Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," and our Bigfoot29 powerboat, "Raven," 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, sailed to Mexico, 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 Sockdolager (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 began cruising on Raven, a unique wooden 29' powerboat. In 2018 we cruised up to Glacier Bay, Alaska, and back. But in 2024 we had the chance to buy Sockdolager back (we missed her), so we sold Raven. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Goodbye Port Townsend, Hello Pacific!

Photo by Sandee Bailey

We’re officially aboard Sockdolager now and can say, “Home is where the hull is.” Making this transformation has not been without stress, but it feels so good to be almost liberated from the land and free to wander the seas. Parting with friends is painful, but as the old Martin Mull line goes, “Don’t say goodbye; say hors d'oeuvres.”  (Note to self:  learn French.)

The ties that hold us now are the flexible and forgiving kind—friendships—that will stretch around the world if need be. Those are the most precious ties, and are the ones that will one day bring us back home.  Meanwhile, WOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOO!

Thoughts of our first major stop, San Francisco, are becoming more frequent.  Hopefully it'll be a good first offshore passage.  It's no exaggeration to say making such a transition as this is a test of one's sanity.

Jim (after viewing this video):  Hey!  San Francisco’s hosting the America’s Cup in 2013 and they're racing each other right now!

Karen:  Wow, cool!

Jim:  We could race them!

Karen:  (silence)

Jim:  I think we could take them.

Karen:  Yeah.  5 knots against their fifty.  That’s lessee, ten percent of their speed.

Jim:  There’s always a handicap…

Getting nostalgic about the lovely Puget Sound views. 
We'll miss sights like this but oh the views to come!

We spent a pleasant evening with sailing friends from sailing vessels Alastor and Juichi at Sirens Pub, and they offered the following advice for our upcoming voyage:

1. Once you leave, stop thinking about what's next. –Randall A.

2. Get a Kindle.   –Sarah W. (Done.)

3. Learn to pluck a chicken.  –Ron H. (Okay…)

4. Focus on the fun.   –Alison W.

Karen asked some more friends for advice, and here it is:

5. Remember that wherever you go, there you are.  --Jan H.

6. Rock the boat.   --Anna Q.

7. Shiver your timbers.    --Kathie M.

8. Keep an open mind and an open heart; listen more; judge less; forgive sooner.  –Bob T.

9. Try to stay in water deeper than your boat bottom.  --Leif K.

10. Don’t worry about what you forgot.  –Yvonne J.

11. Once you head out to sea, turn off all shoreside communications and feel the delight of truly being at sea, letting the sounds, smells and visitas take over your whole mind.  –Lin P.
12. "The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land."(Joseph Conrad) --Kerry H.

13. Have fun. Forget what it was like before; the Now is yours.  –Herb & Nancy P.

14. You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.   –Yvonne & Pete T.

15. Pluck the chicken before you get on the boat.  –Chuck Y.

Wow, guys! Thanks. The goodbyes have been amazing. Dancing the night away at the PT Brewery’s outdoor garden with so many friends; Val and Mike’s musicians’ Bon Voyage barbecue; neighbors and friends who feel like family; dinner with Leif & Joan (“Hey, we know you’re too busy to cook!”); an impromptu party with Hasse, Nicki, Ace and Jasper; a few small but very useful gifts; quick visits by friends and family; offers of help (Sandee:  “I love love love to pack!”); the worrisome little details that somehow all came together as if being directed by good karma; expressions of love and affection, and excitement for what we’re doing (and some angst.)  Oh, and working 'til midnight to make it happen on time.  I think we’ll need a few naps.

Enjoying a last classic sunset from our cottage on the hill.

We’re spending the weekend cleaning the house, organizing the boat, and getting a few provisions. On Monday don’t forget to come down to D dock between 2:00 and 6:00 PM. Then it’s off to the fireworks by car. On Tuesday, it’s the vehicle sales transactions, and then… and then… we’re off!

I know from a couple of recent conversations that this news still hasn’t sunk in with some of our less-than-tech-savvy friends, so:  Hey!  If you’re on our gmail list and expect us to email you every time we post something, we can’t anymore! This will be the last post for awhile in which we can notify you unless you automate it and click on the “Follow” or “Updates From Sea” gadgets on the left side of this page and follow directions. ‘Nuff said. 

See you somewhere down the ocean road.

Much love, many hugs,
Karen & Jim

1 comment:

  1. I would add one more bit of advice to heed: "So long as you know where your towel is, everything else can be found...". I think that's what the galaxy hitch-hikers motto was. Best of luck, and bon voyage - when you see the Southern Cross, you know you're really somewhere.