2002 Seattle Reports

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Course Advanced Coastal Cruising; Canadian Gulf Islands
Date July 30-Aug 6, 2002
Students: David and Matthew Gifford, D.R. Bryan, Fran Brown & Stuart Kaplan
Captain: Bill McClure

 Monday, 29 July- We all met at-the marina in Anacortes by three in the afternoon. We were David and Matthew Gifford, D.R. Bryan, Fran Brown, Stuart Kaplan and myself, Captain Bill McClure. We introduced ourselves all around and began the process of sorting out who was taking what course which included the ASA 101, 103, 104, and 106 levels. After discussing objectives for each course, we called it a day and went ashore for dinner. 

Tuesday, 30 July- After an early rising and showers and breakfast ashore we got busy learning the boat beginning with all the through hulls and the location of all the safety equipment. A quick survey of the boat showed very few problems. The small wear holes in the headsail where I had previously applied sail tape to prevent any further chafing were not any worse for wear. We left the Skyline marina and sailed to Anacortes to provision. Then sailed for three hours to anchor for the night in Shoal Bay on Lopez Island. Dinner aboard, lessons and some sea stories and it was time for a good nights rest. 

Wednesday, 31 July - We began the day with breakfast followed by lessons. Safety issues were discussed and watches assigned While the crew practiced reefing and further familiarized themselves with the boat, the 101 student and I covered a lot of-the basics. Soon everyone wanted in on the nomenclature review so we started at the front of the boat and named every component we came to. By noon we got underway and headed for Victoria, spent an hour off the southern tip of Goose Island watching Orcas whales and were in Victoria at the customs dock at 7:35 in the evening. After a walk around the beautiful Parliament lawns we split company and went our separate ways to dinner. 

Thursday, 1 August - The morning was cool at 60F and not a cloud in the sky. We did classroom studies, until noon then sailed out of Victoria around Trial Point and north to South Pender Island. It was a delightful sail with snow covered Mount Baker in the background and another show by the Orcas off San Juan Island. Arriving at Bedwell Harbour we practiced a couple of dockings and then got a slip for the night. Stuart fixed a wonderful dinner of baked salmon then we studied and said goodnight. 

Friday, 2 August - We dumped our trash and pumped out the holding tank and had a wonderful breakfast aboard and were just about to cast off when a lady approached the boat with fresh hot apple and apple rhubarb pies. We bought two pies and sat down to a second breakfast. Departing the dock we practiced maneuvering under power and man overboard drills before leaving the harbor at noon for Active Pass and the Straights of Georgia which is the primary shipping route into Vancouver and up and down the west coast of Canada. Lots of traffic good winds, (on the nose), deep water (600 ft plus), and plenty of sunshine made far a great sail. For a while in the afternoon the winds died but then as night fell they picked up and increased as lightening and storms passed to our south. Afterwards, the winds went light again. 

Friday, 3 August- The winds continued light, and soon after arriving at Texada Island we realized we would never make it all the way around before dark so we made a turn and headed back; by 0800 were once again just south of Texada Island. At 4:00 in the afternoon we arrived at Silva Bay on Gabriola Island and tied up at Pages Marina. Sarah the lady who runs Pafes had made fresh pies so once again the pie brigade struck and two more fresh pies were purchased. We invited a Canadian couple from the next boat to join us for desert and coffee. After dinner we had to forego lessons as everyone was ready for a casual evening in the company of new friends. 

Saturday, 4 August- The barometer was up and the sun bright as we left Gabriola Island at 0830. The wind was light so we motored sailed down the coast past islands covered with seals basking in the sun. Three times we spotted the spouting of whales but were not able to get near enough to actually see them. Then, as we came around the south corner of Susha Island, we saw otters playing near the shore. Seals came to visit the boat as we were anchored overnight inside the harbor on Susha Island. 

Sunday, 5 August- We spent the morning reviewing what we had learned and some objectives of the courses, then raised anchor and made for the customs dock at Roche Harbor. I had to pay for a 2002 Customs Sticker ($25.00) but otherwise the customs clearance was very easy. We moved the boat down the dock and went in search of fresh seafood to cook for dinner, found what we wanted, and were then underway. We anchored in Garrison Bay, and I went ashore while an early supper was- being prepared. Back on the boat we had dinner, and a last review before motoring to Shoal Bay for the night. 

Monday, 6 August- From Shoal Bay to Flounder Bay in Skyline took only few hours. Students took their final tests, and were finished by noon. Tests over, good-byes said and everyone was headed back home. All agreed it was a great week spent on the water.

Skyline Marina, Anacortes, WA
August 7, 2002

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