Bon Voyage

We have been planning this trip for a very long time and with the support of so many friends and family, now was the time to go. We are leaving behind our Mount Ranier with a full moon to see the world from different view.


Adventure Details


We were given a great send off BBQ by our friends and family. We have been so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people. They are a large reason why we can take this trip with confidence. To know that they believe in us and are there for us, as we are for them, makes all the difference in the world.

Days 1-3
Tuesday July 11, 2005 we shoved off our home dock at the Sinclair Inlet Marina located in Port Orchard, Wa with a few friends and family to see us on our way. It was a perfect sunny summer day to begin our journey. Of course there was not sufficient wind nor was it heading in our direction so with our fuel tanks topped off we motored up to Port Townsend. 30 minutes into the journey we were already on the cell phones checking in and saying good byes again. We arrived in the harbor after hours so we tied up to the fuel dock, ran ashore for a quick meal and hunkered down for our first night.

Up early the next morning, quick showers ashore and we were on our way to Port Angeles. The second day was much the same. Beautiful weather, no wind so we motored and continued the tasks of reorganizing the inside of the boat. There came a point in preparing and packing for the trip that you just had to get all the goods on board and decide where to put it later. An ongoing process and without the boys on board at the moment we have the time.
Once on the dock in Port Angeles Bruce got right to work on his own projects. The biggest of which placing our new and larger radar reflector high up in the rigging. This is of great importance to us because it allows us to be seen more easily by other ships radar. Bruce had some new gear that he was able to try out that allowed him to hoist himself up the rigging one foot at a time with his climbing gear on. I held an emergency back up belay line affixed to the wenches in case he fell but he had to do all the work. Lucky for me. He was way up there. The look from passers by was fun to watch, ranging from"that man is crazy" to "thank goodness it is him and not me".
This dock is located right behind a logging operation which was interesting to watch. They had huge bundles of 10-15 logs bound together by cables that this prehistoric machine would pick up and send down a slide that looked similar to a railroad tracks down into the water. We couldn’t see much more from there but I imagine they go then to be created into log booms for the tug boats to deliver to their next location.
Bruce’s parents finished their motor home trip through Alaska and came back through Port Orchard to pick up our boys who are staying with their Auntie and cousin Jared. They will all do this first leg of the trip on land. They all drove up to meet us at the Port Angeles harbor to have dinner and one more set of good byes before we set out for Neah Bay and then the ocean blue. Can you see a pattern here? We have quite the capability of make for some fun and long good byes, and believe me we are only just beginning.
The next day was a quick trip to Neah Bay. Our last stop before setting out into the Pacific for the first offshore leg of this trip. Neah Bay was much more crowded than I had imagined. Filled with lots of fishing vessels some local Indian fishermen and some “cowboys”, as they are occasionally known. There were also a few cruisers such as ourselves, preparing to make a similar journey. This cruising community is a small one and as it turned out, we knew the crew of one other boat. A couple that we had purchased our wind generator on the s/v (sailing vessel) Aquarius had been docked here for a couple of days waiting for the right break in the weather to head south as well. They also had a third gal crewing for them that runs the Port Townsend Rigging Company with her husband. They had previously helped us ad more rigging for our own boat. A second boat named the Rose was going the same direction and the next morning we were off the docks and out into the Pacific. Cruising is really a small community and I am sure we will cross paths with them and others often on our journey. It is a lot like passing the same cart over and over in the grocery store. You are heading in more or less the same direction and have similar goals at the end of the line.

From Neah Bay we took 4 full days to sail offshore to reach Fort Bragg, CA on the northern Mendocino coast. The above photo is our first sunset of the off shore leg out on the Pacific Ocean. Not a bad way to start. We were blessed with relatively fair seas and wonderful wind that came from directly behind us for the first 2 days.The swells were also coming from directly behind which makes for a more comfortable ride than if they were coming from the side. The first 24 hours we were not too far off shore and found it a bit busy as we tried to dodge fishing boats and crab pots. So for the remainder of the trip we settled out about 50 miles offshore. Not a soul in sight and wonderfully peaceful. With each larger swell and wave you gain comfort and confidence in what you and your boat can do. Bruce and I each took our turns with 4 hour watches and it worked great. I sleep from 8pm to 12 and then stand watch from 12 to 4 am. He gets his rest from 12 to 4am while I stand watch and then takes the 4 to 8 watch. The challenges of this leg was to repair the bent whisker pole that is used to hold out the edge of the head sail and for me to learn how to use the pressure cooker a bit better so it won't explode in my galley again.

The last two days brought a bit more fog and lesser to no winds, so we motored the rest of the way to Fort Bragg. We headed in around sunrise and made contact with the Harbor master via the radio and found our slip.

Next Dispatch

Janel and Blake Mason seeing us off at the dock