I left Victoria Tuesday morning and headed out on the Straight of Juan De Fuca, to test my single handing sailing skills. It worked out pretty well; I used a climbing harness and clipped in whenever I went forward, and I only flew the Genoa (a big jib), so the autopilot was happy. The autopilot doesn't like to work with the Mainsail up, for some reason. I think the main is too powerful, so it turns the boat a lot, and the autopilot is too slow to react, so it ends up weaving around a lot. With just the jib, though, it works great.
The seas were big, but I'm doing well and not getting seasick. I was a little worried about getting sick by myself, and then being weak and tired and having to do some difficult task and things getting dangerous, but I'm careful when I go down below, and try to keep my eyes closed as much as I can whenever I'm inside the cabin. It really helps.
I went to Spencer Spit (on Lopez Island) for the night, and tied up to a mooring ball. Then I took my trusty canoe ashore for a little walk around. There is a lot to do, even by myself. I can go ashore and walk around and explore the area, and its lots of fun.
Wednesday I got up and headed out to Cypress Island, where I tried out my rear spool, which is where I anchor out a little ways, then paddle ashore with a rope and tie the rope to the shore and tighten the boat up to shore that way. It works really well, because it allows me to keep tension on the anchor all the time, so I don't have to worry about drifting around and then having the anchor snag on something and drag away all night long. I think I'll try it more often, when I come to less inhabited places. So I climbed up a mountain on Cypress island, to Eagle Cliffs, and got a nice view of the boat and the surroundings.
And I saw this Orchid-looking thing growing in the shade in rocky soil where I think it gets a lot of rain. There were a few bunches of these flowers. Any ideas what they are?
Now I'm at Mom's house in Bellingham, and I'll be staying here until the weekend. Then I'll go back to Seattle next week.