Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," from Port Townsend, Washington, USA. In 2009 we sailed north from Puget Sound up the west coast of Vancouver Island to the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii.) In 2010 we went back to the west coast of Vancouver Island. In July 2011 we left the Northwest, and in March 2012 we crossed the Pacific to French Polynesia, then on to the Cooks, Niue and Tonga. We spent several months in New Zealand, and in May 2013 loaded the boat (and ourselves) on a container ship for San Francisco. In June and July 2013 we sailed north along the California, Oregon and Washington coasts, and in August we arrived home. In October 2016 Sockdolager found new owners, and we are now enjoying Raven, a unique wooden 29' powerboat. Plans are to head north. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In Kyuquot Sound; first rain in 22 days

That stretch of good weather was a record-breaker, and we're pleased to have been in the region for most of it. Not that the winds have all been fair, but even from the northwest they've been reasonable. We decided to beat a forecast 35-knot gale, however, up to Kyuquot Sound, so we left Friendly Cove on Monday to head here. Ironically, it was utterly windless until the end of the day. Lots of wildlife is visible when it's calm. We saw short-tailed shearwaters in large groups, California gulls, tufted puffins, black guillemots, parakeet auklets, some other unidentified small dark alcids, harbor porpoises, sea otters, and at least eleven large racing sailboats headed south. Well, sailboats sometimes count as wild life!

So when we entered Kyuquot Sound we were surprised by the color of the water--pure turquoise, just like the Caribbean except milky like an Alaskan fjord. None of the cruising guides mention that. The wind began to pick up and it looked like the gale was imminent, so we headed deep into the sound, to a cove within a cove, called Dixie, on Hohoae Island, where we felt no wind at all. The anchor was hardly down before the crab pot was, and in a one-beer soak Jim pulled up a huge Dungeness crab that fed us both! It rained steadily all night and all the next day, and was still raining this morning when we decided to pick our way through shoals and rocky islets to a tiny settlement called Walter's Cove, where local residents are extremely friendly and kind.

Next is a cove in the Bunsby Islands, then Columbia Cove on the Brooks Peninsula, then Quatsino Sound, where we will reprovision for the weeks in the Queen Charlottes. Interesting fact about the Brooks Peninsula: A couple of whale scientists aboard a boat for a group called Strait Watch told us that the humpback populations are divided into two main groups. One migrates along the coast, wintering in Mexico and going about as far north as the Brooks Peninsula. The other is the northern group, wintering in Hawaii and migrating to Alaska. There are even some humpbacks from Indonesia that join the northern group! Seeing all this wildlife and magnificent scenery feeds the soul.

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