Monthly Archives: September 2014

Neah Bay to Drakes Bay

Genoa repaired, wind is up, crew set and ready, final stowage completed…so at 4 pm with theme song blasting we head out for our first-off shore leg of the trip! We had one reef in the main with the Northeast blowing up to 20 knots and forecasted to strengthen. By the time we were around Cape Flattery heading west southwest the wind started to pick up. Seas were about 4 feet with a 3-4 ft westerly cross swell. Speed 7 kts.

Okay now its about 18 hours later, 10 am the following morning. Winds were up to 35 kt with a 7 ft wind swell and a 4 ft west cross swell running through it. Basically the sea state is super crappy. I had prepared and frozen a few dinners for our crossing; this was totally unnecessary as all we could eat were a few soda crackers. Josh and Kayto were doing fairly well, I felt nauseous but managing, Captain Ted was a little worse off and made the additional mistake of going below to access the 500 millibar chart off his computer. Yep, the captain woofed his cookies and had a good dose of vertigo. We continued with this wind and sea state for about another 8 hours. Upside: lots of mileage!

By late day 2 we are running with spinnaker, seas are calmer, but it takes another day or so before we want to eat anything. Funny how we went over 48 hours with almost nothing to eat, and were not hungry. By this time we have settled into our 3 hour watches. On the morning of day 3 the wind has completely dropped to 3-5kts and we are just wallowing around trying to keep the spinnaker afloat. Puhleeease! Spare me die-hard sailors who are content to bob around going nowhere. Fire up the iron sail!

For about 2 hours on Day 3 somewhere north of Mendocino, 60 miles offshore, we have some excited guests show up! Dolphins, lots of dolphins! They love to catch the bow wake and take a ride. There were up to 15 dolphins at a time playing playing off both sides of the bow. Looking out you could see them spot (or hear) our boat from a 1/2 mile out and they’d come leaping and diving over, so excited to come and play. So the new batch would join the party. Such beautiful animals with amazingly positive energy.

The other exciting thing that happened on Day 3, right when we were trying to set the spinnaker, was that Josh caught a 30 lb tuna! Yahooo! Good thing Josh got toughened up on the farm this summer with whacking and plucking chickens. He rolled up his sleeves and leapt right into gutting, and filleting his prize. We’ve had 2 huge feasts so far and there is plenty more in the freezer!

Day 3 and 4 ended up being mostly motoring, motor sailing, and a tiny bit of spinnaker running as wind was almost nonexistent. We made landfall at about 1:30 am on the 15th in Drakes Bay which is about 20 nautical miles north of San Francisco. Its exciting making landfall…and finally we get a sleep in!

Mishaps along the way:

– one lost cowl vent – lesson learned: remove cowl vent if you are going to do a lot of gybing with the main

– malfunctioning cockpit mike caused a DSC to send (a distress signal); we are determining the source of the malfunction while in Sausalito

Neah Bay

On the way out the strait we noticed our genoa stitching along the luff come away in one area so we decided to stop at Neah Bay to top up on fuel and Sue applied her new repair skills .  Looks like we will have to visit Quantum sails in San Francisco for a restitch!!!  Neah Bay marina has lots of empty space at the dock and were very nice only charging us 1/2 day to do all we needed.  Josh is super excited to get going and the next few days look good with easterlies to 25 knots to start turning north east to 15 knots. Adesso is pumped!!

Sue hard at work repairing our genoa

Sue hard at work repairing our genoa

Pinch Me!

Is all this fun really happening? The Port Townsend Wooden Boat Show was much more than we expected:

Beautiful wooden boats! – old (i.e. late 1800’s), new, tiny, large tall ships. Walking onboard and ducking inside some of the older vessels gives the feeling of stepping back into history.

Informative and entertaining talks and demonstrations!  – I got some very useful sail maintenance tips in the Hasse Sail Loft.

Creative boat wood working projects! – SUP boards, surf boards, mini float homes, etc

Great Food and Venues! – my favourite venue was a portable bar that looked kinda like a stage coach aptly named the “Wee Nip”, replete with bar tender pirate characters.

Art and Wood Crafts! – gorgeous wood craftsmanship

In addition to all this it was Port Townsend itself, an upbeat, funky-artsy seaside town with lots of old houses, wooden boats in the harbour and a kick-ass farmers market! The people were fantastic.  To top it all off we got to share some of this with Cortes Island friends who stayed for a sleep over with 7 of us bunked down on Adesso. No problemo!  Also one representative from our home port in Comox  – Stuart Mckenzie could be seen moving between the Wee Nip and Bar Harbour …


Bannister family

A room with a view

The day after clearing into the US looked a little wet so we decided to take Barry and Irene McPhee’s (met on Prevost Island) advice and check out Rosario on Orcas Island.  What a great idea that was – for small fee we received a mooring and access to the spa – hot tub, outdoor pool, and indoor saltwater pool.  The building has a fantastic history and if you appreciate woodwork it will impress.  Originally built by the owner of the Seattle Shipyard which built the last Victory class warship for the US navy.  Those skill craftsmen were then put to work on Orcas so every where you look you see their handy work.  While it rained outside we took in the spa, the building and even sat in the bar to play cribbage and of course have a beer. A wonderful place to check out if you are ever in the area.

Bannister family

Saltwater Pool


After leaving our old and new friends on Prevost Island we sailed off to clear into the US.  SE 15-20 had us with one reef in the main , hard on the wind doing 8 knots + !!  After beating up Haro straight, finding all the weak stowage spots, Roche Harbour was chosen as our point of entry into the United States.  The customs dock was VERY busy, OOPS, the last day of a long weekend might not have been the best choice of days to clear in.  Customs was jammed up with boats with out proper paperwork … but after an hour of waiting for all the computer work to be done, we received a 1 year cruising permit for the US.  Yeah!!

Crew showing off our permit

Crew showing off our permit

Following Summer

Here we go, southbound! Left Comox and we are currently in Rosario on Orcas Island (on the recommendation of new friends) via: Henry Bay, Jedediah, Thetis, Mill Bay, Portland Island, Prevost Island, Roche Harbour, and now Rosario. But lets back up.

Super fun times in Glenthorne Inlet, Prevost Island with Wendy, Hubert, Roland, Ruth, Irene and Barry! So fortunate to have such wonderful friends to share experience with!  Rafted up to Osprey with Baron Rouge Rafted up on the other side we settled ourselves in for happy times! Prevost is a beautiful island and we were able to access all of it through Hubert who has a farming history with the family who owns most of the island. Walking amongst old growth trees, meadows cleared in the 70’s, mossy bluffs adorned by majestic arbutus … well it just filled!

Being with kindred-soul-friends also filled, all of us… mostly with laughter!  Sailor-folk-of-modest-boat are sooooo easy to amuse!  A napkin on board Adesso struck Ruth’s fancy and away we went!  Hats, ties, headbands, leg warmers, cravats….Okay, maybe you had to be there….

Passport 47 travels

Laughter on Prevost Island

Theme song

We charged our youngest crew to come up with a theme song for the trip.  Over the years we have had many songs that became attached to our boat of the time. So we needed to come up with a theme for Adesso Adventures! Josh did a great job. Coffee in the morning, engine started, we blast this theme song and the crew is fully engaged for adventure!!

Dinghy Chaos

Our trusty two year old inflatable, one of the many cheaper PVC dinghy’s made in China, was showing signs of sun damage.  That terrible sticky surface including the high pressure floor was like walking on masking tape all the time – not to mention the dirt!  In an effort not to spend money Sue undertook the job of making chaps and I put indoor outdoor carpet on the floor for sun protection.  Wow what a difference our dinghy looked like it had a new life in its new suit of clothes, but that was to be short lived!

Refurbished dinghy

Refurbished dinghy

Small patch on the dinghy floor

Small patch on the dinghy floor

During lunch on a rather hot summer day, I hear a loud POP! What could that be I thought – then went on with lunch.  Later doing a project at the stern of the boat I noticed the dinghy floor had collapsed and  even worse, on a second look, determined it had popped like a balloon.  Still trying to save money I tried to patch the rip   ( a rather large patch ), but alas the floor would not hold its shape.  I suppose its better for this to happen here rather than some far off port where replacement would be difficult… however, this represented another ‘ouch!’ to the budget.   We decided not to buy another soft bottom dinghy and spring for a hypalon to get the extra life in the sun.  Campbell River, Boatland were very accommodating and we now have a 9 foot  AB RIB.  I must say it is a major improvement: aluminum bottom, hypalon construction, and much better performance. We have named her Amico di Adesso – Friend of Adesso and even bought her a set of wheels for those beach landings!

New AB RIB – Amico di Adesso

Electrical Luck!

Since Adesso became ours the AC switching has always been hard to understand.  We have two 30 amp Shore power lines and two AC panels, a generator and inverter.  Switching between sources was handled by a Blue Sea rotary switch that was wired in such a way that we could not charge our house batteries with the generator, frustrating.  I finally determined that Blue Sea made a switch designed to do exactly what we need so the swap began.   What a shock (haha) to discover that the way the old switch was wired – ground wires from all sources to the same terminal, were a melted mess.  I was very lucky to avoid a fire!!!  New switch installed things are much better and yes when we have to run the generator it will charge our house batteries!!!

Toasted switch

Toasted switch