Monthly Archives: May 2015

Our first Swiftsure

The Empress Hotel in Victoria Harbor before the race. I think Yahtzee was the only boat out of 198 to be carrying a stroller (bottom right).
The Empress Hotel in Victoria Harbor before the race. I think Yahtzee was the only boat out of 198 to be carrying a stroller (bottom right).

Crouching on the foredeck under our full spinnaker as we crossed the finish line in Victoria Harbor, I tussled Porter’s blond hair and said, “We did it, buddy. You’ve finished your first Swiftsure.”

He looked into my eyes, paused, and then thrust his arms wide for a hug while belting out a loud, unprompted, “OH YEAH!”

It was a moment I’ll never forget. Continue reading Our first Swiftsure

Yahtzee’s Round Saltspring Race, and the highs and lows of sailboat racing

SISC
The Round Saltspring Island fleet at Salt Spring Island Sailing Club before the race.

Under a thin veil of cloud cover, an unexpectedly fresh northerly breeze had the fleet of 105 sailboats for the 42nd annual Round Saltspring Island Race (42 miles) milling about and set to start in Ganges Harbour, British Columbia. When our division’s five minute starting sequence ticked down to zero, Jill and I, along with our friends Will and Sarah, had Yahtzee right on the start line with full sails and good boat speed. We absolutely nailed it. Continue reading Yahtzee’s Round Saltspring Race, and the highs and lows of sailboat racing

A Canadian welcoming committee — cops & whales

orcas
Our escort

We were just a couple miles across the Canadian border when I noticed a few powerboats milling about in mid-channel. Taking a closer look with the binoculars, I could tell they were looking at something — orcas. Shortly after spotting them, I saw the small pod of whales they were watching. The unmistakable spout and tall black dorsal fins emerged off our port side, and then the small group disappeared.

Seeing orcas in the wild is an experience that never gets old, and a few minutes later, one of the whales appeared again and swam parallel to us for a few hundred yards; seemingly escorting us into Canada. When she went on her way, I got us back on our course and noticed very quickly that an official looking black and gray powerboat was speeding our way. Continue reading A Canadian welcoming committee — cops & whales

Swing and a miss…

A comfortable anchorage for the weekend in Eastsound, Orcas Island.
A comfortable anchorage for the weekend in Eastsound, Orcas Island.

Leaving Roche Harbor last Thursday bound for Sydney, B.C., our excitement was at an all time high as we sailed a perfect beam reach across Haro Strait, which separates the San Juan Islands from Vancouver Island. We were a few miles out of the harbor when Jill popped her head up from down below, passports in hand, and said, “My passport’s expired.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I quipped feigning concern, as I figure it was just Jill being Jill. But she wasn’t, and we made an abrupt about face, jibed to a reciprocal course and sailed back into the San Juan Islands swearing in frustration all the way. Continue reading Swing and a miss…