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What are the Odds?

Maps showing 2018 North and South routes

First off we apologize for the severe lapse in time since we last posted. Due to technical issues and remote locations (see maps above) we haven’t been able to get online where there is enough bandwidth to update the blog. We have had short moments of internet connectivity and have been able to do quick posts on our LemonadeWinds Facebook page so if you aren’t following us there yet check that out for real-time updates.

But back to the topic at hand…the title of this post is “What are the Odds”. This summer we have traveled farther north than anticipated and on many occasions we’ve found ourselves exclaiming, “What are the odds that THAT happened?” For example, after being on the boat for days without an opportunity to get off and walk we are kayaking past an inviting rocky beach when I said ”let’s stop and go for a walk”-- in known bear country--“seriously, what are the odds that a bear would come here while we are on the beach?” I really wanted to go for a walk. Thankfully Rob thought better of the idea so we returned to the boat and only a couple of hours later guess what we saw…a grizzly mama and her cub on that exact beach. Seriously, what are the odds???

So we are going to take turns sharing moments from the summer where we uttered that phrase. You can see who wrote which section in the sections title, for instance the next section "Princesses and Waterfalls" Lucy's name is next to the title indicating she wrote it.

Princesses and Waterfalls / Lucy

Photo collage of our trip to Princess Louisa Inlet

We’ve heard a lot about the Princess Louisa Inlet in our time here…it’s supposed to be awe-inspiring and jaw dropping. It’s also a very long trip in a narrow waterway with a nasty narrow entrance strewn with rocks and tide rips. It’s also where our boat, BOREAS, started it’s American life. So we decided to go explore. Usually the winds are against you or non-existent to get there but the day we went there was a favorable wind so we raised the sails and sailed without the motor almost the entire 5 hour journey. What are the odds?

Once you get past the rapids you enter a serene place where there are sheer cliffs reaching from the ocean all the way up to bare rock mountain tops. Above where you can see are snowfields that feed perpetual waterfalls—in the springtime we were told there can be literally hundreds of waterfalls all around you as you move to the head of the inlet. When we were there we saw less than that but they were no less stunning. The inlet seems fairly straight forward but then at the very end it jogs a little to the left and that’s when we saw the famous Chatterbox Falls so named because they seem to “talk” incessantly. Some people say they can sound friendly at times and menacing at other times. To us they just sounded like water but the magnificence of the area wasn’t lost on us. It felt like being in a cathedral and everyone we met seemed to talk in hushed tones or whisper.

We were tied up at the end of the dock and were surprised to find a visitor one evening…a large seal had made the dock its territory and it postured and growled and barked to keep people away. We were in the perfect spot to get great photos without bothering the seal. It seemed sleepy and sure enough, as soon as people stopped coming by to stare, it laid down and closed its eyes. In stayed really close to the edge of the dock so it could slip into the water and escape if necessary but it slept. We checked throughout the night and it was there almost until sunrise. Later we talked to the park ranger who told us that in the 18+ years she had worked there a seal had never visited. So what are the odds that one would while we were there???

A Line in the Water / Lucy

Photo collage of madrone trees, Spanish galleons, and low clouds

This year we planned to go as far north as the Broughton Archipeilgeo and to get there you can chose one of two difficult routes. Either go up the Johnstone Strait which is narrow funneling winds, waves, and currents from the Pacific Ocean making hazardous conditions or you go inland where the tides get funneled through narrow openings creating dangerous whirlpools and eddies only safe to transit at slack if you are in a slow boat. I wasn’t looking forward to either not only because of their challenging conditions but also because we’d be going further north where I assumed it would slowly get colder and colder.

Much to my surprise the weather didn’t gradually change but rather noticeably and abruptly changed at Dent Rapids. What are the odds that you’d sail over a particular random spot and suddenly notice the air temperature drop and the weather seem more, well, wintery in the middle of summer? I wasn’t the only person to notice…we found this description in our favorite 1970’s guide book, “Pacific Yachting’s Cruising Guide to British Columbia Vol II Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands” by Bill Wolfersrstan:

The Spaniards (who were the first European explorers of these waters in the 1780’s) may have been affected by the quite noticeable change in climate and vegetation which occurs once one is through the rapids. The water temperature drops several degrees, the wind generally increases form the west and fog is prevalent. There is a notable dampening in the air and the arbuts (madrona in the USA) tree has disappeared from the landscape. There are few deciduous trees, with the conifers growing within a few inches above the mean high-water.

Thankfully the weather didn’t stay that cold and wintery but this was our first introduction to reading about the early European explorers experiences as they probed these uncharted waters and we would find many more accounts as we traveled enriching our summer. For example, some of information on the original map created by Captain George Vancouver during his explorations in the late 1700's is still being used today!

Cape Caution Crossing Northbound / Rob

Photo collage of rounding Cape Caution going North

Over the winter when we are talking about where we wanted to go on the boat this summer and how far north we might get I suggested we go as far as we can. Maybe even getting around a very dangetous headland knowns as Cape Caution. Just that name on the chart has kept many boaters from knowing what lay beyond. On one hand, To go past it could be a fool’s errand…after all, what could be so great that it would be worth risking us and the boat? To that I said, “I don’t know but let’s find out”.

Lucy was a little more hesitant but agreed to go for we watched the weather carefully and got up early to give ourselves the best advantage for wind, waves, and tide. We left in dreary fog and stayed close to shore (within 10 miles) both on watch and expecting anything to happen…and then…we had a completely uneventful crossing. What are the odds?

To top if off, we had the best experiences of the summer north of Cape Caution!

Ski Area Dreams, Turquoise Water Tropical Fantasy, and Horse Fly Reality / Lucy

Photo collage of the Central Coast of B.C.

After getting around Cape Caution we were on B.C.’s “Central Coast” which is a maze of inland waterways or inlets. The first excursion we took was to follow the waterways around King Island which our contemporary guidebook “The Waggoner Guide” described as some of the most impressive vistas on all the coastline. It didn’t look like it offered many opportunities to get off the boat and walk so I was apprehensive but looking forward to nice scenery.

Up until now most of the scenery was rolling hills / mountains covered in evergreen trees with some distant blue hazy mountains in the background. But now…now there were proper mountains with a tree line exposing their bareback hard rock foundation and geological history. Some reached high enough to still be covered in snow which acted like an exclamation mark to their dramatic landscapes. One mountain bowl looked like it had ski runs already cut in and and we fantasized about a ski area where you would sail up to a dock, get in a helicopter to fly to the summit, and then ski all the way back to the boat. Of course we thought it would be called the “What are the Odds Ski Area” and their tag line would be “One Run Is All You Need”. :-)

The further in we went the lighter and lighter the water became but the deeper and deeper the water showed on our charts. We were in water over 2,000 feet but it looked as turquoise and light as the water you see in the Caribbean. It was seriously hard to wrap my head around the water looking inviting like it should be shallow, warm, and delightful instead of deep, frigid, and scary. The sun was out and we were hot, wearing sun hats and sunscreen surrounded by water that looked tropical and mountains that looked like ski areas. It was both trippy and marvelous.

Eventually we stopped for the day and anchored in a lovely spot with mountains all around. As we got out of the wind and the air temperatures went up we realized we were quickly being overrun with horseflies. We don’t have any fly swatters on board so we used shoes, rolled up magazines, and books to kill as many as we could while we anchored and tried to settle in. Before we knew it the sun had dropped behind a mountain peak, the temperature dropped, and, like magic, 98% of the horse flies disappeared. As we soon learned horse flies only come out at a certain temperature range so we found ourselves on a tropical summer schedule where would get up before sunrise to do activities, disappear below into the cool, dark boat (thank god we had curtains!) for a siesta and then return topsides when the sun would set.

Occasionally we would have to be out during the heat of the day and Rob developed a system of trapping horseflies in the cockpit. Our cockpit enclosure has screens so we would close every opening except one where they would enter, fly around and eventually settle on the screens where they seemed to get tangled up in the material. That's when we’d turn on the little hand held vacuum cleaner and suck them into the bin. It worked like a charm!

Ocean Falls / Rob

Photo collage of Ocean Falls, B.C.

We knew very little about the “ghost town” of Ocean Falls before we got there. All we had heard was that it is the last place for good water before continuing on north to Alaska. We found it’s crystal clear water to the be least of its attributes! As it turns out, Ocean Falls is beautiful--surrounded by mountains and gorgeous lakes complimented by a fascinating history and completed by a small group of year-round locals who embody the phrase “Characters Welcome”.

A common side-effect of travel is that you start wondering what it would be like to live in a place that you visit. Ocean Falls is one of the few places Lucy has repeatedly said out loud “I could see us living here.” Really? Ocean Falls gets on average 150” of rain a annually, that’s over 12’ of water every year. Lucy wilts in high temperatures it’s true, but she also gets really blue in cloudy conditions. And now she thinks she could live somewhere that is rainy most of the time? What are the odds?

Then we met the locals…we were visiting the local "museum", officially called “Nearly Normal Norm’s Treasure Trove” accompanied by the 70-ish Nearly Normal Norm himself and enjoying all his stories and “stuff” from once thriving town of Ocean Falls when we were invited by one of his friends to stop by after the tour to taste some home brewed beer. Usually this is where we would bow out because neither of us likes home brewed beer but lo and behold Lucy said, “Sure!”. Seriously, what are the odds?

She’s totally starting to fall in love with this place!

So we followed Norm to his friend’s humble trailer abode. Now I could see me pulling up a salvaged chair from one of the surrounding abandoned buildings to sit in a concrete parking lot in front of a 20’ trailer with a 6’x15’ deck attached, but Lucy??? She is full of surprises it seems! For the next few hours we hung out next to a refrigerator full of home brewed beer and a freezer full of frosted mugs in a parking lot with a derelict boat on one side an old truck on concrete blocks on the other as the sun beat down and the wind blew. More people showed up and when Lucy finally confesses she doesn’t like beer out comes the home brewed wine.

Seriously, what are the odds that we’d find ourselves hanging out with a 70-ish hippie, a 50-ish home-brewer who is also a mathematician and pot activist, and a 60-ish ex-hockey player and coach who lives in Mexico and Australia part of the year?

Apparently the odds are quite good. ;-)

Humpbacks, Eagles, Bears and Dolphins, OH MY! / Lucy

Photo collage of grizzly bears and humpback whales

After our time in Ocean Falls I was feeling really good and wondering what could possibly be better than the experiences we’d just had when we decided to explore a place called “Fijordlands Recreational Area”. It was supposed to be stunningly beautiful, remote, and have bears. At first I was convinced is wasn’t as stunning as the scenery we had just seen but as we got further and further in it became more and more rugged and dramatic. And then…well…then the animals showed up.

At first we saw two humbpack whales swimming near the boat--going back and forth totally unconcerned that we were there taking tons of photos of their blow holes and backs. The next day we saw two humpbacks in a different area, this time they were diving deep and showing off their magnificent tails dripping with water. A few days later we saw a whale suspend his tail vertically out of the water and using it to slap the surface--making a sound like a gunshot. Then it would explode out of the water, bend backwards and crash back into the water causing a huge splash. It would also swim with one side fin out of the water waving back and forth and slapping the water. We watched in the company of 2 other boats for about 30 minutes and then it swam away.

Days later we saw a pod of 5 humpbacks hunting together. We watched as they swam very close to shore, some on the surface and others diving deep, then they’d all disappear and surface with mouths open and thrashing about. We even heard them calling to each other, perhaps coordinating their movements. Whale song is amazing and resonates on a very deep level. We had this final show all to ourselves for over 1.5 hours. It was beyond words. What are the odds that we’d see so much activity, and all by ourselves???

At one point we anchored in a spot known for bear sightings and within 30 minutes of arriving we saw one! What are the odds??? We think it was a young female grizzly and it behaved like a dog. In fact, when Rob first caught sight of it he called out, “Lucy, there’s a dog onshore!” I didn’t believe him so we grabbed the binoculars and there was this bear--dripping in water after apparently swimming somewhere out of site, running, then rolling around on the ground just like a dog! She got up and walked over to a clump of grass where she promptly sat down and started eating the grass by using her island-sized paws to pull it towards her mouth. She seemed so content! And she ate almost all the grass so she got up and walked to another clump of grass to repeat her grazing. We watched her for about 45 minutes until she disappeared just as the tide was reclaiming the little grassy spots where she had been eating. That evening she returned for a short time climbing over rocks and clambering up a hillside.

The next morning we decided to leave at 9am sharp. But we were ready by 8:30am and I was restless, thinking it was a waste of time to wait a half an hour. But Rob insisted, "We said 9am and we will wait until 9am!". Tick Tock. Unbelievably at 8:55am a different grizzly arrived! This one was just passing through and we watch as it moved with powerful purpose and grace over rocks, gullies, streams, and downed trees. It was out of site just after 9am so we raised the anchor and were on our way, still on schedule. What are the odds?

While watching for bears we saw a Bald Eagle swoop down and snatch a fish out of the water. Apparently the fish was heavy because the eagle didn’t fly very far before landing on the rocky beach. It was fascinating to watch it problem solve this heavy burden…it bashed it on the rocks, it pecked at the head, it hopped and flew short distances—never letting go and never making a sound. Eventually it disappeared behind a hillside but not before another eagle came along and perched itself in a tree to carefully watch and be ready to take the prize for itself. I’m pretty sure the first eagle didn’t share it’s meal!

As we were leaving this area I was sure we had seen everything possible when there was a loud SPLASH right alongside the boat. I thought we had hit something but didn’t see anything in the water. Then there was another loud SPLASH and I got up to look at the boat when I saw a dark flash under the water…and then….2 dolphins! Playing in our bow wave! They stayed for a while before disappearing without a sound. We were feeling crazy lucky and grateful when SPASH! Three dolphins this time! They zoomed up and down, left and right, over here, over there, everywhere! They were so fast and powerful! It was a deep joy to see them playing all around us. And then, without warning, they were gone again. What are the odds????

Click here to view a short video of me totally little-kid geeking out over the dolphins. ;-)

Beaches / Rob

Photo collage of Calvert Island beaches, B.C.

If Hawaii and Canada had a baby it would be Calvert Island. Most of B.C.’s beaches are rocky covered in seaweed or barnacles or driftwood. But on Calvert Island there are soft sand beaches that squeak when you walk on them. And it doesn’t have just one beach like that but rather the entire 22 miles of the west coast is like that. Beach after beach after beach. What are the odds???

The best (and almost only) access to these beautiful beaches is by anchoring in Pruth Bay on the east side of the island. From here you dinghy up to the Hakai Beach Instutute’s docks, walk up a gangplank, sign in and then turn right onto a trail that takes you across the island to West Beach. Volunteers have built trails to 9 the beaches (we visited 8 before we ran out of time). Each one was beautiful, isolated, and empty. And the trails to the beaches were fun in their own right with boardwalks, stairs, and ropes—all very quirky and yet blended into the landscape perfectly. I could tell the volunteers who had made them had fun in doing so.

Once on the beaches it was as if you were transported to some South Pacific Island, that is until you ran into the gorgeous blue water and its cold temperature snapped you right back into reality. But the sand was warm on our feet, there wasn’t a soul in sight, waves were crashing on the shore and it was magical.

We took off our shoes to walk barefoot in the sand and left our shoes on top of logs. When we eventually returned one of Lucy’s shoes had completely disappeared. Only after some careful searching did she find it a good distance away. She, of course, blamed me. And I, being completely innocent, was dumbfounded how her shoe had moved! There were no foot prints, no animal prints, not even marks from a spacecraft! What are the odds that her shoe would disappear like that???

What had happened was a mystery until Lucy started to put the shoe on and a raven chastised her for taking it’s shoe! As if the raven could use a shoe! Lucy had a conversation with the bird (which was surprisingly easy to follow) and, at the end it was clear that the raven was letting Lucy reclaim the shoe thus proving it was the more noble creature.

Cape Caution Crossing Southbound / Lucy

Photo collage of rounding Cape Caution Southbound

I was feeling good about heading south…the weather was starting to cool down and August was ending so heading south seemed like a smart idea (the high pressure system that tends to hang out off the coast during the summer creating nice weather can dissipate/disappear anytime in September). We had supplies to hole up and wait for the right weather window and after so many amazing experiences I though we’d be fine crossing Cape Caution again. I mean, what are the odds that it would be that bad?

We holed up in a nice anchorage and listened to the weather predictions waiting for the right combination of tides, wave heights, and wind. After 2 nights we thought we had a good weather window so we got up at 4am and were ready to raise the anchor by 4:30am. It was pitch black and foggy. As we raised the anchor the boat spun around while working it’s way to freeing the anchor and we got disorientated. There were other boats in the anchorage with us and we would have to navigate around them to find the narrow entrance. Rob was behind the helm with the GPS chart plotter and radar. I was on the bow with a strong flashlight and we were both wearing headsets so we could talk to each other. Together we carefully felt our way forward, I saw a motor boat and called out “turn to port” to avoid hitting it, we got around that one only to barely make out another one. This time it was catamaran that only had a light on one side and in the fog it was hard to make out the rest of the boat until we were uncomfortably close. We managed to maneuver around it and then we started towards the entrance…the flashlight didn’t help now at all. Instead I listened for the waves crashing on the rocks and somehow was able to distinguish that land was darker than the darkness surrounding it. We made it through and were off! Whew!

It took a while for the sun to rise and once it was up we were surrounded by grey—grey fog and grey water. It was almost impossible to tell the difference between the two. Our visibility was limited…when the fog would lift slightly we could see maybe a mile…when it would close in around us we could see maybe 1/4 mile. Several times we watched on radar as boats would pass us about 1/2 mile away but we never heard or saw them.

The waves were a little rougher this time and both of us fought off nausea by finding tasks, eating light snacks, munching on candied ginger or drinking ginger tea. I’d take the wheel and Rob would go on the foredeck to stand in the fresh air and watch for logs in the waves. We were managing but the stress of our early morning departure and the continued inability to see anything on a horizon started to fill my mind with all sorts of disaster scenarios. It wasn’t helping that I’d been reading “50 Famous Sailing Stories” edited by Mainsail in which every story ends in desperate situations and despair. (I’ve since stopped reading it—any of you want it?) All I could think about was the merciless, uncaring, powerful ocean tossing us every which way and not even aware of our presence. It all seemed too harsh, too mean, too hostile and I got very, very scared.

Thankfully years ago a counselor had shown me a way to fight fear through logic. When we get scared our brains are mostly operating out of its more primal areas, if we can re-engage our logical areas it can quiet the fear. One of the best ways to do this is through simple math. I started saying “1+1=2, 2+1=3, 3+1=4” which helped. Then Rob joined in and gave me more complex math problems, “15x3+5-10=?” which also helped. Still, my legs felt rubbery and I was occasionally tearing up from feeling overwhelmed.

Midday the fog burned off but was replaced by smoke from wildfires. Now the air smelled of smoke and ocean and our visibility was still minimal. We continued on and thankfully the waves subsided somewhat so our nausea dissipated. We were getting closer to land now and occasionally we could make out a dark silhouette in the distance. We continued on. The waves got smaller and smaller as we moved into more protected areas and I felt less scared. By 4:40pm we were tied up at a dock at Port Hardy and we staggered off to stretch our legs and get a solid meal after snacking all day. Nothing bad had happened but my emotional journey left me exhausted. We slept well that night!

Why is the Engine Sizzling? / Lucy & Rob

Photo collage of a broken engine elbow and Butchart Gardens, B.C.

On the way south we wanted to stop at the amazing Butchart Gardens again and ended up arriving there at the end of September. I was feeling sick-ish so Rob did most of the navigating while I rested below. As we got closer I came up, Rob slowed the boat down, and I laid on deck in the warm sunshine. It was lovely. Maybe too lovely….

Because just as we were coming to the spot where we wanted to drop anchor, Rob called me back to the helm with a note of panic in his voice. I took the wheel as he ran below and as soon as he opened the doors to the engine room the boat was filled with steam. The metal exhaust mixing elbow had broken completely in two and sea water was spewing into the engine room. We dropped the anchor immediately and turned off the engine. This stopped the water from coming into the boat and soaking the entire engine room in saltwater. The next thing to do was to figure out how to fix the part.

Thanks to our connections at the Vancouver Rowing Club we knew someone with information on marine services in the area so Rob contacted them to get a recommendation on where to go. Within minutes he had a response and was making calls to different businesses in town. He found a place that said they could weld the part together, now we just had to get the part to them.

What are the odds that we broke down where we could safely anchor and near a town full of marine industries??? We felt incredibly lucky—well as lucky as you can feel when your engine has a major issue!

While we waited for the engine to cool down so we could work on it, we figured out how we’d get the part to shore. First we lowered the dinghy into the water. Then Rob pulled his un-assembled bike out of storage in the bow. Together we loaded it into the dinghy and he took it to shore where he assembled it and then rode into town to look for some supplies to help with the part removal. Meanwhile I stayed on the boat to take care of boat stuff and then kayaked to shore where there is a man-made beach. I sat in the sun, digging my toes into the sand, and sketched a flower waiting for Rob to return.

When he returned later that afternoon we locked the bike up on shore and took the dinghy and kayak back to the boat and Rob started to take apart the exhaust elbow. There were two parts that he was worried about…the attachment of the elbow to the engine block and the exhaust hose leading off the boat. Imagine it like this…half of the elbow was still attached to the engine. The other half of the elbow was attached to a 6’ exhaust tube which was then attached to a muffler-type thing. We needed to free the elbow from the engine and from the hose.

The part attached to the engine came off better than expected. There is always a chance of bolts being seized up in a marine environment so Rob was prepared to declare war on them and move heaven and earth to get them free. There were 6 bolts and thankfully they all came off easily. Whew!

The exhaust hose half was harder primarily because it was hard to access. We needed to get the elbow half and the hose out of the engine room as that was the only way we’d be able to remove the hose from the elbow. I held the back end of the hose by sitting with my feet under the floorboards, resting on the hull, while straddling where the hose entered the muffler-like-thing, then I reached around and under the floorboards while my head banged into a cabinet. Rob was in an equally uncomfortable Twister-like position as he pulled and twisted the hose. You had to be there but the end result after many grunts and a few swear words was that the hose eventually broke loose (Yay Rob!). Now the second half of the broken elbow was free and able to be removed from the boat. But we still needed to separate the hose from the elbow and to do that we got on deck and twisted and turned and pulled until it came loose. Double whew!

The next morning Rob loaded up the dinghy and went to shore to ride his bike to the machine shop—now it was up to them to weld the two pieces together. Meanwhile I went to Butchart Gardens to wander and sketch. Rob met me there for lunch and we walked around the gardens together. It was peaceful and a nice counter-point to the stress of the elbow removal! Eventually Rob left, he was starting to feel sick, while I continued to sketch. I stayed until the last minute and then kayaked back to the boat for dinner.

We woke up the next day and called the machine shop—the part was being welded as we spoke so we finished breakfast and then Rob was off to pick it up. Despite feeling sick (with a cold) he was motivated and was back at the boat mid-morning. The part looked better than new—the welder had done a great job! Now we had the task of putting it all back in place. We put the hose back on the elbow and then new Twister-like positions were found as I pushed here, pulled there as Rob bolted everything back in place. It went back in MUCH easier than it came out! Rob put in a new gasket which would take 24 hours to “cure” before it could be used so we ate lunch and then Rob napped while I returned to the garden (the entry fee for a second consecutive day at the garden is a pittance!). Again I stayed until the last moment and then made my way back to the boat for dinner.

We slept in the next morning and then went to shore for a mellow walk while we waited for the gasket to cure. But we were back on board and ready to start the engine at the first available moment—if it didn’t work we would need time to address any new issue. I think we both held our breath as I turned the key and the engine turned over. Did we get everything back in place correctly? Would it work normally? At first there was some smoke as the engine explored its new parts but then it all ran smoothly. Whew! We let it run for a while before actually going anywhere, just watching and monitoring temperature gauges. After a little while it was obvious that things were working so we raised the anchor and slowly moved away from Butchart Gardens and back into the main waterways.

Winter Plans/Lucy

BOREAS back in Port Townsend, WA

We are now safely back in Port Townsend, WA where we will stay for the winter. While we are here we are hauling the boat out of the water to do some exterior boat projects (along with some interior projects too). After some discussion we decided that we would NOT live onboard while the boat was out of the water. I didn’t relish the idea of climbing up and down ladders in the dark and/or rain all winter so we are moving back into our little camper for the winter. It will be parked at the Point Hudson RV Park right next to the Point Hudson Marina where we lived aboard last winter so we will see our dock friends and be close to town.

So in October we are hauling the boat out and as luck would have it I lined up a dog and house sitting job for October so for that month we will be in a house. In November we are traveling to visit friends and family around the USA—including seeing my Peace Corps little sister Matseliso as she spends a year fulfilling a lifetime dream of living in the USA and working at DisneyWorld!—and then returning to Port Townsend in December. At that point we will be moving into the camper although I also have some dog and house sitting jobs lined up in December as well. The rest of the winter will figure itself out. ;-)

2019 Plans/Lucy

Antique world map

Who knows? But it will certainly include more time cruising. :-)

Rob is feeling called to experience “Blue Water” sailing—sailing off shore, out of site of land, for an extended period of time (1-2 weeks). I am not feeling up to that challenge so we are looking around for opportunities where Rob would be crew on someone else’s boat for a longer voyage, maybe in the spring. We’ve also talked about circumnavigating Vancouver Island which would mean sailing in water completely exposed to the Pacific Ocean sometimes overnight (instead of sailing for 4-5 hours a day and spending the night in a quiet anchorage like what we've been doing). Honestly this prospect does not excite me but maybe I could rally since it is for a relatively short time. Another option would be to sail to Alaska next summer, after all we were only 400 miles away from Ketchikan this summer. And the last idea we’ve considered is exploring the large island of Haida Gwaii which is a world heritage site and close to our most northern point this past summer.

And then…well if we can find crew for Rob…maybe he’d sail to Mexico in the late summer / early fall. This means outfitting the boat for at least a 2 week voyage down an infamously hostile coast from Washington to San Francisco, CA where I’d rejoin the boat and then we’d have some shorter hops down the coast into Mexico. Winter in Mexico sounds pretty wonderful, especially as we sit in the grey rain of the Pacific North West.

So we will see. We could end up doing something completely different than this and I’m surprisingly comfortable with not knowing what our future holds.

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