We said farewell to many beloved friends in BC in early September. We knew that the window was closing for sailing from the BC coast… Typically the book end for the season is September 15… We left Sept 17.
In Esquimalt we did the last of our provisioning (thanks Holly!!) And picked up Jocelyn there. We were then a crew of five. Next we set off for Port Renfrew. The plan was to sit there to wait for a favourable weather window to carry on to San Diego. As it happened, we waited there for 2 days. Warren came up with an awesome grocery delivery and lent us his computer!!
We left Port Renfrew Sept 21st bound for San Diego.
Pete is a certified HAM in more ways than you can imagine, including with Industry Canada. With the help of Warren’s computer and mono cord, Pete was able to pull in weather fax info everyday.
The crew morale at this point was quite good. Seasickness was only moderate… Kids were getting a bit of gravol (called Dramamine in the US) and Jocelyn and Pete were taking Meclazine, of which I got 200 tablets in the States in late August since it can’t be purchased in Canada anymore (?).
Up until this point Pete has tried everything else for seasickness,; Sea bands, garlic, ginger, Gravol, scopolomine… Nothing seemed to ever be effective.. Until Meclazine!! This was a blessing beyond measure. For both Joss and Pete, the side effects seem to be dry mouth, ear pressure, slight mind fog, but compared to seasickness, much *much* better.
Near Newport, Oregon we learned that the weather was forecast to come up big and strong from the south… We dicided to wait it out in Newport.
Checking into Newport was straight forward. While approaching, Neli thought we were going to get to meet the President, since she thought that was who would be the official greeting us, who we were busy preparing for… Turned out it was Officer Hanna who came. Happily, he allowed us to keep all of our food stores and provisions which was a good thing since the only grocery store in walking distance was a truck stop like place that sold mostly beef jerky, soft drinks, cigarettes and lotto tickets.
The weather was favourable by September 23 so we set off again. We knew we wanted to give Cape Mendocino lots of room, since the wind seems to get accelerated there… We chose to stay 150 nm offshore at that point. As it was, we still had gale force wind from the north around the latitude of Cape Blanco and Cape Mendocino. The tow generator was excellent, as was all the equipment actually. The only issue was that the staysail window blew out since there was such back and forth force on it with rolling in some of the waves with gusts up to 40 knots.
Pete, Joss and I set up a night watch system of 3 hours on, 6 hours off, with Joss taking the first shift til midnight, then Pete when he’d pull in faxes at 01:00 followed by my watch 03:00 to 06:00 and Joss would come on again. Throughout the day Pete and Joss would get naps as required. I didn’t seem to nap much although my memory is foggy on that now….
What did the kids do? Lots of audio books helped. And movies… And seeing dolphins :). We had a halfway party when Neli and I made carrot cake muffins with icing and everything, but most people were too seasick at that point to enjoy them… A few days later though once things calmed down a bit we had a nice evening meal out in the cockpit and got to savor it all a bit.
On October 4 we arrived at San Diego :). We had only used half of our fresh water (~150 L since our capacity is 300L) and we still had about 100L of diesel fuel. At the police docks which is right beside the customs and immigration docks, we tied up and breathed a big sigh of relief. We had made it!!! We did it :).