After much stress and perfect conditions for racing down the Johnstone Strait, (where I was able to make 10 kts at times, because of currents) I got to Campbell River and called customs up, and they promptly cleared me over the phone. So in my mind, I feel like I didn't really need to be here, since they didn't do anything in person. What a nice welcome back present.
Despite these setbacks, I am feeling bright and chipper and very happy to be landed. The trip down the island was nice, superbly pretty, and I had some dolphin visitors!
But first, the trip report:
When I left Hanalei Bay, I had a nice trade wind running from about due East, so I was able to point upwind a little (and I was going as high into the wind as I could). This isn't the most comfortable sailing, so I was trying not to be down below that much. After a few days of this, though I was making good progress, I could see the boat falling apart slowly from the bashing and beating against the waves. I had tried to seal it up, but on this trip as well I was taking on water the whole way, and had to bail quite often. There is a rail (a rub rail) that goes around the boat and it is this plastic thing that covers the "hull-deck join" which is the spot that the deck and the hull were attached together when they made the boat. That rub rail was torn from the bow (by the waves) and then broke and I lost about 1/3 of the port side plastic thing, even though I tried to tie it back on. So I had about 15 little quarter inch holes that would get pushed under water when going through a big wave, and that made everything wet in the front, and filled the bilge. I am currently working on fixing that.
After four days the winds became light and though that was welcome because the seas dropped, so it was almost as calm as being on a lake, I wasn't able to make the progress, and I couldn't point as high, so I was going North and NW, instead of NE. Still, out in that calm patch (this patch is about the size of the USA) there were lots of interesting garbage pieces, and fish under them. I hooked into a few Mahi Mahi while puttering along. I was using the motor on and off to keep moving for the next 11 days, and then ran out of fuel, so I made very slow progress for about 2 days until I was able to pick up a light westerly! The winds blow in a circle around the North Pacific High, from the East in the trades and from the west above. I thought I was saved, but the winds dropped and I had calms and winds on and off for the whole rest of the trip, and lots of dense fog making it very cold.
There was one "storm" that came through near the end, and I could see the swell growing bigger and bigger, then the wind came up and I was flying along. I hit 13 knots down a wave before pulling in sail.
As I was about 400 miles from Port Hardy, I heard on the radio a small boat named "Zulu" calling. I had met Zulu first in Mexico (or I had seen them there, but not spoken with the crew) and then in Hawaii, and we crossed paths within 10 miles out in the middle of the blue! They had left 4 days before me, so I was pleased by my progress.
I ate a lot more than the other trip, so I ran out of food that I wanted to eat, and have been dreaming about things lately...