Friday, July 31, 2015

Belewe Moon, the Betrayer

Tonight's full moon is the second full moon of July, and whenever two full moons occur in the same month, the second one is considered "blue." The event is pretty rare; there are 29.53 days between each full moon, and only 365.24 days in the year. That means there are 12.37 full moons each year. That extra .37 adds up over time, so every two to three years, you get 13 full moons in one year. The last blue moon happened in August 2012, and the next one won't happen until January 2018.

Aye, but when I think of a Blue Moon, it looks like this:

Catherine MacMillan's graceful Katie & Ginny

Thursday, July 30, 2015

By Their Ropes Ye Shall Know the Measure of the Sailor

As an on-going project here on DoryMan, I've tried to mitigate some of the confusion about nautical terms with the glossary found at the top of the sidebar to your right - spent much of today filling in new entries. In fact, until I'm dazed and confused myself. If you find any mistakes, let me know.

How often have I seen that glazed look on the face of a passenger or crew, the blank stare of one who hasn't understood a single word uttered? In mutual desperation, I have even found myself lately referring to the right or left side of the boat and "that green rope near your right hand". (incidentally, Belle Starr has color-coordinated lines to facilitate communication. I'm trying, really am.)

Like I said, this is a project with no end. Every new entry begs another. Not one definition is self-explanatory. A lexicographer must be a very special species indeed. Please, if you have something you'd like to contribute, don't hesitate. For now we'll stick to English, though nautical language the world over is a beautiful flower, music of the sea.

Your friend, Michael
mbogoger (at) gmail



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sucia Island Rendezvous, 2015




July 10-13 was yet another great gathering of small gunkholing boats in Fossil Bay, Sucia Island, one of the wonderful Washington State marine parks in the San Juan Islands. It's hard to beat the camaraderie of good friends in a beautiful spot aboard some of the most seaworthy small vessels around.










This year there were nine boats carrying eleven sailors. A small but tenacious group, all with credentials as able seamen and women.








Jamie came from Victoria BC in his Phil Bolger Chebacco, Wayward Lass, fresh from the R2AK, where he made it to Johnstone Strait before succumbing to intense headwinds.
This is the view we usually have of Jamie.









Bob sailed Sally Forth, his beloved Drascome Longboat. It's easy to see why he loves this boat so much. He uses a very well designed cockpit tent for sleeping aboard. Additional photos can be found on the Doryman Flickr site.









Paul navigated from Cowichan Bay, Vancouver Island, in his Jay Benford Friendship. He recently upgraded his rigging by moving the headstay to the masthead and installing a roller furling genoa. Sadly the winds were very light, so he couldn't show us how pleased he is with his new wings.








Claire and John came from Whidbey Island in their new Night Bird. A lot of boat in a compact package. Please note the pop-top deck.









Joel and his son Tim winged from Edmonds in their John Welsford Navigator, Ellie. Navigator Joel employs a tidy clothesline anchoring system to keep Ellie close to camp.








Randy arrived in his new Belhaven 19, Clementine. I sailed with Randy in our annual "race" around Sucia. The winds and currents are fickle around this island of many faces and we have yet to complete a single race, in many years of trying. This year may have been the shortest race of all.







Joe trailered from Texas with his wood runabout. He didn't know he came to see us, it was serendipity. I met Joe four years ago while cruising around the Canadian Gulf Islands after this same rendezvous. It was good to see him again, he's a sailor's sailor, with a fruitful life and many interesting stories to tell.








Ron motored in with his efficient outboard driven catamaran, Just Enuf, a plywood EcoCat from Bernard Kohler. Ron really gets around with this little cat. You may have seen his distinctive vessel around the Salish Sea.






I sailed the forty five nautical miles from Port Townsend in Belle Starr. That's her in the photo near the top of the post. She always gets me there and back, safely and in style.

A small but fun group. The Sucia Island Rendezvous was lovely as ever, a tradition well worth keeping.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gilded Lily

In June we talked a bit about a junk rigged vessel anchored near Belle Starr, in Friday Harbor. She was a salty boat and caught my eye from a distance.





I've not had the pleasure of sailing a junk rigged cruiser, though they hold a fascination for me. In response to my inquiry in these pages, two friends informed me the mystery junker was Gilded Lily of Guemes Island, British Columbia.








Dave Z tells us that he has seen Gilded Lily in his cruising grounds of Alaska and Martin recently sent me some photos from Watmaugh Bay, Lopez Island, in the San Juan archipelago. Obviously she has sea legs.



We'll be on the lookout for Gilded Lily on our travels. Later this week, Belle Starr sets sail for Sucia Island, in search of camaraderie and more of the beauty found in the Salish Sea islands.
Please stay tuned.

Thank you Dave and Martin!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Whidbey Island Circumnavigation

The Vancouver Expedition (1791–1795) was a four-and-a-half-year voyage of exploration and land acquisition (some may say piracy), commanded by Captain George Vancouver. The expedition circumnavigated the globe, touched five continents and changed the course of history for various indigenous nations and the burnishing British empire that subjugated them. The expedition at various times included between two and four vessels, and up to 153 men, all but six of whom returned home to aspiring careers.

In 1792, HMS Discovery's Ship's Master, Joseph Whidbey accompanied Lieutenant Peter Puget in small boats to explore what was later named Puget Sound. On June 2, the team discovered Deception Pass, establishing the insularity of the Sound's largest island which Vancouver named Whidbey Island.

Whidbey Island is approximately 55 miles (89 km) long (from the extreme north to extreme south, and varies between 1.5 to 12 miles (2.4 to 19.3 km) wide, comprising 168.67 square miles (436.9 km2).

My solo Whidbey Island circumnavigation came about because of the TSCA messabout at Hope Island near the northeast end of it's much larger neighbor, not far from Deception Pass.


This voyage began in Mystery Bay. The weather prediction was perfect for it, a convergence zone was due over the area, with southerlies on the Friday of departure, developing into northerlies for the rest of a week. I could ride the cool, rainy front north, expecting warmer, sunny weather to bring me back.

It sounds simple. Unfortunately for Doryman, the cool front moved through a full day early. Belle Starr was anxious to go, regardless. We headed south from Port Townsend with the developing high pressure behind us. All the way, through the "Cut" at the south end of Port Townsend Bay and across Admiralty Inlet, to the south end of Whidbey, it was downwind or a broad reach, with a push from a flood tide. Very pleasant. The wind shifted with us as we traveled west until the setting sun brought on a chill.

In a fit of complacency, I hoped the westerly would continue on the lee side of the island as we rounded north at Possession Point. To make this a comfortable three day trip, as planned, we still had at least ten miles to go. Twenty miles to a recognized anchorage. None of this was to be. The wind we found was directly on the nose of my worthy vessel, which was not up to the task of making much headway against a northeasterly growing in force. In the gloaming, two successive gusts struck Belle Starr to starboard, hard enough to bring waves over the cockpit coaming.

This had never happened to me before in my experience with the Stone Horse - Belle Starr being a very dry boat. She was floundering under the added weight, with scuppers underwater and no momentum or steerage. Flustered and tired, it took a few seconds to recognize the water was not draining and there was little else to do but try and bring the boat upright and disperse the intruding water. Most of the water escaped, but enough remained to dampen my enthusiasm. The last two paragraphs comprise four hours of man and boat against the sea, so exhausted and despite an exposed lee shore, we tacked in and set anchor for a restless night. The pile of wet gear in the cockpit would have to wait.

One lazarette had filled completely (something to put on the list...leaky lazarettes have sunk many boats.), thoroughly soaking sets of off-shore rain gear and boots. Although none of it absorbed water, anyone familiar with the Northwest climate will understand it took most of the next day, sailing with gear spread all over the cockpit, to dry everything enough to re-stow.

Well, sailing... figuratively. Saturday, with about fifty miles to reach Hope Island, the wind, still directly ahead, died to a whisper. I disdain the use of motors, as a principle and when I succumb to a rational argument with myself, it is with regret. Crank up the outboard and head for Oak Harbor to buy fuel, a great sin in the world of Doryman.
We reached the Hope Island messabout an hour before sundown. A quick transit around the island, looking for friends, revealed a lovely state park that is primarily a nature preserve. When I found the anchorage, I'd just missed a potluck supper on Night Bird, Claire and John's new Catalina 22, with Martin and his son Trevor, from Clover, Ed, his son and a friend who launched their Core Sound 17 at Coronet Bay, just east of Deception Pass. But I was just in time for an evening chat, watching a fresh new moon, attended by Venus and Jupiter, from the cockpit. Sublime.

Sunday dawned with that misty morning haze, the crown jewel of the summer maritime Pacific Northwest, when sea and sky blend together, like living inside an emerald. You know the day will be bright and warm. Inside the archipelago, the breezes will be light, but we were headed out into open water, with wind funneled directly off the ocean, through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Deception Pass is a narrow opening in the rock between Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island and should be transited at slack tide. To meet an ebb in Rosario Strait, we needed to meet the high slack after daybreak coffee.

The entire day was blessed with a steady westerly on the starboard beam. A sailor's dream. The hours flowed by in simple contemplation of good fortune until the Point Wilson light and Port Townsend Bay came into view. Sailing about 150 challenging and beautiful nautical miles in 50 hours. It doesn't get better than that.





Hitch hikers to nowhere.











Bald eagles.












Aboard Night Bird.











Raft-up at twilight.











Clover's dingy.




Clover in early morning repose.




Looking west through Deception Pass. You can see how it got it's name.











A lot of water funnels through that little opening.











Running free. The old girl could use a new mainsail...













Point Wilson, Port Townsend Bay at the end of the day.





Whidbey Island, by Ron Kerrigan.



Monday, June 22, 2015

Durable Boats, Durable Men



That's doryman Joe's caption for this photo he sent me recently.

"Here is a current pic of my friend Don, beaching the boat he built in 1968, and has been using continuously since. Grumpy Don is approaching middle age at, I believe, 76 or 77 years old."

The Pacific Dory Fleet is alive and going strong.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Classic Mariners Regatta

Points for style
Belle Starr sailed west to view the Port Townsend Classic Mariners Regatta yesterday. This event is for wooden sailboats. Wooden motorboats are welcome to participate in the event as a spectator fleet. Wooden rowboats, dinghies and kayaks are encouraged to participate in Sunday morning’s informal race.


The regatta on Saturday was light to no wind. Regardless, the Race Committee managed to get off the advertised two "races".  Long distance photos are difficult to take when you are sailing, let alone when your subjects are also sailing.







The pick of the shots are available on Doryman's Flickr site. I hope this gives you a sense of the day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

R2AK Pre-Race Ruckus

Down on the waterfront, the excitement is contagious. Tonight was a big party for the public to meet and greet the stalwart souls intent on winning the Race to Alaska, a 750 nautical mile voyage from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.
The contestants will leave Port Townsend tomorrow morning at 5:00AM, PDT for the first stop in Victoria BC. After a send-off from the Canadians, the racers will be on their own.

Good Luck to All!