on the Seattle Yacht Club committee boat as the whale passed in the parade.  The SYC women who got wet were not impressed with the engineering abilities of the UWYC.
Don Barker crewed in the winning boat

1968 Tyee

UW Daily April 4, 1969

The first attempt to sail 500 laps around the pond was scheduled for January 9, 1969.  It had a flaw in the planning besides that it would take at least 20 hours to complete the race.
It was advertised in the daily.

The correction was published the next day.

Pond cleaning-UW Daily

In this race in Portage Bay the UW Club team lent Penguins to the visiting college teams. 

1965 Tyee

In 1965, the racing team was still sailing Penguins but looked to upgrade to newer boats.

When competing at the site of other schools, the team had the opportunity to experience sailing different boats.  The University of British Columbia introduced them to the FJ. 

John Courtier explained how a race would be held: “I was never on the racing team, so I don't know details.  In the late 70's from what I remember I think the team had to have 8 boats to host a regatta, so that would handle 8 schools attending.  I don't know if the limit was  8 schools or if there was some sort of round robin if there were more schools. The schools have A and B teams.  I believe the A teams race against each other, then they switch off and the B teams race against each other.  Somehow those scores are melded together. “  

There was another sailing club at the UW. It was called Helm and Halyard and you had to join Navy R.O.T.C. first.  It was even older than the UWYC. 

Navy R.O.T.C Boat, 1956 Tyee

1946 Tyee

The club tried other activities to attract new members besides the sailing in the Fountain stunt.

Large ads were placed in the Daily about free movies showing sailing.

The High Speed Sailing film featured Catamarans in the surf of California and Hawaii.  Also there was footage of Olympic Class Finn one-design boats racing under the Golden Gate Bridge.

A WYC member competed in the 1960 Olympic Trials in the Finn class.

Another film by Warren Miller shows testing of a Hobie 33.  The catamaran designer built this monohull.  Some club members race on a Hobie 33 called Payara.

Still from the film “Crash Test” .The boat was lifted 12 feet above the water and then dropped in the film.

The club combined C Larks with the Lightnings for the Snooze N. Cruise to Blake Island in the late 1960s.  The Tiliicum Village restaurant opened on the Island in 1962. The island was briefly considered as a location for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair before the Seattle Center site was chosen. 

Tillicum Village on Blake Island

1970 Tyee

The history of Blake Island is explained in this article for Historylink.

1966 Tyee
Free Sailing days for students who wanted to know how they would like the club were important to increasing membership.  A chance to sail in the new C. Larks and other DH boats like a Lightning with an experienced sailor was a safe way to get out on the water for the first time.

UW Daily Sept.30, 1966

1967 Tyee

1965-1966 Team members photos from 1966 Tyee: John Hager, Steve Koch, and Dave Waggoner

Barbara Green and Jana Svoboda...

With a membership growing larger every year you would think that some of the reporters from the UW Daily would have joined.  They would have learned that there is no sea water in Union Bay.

In the laid back 60s Union Bay was another student hang out. 

1966 Tyee
1967 Tyee

1968 Tyee
1969 Tyee
A Student sailing one of the new Kites.  

1967 Tyee

The student left years ago.  The boat is still here.

The Kite behind the Canoe House.