Nancy and Sam welcome you aboard Windfall, our 1977 Maple Leaf sailboat. Windfall is a center cockpit design, 42' length, 13.5' wide, and 40,000 lbs of cruising fun!

On August 7th, 2010 we set sail on our "No Itinerary" world cruise and enjoying the "Cruising Life" very much! It's a wonderful adventure!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Deer Harbor to Port Angeles pics

Deer Harbor to Port Angeles

Aug 21st 2010 – Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, WA- We went on a 15 mile round trip bike ride yesterday….ALL UPHILL!!! Ha We rode the bikes from Deer Harbor to Orcas – another bay around the other side of Orcas Island. There was a large amount of people getting on and off the ferries…cars, motorhomes, busses, etc…

Wednesday Aug 24th -Friday Harbor - We’re in Friday Harbor again (since Monday afternoon). Yesterday I installed the new VHF radio cable, and the oil pressure gauge is acting up so I replaced it too.

Of course, the gauge wasn’t the problem, so today I’m getting a new pressure sensor and putting that in, if this doesn’t solve the problem then it must be a loose /broken wire somewhere…oh that would be SO fun to track down! Sheesh! The gauge would bounce in pressure, then work for awhile, then bounce again later.

Today we’ll to sail to Stuart Island after repairing the oil gauge. We’ve heard this is a great place, nothing there, but a lot of trails and sights to see. J

We talked with Ralph about when he’s heading back to Portland with his boat, sounds like we may be “boat buddying “up again for the trip south, but Nancy and I will continue on to Newport. We may stop in Astoria for a rest – its 24 hours from Neah Bay to Astoria and another 20 hours to Newport. But we’ll see what the ocean conditions are and how we feel once we get to the mouth of the Columbia River…and see what the Columbia Bar conditions look like.

We plan on a few days in Newport, then head south to Winchester Bay or Coos Bay and meet up with my Mom; she wants to take us to Roseburg for a few days then back to the boat. From Winchester Bay or Coos Bay we’ll stop at Eureka, CA for a couple days….from there…well…..whatever works. J

We went out to dinner with Ralph and his wife; we went to a Thai place here in Friday Harbor….very good! We brought some back and I had it for dinner last night! Yum!

I think my cold is in its last stage of wanting to kill me, I’m not coughing as much (or as hard!) and I’m feeling a bit better – just hope Nancy doesn’t get this!

These are a few Orca whales we spotted on our way into Friday Harbor on our first trip…pretty cool! J Yesterday, we went to the Friday Harbor Whale Museum…it was ok, we stayed in the free area as I didn’t want to pay $6 to go look at whale bones in the museum’s upstairs area.

The inverter is working great, as is the generator for additional AC power. The generator charges the batteries AND provides AC power (hot water for showers and microwave) at the same time. We’re learning how long we can run the hotwater heater, microwave, etc…on the inverter, it seems to take a LOT of power, but we also have a BIG generator and the main engine that will give us a lot of charging power. But most things on the boat run great. ….except for that *&^%^ Oil Gauge! Ha Ha

We’ll start watching the weather faxes and see what the weather & ocean conditions are turning out for next week. I hook up the laptop to my SSB radio at a certain times and we get weather faxes, voice weather information, and typed (text) weather information from the National Weather Service and US Coast Guard downloaded right onto our laptop. J

Thursday Aug 26th - Friday Harbor - I’m sitting in the cockpit this morning, sipping coffee, and listening to Radio BBC on the SSB radio. It’s lightly raining….actually a welcome surprise as it will wash some of the salt off Windfall. J Yesterday I got the Oil Gauge to work; it was a bad sending unit (mounted on the engine).

Today, we‘re motoring/sailing 12 miles north to Stuart island. We want to run out watermaker as we motor, so last night we got out the book and started reading how to use the watermaker and how to maintain it. We have to use it once every week (in cold water, and every 3 days in warm) otherwise we have to “pickle” the filters by adding chemicals. Right now I have it plumbed into one of our 100 gallon water tanks; Nancy wants me to plumb it into both…so it looks like more “plumbing fun” in my future. Ha Ha

Looks like the rain may be about over, I see blue sky ahead. J Windfall is really looking like a true Bluewater Cruiser. Our plan is to stay a few days at Stuart Island, then spend a couple days in Port Townsend (Nancy wants to visit Carol Hasse who she took sail mending classes from last year), then a couple days in Port Angeles, and lastly meet with Ralph in Neah Bay for our trip south. J … right back….NEED COFFEE! Ha Ha

….Sip…Sip…. Ok, I’m back. J I really liked our navigation electronics, they’re easy to use and have been invaluable crossing some of the busy straights. The straights are major shipping lanes for the US and Canada (Straights of Juan de Fuca, Straights of Georgia, Rosario Straights, etc…) Of course we still have all the other ferries, ships, and boat traffic traveling at high speeds to various ports each day. This is a BUSY place!

Listening to a Vancouver radio station – they say this is the largest Frazier River Sockeye Salmon run in over 100 years! All I catch is SHARKS! Ha Ha – Oh! I DID have a seal take my jig and take off…. But he spit it out …what a fight that would have been to get into a net! Ha Ha I told Nancy to reach down and grab it by the lip (like the pro bass fishermen) and lift it to the boat. Ha Ha Yeah….THAT went over well! Ha Ha ….Hey, sleeping on the couch isn’t THAT uncomfortable! (rubbing sore neck)

Yesterday we went to a coffee shop in Friday Harbor and used the free WiFi (internet) to catch up on email, check the Blog, and had a Skype video chat with Nancy’s Dad. J He seen we were online and used Skype to video talk with us. It’s pretty cool to be sitting in a coffee shop in Friday Harbor and visiting with her Dad on video in Florida. The technology now is pretty cool.

In the book “The Bounty”, I just read a part where a sailor struck an officer… he got 2 dozen lashes with the cattail from 4 different ships, they brought him by boat to the port for a 5th lashing (2 dozen again)…but found he was dead…..They leaned him over and gave him another 2 dozen lashes (though he was dead), then buried him at low tide. Sheesh! Nancy just finished a book about Captain Vancouver, he had on his ship one man who received a total of 196 lashes! WOW! THAT’S ONE TOUGH BASTARD…he must have been from Roseburg! Some of the men were lashed for NOT eating the food – it SO bad that they refused to eat! Ha Maybe this is why Nancy is doing the cooking now…Hmmm.

It’s very pleasant this morning, quiet, calm, and peaceful in the bay this morning. Nancy is sleeping in late (9:40am), but with no schedule and only 12 miles to sail to Stuart Island….I’ll let her sleep in. J

It looks like low tide; I see a lot of the beach exposed this morning. Seagulls are perched on the floating mooring buoys available for rent for those who don’t want to anchor, or have a full-time mooring. Windfall is sitting at anchor in 20’ of clear water and gently swinging with the wind from side to side. It’s so cozy, warm, and very comfortable here in the cockpit and worth every drop of sweat we put into making the top and canvas last summer.

The dinghy is working great, the 15Hp Honda is very easy on fuel and we haven’t filled the 4 gallon tank since Portland and we still have a couple gallons remaining. Yesterday we went “exploring” around the edge of the bay, we love doing this…looking at starfish (now called Sea Stars), crabs, fish, and I even spotted a wrecked boat at the end of the bay! It was an old wooden boat sunk in about 6’ of water and submerged in the mud to the top of its deck. I wonder what the story is…whose boat was it…how it got there…Hmmmm, I guess it’s not an Atocha sunken treasure mystery. J

Oh! Did you hear the famous 5 pound gold bar, at Mel Fisher’s Atocha Museum at Key West was STOLEN! Someone stole it and they have their photos…I thought the photos looked suspiciously like friends of ours! They said the gold bar was worth $550,000….and they’re offering $10,000 reward….. Have a great time Jim and Richard, I see those commercials advertising how to turn your “old gold” into cash! Ha Ha….Now was that reward $10,000 for each, or both ?????

Instead of RUSH HOUR…we now have Happy Hour! J When we go to town I wear a backpack to carrying any groceries back to the dinghy. It’s fun to use our dinghy as “the car”. Jim said he’s got the Explorer with a for sale sign asking $2,500 … a great price for it. Jim “joked” the best “offer received” so far was to “only” charge me $200 to haul the Explorer off! Ha I said I’d think about it! Ha Ha

Well, I’ve got 19 minutes remaining on the laptop battery before I need to recharge…which takes awhile. More later…..Must charge…….Must charge…..must charge……must charge……

Friday Aug 27th Stuart Island - We sailed Windfall for 2 hours in 28 knots wind to get to Stuart Island! WOW!!! We used the mainsail and the staysail (smaller jib sail on the front). Nancy had forgotten to lock the windlass… so she put on her harness and went on deck in 28 knots of wind to secure the windlass. When she came back inside the cockpit her eyes were pretty big and she didn’t have much to say Ha Ha She just stared blankly out to the open water, her hair in a windblown state, and she repeatedly said, ”Wind…Big…Big Wind...Big…Big” J

We had the boat heeled over pretty good at times, but Nancy did good… after she got used to the leaning…and only a box of corn meal fell out of the cupboards..ok, maybe a little more than that. J Not too bad. We’re defiantly getting our “shakedown” cruise done properly…And, as Captain Ron says, ”If it’s going to happen, it’ll happen out there”! We would rather it happen while we’re still here in the USA and where parts are more available.

Here’s our view this morning aboard Windfall of beautiful Stuart island. Yesterday we took the dinghy on an extensive exploration of the bay – Nancy drove the dinghy while I relaxed. Came back to the boat, installed a new 30 amp circuit breaker needed for the watermaker …boy, what a nightmare that was to replace! Sheesh! With no power turned on, while working on the breakers, Nancy had to help hold the flashlight, pliers, screwdriver, and listen to a whole new list of cuss words invented specifically for electrical work! She did great, and it was defiantly a combined effort to get the job done…have you ever noticed how some things are not made to be worked on after they’re installed, and when you DO have to work on them it’s a totally NEW set of problems to get it fixed? Sheesh! I was only going to “look” at how the breaker came out and would be replaced…next thing I know….there I was elbow deep in electrical wires and ready to kill an electrician! It took 2 ½ hours to replace ONE breaker! Whew! Job done!!

Nancy and I have a saying about working on a boat, “If you only have to turn one screw, it will be an ALL DAY project”….the reason is there is ALWAYS some kind trouble…you don’t have the part, you need a “special” tool…which the store is out of, the store never heard of that particular part…but they think they can get it next week from the “other store”, and the part you DID get is “almost” the same as the old part, but not quite…and it’s just that “little difference” that makes it not fit at all and requires a total rebuild of the entire area to make it fit.

Today we’re going on a hike to a museum they have on the island. There are people who live on Stuart Island, but they’re pretty much on their own – no ferry to the other islands, so you’ve got to have a boat to get around…and no electricity- Make your own or go without!

With just the two of us on the boat, 40 hours is a very long trip, but we’ll do well and Windfall is a very comfortable boat to cruise aboard. It’s nice that we can sleep in the cockpit while the other is at the wheel, and it’s actually comfortable sleeping while motoring. Coming up here, we had 4’-6’ seas “on our nose” during the night and Nancy slept in the cockpit ….comfortably…of course the scopolamine helped! Ha

Saturday Aug 28th- Stuart Island - We decided to stay here at Stuart Island. Nancy isn’t feeling well today so we’ll stay here another day or so. Yesterday we went on our hike to the next bay over (very nice) and we hiked to the school house “museum” and light house. The island has a total of 2 students (sisters) and the mother is the teacher…they do have quite a nice new school house with internet, but it’s the original one-room school that was fun to see. And the rules for female teachers were a hoot! They couldn’t keep company with men; go to an ice cream store; go beyond the city limits; not dye their hair; must wear TWO petticoats; and dresses could not be above 2” above their ankles! The past teachers who have taught here mostly lasted 1-2 year since the late 1890’s…one teacher left the island to go to the dentist and never returned! She married the dentist, then, later divorced him! Ha Ha

The hike was quite a challenge…. We were huffing and puffing uphill both ways! Ha I kept telling Nancy we’d stop for a break at the top of the hill….she didn’t get many breaks! Ha Ha The lighthouse was not a lighthouse as we are used to, it was basically a house with the light outside…but the view it has looking over to Canada and the straights was spectacular to say the least. During WWII they had lookouts for enemy ships and submarines, but today they lookout for whales, and on the board it was noted one pod of orcas had a new baby orca. J

When we got back to the dinghy from the hike, we took a little explore about the island…as we reached the beginning of the bay that we’re anchored in Nancy spotted Orcas! We stopped the dinghy, turned off the motor, and watched as 4 Orcas came right at us and within 100 yards of the dinghy! Nancy got it on a video clip with the camera! They were amazing to see spouting …AND hear! We followed the Orcas for a little way and watched as they continued on down the straight. You can see how BIG their fins are in the water! They made that dinghy look pretty small as they came toward us! Ha I was ready to start the motor and BACK UP! But Nancy kept telling me….”…just let them pass”! Gulp! …. I was only starting the motor to give them plenty of room…uh huh…Ha Ha Yeah right! I didn’t want to be made into “Orca Chow” ! Ha

While on our hike to the lighthouse, we came upon a swing that was in the middle of nowhere. It had no apparent reason why it was here except for the fact that HUGE maple tree was a perfect spot to place a swing…Nancy just couldn’t help herself but to a couple minutes of fun. I pushed her on the swing, her long blond hair was flying back and forth, till she got a funny look and mentioned “something” about getting sick from the height…..or something like that…who knows. Ha Ha J

Monday Aug 30th - Port Angeles, WA - We made it to Port Angeles. Changed plans as Port Townsend was too far out of the way, and we want to be heading toward Neah Bay and hope for a good weather pattern. We were between Victoria Canada and Port Angeles as we watched a huge submarine that was escorted up the Straights of Juan De Fuca by the Coast Guard. They came on the radio and told boaters to give them 1000 yards distance for security, we were a mile away and could see how BIG that sub was! WOW! Traveling with the sub and on each side were two sub-tender boats that were HUGE, and Coast Guard boats in front and behind. We also seen The Royal Princess cruise ship…but no Captain Stubing or Isaac the bar tender….Hey! Where’s my margarita???

We walked to town, ate dinner at a great Chinese restaurant, and talked with a guy catching shrimp on the dock beside Windfall. There were several people shrimping and fishing from the dock. They guy told us a couple weeks ago they filled a 5 gallon bucket of shrimp in a couple hours…”Yeah, you should have been here….”

We’re spending the tonight at the City Dock ($15) beside the ferry terminal…we found it’s got a lot of waves and swells coming from the ferry and other boats entering the bay – gently rocked us to sleep last night.

More Windfall Adventure(s) to follow….

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Deer Harbor - Orcas Island

Today we went for a "short" bike ride...7.5 miles to the village of Orcas.... Only 7.5 miles...but seemed like 20 with all the steep hills we walked our bikes up...Riding down was FUN!! This evening I caught 3 sharks before dinner... "Cabana Boy Sam" is quickly becoming "Shark Slayer Sam"! Ha Of course Nancy just rolls her eyes. Needless to say we're sleeping late tomorrow before we head to another island. The seaplanes land and take off just 75 yards from our boat at anchor here in Deer Harbor....Fun to watch! We have a million dollar view every night from the cockpit of Windfall. Meeting up with friends in Friday Harbor tomorrow, soon we'll be heading down the coast for Mexico! Viva Tequilla!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

San Juan Islands - Washington

August 19 - We find ourselves in Everett WA getting our inverter repaired (power on the boat). Having a great time in the San Juans, hiking, snorkeling, and just relaxing. Windfall is treating us very kindly as is the weather...sunny and warm. Our favorite island has been Sucia island and Friday harbor.
We have seen Orca whales, seals, seastars, and the very cool phosphorescence - if you swirls your hand in the water at night it sparkles....VERY COOL!
We had a blast at the Latitudes and Attitudes Cruisers party in Anacortes... Pirates, fun, and booty to be had by all!
Pics are of Windfall in Friday Harbor, Star fish (now called sea stars), us with Bob Bitchin - publisher of Latitudes and Attitudes magazine.