S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Optimistic that there will be more cruising on the horizon!

September 27, 2009

Leaving Home - Victoria to Sausalito - Sept. 9-19

SV INTREPID II at anchor in Sausalito - well earned rest
This is a delayed posting, from Sausalito, CA where the mooring is rolly and my typing shows it.  Our cruising adventures so far:

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.

Image result for chart of pacific from strait of juan de fuca to california
Port Angeles WA to San Francisco CA
What really occurred?

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
By the following day Kelly soon determined our fuel consumption and lack of favourable winds was unfortunately going to require a fuel stop.  INTREPID II headed for Newport, OR.  It was fortunate that Kelly had been there last year on his trip with SV Kalagan, as there was quite a churning sea at the breakwater.  It was a very boisterous ride heading in, with sea lions and pelicans looking on as he steered our vessel through the foaming seas in the harbour entrance. Saturday, September 12th we were welcomed to "J" dock by the captain of a catamaran and met some fellow boaters.  We rounded off the day with a trip to the Rogue Brewery for a late dinner, followed by a welcomed rest at the dock.
Newport is located approx. half-way down the Oregon coast (see red star)
Sunday was a sightseeing day, with time for Mexican food at La Roca restaurant and obtaining some additional provisions.  Monday, September 14th we fueled up and calibrated the fuel tanks. Surprisingly we determined INTREPID II's capacity was only 30 plus 36 gallons for 66 gallons, not the 86 gallons we had understood were the diesel fuel tanks capacity.  This was a significant variance and one which definitely would limit our cruising range.  (We had never needed to completely fill our tanks so far so had no reason to question the volume.)

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
Cape Mendocino proved manageable for which we were very grateful - we knew we could expect daunting weather.  This cape is the western-most point on the coast of California and is known for the volatile weather and wave conditions which can extend far out into the ocean.  If there is a deep low pressure zone inland meeting a strong North Pacific high pressure, the winds become strong and hazardous.

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
Next morning we awoke to fog, but with radar on we left our anchorage and headed for the last leg of this journey. Our anticipation and excitement was rising.  We motored under the Golden Gate Bridge which was mostly visible at 14:00 that afternoon.  It was a rewarding feeling after all those days at sea. Sausalito Yacht Club welcomed us to their dock for a short time, to let our crew go ashore to make hotel and travel arrangements.  We were all ecstatic to have hot showers and to have reached our initial cruising goal.  We then moved INTREPID II to a SYC mooring and dinghied in later to visit the clubhouse.

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.]