Journey's Blog

Monday, September 15, 2014


There are new rhythms that we have had to develop as we acclimate to our life as "cruisers." John and  I had a great start when we left Port Angeles, Wa. to Bodega Bay, Ca. We had to work together to maintain our day to day life on the boat. Journey joined us in Bodega Bay to SF, a two day jaunt which took all of us a bit of time to get our dance together. Journey can be a great crew member on the boat and once she joined us, we couldn't believe how we were able to get on without her for those 2 weeks that she was visiting friends.
While we have been in Berkeley, Ca., we have been removed from our "cruising" rhythm as we have been staying with family and visiting the boat every few days. We are having so much fun visiting and playing with cousins and friends.
At a certain point, I had to break the news to Journey that we had to start school. Another rhythm we had to start. The first day was a bit rough for both of us but I am so proud of Journey and her ability to take on her independence with school work among other tasks.
Just as we were developing this new rhythm, I had a great surprise one day. My mom flew in from Connecticut! We were so happy to see her and spend a bit of time with her.
So what about our rhythms? Well, this is cruising. Losing the rigidity and structure of land life in exchange for flexibility. It is a struggle for me at this moment but can only hope as I go through this process that the idea of rhythm will be related to playing the ukelele.

Stuff Happens

Sometimes we spend so much time making things as perfect as possible and then someone or something changes that for us and reminds us to not sweat the small stuff! So early on in our trip, we were at Neah Bay. The dock we were on (as are many) was loaded with seagul excrement and pieces of shell from the the gulls dropping pieces of their snacks. The accommodating staff took it upon themselves to spruce up the docks which was quite thoughtful. We were down in the boat as it was early in the morning and we heard the noise outside. When we emerged, the docks were clean, but all the delightful shell bits were splattered not only on our deck but the power washer they used also chipped away the name and the gold stripe on our port side.
After a few curse words and then reminding ourselves of the good deed that had been attempted by the dock staff but slightly misjudged, we took a photo and went to the marina office.
The office kindly made good on the situation which we appreciated.
We were lucky that the Sign Shop in Port Hadlock still had us on file and will send our new lettering and then maybe things will be "perfect" again even if it is for a fleeting moment.

Friday, September 12, 2014

                         Thank you Miko's and Marshall's for the delicious cookie and send off.
                                          Most of our belongings headed to Port Angeles.

Some of the amazing sisters that I have had the good fortune to know-miss and love you all.


Wow. After such wonderful "Bon Voyage" parties by family and our community we took all the blessings of those who have helped us live our dream and sailed out of Port Ludlow, Wa on August 4, 2014. We stopped in Sequim for a night and then to Port Angeles. We had planned to haul out, raise the water line (again) which we did. The Boat Haven in PA was fabulous. We also encountered a few shakedown issues which we resolved with the help of Platypus Marine (thank you Jud) and to Art who spent so many hours reassuring us! At this point, Journey left us to stay behind to be with friends for the last few weeks of summer and then fly to SF to meet us.
After a longer than anticipated stay, we left for Neah Bay. Weather kept us tethered, a few days longer than we wanted building our anxiety with the knowledge that the "Big Left Turn" awaited us and was the point of no return. We met fantastic cruisers, all heading in the same direction and started to form our buddy boats. We finally got our 2 day window to head to Newport, Or. We met the challenge of spending a few nights at see without incident. We took shifts, usually I did the 8pm to 12:30 am and John took 12:30 to 4 am and so on. We had lots of fog, wind on our nose and stayed about 15 miles off shore. We felt blessed to have Sonomora (Brian, Kay and Joe) who we had not met but kept in radio contact for those days and nights. We got to finally meet once we were in Newport. We had about 5 boats that came in over the next few days in fog and wind. We then all waited the next window. Unfortunately, Hurricane Marie in the Pacific delayed us as she went up large south swells and winds that we opted to wait out. The extra time in Newport was spent touring about and working on projects. Once we got our window, we decided we would go straight to Bodega Bay, Ca. This meant 3 nights/4 days at sea. We had our buddy boats with us which made it all the more tolerable. We picked up Abbie Normal (Brad and Gay), Impulse, and Sonomora.
Staying in contact, checking in a few times a day was beyond helpful to our sanity. We all pulled in to Bodega Bay and celebrated with an exciting dinner that required us to hike through a maze to and from dinner.
By the time we pulled in to Bodega Bay, Journey was flying in. We so desperately missed her and wanted our pod to be re united. We decided to take a bus to Santa Ana, rent a car, and drive to Berkeley. We spent Labor Day weekend with our family and get caught up with our girl!
The three of us drove back to Bodega Bay and readied the boat and ourselves for the 2 day passage to SF. We left early and headed for Drakes Bay just south of Point Reyes.
Journey got indoctrinated quickly as we hit some of the worst seas of the trip during this passage. We had 10 foot seas every 10 seconds with 3-5 foot wind waves on top of that. It was not fun but we made it. In Drakes, we wound up with over 20 fishing boats taking safe harbor for the night and we quickly realized that we would not be able to navigate out of the bay, in the dark, even with radar, to make the flood/slack at the Bridge. We decided to leave later in the morning which meant we would have to deal with afternoon winds in the Bay.
With a reefed head sail, we kept 4 miles off the coast, through Bonita Channel and voila, we are under the Golden Gate Bridge and in SF Bay!!!!
We are currently at the Berkeley Marina where we are spending time with family, meeting up with friends, and relaxing before we head towards San Diego.