KatieKat 2005 Cruise Chapter Eight

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GoBackTo 2005 Cruise Chapter Seven
7 August 2005On the Hard in Port Hardy
31 August 2005Desolation Sound to Victoria
15 September 2005BC to San Francisco Bay
31 December 2005Year-End Reflections (updated July 2006)
GoFwdTo 2006 Cruise Chapter One

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7 August, 2005 -- On the Hard in Port Hardy

We arrived in Port Hardy at the end of July and had the boat hauled out since we were trailing an unbelievable amount of grass which translated into a slow boat. Should have had a diver go down and clean it, as the grass was only at the surface and the bottom paintjob from New Zealand was still perfect! Nevertheless, since hauling out the boat is a rare and very intensive event for us, we applied two coats of paint, did some engine preventive maintenance, relaunched, and then continued southwards taking advantage of a stalled high pressure system offshore which gave us some strong northwesterlies.

[KatieKat on Hoist] [Grass on boat bottom]

KatieKat on the hoist, before the grass was pressure-washed off.

[KatieKat on the hard] [Kathy polishing hull underneath]

KatieKat on the hard - just to give you an idea of what it looks like. Thankfully, the predictions were accurate and we had fantastic weather. After the painting, we took advantage of the rare opportunity to get under the boat and clean it up.

[Photo of rust-covered autopilot motor housing] Our backup Simrad/Navico WP10 autopilot is independently mounted on the port steering wheel. When I tried to test it, it refused to work: the rust-covered motor housing tells the story! Surprised at this, as it sits mostly protected under the canopy and nevertheless SHOULD be waterproof :-(

Update, 20 August, 2005
From Port Hardy we had elected to go back down inside to Georgia Strait rather than down the outside of Vancouver Island (which I REALLY wanted to do!) simply because of time/schedule constraints. We sailed down through Desolation Sound, Secret Cove, Nanaimo, the Gulf Islands, and are presently in Sidney cleaning and preparing the boat for visiting friends...

[Fishing boat named Never Again] The name of this fishing boat in Port McNeill struck my funny-bone! Happily, that's not the case with us, but I can't help but wonder about the story behind this...

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31 August, 2005 -- Desolation Sound to Victoria

As there was the ever-present concern of not being able to meet our mid-September ship rendezvous in Vancouver, we decided to continue our southward trek inside rather than going down around the outside of Vancouver Island - [(sigh), as this was a coastal passage I had long wanted to make]. We sailed down Johnstone Strait and ducked inside over to lovely Octopus Islands - from there, touching Desolation Sound (which is anything but desolate and is crowded with charter boats and families on a sailing holiday). As you can see from the chart below, we meandered our way down to Sidney where longtime-friends Marya and Lee joined us for a few beautiful days in the Gulf Islands and the San Juans.

[Chart of greater Georgia Strait] Our wiggly path shows us wandering the Gulf Islands, the San Juans, down to Sequim, back up to Victoria and then the Gulf Islands to join the BC Multihull Society sail-in, before heading southwards. Desolation Sound is the area just above the words "Cortes Bay" on the chart.

[Photo of red spinnaker] Soon after this photo was taken of us sailing down Johnstone Strait with our small spinnaker, the winds climbed, peaking at over 30 knots. We had a great ride, and the spinnaker didn't explode! Nice to finally have some decent wind, as the months of windless motoring DO get tiring.

[Kathy picking berries] This time of year, the islands are covered with blackberries. We gorged ouselves! Here's Kathy picking berries on Cortes Island.

[Sidney docks with flowers] [Sidney docks with flowers]

In all of our travels, I must say that Port Sidney Marina distinguishes itself with the beauty of its dock decorations. They go the extra-mile to create a most-pleasant ambiance - (mind you, you pay for it, but the flowers turn an otherwise-normal marina into a very pleasing and colorful setting).

After dropping off our friends in Friday Harbor in the San Juans, we made some foggy crossings of the Strait of Juan de Fuca over to Sequim and then back up to Victoria and up to the Gulf Islands. We were scheduled to load KatieKat onto Dockwise (now in Nanaimo instead of Vancouver) and take her to Florida, from where we had intended to continue our cruising up the US East Coast next year. For a variety of reasons, at this point in time we made a most significant decision which was to temporarily suspend our cruising lifestyle and return home by sailing KatieKat back down the coast to San Francisco Bay. Postscript, late October. We would have offloaded KatieKat in Port Everglades, and it's our understanding that Hurricane Wilma went straight over it.

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15 September, 2005 -- British Columbia to San Francisco Bay

When in the San Juans we bumped into sailors Dr. Dennis Britain and his wife Linda from Oregon with whom we had exchanged emails earlier this year. After chatting with them, their hometown of Newport in Yaquima Bay became our destination for the first leg of our hop down the coast. One thing about coastal sailing: if you've got the time, you can pick your weather! A high settled in off the coast and, as it was the end of summer and such opportunities could become rare, we decided to simply go for it and see what happens. We started off from Port Angeles in light winds and mostly motorsailed down the Washington coast, but the night before reaching Newport the winds and seas climbed (a 2am spinnaker takedown when the wind suddenly spiked from 20kts-->35kts was, uh, 'interesting') and we pulled into Newport through some heavy fog and howling north winds - KatieKat handling it all with aplomb. We relaxed in Newport, enjoyed the pleasant company of Dennis and Linda on their wonderfully-outfitted Hunter 460 http://www.photorunplus.com/rapture, and then continued on down the coast, making an uneventful non-stop run to San Francisco Bay. What distinguished this coastal passage from others was the unvarying wind direction (northerly mostly light tailwind the whole way except for the spikes off Newport and Cape Mendocino) and the very poor visibility we experienced - and were we ever thankful for our radar!

[Map of Northwest US Coast] Our path down the coast, with Newport being our only stop.

[Kathy with Cape Flattery in the background] An almost windless Cape Flattery marking the left turn from the Straits of Juan de Fuca for the sail down the coast.

[Cat sleeping in crevice on spinnaker bag] Mika the cat quickly acquired open-ocean sealegs and learned to appropriately wedge herself while continuing to sleep soundly.

[Kathy picking berries] The cat was wondering why we were so excited at seeing that stupid bridge visible behind her.

[Golden Gate Bridge, Joe on bow] [Looking up at foggy Golden Gate Bridge and windgen] [Kathy and Golden Gate Bridge looking aft]

It's always exciting sailing in under the Golden Gate Bridge!

[Port of San Francisco sign on Ferry Building] Just in case we're lost they tell us where we are on the Ferry Building.

[KatieKat in marina] Stepping ashore in home territory after 5-1/2 years of cruising! As a reminder of KatieKat's origins and her past happy life, we're keeping her at Brisbane Marina.

Soon after arriving, we became immersed in the ridiculously hectic, overscheduled, frantic, overpriced, and traffic-clogged Silicon Valley lifestyle (and we're not even holding down regular jobs!). I hope to be providing this year's cruising summary by December ... thank you all for your emails and patience and perseverence with this website. Hopefully, there will be more cruising adventures in the future... Joe + Kathy Siudzinski

31 December, 2005 -- Year-End Reflections (updated July 2006)

Compared with our previous five years' cruising in the SouthWest Pacific, this year's Alaska trip was about as benign as it gets. If it weren't for some mild excitement during the subsequent cruise down the coast to California, I would have called this entire year a big yawn. My article in the March/April 2006 issue of Multihulls Magazine pretty much tells the tale.

First off, our annual summary, for this year -

Boat Perceptions Update

As always, the distinguising characteristic of our Seawind 1000 that is priceless is the comfortable sheltered main saloon with unrestricted 360-degree visibility. This feature was especially valuable this year as a constant vigil had to be kept to avoid the logs in the Pacific Northwest. About all I can add to all the preceding years' December perceptions writeups is that we again proved that the boat is also a very comfortable cruiser in cooler climes. Furthermore, I can now say that for myself I now have no qualms taking our modified and well-equipped catamaran offshore.

What's Coming (written July 2006)

Apologies for almost no postings since we returned home - I had forgotten how hectic 'normal' life is! After fixing up the house and attempting (unsuccessfully) to unpack our stored belongings, we hope to leave in mid-September and start off with some coastal cruising. In the meantime, I've participated in some local races, showed off KatieKat at the Strictly Sail boatshow, taken friends out for daysails, and am about to start a few significant upgrades to KatieKat. Stay tuned, as a FAQ update is also in the offing ...

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