|SV INTREPID II at anchor in Sausalito - well earned rest|
We left the guest dock at Royal Victoria Yacht Club September 9th for Port Angeles, with crew Edie and Adam, and much unorganized, but essential gear aboard. Checking in to the USA, fueling up and provisioning went well; we had a quiet dinner aboard and and early night .full of anticipation. Early next morning INTREPID II headed out on her first cruising voyage, September 10th, with plans to sail non-stop direct to San Francisco if possible.
This chart gives a sense of the distance we set out to travel aboard INTREPID II. Best estimates fell between 700 to 800 nautical miles, dependent on what distance we kept offshore from the 'hard stuff' and what headings the winds allowed.
|Port Angeles WA to San Francisco CA|
We had light winds as we moved out the Strait of Juan de Fuca and were absorbing the fact that we were actually on our way! However, we required the spinnaker to keep pulling INTREPID II along at a steady speed. It was a colourful run, but resulted in very little miles made good. The day was both exhilarating and daunting. Evening fell, stars began to twinkle and we motor-sailed most of that first night, heading out towards 126 degrees to gain steady, northwest winds. The crew settled into 3 hour watches and sorted out responsibilities for meals and cabin chores.
|A little help from INTREPID II's colourful spinnaker|
|Newport is located approx. half-way down the Oregon coast (see red star)|
The exit over the bar was calmer than our entrance and Kelly motored out into what were forecast as favourable NW winds. We spotted humpback whales, dolphins, albatross, shearwaters and various other sea birds for a time. All seemed well, except we were experiencing south-easterly winds and they were rising.
The next hours and days became increasingly challenging and boisterous. INTREPID II and her crew had more excitement than we needed or requested. We had triple reefs in the main, a tiny jib unfurled, with the staysail ready to raise. Equipment jammed, jib cars shifted and several trips to the fore deck were needed, with waves washing over the bow and over Kelly and Adam. However, the monitor wind vane worked well (thanks Adam), our crew were invaluable (thanks Edie and Adam) and by the time the winds shifted to the north-northwest we felt we'd earned our offshore "spurs" to mix metaphors.
|Cape Mendocino - near Eureka|
What followed as INTREPID II continued southward was still challenging. However, the wind cooperated and at times we were hitting well over 7 knots, making up time. Kelly took us in to Drakes Bay, northwest of San Francisco, at 01:30 am Saturday, September 19th. With his local knowledge from last year's voyage on SV Kalagan and charts and radar, we were extremely glad to be at anchor. A quiet celebration was in order as we were almost at our destination.
|Last leg of our journey to San Francisco|
While Adam and Edie headed for the bright lights of San Francisco across the Bay by ferry, we settled in to a week of catching our breath, assessing the wear and tear on our most excellent vessel, getting some repairs attended to and seeing some of Sausalito. Pictures and more to come - it's a challenge to keep the connections going. [The images in this posting were taken from online tourist information which I understand are available for public use, with no intent to post copywritten material.]