4. Anacortes to CPYC
27 Sep 99
Home again at last. Anacortes to CPYC (San Mateo, Cal) in 4 days, 7 hours and 30 some
minutes. And some of those minutes were semi exciting.
After weeks of lollygagging around the San Juan's (James Island, Hunter Bay, Friday Harbor,
Roach Harbor, Stewart Island, Fisherman's Bay, Soucia Island, West Harbor, Bent Island)
(Soucia was best), crew 7 (Robert Stitt and Peter Yates) arrived in Anacortes Saturday
afternoon and we commenced to shop and then stow the food and supplies (mainly Spanish
olives, Noilly Prat vermouth, and Gordens gin. Yes, Gordens. I want to taste the juniper
berries. The high price stuff is so refined that the essence of gin, juniper berries, is filtered
out and replaced with some cheep perfume and/or blue food coloring. (So I am
opinionated.)) We shoved off shortly before sunset and caught the start of the ebb tide that
flushed us all the way down the Straight of San Juan de Fuca and out into the grand Pacific.
And it was pacific at the time, with a glorious dawn, a welcome relief after a night of dodging
ships and fishing boats in a pitch black night that was abandoned by a thin sliver of a tired
old moon that set shortly after the sun set. We took a left at the buoy off Cape Flattery and
headed south for the city by the bay.
Life was good and the living was easy. Two on and four off at night and four on and eight off
during the day. The grub was prime and the cook, Peter, was an epicure. Mild winds and
calm seas. Washington was a pussy cat. And so was Oregon too. And the northern part of
California. Until Cape Mendocino and Punta Gorda. And then wham! Over 40 knots. With
gusts to 48. The forecast was for 20 knots. Ha! Swells from the SW. Swells from the
West. Wind and waves from the NW. Reflected waves off the shore from the NE. It was
magnificent, so to speak. And pitch black once again. We lashed down all the loose gear in
the engine room and hunkered down for a long night. Two boats were in trouble and one
other boat thought he was in deep do-do too. The Coasties sent a helicopter to rescue one
crew. We considered heading for and anchoring in Shelter Cove. But then we heard the do-
do boat report that he was close to shore and had broken through the weather and was now
in 5 knots or wind, though the waves were still a bit much. He was 1 or 2 hours south of us
so we decided to go a little closer to shore and carry on. Shelter Cove was still and option
and Fort Brag was not too much further. So on we went. And sure enough, by and by the
wind slowly abated and life slowly became more bearable once again. If we weren’t so tired
we might have been a little elated, but sleep hadn't been a viable option, fitful rest yes but
REM no, so we just let it happen without comment.
Dawn came with 20 knots of wind and the left over waves and swells that lasted the rest of
the daylight hours until dusk found us by Duxbury reef. Then in the waning wind and
another inky black night we scooted across Potato Patch, rounded Bonita Point and headed
for the Golden Gate and then on to CPYC.
So, after an entire summer of fair winds and calm seas, the forces that be let me know that
Sea Horse is not completely immune to the usual travails of the sailor who travels the waters
of the left coast. (Some people call it the gauche coast but I don't think we are gauche.)
And so ended one of the best summers of my entire life. The adventure, the natural beauty,
the splendor of the PNW mountains, fjords, water falls, wooded islands, protected water
ways, the whales, the baby seals sprawled all over the ice, the Taku clam lady, the
friendliness of the Canadian people, the comradery of the crew, the gourmet food (each crew
had at least one gourmet chef) and the perfect martinis made for a most memorable
experience. I shall never forget it and I shall never forget my friends who shared in these
experiences. Thanks guys. Thank you very much.
What do you think about Mexico?
Crew 7: Bob Stitt and Peter Yates
4. Alaska '99
While awaiting crew 7: