Monthly Archives: August 2016

Vancouver Island Recap: An unforgetable family voyage

Velella sailed neck-and-neck with us in a fresh morning breeze and abundant sunshine while we steered Yahtzee wing and wing through Race Passage. For the first time since mid-May, Victoria soon became visible to the north — and as if to welcome us back to the Garden City from our circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, a pod of orcas broke the surface close on our starboard side while the boys looked on from the rail. It was a fitting end to our incredible family journey around a beautiful, wild and enchanting island.

Yahtzee sails wing and wing through Race Rocks. (Photo courtesy of SV Velella).
Yahtzee sails wing and wing through Race Rocks. (Photo courtesy of SV Velella).

With the sails furled and stowed and the engine on, we motored into Victoria Harbour three months to the day and 1,141 nautical miles after leaving on our counterclockwise loop. Sea planes took off and landed, water taxis buzzed this way and that, and cruisers moved in and out of the bustling harbor, which induced a slight bit of anxiety. It was by far the most people and activity we’d seen in quite some time — way more than Tofino and Ucluelet combined —and we were happy to be greeted at the dock by familiar faces. Our friends aboard Endless Summer IV, who we’d met along the way and live in Victoria, were there to welcome us with smiles, hugs, hospitality and a couple cold beers.

Our counterclockwise track around Vancouver Island had us on the inside for a month and a half and on the outside for a month and a half.
Our counterclockwise track around Vancouver Island had us on the inside for a month and a half and on the outside for a month and a half.

Since closing the loop, we’ve been consistently fielding the question, “How was it?” And after taking a deep breath to attempt an answer, what comes out is a slew of adjectives like amazing, awesome, incredible, inspiring, magical, epic and more, knowing that few can fully understand it. After pausing for a week to absorb the whole voyage, reflect and share stories with friends, here’s a final look at our three months cruising around Vancouver Island. Continue reading Vancouver Island Recap: An unforgetable family voyage

From the Galley: Rockfish Tacos

Who doesn’t love fresh fish tacos? They’ve been a favorite of ours since living in and cruising Florida and the Caribbean, but we haven’t been making them much lately — that is, until venturing into Barkley Sound.

The delicious dish has seemingly grown in popularity over the past few years, and so too have the number of excellent recipes to use when making them. (Including the winning recipe in the Three Sheets NW/Fisheries Supply Cruisers Cook-Off.)

While cruising Barkley Sound recently with our friends aboard Velella, we found that a key component to above average fish tacos is two things: catch the fish yourself and make your own fresh, warm tortillas. Of course, a good recipe goes along way, too, and we found this one to compliment our meal perfectly.

The crews of Velella and Yahtzee feasting on fresh tacos.
The crews of Velella and Yahtzee feasting on fresh tacos.

Continue reading From the Galley: Rockfish Tacos

Buddy-boating in bountiful Barkley Sound

Jill and the boys enjoying a snack after a swim.
Jill and the boys enjoying a snack after a swim.

Standing on top of the waterfall, tiers of glistening, freshwater pools stretched out before us. Carved perfectly in the rock, they were laced together by a series of tumbling rapids, cascading from one deep basin to the next, which, coupled with the warm sun, beckoned us in for a swim.

“This is amazing!” I said to Jill with a beaming smile. “And I can’t believe we’re the only people here!” Double-checking myself, I wheeled back around, looked below us at the creek we’d just paddle up from Yahtzee and at our kayak parked on the rocks. You can only reach this spot by boat and we were the only one around. It truly was amazing, and we had it all to ourselves. Continue reading Buddy-boating in bountiful Barkley Sound

Lessons learned from two years of cruising

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I’m not one to throw quotes around, but the oft-used quote above perfectly describes Jill and me and our life cruising aboard Yahtzee over the past two years. Many people we meet out here say, “We wish we’d done that when we were your age.” Or, “Good for you for raising your kids that way.”

We couldn’t agree more with them or Twain.

Two years ago this month, we pulled Yahtzee from her slip at Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle and headed north towards the San Juan Islands and British Columbia. Our plan was to cruise the Pacific Northwest without a permanent slip or homeport to return to for as long as it worked and was fun. (Read our one-year recap here.)

Not only has it worked, our time out cruising has been an incredible adventure that we cherish everyday, learn an immense amount from and plan to continue. Here are a few takeaways from our two years of cruising the Pacific Northwest.

family cabin

Continue reading Lessons learned from two years of cruising

From the Galley: Jill’s Perfect Pizza Dough

We have a running tradition aboard Yahtzee: Friday night is pizza night. Some weeks we deviate from it slightly, but if you dinghy over on a Friday evening, chances are good that you’ll smell the delicious aroma of Jill’s pizza wafting from the cabin.

The crispy crust cooks perfectly in our Force 10 oven and whether it’s with pepperoni and mushrooms or pineapple, ham and coconut shreds, the pizza is always a hit.

One pizza ready for toppings and the other waiting its turn.
One pizza ready for toppings while the other waits its turn.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup luke warm water Continue reading From the Galley: Jill’s Perfect Pizza Dough