Thursday, December 26, 2019

Accepting help when needed is a good thing!

     It's been a lovely month and a half here in the La Paz area. We've spent a lot of time exploring Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida, although more time than we would have preferred was spend stuck in an anchorage because of the northers. We made the most of our time, however. We've spent time snorkeling, hiking, watching the kids construct sand cities for the thousands of fiddler crabs on the beach, and getting to know some of our fellow cruising families.
      You know, that last one has been my favorite. I think in those two weeks out at the islands, we spent five evenings with other families gathered together on our boats. It usually consisted of two or three families, with the kids down below watching a movie and the adults outside in the cockpit, chatting away. One evening was spent on a 72-foot sailboat. I'm not sure how many people were aboard altogether, but I do know there were ten kids!
        These times spent together have done much to cement friendships, between kids and adults alike. One of those friendships is being put to the test as I type this, and I'm so grateful for it! Backing up a little bit. We met the crew of Tulum V on the Baja Ha-ha, and then got to know them on our first trip out to Espiritu Santo. They have been in La Paz for about a month, getting work done on their boat. We had already discussed with them the idea of traveling across the Sea of Cortez together, so Joe and I wanted to make sure we touched base with them when we returned to La Paz for Christmas, not to mention our kiddos wanted to see their friends again!
         Joe had been noticing some growling while Kyrie's engine was running for a while, but it grew steadily worse on our return to La Paz on Sunday. It grew bad enough that since the wind was in our favor, we chose to sail up the channel and onto anchor. Sailing onto anchor in a crowded anchorage--not too shabby! Unfortunately, with the holidays, no one could even look at the outdrive until January 6. Ordinarily, that wouldn't be a big deal, but Joe's parents arrive in La Cruz on January 12 and we didn't want to be stuck here in La Paz with a torn-apart outdrive! Enter a perfect example of friends' generosity.
          We met up with the crew of Tulum V for dinner that evening and griped a little about our predicament. Much to our amazement and appreciation, an offer to take us under tow if need be was given. Aside from their generosity, I have loved getting know to the Tulum V family. They have kids similar ages to the Kyrie kids and Michelle and Chad constantly crack us up. Any family who has both a Big Green Egg smoker and a Great Dane aboard their boat is surely one I want to get to know and count as friends!
           After a low-key Christmas--Christmas Eve with the Tulum crew, presents Christmas morning, a yummy dinner and then a walk along La Paz's decorated and crowded malecon--it was finally time to leave. La Paz has been our base for over a month and it's been lovely, but let's face it--it's getting cold! I know, I know. All our friends from Alaska will say I've turned into a wimp, and I say darn right! It was 62 degrees when I woke up this morning and I got dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans! It's too cold to swim in the ocean without a wetsuit and the butter isn't melting on the counter anymore--it's time to migrate further south.
            At 11:15 am, we are nearly out of Bahia de La Paz, under tow by Tulum. It was a little hard to swallow our pride and accept the offer, but I'm so grateful it was given. Between using our dinghy as a tug and ghosting along with what little wind there is, we probably could have done this first day on our own, but it would have taken much longer. It's a good reminder that we all need help sometimes and when the offer comes, at times it's much better to take the proffered hand rather than insist on struggling along by yourself.
             If the weather report stays true, there will be wind tomorrow and all the way across to La Cruz. Here's to beam reach sailing and friends who promise to go the distance with you!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Sailing the Islands

We have spent the last two weeks sailing through and exploring the islands right above La Paz. The first week we were out, we ran into a bunch of other kid boats and had a wonderful time. We hung out first in a bay called Caleta Partida - an ancient volcanic caldera. There were pelicans everywhere and we were able to anchor in shallow water - about 9' deep. The amount of greenery was unexpected. The contrast between the green cactus and shrubs with the red sandstone cliffs is breathtaking.

The first few days were spent getting to know the family on Tulum V. We moved on together, and discovered another 4 kid boats at Bajia San Gabriel - Samadhi V, Arena, Maya, and My Star. We were able to stay one night at BSJ and thoroughly enjoyed the amazing snorkeling. Unfortunately, we were apparently in the one bay that anchoring is not allowed in and were kicked out by the parks service. So, it was anchors aweigh and back to Caleta Partida along with the crews on Tulum V and Samadhi V.

The next evening was a hilarious time on Samadhi V as the kids (7 altogether) watched Mamma Mia and sung along at the top of their lungs much to the delight of their parents.

Running low on supplies, Kyrie then headed back to La Paz for a 48-hour whirlwind restocking. With fuel, Propane, clean laundry, new alternator, and enough fresh groceries to last a month, we headed back out to the islands to resume our earlier explorations.

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Friday, November 29, 2019

Blissed out in Baja



     What a month or so this has been! I promise the Kyrie crew hasn't fallen off the face of the earth. I've just, honestly, been enjoying myself too much to sit down and share it all with you. We left San Diego with about 120 other boats on the Baja Ha-ha on November 4th. Our friend Wade flew down to San Diego to join us on the trip and having another adult on board was wonderful! We've known Wade for about seven years through the sailing club in Juneau, plus he has done the Ha-ha before. Wade helped us with trimming the sails better, as well as taking turns on watch so we all could have some more sleep! It made the multiple-day passages much more palatable to have had six hours of sleep, instead of four!
     All in all, I think our favorite stop on the way down Baja California was Bahia Magdelena. We got there a day ahead of the rest of the fleet, choosing to only spend one day in Bahia Santa Maria, and were very happy we did. Bahia Magdelena, or “Mag Bay,” is gorgeous. I think we could have spent a month there, just exploring. The first day, we went ashore to the little village there and wandered around. A lot of the landscape near the water was made up of uplifted seafloor. The kids (and the adults too, frankly!) got a kick out of seeing so many shells embedded in what looked like sand, but was actually about as hard as concrete.
     Mag Bay also has a beautiful palapa that some wealthy individual built years ago and gave to the village. It has a roof made from woven palm fronds, lights hanging from it, a wood-burning oven with a giant turtle shell as a decoration, and a huge kitchen area. There are platforms surrounding the palapa, designed for people to set tents up on. I could handle that kind of camping—waking up each morning with the beach directly in front, and then going down to the palapa to make and enjoy a cup of coffee before breakfast.... Wait a minute! Isn't that pretty much what I do every morning, minus the waking up in a tent?!
     I still have to pinch myself, realizing that this is my life now. We have been saving and working and delaying treats and telling ourselves for so long, “We're doing this for a reason. We have plans we're saving for.” Now that we're enjoying the fruits of our labors, it still almost seems like a dream. People, Kyrie is finally in MEXICO! Oh my gosh, this is has been so much fun. I know we were in Mexico almost the entirety of the Ha-ha, but it finally feels like it now. We stopped in Cabo San Lucas long enough to drop Wade off so he could fly back to Juneau and to pick up all our paperwork for our official arrival in Mexico, and then we got out of there. A storm, dubbed Tropical Storm Raymond at the time, was bearing down on the Capes and we wanted to be out of the area and somewhere safer by the time it arrived. La Paz was our destination!
     We stopped in La Paz for nearly two weeks. The stop gave us some much needed down time to just stay put and explore the town. Can I say that I love La Paz? Population-wise, it's about the size of Anchorage, for all my Alaska friends. It's a lovely mixture of locals, expats, and cruisers, and I can see why so many people come to La Paz and end up staying for years. We fell in love with the Mercado Bravo—an indoor market full of produce stands, a seafood counter where a kilo of warm water of shrimp cost us less than $20 USD, and loncherias with the best empanadas I've ever had. We've been eating grapefruit and avocados until... no, I can't say we're stick of them by any means. Everyone we have encountered so far has been super friendly. Of course, it helps that Megan has said “Hola” to everyone we walk past, and no one can resist smiling at her and saying “Hola” or “Buenas dias” back to her.
     And now, it's time to say good-bye, for at least a week and a half. We walked to our favorite grocery store this morning to restock, filled our water jug in preparation for deck showers, and checked out with la capitainia del puerto. We're cruising past Isla Espiritu Santu, bound for Isla Partida, just to the north, along with a bunch of other boats we know from the Baja Ha-ha. The kiddos are excited about seeing some friends again, as well as swimming in the water. I'm looking forward to being out of town for a while. Joe already managed to catch dinner for tonight—a lovely dorado!
     We've been in Mexico for nearly a month already and I still can't get over the fact that I'm sitting here in the cockpit in shorts and a tank top and I'm totally comfortable. We talked to Joe's parents on my birthday a couple of days ago (side note: am I really 40 now?!) and they said it was in the teens and snowing in Juneau. At the moment, I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be—chasing the sun with my family and thinking about making a margarita after we drop the hook in whichever bay we decide to hang out in for a while.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

La Paz at last!

Just a quick update here. Kyrie is safe in La Paz after cruising all the way down Baja California, and racing around Los Cabos to stay ahead of Tropical Storm Raymond. Raymond turned out to be no worse for us than a windy rainy day in Juneau! In the meantime, we have seen a little bit of La Paz and love it! I can’t wait to explore this corner of the world and share our adventures!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Slow Updates

Sorry everyone, we've been running non-stop for the last few weeks and haven't had any time to update the blog. We'll get caught back up when we get further south.

Kyrie is in Mexico! We are with the Baja Ha-Ha fleet and having a wonderful time. We arrived two days ago in Bajia de Totugas and the whole crew has been thoroughly enjoying the beaches, fish tacos and swimming!

More to come later.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hopping down the Oregon and California coast, part 2

(Once again, I'm behind, but this gets us up to Monterey. I'm working on getting all our photos off the camera and I think the next post will be a photo dump with captions to get up date.)

After a second night in Eureka, we left around 1:00 in order to not get to Fort Bragg ridiculously 
early. Rounding Cape Mendocino (another one of those capes you have to be careful about) was a big nothing. The seas were gentle and we joined a group of sailboats outside of Fort Bragg, waiting for daylight in order to negotiate the Noyo River bar crossing. 
That was an interesting entrance. A bit of waves to buck through, but nothing concerning. However, 
the river has a narrow navigable channel, as well as twists and turns to negotiate. It was fun to go through for multiple reasons. Years ago, Joe and I spent our anniversary in Fort Bragg and watched boats go through that entrance in the middle of a December storm. While we had no desire to repeat that performance, we did think it would be fun to take a boat of our own into Fort Bragg someday. Also, being big fans of the movie Overboard (the original with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell!), we were looking forward to being docked somewhere near where a lot of the scenes from the movie were filmed.
Once we managed to get into the harbor, it took some doing to figure out where our assigned slip was as the float letters and slip numbers weren't easy to see. We ended up in the wrong spot, but thankfully the slip's owner didn't mind! Despite being tired after an overnight run, Joe and I managed to get Kyrie safely backed into the slip and tied off. Four other sailboats followed us in that morning, including a fellow Ha-ha'er--SV Indy.
We ended up staying in Fort Bragg for four days while a storm blew through and then the seas calmed down. Fort Bragg was a neat place, but our problem was that to get into the downtown area, we either had to commit to a two-mile walk one way, or pay for the bus. The bus won out for our one visit to downtown! When it was time, we were itching to get moving again. The other boats we had arrived with had planned to stop in the Bay Area, but Kyrie's crew planned to bypass San Francisco and beeline straight to Monterey. Friends and the aquarium awaited!
It was a relatively uneventful trip, except for my round of "Dodge the container ships." While approaching the shipping lanes outside the Golden Gate, I had to turn to avoid a cargo ship coming our way. For whatever reason, I turned to port instead of turning to starboard. A turn to starboard would have kept us on our chosen path outside the Farallon Islands, which sit about 30 miles outside of the Golden Gate. That goofball moment meant we were now on the inside of the shipping lanes. Ugh! The first cargo ship steamed by and then I had to wait for two more to go by before there was a break large enough for us to get across the lane. When those big ships are traveling at 12 knots and rapidly gaining speed, it's not a good idea for a 6-knot boat to play chicken with them! So, trying not to grumble at my mistake, I waited for those other ships, before turning 90 degrees to starboard to "dart" across. Of course, then there was another ship going the other direction, so I had to alter course yet again to make sure I crossed the lane behind that ship! Naturally, that course put the waves directly on our nose... Joe woke up and asked me if the seas had shifted or something. At that point I was completely disgusted with myself and our situation and I said rather snottily, "No, we're going the wrong way right now, but I'm getting us back on course. Go back to sleep." Once I had us back on track, according to the chart plotter, I turned the autopilot back on, relaxed, and had a good laugh at myself!
The next day was--surprise, surprise--fairly light winds. We did see a bunch of whales, dolphins and sea lions, all along the edges of the Monterey Canyon. It was a quiet day, but we were glad to finally roll into the anchorage outside Monterey's harbor, just after sunset. After a calm night and good sleep, we felt ready to explore a little bit. I called friends who live in Pebble Beach--Alan and Ingrid have been friends with my parents since college, so they are like another set of parents to me. Perfect timing! Their son Doug was visiting with his family and were leaving to go home that afternoon. Did we want Alan and Ingrid to come pick us up and have lunch over there? Yes please!
That night was awful--the storm we weren't expecting until the following afternoon decided to roll in early and set Kyrie to rolling. The wind kept us beam to the waves and kept Joe and me up most of the night. The coffeepot relocated to the floor a time or two, as well as some of our books. Finally, we gave up trying to sleep around 5:30 and watched TV until first light, when Joe called the harbormaster's after-hours line and practically demanded a slip be found for us! Leaving the anchorage required a trip through 3 to 4-foot waves--no wonder we were rocking so much!--but it was lovely and calm inside the harbor. Once tied up safely, Joe and I decided a nap was in order before we did anything else!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Hopping Down the Oregon & California Coast, part 1


(Obviously I’m behind in posts again! These next few posts will be an attempt to catch us up to present day!)

After leaving Newport, Kyrie pointed her bows south again, hoping to make it to Brookings or Crescent City as another weather front was approaching. The weather came up a bit sooner than anticipated, so we ducked into Port Orford as it was supposed to provide nice protection from the Northerly blow that was running up our tails.

That turned out to be an interesting stop. As we pulled in around 6am, we got a crab pot line caught in our prop. Thankfully there was a little wind, so we raised the sails and sailed onto anchor. Later on that morning, about 20 minutes in the dinghy and the offending rope was removed with thankfully no damage to the engine, transmission, or outdrive. We moved Kyrie a little further into the harbor before the real blow started up.

About noon we met a couple guys on S/V Rainbird who warned us that the wind really howls through the area we were anchored in a northerly, and they suggested we move over by them. After an hour or two, we decided they were right - the wind was gusting well above 40 and we were jerking pretty hard on the anchor chain.

So - we moved a little outside of the harbor in the lee of a large bluff that would protect us better from the wind. It did help a bunch, but we were still getting steady winds over 30 with gusts to 45 or more, even in this more protected area, so it made for a loud night, and too much chop to put the dinghy in and go ashore.

The next 4 days were rinse-and-repeat for us--fairly calm mornings with the wind coming up in the afternoons. We were really glad to be in a semi-protected area but the swell did wrap around the point and kept us bouncing around pretty good for 3 straight days. We were able to get ashore twice during our stay in Port Orford, and it was a cute little town. It has one very noticeable oddity--no official harbor, even though they have a fishing fleet. Instead, all the fishing boats are outfitted with extra-strong chainplates at their bow and stern. To enter the “harbor,” a boat approaches the pier and attaches cables from a crane to those chainplates. Then it’s up, up, and away, onto the pier and then on a boat trailer. Each trailer has a parking spot, complete with power hook-ups. It was a fascinating operation to watch. Unfortunately, the whole situation made it complicated for us to go ashore. We ended up tying the dinghy to a ladder and the whole family, Megan included, climbed up to the pier!

By the morning of the 5th day, we were going stir crazy and noticed a sailboat heading south on the outside of us, so we asked them for a weather report. The end result of the conversation was that it was good enough, and at 3pm we were on our way motoring south again.

It was a very lumpy motor through the night with virtually no wind, so the next afternoon we pulled into Eureka, California, to catch up on sleep.

Eureka was the break we needed. We pulled into a slip and slept the sleep of the dead for 12 hours as we really hadn't gotten a single good night sleep since leaving Newport. We were able to get some laundry and shopping done--there was a farmer’s market in Old Town, as well as a Costco and a couple other grocery stores within walking distance.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Sourdough on Cruising Boats

As we travel, one of the things we have done is offer sourdough starter to fellow cruisers as we encounter them. It has been curious to note how many times people are afraid of sourdough or unsure what to do with it if they have it. The most prevailing belief is that sourdough has to be used everyday, or a portion has to be thrown out, which is simply untrue. In our opinion, sourdough is an amazing addition to your cruising boat and should be included in every boat's galley.  It is cheap, nutritious, and fun. In fact, our kids refer to it as the pet they can eat!

Our experience with keeping sourdough started with Joe's grandparents.  They would make a lovely batch of fresh sourdough pancakes every time we visited, and both us and the kids loved them.  Shortly after moving aboard on Kyrie we took home a little batch of starter from them and have been enjoying it now for nearly 4 years of living aboard and cruising.  It has meshed perfectly well with our cruising lifestyle, and has been extremely easy to maintain and keep.

**Understanding Sourdough**

Sourdough is simply a mix of flour (both wheat or standard all purpose work well), water, and wild yeast.  The wild yeast eats some of the sugars in the flour, creating lactic acid and carbon dioxide in the process, in turn giving sourdough its sour tang, and creating bubbles to raise your bread or baked goods.

Sourdough will change depending on where you are in the world.  It is a wild colony of yeast, after all.  Sourdough in San Francisco will inherently taste different from sourdough in Seattle, for instance.  As you move your home around, it is fascinating to note how your sourdough will change.

Freshly recharged sourdough after
making pancakes this morning.
We only added water and flour.
Every time you use some of your starter, you add fresh water and some flour to the previous mix until roughly the consistency of pancake batter, and let it sit on your counter for a couple days until good and bubbly.  In cool climates, you can just leave it on the counter if you're going to use it at least twice a week, or if you're not going to use it for a while, put it into the fridge.  Note that ours has lived on the counter on Kyrie, cruising Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for the last 3 years with no issues, except two cases of a bit of mold after we forgot about it for 3 weeks.  See below for the fix for that issue.

In addition, you can use wheat flour, white flour, or even potato flakes for your sourdough.  Experiment!  We found half white flour and half potato flakes made a particularly interesting sourdough!

It is best to start with an existing sourdough starter from a friend or family member, but starter cultures can also be bought on ebay or amazon.  You can even start your own by mixing water, flour, a pinch of sugar and a bit of bread yeast and letting it sit on the counter in a non-sealed container for a couple weeks to let the natural yeasts in your environment take over.  Note for the first few months, this new sourdough can be a little unstable and will require watching and careful tending to get your healthy, stable crew of wild yeast to take over.  The longer you let the starter sit between uses, the more sour it will get, so if you like it nice and strong, let it sit a little longer!

**A Home for Your Sourdough**

Normally, in a home environment a crock with a lid is used for sourdough, but this is just too fragile on a boat.  For our sourdough, we use a plastic container with a "steam vent" lid similar to this one.

Note the steam vent lid is important as the starter needs to breathe, but the small hole helps to prevent flies from getting to your sourdough.  If you overfill your container, it also keeps the lid from blowing off as the sourdough kicks!

**Sourdough Health Benefits**

First things first, sourdough is a fermented food, so much like raw sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, and yogurt, it is fermented with lactobacillus cultures. Those cultures are probiotics, those much-touted good gut bacteria. The cultures don't survive the baking process, but they do create lactic acid. What good is lactic acid? Plenty! Lactic acid helps decrease the amount of phytic acid in bread, which interferes with absorption of certain nutrients. Break down that phytic acid and voila! More nutrients are suddenly available to be digested and absorbed by our bodies. That wild natural yeast also helps the bread last longer without the addition of any sort of preservatives. Not to mention, in my opinion, few breads taste better than a good sourdough. Try it out for yourself if you haven't done so already.

**Sourdough Recipes**

_________________________________________________________________________________
Basic Sourdough Pancakes

2 cups sourdough starter
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all ingredients except baking soda in a bowl - do not overmix.  Add a little water or flour to get the consistency desired for lighter, thicker pancakes or thinner pancakes as desired.  Just before cooking add the baking soda and cook on lightly buttered non-stick skillet, flipping once.  Serve with butter, maple syrup or honey, and peanut butter.

Optional mix-ins are berries (blueberries and raspberries are both amazing), thinly sliced bananas, chocolate chips, and anything else your heart desires.  Note a double batch of the above recipe feeds our family of 5 perfectly.






Sourdough Bread (adapted from the "basic white bread" recipe from The Boat Galley Cookbook)

1 cup warm water (100-115 degrees F)
1 teaspoon regular yeast
1/4 cup of sourdough starter
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups white flour, or more as needed.

Mix the water, yeast, starter, and sugar together and let sit at least 10 min. in a warm spot to proof (look for bubbles on top).  Add salt, oil and 2 cups of flour to that mix and mix thoroughly.  Add more flour as needed to form a stiff dough.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Put a small amount of oil in a bowl and toss the dough to ensure it is lightly covered in oil.  Cover the bowl with a tea towel.  Let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume (1-3 hours).  Punch down, let rise until doubled again.  Then place in your favorite greased pan.  Place in cold oven, turn oven on to 350 degrees F and set timer for roughly 55 minutes (may vary by how quickly your oven comes to temperature)  Start checking bread for doneness at around 45 minutes.  When fully baked, remove from pan to cool on counter and serve.

**The longer the bread is allowed to rise the more sourdough flavor will develop.  It is especially good if you allow it to rise overnight in the fridge, then finish rising in a warm spot.

We love our Lekue pan for bread. It makes the above recipe in one batch, with only one dirty dish.  It can be found on Amazon or sites.  Lekue Breadmaker on Amazon

**Common Sourdough Problems & Fixes**

1.  Sourdough overflows your container
Don't overfill your container!  Leave an inch or two after mixing up your starter for expansion as the sourdough "kicks".  It isn't a bad idea to put your container on top of a plate the first few times you mix it up to contain it if it overflows a bit.
2.  Mold grows on your sourdough
This one is extremely easy.  With a clean spoon, carefully scrape off the mold on top of the batch.  Take one or two clean spoonfuls from the center of the batch and place in a clean bowl.  Dump out the remainder of your old sourdough and wash the container thoroughly.  Add the sourdough you retained to inoculate the new batch with the wild yeast, and let sit on the counter for a couple days - you're good to go!
3. Flies or maggots on your sourdough
This is the most disgusting one that can happen if you don't keep a good lid on your sourdough.  If it happens and the maggots are only on the surface, you can dig down to the bottom as in #2, and restart your batch.  If it's too far gone, you might need to dump the batch and start over.  To help if you fear this, read the last paragraph in this section.
4. "Dead" sourdough
Most likely this won't happen to you, but even if it does appear to die, just simply pour off half the batch of starter, add fresh flour and clean water and let it sit on the counter for a week.  If you see bubbles, you are good!  Also note if you chlorinate your water tanks be sure to filter the water you are using through a carbon filter for the sourdough as too much chlorine can easily kill your starter!

If you aren't going to be using your sourdough for a while, you can take a piece of saran wrap, spread a bit of your starter on it and let it dry.  Keep this powder in a ziplock bag in your freezer for up to a year to innoculate a new batch!

From all of us on the Kyrie crew, we hope this has been a little educational. Sourdough is not something to be feared--it's to be used and enjoyed! If you have a favorite recipe using sourdough, could you please include it in the comments section? We'd love to hear about your experience with these wild little creatures. For a little bit of history on yeast and some fun, watch Alton Brown's "Dr. Strangeloaf" video with his yeast puppets.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

A much needed break on land







There's the Yaquina Bay
bridge. Nearly naptime!
     We ended up staying a week and a half in the Newport area. We had the rare benefit of a rental car, so we were able to thoroughly explore and enjoy ourselves, seeing new places and spending time with family.
      Kyrie rolled into our spot at the South Beach Marina at about 7:00 in the morning after a 43 hour run from Neah Bay, WA and first thing to do was get a much needed nap! After we slept for a couple of hours, my dad came down to visit us and take me to go pick up our rental car. When I remarked that it had been three months since I last drove a car, Dad asked me if I needed to get my learner's permit again. I thought that might not be a bad idea!
Family selfie at Cape
Perpetua during an
impromptu road trip on
Hwy. 101.
       Half an hour later, we had rented a Ford Fusion for our time in Newport. That was a fun car. It fit all five of us comfortably and allowed us to travel considerably faster than we have been traveling the past few months (aside from the bus rides in Port Townsend). My sister Amy was down for the weekend from Astoria for work and she brought my nephew Landon with her, so we all got to spend time with the two of them. I hadn't seen either of them since our grandmother's memorial service, when Landon was about eight months old, and Joe and the kids had never met Landon before. The kids all had a ball together! Megan enjoyed not being the youngest for once and the big kids had fun playing with a little one again. In addition to spending time with my family, we also drove inland twice to Joe's grandparents, as well as his brother Pat and his two kids. The second time was part of a road trip that took in all three cousins. First stop was a meetup at the Tillamook Creamery with Amy, her husband David, and Landon. We got to watch the huge blocks of cheese traveling through the production line, as well as enjoy samples of the cheese. Love those cheese curds! Then, with our local guides, we went for a stop at the Tillamook County Smoker, and then onto the Blue Heron creamery. Blue Heron was a major hit with all their animals, samples, and really good brie!  
Landon introduce Rachael and
Megan to the Cheese Van. 
The Kyrie crew, plus my sister,
brother-in-law, and nephew at
Blue Heron creamery in Tillamook.
More cousins!
        After a tearful goodbye, we headed inland, back to Newberg to visit Joe's grandparents again as the first visit was just too short.  Due to being delayed by a nasty storm system, we thought we should take advantage of the opportunity for both a short road trip (who knows when we'll be able to do that again?) and seeing that side of the family once again. Joe got to enjoy driving on twisty, windy roads, I got to play DJ for the music, and the kids got to experience being packed in the back seat of a car and traveling somewhere! The Kyrie kids also were able to say they had seen all their cousins in one day! Perhaps no great feat, considering they only have three first cousins, but it was a first for them.
The girls couldn't believe how
much milk a baby calf drinks!
         The weather was cooperating at last, so after driving back to Newport, we had one more evening with my parents, returned the rental car, and prepared Kyrie for another run down the Oregon coast. The morning started with Mom and Dad coming down to the dock with mochas and farewell hugs. They took a bunch of photos as we pulled away from the dock, as well as some of Kyrie leaving from Newport's South Jetty. It was definitely hard to say yet another goodbye....
       

Monday, September 23, 2019

Swell! Open ocean again and arriving in Newport

**Here is the second in the series I'm working on, starting on September 8.**

   
      We stayed two nights in Port Angeles, getting our breath back after such a long time at the dock and working on Kyrie. We had a few little things to take care of, like adjusting the turnbuckles on the rigging--they were too tight--and changing up our flag halyards. Joe also filled our fuel jugs up and we enjoyed the Port Angeles Farmers' Market on Saturday. Sunday morning, it was time to depart. Much to our delight, it looked like the weather would cooperate and allow to us to leave Neah Bay Monday morning to start our trek down to Newport. At first it looked like we could be stuck there for about four days, but weather systems being fickle as they are, this one changed on us, allowing an earlier departure. Yay!
         However, we still had to get to Neah Bay. It was a long slog. The wind of course was against us, but the current was with us. So, we were whipping along at 6.5-7 knots, but the wind stacked up the waves, so we had to tack along the Strait. Then the fog rolled in and the radar had to be used again. Not a very exciting day, but we managed to get into Neah Bay around 5:00. Unfortunately it was too late in the day to explore the town. I had wanted to see the museum in Neah Bay, but no such luck. Through the fog, we could see some of the town and a couple of other sailboats anchored out not far from us.
           It was still foggy the next morning, but clearing a little bit. The weather report called for fog around Cape Flattery, but clearing later in the day, so it was time to go. Anchor up and back into the Strait one last time... That was a very long day, although pretty uneventful. There was hardly any wind and it was foggy a fair bit. We had prepared ourselves for a long trip--the nav computer said our travel time to Newport would be about 45 hours--and most of that first day was adjusting to being at sea again. Poor Megan got seasick for a while at first, but after a few "eruptions" and a nap, she emerged her usual cheerful self.
            That first night was weird. It was foggy again and no wind, so we definitely couldn't sail. We were 25-30 miles off the coast, so there was hardly any traffic that showed up on AIS. It was a little eerie, knowing we were five hours from the beach and most likely no landing point. At one point, I could see the glow of a big yacht traveling just inland from us, as well as the sodium lights from a fishing boat later on, but that was all. Yup, definitely eerie to have that all alone feeling, especially when it's the middle of the night and the rest of your crew is sound asleep! I made the most of it, listening to music on my phone and having my own private dance party while sitting in the helm seat!
Our first tuna caught
on Kyrie--hopefully
the first of many!
             The second day was a lot better. The skies cleared, the sun came out and we could actually see land. Joe and I were tired, but we got naps and Levi even took an hour's helm watch so we could relax. Joe decided we were far enough out and rigged up our handline, hoping to catch something. After about two hours, he noticed something was on it and hauled in a definite prize--an albacore tuna! It was probably about 15-20 pounds and everyone was excited! The girls watched while Joe cleaned it and got to feel for themselves that tuna are warm-blooded. Certainly a strange sensation! Fried tuna for brunch that morning was delicious! We also had a feathered hitchhiker that day--a pine siskin must have been blown out to sea and landed on our deck. It hopped laps around the deck for close to an hour, finding bugs to eat. Evidently it felt stronger after that hour because it took off. I hope the little creature made it safely back to shore....
Our feathery hitchhiker.
               One more night's run. It wasn't nearly as foggy, but we had moved closer to shore, so there were plenty of fishing boats to watch out for. We passed a fleet that must have been fishing for squid because the area was lit up like a football stadium! 5:00 am saw us about three miles off the Newport jetty. As there was no way Joe wanted to approach a strange harbor in the dark, he killed the motor, but left all our running lights on and drifted for about an hour. I actually woke up when the motor stopped since it sounded so different. Once it was closer to sunrise, Joe fired the motor back up and turned our bows toward the entrance buoys. Just as Kyrie neared the opening of the jetties, we had to detour slightly--a giant gray whale had decided the Yaquina Bay entrance was a perfect spot to sleep! After veering around it, we were able to enter the jetties and carefully pass the dredge that was hard at work. 7:00 am saw us managing to get tied up in a convenient slip and crashing for a two-hour nap, promising to call the harbor office when we woke up and moving if we really had to. We had arrived at last!

There's the Yaquina Bay bridge. What a
welcome sight after a 45-hour run!

On the road again!



     **Kristen's note: "Hi everyone! I'm woefully behind on blog posts. I wrote this one originally as we were departing Port Townsend, back on September 6. It is now the first in a series I'll have to do to catch us up! Enjoy!**
     Kyrie is underway again!  After a major stop in Port Townsend, all work is now completed, and we are headed out to Neah Bay to prepare for the "big left turn" on our way to Mexico! A final tally of all the work done? Someone on our Facebook page asked Joe what he did the whole time we were there and here is his response: I rewired the mast, installed all new nav lights, VHF antenna, and new anemometer; ran all new halyards, rebuilt the furlers, rebuilt our backstay using our old backstay insulators for our SSB, and reassembled the mast prior to restepping. On the boat, I changed the engine impeller, engine oil and filter, engine zincs, changed all the engine belts, changed out the engine raw water hoses, rebuilt the alternator, rewired the alternator, rewired our main 110v charger, wired in our aft solar panels. I removed, drilled, partially polished, and reinstalled all our new chainplates; and rebedded one leaking Nicro vent. 
The Kyrie kids at the waterfront in
downtown Port Townsend.
The Kyrie crew, along with
Joe's grandma.

      Joe mainly worked on all this, although I certainly lent a hand wherever I could. Port Townsend Rigging did an amazing job, and let Joe do a lot of work in their shop, using their tools. He spent so much time pulling everything on this boat apart and putting it back together that he now feels confident in his knowledge of how everything fits together. Even more important, Kyrie has so much that is new, chain plates out.
Joe, Levi and one of the Mosaic kiddos
exploring a battery at Fort Flagler
       We did enjoy our time in Port Townsend, although probably not as much as we could have. Last weekend, in honor of Rachael's birthday, we pulled away from the dock and motored over to spend some time playing at Fort Flagler. Aside from feeling extremely weird being a temporary power boat, we had a great time. It felt so good to be away from the dock and on the anchor again. One thing I did note is that we definitely have to start getting used to being in anchorages with more boats. After cruising in Southeast and British Columbia and enjoying being the only boat, sharing anchorages is hard to adjust to!
Kristen peeking out from an old
bunker at Fort Flagler.
Rachael, Megan, and the other Mosaic kiddo
in the middle of their imagination expedition!
        A highlight of the weekend was getting to meet up with a family we've been in touch with via Facebook for a couple of years. The Messerschmidts, AKA Mosaic Voyage, met up with us in Mystery Bay and rafted off to us for the night. They have a boy Rachael's age and a girl Megan's age and the kids all hit it off. The adults all seemed to enjoy each other's company as well! :)  Rachel and Brenden, I'm so glad we were able to meet up with you and your family at last. Safe travels until we meet again!
     We left Port Townsend Boat Haven for the last time this morning around 10:30. At first, it wasn't bad. The current was against us at first, which made for a bit of slow going, but then it eased off. We enjoyed 6 knots for a while, even though the wind was directly on our nose and therefore couldn't sail. Then, the wind decided to really get with it. For those of you who have never been in the Strait of Juan de Fuca before, it is notorious for west winds in the afternoons and evenings. This time, a gale was scheduled for late afternoon, so we had wanted to make certain we were well underway to Port Angeles before the wind really kicked up. We made it about 2/3 of the way before we started seeing 20+ knots, as well as 4 to 5-foot square waves and occasionally 6-footers. Ugh! I was reminded why the Strait is sometimes called "Juan de Puke-a!"
           We made it at last into Port Angeles around 5:30 pm, and dropped the hook just outside of the marina, as far inside Ediz Hook as we could comfortably fit, and decided to stay for a couple of days.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Down for the count


     We made it safely to Port Townsend--actually we've been here a little over a week. I have to say that I like Port Townsend. Kyrie is docked in Boat Haven, right in the midst of the boatyard and all the marine facilities, so it's a busy place, especially because we are docked right next to the work piers where boats lifted out and returned to the water via travel lift. I am rather grateful we have avoided the necessity of Kyrie coming out of the water this time. After a week of boatyard work already while living aboard, I would dearly love to put off doing that again as long as absolutely possible!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Vancouver Island

A sunny day in Winter Harbor means
laundry day!

                       When did we round Cape Scott? The days have been filled and the wi-fi access has been severely limited, so the days since I’ve done a blog post have all run together. It’s been an educational and mostly fun trip down the outside of Vancouver Island. Let’s see. We left Pruth Bay on July 18, I think, which put us into Millbrooke Cove. So then we left Millbrooke Cove and made our giant leap out and around Cape Scott on the 19th. That means we stayed the 20th in Winter Harbor, which is where we made new friends and rekindled some old ones. Our friends aboard SV Arctic Loon—the Down family—ended up travelling with us for the next week, which made Megan very happy, as they have a daughter a little younger than she and they made fast friends. Our temporary partnership wasn’t planned—we just ended up at the same places a few times at first.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Long Awaited Update


Well, we have been trying to find wifi or cell service anywhere for the last week to post some pictures and a blog update to no avail. It shows just how remote the areas we have been hanging around in, I guess.

To catch us up to date, we ended our last blog when we arrived in Pruth Bay, at the Hakai Beach Institute. It was a lovely stop that ended up being drawn out to a total of 4 days due to a gale. The first two days were amazing. We spent the time hiking to the various beaches around the institute -- I think we made it to all but three of the 8 beaches that were available. All were super fine white sand you couldn't bear not to take your shoes off and walk in barefoot.
West Beach at Pruth Bay

 After walking off our calluses and picking up all the abalone shells we could carry, we hunkered down and put out extra anchor scope as a gale was forecast to show up in the evening. Winds were predicted to be 35 knots, so we made sure the anchor was set well and went to bed.
Hiking between the beaches
Sleep was not very forthcoming. At about 11pm the storm arrived, bringing heavy rain and the promised wind. Unfortunately due to the topography of the area we were staying in, it increased the wind locally to around 50 knots. In the storm two boats behind us drug anchor and were motoring around in the roaring wind and rain in front of us trying to get their anchor reset. Thankfully ours held perfectly as did the one for the yacht just upwind of us. Joe spent about 3 hours in the captains chair through the worst of it watching the radar to be sure no one was dragging down on top of us. We have rode out worse storms at anchor before, but not in a crowded anchorage where it isn't just about your anchor holding, but your neighbor's too. It was a very interesting experience.

On the fourth day, Kyrie pulled up anchor, and tried to head around Calvert Island, bound to cross around Cape Scott at the top of Vancouver Island. That was a pipe dream as the seas just hadn't had time to settle enough to comfortably make the crossing with breaking 10' waves right on top of one another. To keep us moving, we headed down Fitzhugh Sound to Millbrooke Cove in Smith Sound for the night, just north of Cape Caution.

The morning brought better weather, and we left Millbrooke Cove at 6:30 in the morning, dead set to make it around Cape Scott this time. The weather cooperated, and we had a lovely sail for about 5 hours across the entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound on our way to the cape. Unfortunately, the wind died on us, and we had to motor our way around the cape. We then pushed on to Winter Harbor - about 30 miles south of Cape Scott. We pulled in around 9:30 and dropped anchor about 2 miles outside of Winter Harbor as we were too tired to mess around with docking for the night.

The morning came up foggy, so we ran into Winter Harbor on the radar, and docked at about 7:30, intent on picking up a couple groceries, and getting the kids off of the boat. Winter Harbor was a cute little town. Not too much going on, but we were able to meet two other cruising sailboats there, and vastly enjoyed their company for the afternoon. That evening, a fishing boat arrived, and as we gawked at their catch, one of the women aboard recognized Kristen--from a book club in Anchorage nine years ago! They had two boys for Levi to play with, a daughter for Rachael, and Megan had already latched on to the little girl on one of the sailboats. Needless to say, it was a fun evening.
Laundry day, Winter Harbor
Typical Boardwalk view, Winter Harbor

The next day, we said goodbye to our new friends--one sailboat was bound north for Cape Scott, while the other was heading south like us--and pulled away from the dock. We had another long day planned, although nothing like the trip around Cape Scott. However, there was another cape involved--Cape Cook--which was also notorious for nasty weather, and we wanted to get while the getting was good. Brooks Peninsula behaved and we were able to run straight to the Bunsby Islands. On the way, we were passed by a group of Risso's Dolphins--the first time we had ever seen them. Later, Joe slowed the boat down because he saw something odd in the water. It took a few minutes to figure out we were looking at an Ocean Sunfish! First time Kristen and the kids had ever seen one in the wild, and it swam right underneath our bow as we watched. At one point, it sank beneath the surface and looked right back at us, apparently as curious about us as we were about it.

Ocean Sunfish!

The Bunsby Islands were a lovely spot to stop and we wished we could have stayed and explored, but, once again, the weather forced us to move on. Another blast of strong southerly wind was on its way and we decided being tied to a dock somewhere safe would be a good idea. Walters Cove, here we come! After negotiating our way through the slalom run of an entrance, we grabbed a spot at their free dock! Soon, other boats began to arrive, including our friends from Winter Harbor, on SV Arctic Loon. Megan was thrilled to see her little friend again. After walking around, exploring that little community and restocking a few supplies, we had a lovely evening, hanging out in Kyrie's cockpit, getting to know their crew better.

Finally, up to today now. We left Walters Cove around 9:30 this morning, hoping to sail. At first, it didn't seem promising, but after about two hours, the wind filled in enough to fly the spinnaker. Big Blue kept us going for about four hours until we had to turn for our anchorage. The wind was enough at that point, however, that we switched to our working sails, and used the genoa for another 45 minutes to get us to the approach to Nuchatlitz Provincial Park. Once again, it was a maze to get in, but a beautiful protected anchorage. We were told there are amazing beaches to go beachcombing on, and it certainly looks like it. Unfortunately, the wind did not cooperate and calm down enough for us to want to put the dinghy in the water and get soaked on our way to shore. We hope tomorrow morning to be able to visit the beaches.

We're being followed! A couple of hours after we were settled here in Nuchatlitz, Kristen glanced at the AIS and noticed Arctic Loon on its way in. They are now anchored not far from us, and I think we'll be traveling together for the next day or two. The plan is to play a bit in the morning, hopefully, and then head deeper into Esperanza Inlet because another southerly gale is about to rear its ugly head tomorrow afternoon. Our current plan is to pull into Tahsis, at the top of Tahsis Inlet, to wait out the storm, before continuing the inside route to Nootka Sound and later, Hot Springs Cove.

You're up-to-date for now. We'll post pictures as soon as we can! Keep following us to see where the wind blows Kyrie and her crew next.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Moving Along



Hello from Pruth Bay! We've heard about this place from a number of cruisers, plus read about it in the Waggoner Guide, so we had high hopes coming in. Let's say those expectations were met, but let me backtrack just a little. The last time I posted anything, we were in Prince Rupert still and had gone to see the Northern Pacific Cannery. We've covered a bit of ground since then.

We left Prince Rupert in the fog and wound our way south, past Grenville Channel (no taking “The Ditch” this time) and through Ogden Passage. The first stop was Captain Cove, followed by Princess Diana Cove in Patterson Inlet. Both were lovely stops! The inlet is entered first through a narrow passage, maybe 100 feet wide or so. Then it opens up for a while before splitting into two coves. The south cove is pretty deep, apparently—we didn't go in—but Princess Diana Cove, as it is called, was beautiful!

The next day, we briefly parted company from Pacific Wonder. They anchored in Hawk Bay, but we continued on to the village of Hartley Bay. Despite having to anchor up during dinner because the harbor was blocked by a barge resupplying the fuel tanks, we were able to find a spot at the dock later and wander around. We stopped in the village when we brought Kyrie north three years ago, but we didn't arrive until 9:30 and only walked around for about five minutes. This time, we unleashed our beastly little crew to run around on the boardwalks. There are no roads in Hartley Bay—everything is on boardwalks—and no vehicles except for carts and ATVs.

We found our way out to the fish hatchery and came across a number of kids playing in the river. Our kids watched them jumping off the bridge into the water with obviously mixed feelings—it looked like fun, but they knew the water was cold! Levi ended up playing tag with some of the boys until late and came home exhausted but happy to finally have some other boys to play with!
The next morning, we reconnected with PW. The original plan was anchor in Khutze Inlet, but the report came back that it was deep, rocky, and really buggy! After bouncing back and forth over the radio, the consensus was made to press on to the village of Klemtu. There was a dock there, but there were also some nice harbors to anchor in if the dock wasn't what we wanted. When we finally arrived in Klemtu, the dock was not what we wanted, so the harbor it was! There were five boats in there total, but it was lovely and quiet, until, of course, the kids started clapping and hooting to hear the echoes... :D

The next stop was another place we had been before—the marina and resort at Shearwater, near the town of Bella Bella. The best part of that journey was, by far, the group of orcas we came across in Seaforth Channel. There were probably nine of them, including two or three babies. Joe put the engine in idle and we just drifted along, letting the orcas swim around us as they chose. At one point, they got rather close, and the younger ones jumped around and played just off our port side. I never get tired of seeing creatures like that so close to our boat!

Orcas!  50' off our beam
When we brought Kyrie north, we stopped for a brief time in Shearwater to do laundry and a little grocery shopping, as well as take showers. We were in and out in just a few hours and since we were the only boat there, the harbormaster let us tie up for free. Not a chance this time! The dock was packed and boats were being shifted around to make room for more arrivals. There were also quite a few boats anchored out in the harbor. We joined the anchorage club. Just as we got settled though, and were talking about taking the dinghy ashore, the skies opened up again—it had been raining on and off all day, but not like this—and we found ourselves in the middle of what looked like a tropical downpour. No way were we going out in that! However, Rachael collected enough water to wash her hair while the rain continued. She thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of that situation.

We ended up staying two nights in Shearwater. The boat wakes got old quickly, so after laundry, showers, and a ride on the Seabus over to Bella Bella for a trip to the grocery store, it was time for Kyrie to move on. We talked to the gals on Pacific Wonder and although they planned on staying one more night, they said they would meet us in Codville Lagoon on Saturday. That funny-named place had a huge draw—a lake just a short hike away with a sand beach!

The trip to Codville took us about four hours and we gleefully anchored near two other sailboats. Over the course of the afternoon and evening, there would end up being six sailboats in that anchorage! We decided against going to the lake that afternoon, and instead took the dinghy ashore to restock our little aquarium with crabs. With the help of the whole family looking under rocks, Rachael managed to find enough crabs to have all the main characters from the movie Moana. We had Moana, Maui, Tomatoa, Teka, and Tafiti—please forgive my butchering of the spelling of their names!

Saturday, it was time to go check out the lake. We packed swimsuits and towels, and then one of us had the genius idea of digging our wetsuits out and bringing those along. It was about a ¾-mile scramble up over the ridge to get to the lake. So pretty! The beach was golden sand and we stood staring at it for a little while. Then it was girls to one side and boys to the other while we changed into swimsuits and then wetsuits. Those wetsuits made such a difference! The water was cold, but the suits allowed us to stay in for a lot longer than if we hadn't brought them along. Even Megan, whose suit was too big and didn't trap the water right, totally enjoyed herself. It was actually difficult to get her and Rachael out of the water an hour and a half later when we decided it was time to go! Most certainly a worth-it stop.

The girls posing while their brother tries to splash them..

Sunday morning—today. After waking up and realizing I had set the alarm clock for 6:30 pm, instead of 6:30 am, Joe and I dashed around getting ready for our 7:00 anchors up goal. We had to say goodbye to our friends on Pacific Wonder today. They are staying in Fury Cove tonight and rounding Cape Caution tomorrow to enter Johnstone Strait, taking the inside route down Vancouver Island to Port Townsend. We, on the other hand, are planning to get some much needed offshore experience by taking the outside route down Vancouver Island. Therefore, we have stopped, along with a whole bunch of other boats—nearly all sailboats—here in Pruth Bay for a few days until the wind is right for us to continue.

I don't think I'll mind waiting here until Wednesday. We already went ashore to check out the much-vaunted beach. Oh my goodness! Everyone was right. We walked out to West Beach and found ourselves on a white sand beach. The waves were gentle, the sand was hot on our bare feet and there were shells everywhere! The most incredible ones were ones I had never seen before. We brought a few back to the boat and managed to find them in our shell book. Purple dwarf olives.
Tomorrow, we'll pack better and plan to spend a bunch of time at the beach. There was evidence of several beach campfires, so we'll bring hot dogs and marshmallows and everything else we need for a picnic at the beach. There are eight other beaches that can be reached via trails from West Beach. We'll see if we check any of them out in the next couple days, or we're content to play on the closest one.

The plan is to leave on Wednesday, exit the Hakai Passage, and take the outside of Calvert Island, avoiding Cape Caution altogether and heading straight past Cape Scott, which is the north-westernmost point of Vancouver Island. Hopefully the wind will cooperate and we can sail all the way there and down to Quatsino Sound. While Vancouver Island has about a bazillion nooks and crannies we could spend weeks exploring, it's the middle of July and it's time for us to think about getting to Port Townsend so we can get the rigging checked out. I want plenty of time for us to get that done and work our way down the Pacific Coast.

Friday, July 5, 2019

We finally left Alaska!

   
     Wow, after a month of travel, we finally made it out of Alaska, ironically on America's Independence Day. So, while all our friends back home were watching the fireworks and taking part in the Fourth of July festivities, we were getting ready to cross Dixon Entrance and clear through Canadian customs. Before that, though, we were awash in seafood!
This is just one of the fillets from the
halibut caught by SV Pacific
Wonder's crew.  Yummy!
      We stopped just outside the entrance to Boca de Quadra to try some fishing. No luck for the Kyrie crew, but our friends on SV Pacific Wonder hit the jackpot. We could hear them whooping it up and then the radio hollered out the good news: Kari had just hauled a nice big one aboard, estimated weight at around 80 pounds. Much to our delight, she announced they would give us half the meat. There was enough I was worried it wouldn't all fit in our freezer. However, it all fit and we'll be eating halibut for the next month!
What a quandary! How to
decide which ones to keep?
        The next seafood fest came the next morning. Joe used the head from the halibut carcass to bait our crab pot and checked it before we left Bullhead Bay. Oh my goodness, we lucked out. Joe came back with a pot with twelve crabs in it--our biggest haul   ever. One was a small rock crab and two were females, so those three went back in the water, plus a couple others--we can only eat so many. It took Joe and me three hours to shell all that crab!
                 We spent the night in a little nook off Tongass Island, only a few miles from the U.S.-Canada border. The weather report for Dixon Entrance was beautiful, so we eagerly left the next morning. We enjoyed a lovely spinnaker sail across Dixon Entrance, cruising along with Pacific Wonder, as well as another sailboat, SV Wings and Strings, and arriving in Prince Rupert around 2:30.
            Joe and I had read in the Waggoner Guide about the North Pacific Cannery Museum and were curious about taking a tour, so we decided to make that our plan for today. It involved getting on a bus at 9:00 and traveling about 40 minutes away to the old cannery, which lies slightly southeast of Prince Rupert, on Inverness Passage.
That was an incredible field trip! It has been extremely well-preserved and a lot of the machinery used in the cannery is still in working order. Our tour guide Greg is also the site handyman and gleefully fired up the motor that powered the various machines used in gutting, cleaning, and canning the thousands of salmon that passed through the lines. One aspect I thought fascinating was the way the different groups of people--the European management, the Chinese workers, the Japanese, and the First Nations people--were segregated, but not out of any form of racism. Rather, it was for expediency and safety on the job. They were kept in separate groups because otherwise, these diverse people couldn't have understood each other and safely worked as a team--an idea whose importance hadn't occurred to me. However, seeing the machines and hearing how quickly these lines worked, I realized how dangerous a language barrier could have been. I think I learned more today than the Kyrie kids did!
This building held the machine shop
on the bottom floor and the First
Nations' net loft on the top.

Inside the First Nations' net loft. NPC
use a fleet of gill netters.

Another view inside the First Nations'
net loft. Those are all gill nets hanging
from the ceiling.

          Tomorrow, we leave Prince Rupert, bound for the wilds of British Columbia's outer coast. When we brought Kyrie up to Juneau three years, we ran up the inside route because the weather was nasty and we were in a hurry. However, we aren't in any sort of hurry this time, so it's hie for the coast! I'm not sure how much internet access we'll have for the next week or so until we reach Bella Bella, but I'm sure we'll have plenty more to share once we can upload photos again.
           Keep checking in to see our position reports and see where we are! Kyrie's crew is ready to move on again!






Monday, July 1, 2019

Back to K-town... and then moving on!



     We're spending more time in Ketchikan than I ever thought we would! We were here a few days ago for Joe's friend's Change of Command--glad we went, but hated the place we stopped to anchor. Lots of boat traffic, really rocky, and some idiot actually tried to steal one of our fishing poles off the back deck at 4:00 in the morning! Caught him in the act and didn't let him get away with it... Oh well.
      Needless to say, we were happy to get out of town again. We were told about Ice House Bay by some members of the Ketchikan Yacht Club and decided to try it. Kyrie's first time on a mooring ball went very well. Joe lined us up perfectly and I was able to snag the ball first try! The beach was pretty steep-to, so it was hard to go exploring, but that was okay. When thunder starting rumbling, we didn't want to be out of the boat anyway!
       The next day, we followed some other friends' recommendations and wound our way up Carroll Inlet to the very top and the Swan Lake Powerhouse. That was a neat stop. They have a public dock and a gazebo with a fire pit that we took full advantage of. We also took advantage of the tour the employees offered after they shut the turbines down for the day!


     It was a great stop and we even caught some crabs right off the dock. However, it was rather windy and it was a little too much to convince us to stay another night. So, it was back to the mooring ball in Ice House Bay, and then back to Ketchikan the next morning. Lists were made and we divided and conquered to get errands done, and then we got to go back to the pool, which made the kids very happy.
     It's been good to stop at a dock with access to showers, laundry and the ability to completely fill the water tank (although the watermaker is up and running and works like a treat! At 6 gallons an hour, it doesn't fill as quickly as a hose at the dock, but we can use it anywhere and aren't governed by our water level). However, considering this is the third time we've been in Ketchikan in a week, we're itching to get moving. We'll probably go back to Ice House Bay for the night--we're waiting on our friends on SV Pacific Wonder to finish up their business and then they'll join up with us again.
     A few stops will be in order soon--we'll have to stop and wait for a weather window to cross Dixon Entrance safely, and then stop in Prince Rupert for Canadian Customs and to see the town. Then, it's probably going to be a three-week jaunt through British Columbia! We'll update this as we can in Canada, but for sure our location will be updated. Keep following us! I love knowing people are reading the blog and keeping track of us.