From The Log of the Sea Horse
1. SF to Nanaimo
6/10/02 to 6/22/02
We, Dan Wilshin, Matt Martell and I, were supposed to leave on Sat the 8th but fate
deemed otherwise. The coast of California was under attack from big winds and waves.
So, aided by the best science of NOAA and the dot comer's WWW (check out this web site:
http://facs.scripps.edu/surf/images/pacne00.gif), we postponed departure day by day until
0430 on Monday the 10th.
Palo Alto, California
Matt and Dan
Two hours from CPYC to the GG Bridge! Crab omelet on the way. Thanks Dan. Out to
the Bonita Lighthouse, turned right and down the Bonita channel. Bee line to Duxberry
buoy and then Pt. Reys, etc, etc, into the teeth of The Chop. The Cal/Or/Wash bash. Or
rather bong. ie the COW bong, or, 3 times fast: cowbong, cowbong, cowbong. 2 days and
2 nights of 2 fisted sailing - it took both hands to hang on. I'm going to get seat belts
installed for the next time. I had to hot-bunk it in the rear of the boat with the crew, ugh, as
the forepeak was to ruf. The wind strength wasent all that high (12 to 27 knots, with at least
one gust to 38.3) and the wave heights weren't all that bad (4 to 9'), but the waves were
steep and close together and on the nose. What a workout. Used every muscle in my body
just to stay upright. Between that and the loss of appetite I bet I lost 5 pounds in those 2
San Francisco Water Front
Golden Gate Bridge
Then things started to settle down when we got past Cape Mendocino. Then things turned
great. A SW wind began to fill. A SW current developed. Ground speed exceeded water
speed for a while. 9.2 knots over the ground one time. Appetites returned. Smiles
returned. Oregon and Washington were pleasant tho a little overcast or foggy, until we
reached the Straight of San Juan de Fuca where gale warnings against an ebb tide greeted
us. But the gale was mild and from the rear so with the stabilizers smoothing out the ride,
we had a pleasant trip to Port Angeles.
Cape Flattery, Washington
Light House at Cape Flattery
Now we were in “cruising” territory. Friday Harbour, Parks Bay, Roach H, goodbye Matt
(boy, Matt sure was easy going), Canoe Cove in Sidney, hello Merilyn, steak and kidney
pie at the Stone Pub, Satellite Channel to Sansum Narrows to Maple Bay, and then to the
Seattle YC dock on East Dunsmuir Island in Sibell Bay in Ladysmith Harbour. No one was
there so we didn't think anyone would mind if we tied up for the night. It was great. We
spent the afternoon on this small idyllic island lulling away the hours reading and sipping
wine at the freshly painted picnic tables in the shade of the cedars and madrones with
grand vistas of Ladysmith Harbour, Stuart Channel, and environs. Primo.
Parks Bay, San Juan Islands
At Parks Bay
Merilyn and Dan
At East Dunsmuir Island
The next day, Thurs., we took off sightseeing and the first stop was Herring Bay at the NW
end of Ruxton Island. It was so-so, so we turned around to depart, but when I put it into
reverse as a part of the turning maneuver, the darn thing stuck in reverse and I couldent get it
back into forward. I ran down to the engine room and got some allen wrenches thinking that
the gear shift lever was loose on the shaft, as happened once before, but that dident do it.
Dan ran aft to fend off the rocks with the boat hook while I ran for the rear engine room hatch
to get at the transmission. The rocks got the boat hook – one for the rocks, and then the boat
hit the rocks – 2 for the rocks. Sure enough, the trannie shift lever bracket was broken, again,
and dangling down so that I had to manually put it into forward to saved us from further
damage. (That darn Kay Few probably caused this problem. She probably hexed the shift
lever bracket after she unexpectedly fell through the open engine room hatch one day, scaring
the bejesus out of me, while I was sitting down there studying plans for a trolling valve mod to
the tranie. Said shift lever bracket made an impression on her side. (Just joshing Kay, I know
you wouldent really put a hex on my boat.)) We got the anchor down and opened up a couple
of beers to think things over while good old Merilyn Wilshin swam over to the rocks and
retrieved the boat hook from the depths – one for us. She then looked over the rudder and
reported that the end plate at the bottom of the rudder had a bent rear corner. I will get that
fixed the next haul-out. Other than that everything seemed OK.
So what we did was to have another beer and wait for the tide to be right for our arrival at
Dodd Narrows. Dan sat in the engine room and manually shifted the Trannie per my shouted
commands relayed via hand signals by Merilyn. Once clear of the cove we tied the shift lever
in Forward and proceeded to Dodd where we just missed a narrow-minded log that wanted to
get into the same eddy that was buffeting us.
We called ahead to Nanaimo and told them of our problem, so they directed us to a dock that
was a clear shot from the harbour entrance. Dan did his transmission shifting thing, Merilyn
did her shouting thing, and I eased the boat to the dock and into the waiting hands of 2 (really
4) harbour dock hands.
Took the gearshift bracket to the shop and had them weld it back together again. Took it back
the next day and had them weld two new braces to the shifter bracket. Now the tranie will fall
off before the shift bracket breaks.
Excellent dinner at The Wesley Street.
The Naiad water pump had been acting intermittent. Loose wire inside the pump. So I got a
new pump. But not soon enough to save the Naiads. Some oil seals got fried and can't be
fixed until I get to Anacordes near the end of the trip. So until then, no Naiads.
Merilyn and Dan left this (Fri.) noon (hated to say goodbye) and Rocky and Chris come
Well that’s it for now. I'll write more later.