How we navigate

I know this will be a big snooze for most people, but I know at least a couple of you who might think it's cool! So, this is what things look like in the pilot house, kind of:


Campbell River government wharf, 06.22

We had our across-the-dock neighbors over for dinner last night. Fresh salmon from a fishing boat on the other side of the marina who had just caught it--yum!

Sorry photos, 06.21-22

I'm still wrestling to get this camera of mine to do what I want it to do! I'm afraid it's not doing justice to anything.

But here's a photo from our first evening in Prideaux Haven:

And here's one of the orcas we saw close to Campbell River. This time the lame photo was most definitely my fault and not the orca's.


In Campbell River

We're docked here for a few days, making some repairs on the boat. New boom (it broke! while we were sailing!), new radio wire (it shorted and started a fire while we were out. our neighbors in the anchorage in Prideaux Haven were kind enough to extinguish for us. phew.), new paint (it keeps me occupied while Dan and Kathy work on things I don't understand yet), patched sail (it ripped! when the boom broke!)......oh and maybe some other stuff too....

Meanwhile, I'm looking for an old cheap bike and some nightlife.

Internet's been scarce...

Looks like I'll be posting in batches from now on!


Dropped dad off in a place called April Point:

Close call! 06.17

Whoops! We were exploring some shallow-ish inlets this afternoon and scraped a rock! The boat lurched to the side, but other than a few things getting tossed around the galley, everything seems to be alright. To be sure, though, Kathy’s diving down to check the hull.

We left the inlet to be on the safe side, which means we’ve had to settle for this:

Eeep! 06.17

Woke up this morning to find us underway: sunny day, clear skies, snow-capped mountains on both sides, and a JELLYFISH STUCK IN THE WATER MAKER FILTER!

Nanaimo to Hornby Island, 06.16

I’m learning how to sail. Slowly. When and how to unfurl each sail, what angle the boat should be relative to the wind, and so on. I’ve got a long way to go!

Victoria to Nanaimo, 06.15

Long day of sailing, Victoria to Nanaimo.

Old photo from Astoria, 06.13

Me and my best friend in Astoria. Photo credit: Nathan Lawrence.


in Victoria!

We got to Victoria last night after about 36 hours at sea.

We stopped here for the night, right in the middle of downtown Victoria.  It's great being able to come right into the dock at the center of the city. We're in the heart of downtown, so we can see the parliament building and all the museums and hotels around it. Last night Nathan and I bundled up, opened up a couple of lawn chairs, and drank beer on the deck with the best view of downtown Victoria.

And this afternoon, we're seeing off Nathan, who's going to continue his tour down the coast of Washington, and we'll head up through the San Juan Islands. I think I'll be away from the internet for a few days, but I'll post when I can!

first night at sea

We've been motoring up the coast from Astoria for about 18 hours. Now everyone's sleeping and I'm the only one awake. We saw three orcas earlier! The ocean's really peaceful right now, but navigating at night's a little nervewracking. You can see little lights on the horizon occasionally from other boats. But all night long only one boat has come close enough to show up on the radar. I felt like I was playing chicken with it; every time I would try to skirt around it it would come closer. I finally decided to take a sharp turn the other way, and I avoided it by a long way, but the whole thing was a little more exciting than it should have been.

This is the view to the left of the helm when there's light.

(better pictures to come, promise!)

Navigating took me a while to get the hang of but now it feels pretty easy. We have the chart on a computer monitor, which syncs with our GPS so we can watch the boat moving on the map. And then there's the radar, which reads large objects on all sides of us. And there's the autopilot, which has a knob on it that you can adjust to turn. For tighter situations that require a faster response, we would turn off autopilot, but here we only need large course corrections so the autopilot suffices. I'll take photos of set-up eventually (I think it's pretty cool)!

So, around 9:30 tomorrow morning we hit the straits of San Juan de Fuca and go through those for about 10 hours to Victoria.

last day in Astoria

Goonies house!

This is from the driveway in front of the house. Those nice people offered to take our picture. They said, "if you're Goonies people you've got to!" But I guess we're not.....

We went up to the Astoria column, too. Great view. Cellphone pic doesn't do it justice.


in the water

Yesterday morning, after we wired the bow thruster, finished some paint touch-ups, and loaded up the boat, the lift came to put us in the water. The whole thing was pretty impressive. I'm not sure these photos quite capture the scale of the thing. It's a really huge machine and a really huge boat!

Here the lift is getting into place...

and lifting up the boat with the straps.

They're a little flimsy looking, no? But they did the trick!

And here she goes across the parking lot...

and to the dock where she got lowered in.

And, finally, after filling up our fuel tanks and travelling up river a ways, here we are at a mooring basin, for a couple of nights (That's us on the far right).

We have a handful of large fishing boats and two docks full of barking sea lions as our neighbors.


I tied my first clovehitch!

to do this:

I promise I won't post pictures of every knot I tie. Since, I've also used bowlines and half hitches and cleat hitches. But this was the first useful one, so....



better photo. new red stripe.

bow thruster

new bow thruster

(The bow thruster makes the boat easier to steer. Without the bowthruster, the only thing you can use to steer the boat is the rudder, which you can see on the back of the boat in the last picture. For the rudder to matter though, the boat has to be moving forwards or backwards, so docking can be really difficult, and a docking screw-up can be a pretty big deal with a boat this big.

This particular bow thruster is a tunnel thruster, because it's installed in a tunnel through the bow. The bump in front of it is called the fairing, and that's meant to prevent the tunnel from creating extra drag in the water.)

the draft

who knew there was so much going on underwater?! that red line is the waterline, so everything under it (its height--10'--is called "the draft") is hidden when the boat's in the water. it helps us balance by keeping our center of gravity low.

shipping yard

the view from deck! parked for now.