Thurs 7.30 p.m. Dark. Wind keeps varying - mainly ~10 kt with occasional gusts to ~15kt. Full genoa and reefed mainsail are working well with help from motor to give 6kt SOG. Seas still 2-3 m from S, so they're knocking us about most of the time - have to be careful to hold on well when moving around.
SSB/HF radio propagation is getting really bad at times. Could not make any decent contact tonight with Pacific Seafarers Net at 0330 GMT. Heard Jimmy, NQ6P, for a few minutes at one point - but then signal took a dive and we lost contact completely. But contact with Winlink stns is usually OK for emailing - I can usually find a good station on 40m or 80m for email contact.
10.30 p.m. LT Looking at weather info, it seems that as we approach Cape Flattery overnight into Friday morning, the wind will pick up from 13kt now to 20 kt or more, from its present direction of SE - a narrow band of stronger SE wind lying along the Pacific coast. So it seems a good precaution to reduce the genoa now, if I'm to get a reasonable amount of sleep tonight....... Headlamp on...... "Hey ho, hey ho, it's up on deck I go ...."
Fri 4:30 a.m. Genoa furled in - being headed by wind backing to ESE. Motor rpm increased to give ~5kt SOG. Approaching Strait entrance - unfortunately just in time to catch beginning of ebb - max ebb current is 1.3 kt (foul) around 7:30 a.m. - around the time we'll probably be passing by just to N of Neah Bay - the Makah village near Cape Flattery in Washington state, USA. I can see clearly the Cape Flattery white light (actually on Tatoosh Island, whose photo features above my web pages), the yellow light in the middle of the Traffic Separation zone (almost dead ahead) and, fine on the starboard bow, the red light on Duncan Rock - to be avoided! I'll be up on deck as we get close to there, to make sure we stay well clear - it's 12 mls away now - so over two hours to go as our speed decreases, fighting the ebb.
There's a fishing boat inshore of us, heading NE around the Cape, as we are, and four ships in the shipping lanes to our N - well out of our way.
7:20 a.m. Fishing boat is heading into Neah Bay ahead. Just rounded Duncan Rock and set course to head along Strait of Juan de Fuca. Struggling to make way against maximum ebb and ~20kt of headwind from E. Line of deep orange on horizon ahead - first light increasing to give good sight of coast outline around Cape Flattery. Slight rainshower as we rounded Duncan Rock.
8 a.m. Wind down at times from 18 kt to 13 kt but still only making ~3-4 kt against the ebb as well ... Good to chat to some radio friends for last half hour. In calmer, although still a bit bumpy, waters now so looking forward to some coffee - first time in several days.
Expect a slow, relaxed trip to Victoria - distance of 55mls still, so will take all day, to get in late sometime Friday evening and then move on to the Causeway Dock in Victoria's Inner Hbr on Saturday morning.
11 a.m. The sun has got out, the heater is on, I've made some fresh coffee and I'm busy washing dishes with some of the plentiful hot water available now! Also made further use of my Aurora/Iridium phone connection to organise arrival and eventual Customs Clearance of the new drogue.
12:45 p.m. Just checked on tide through Race Passage - looks like towards end of present flood when likely to reach there, so can go inside Race Rocks. Slack before ebb is at 23:44 GMT and we'll take another 3 1/2 hrs to get there - arriving around 23:20 if present good speed is kep up (6.5 kt). Will check again when closer - boat speed could welll drop as flood tide lessens.
6.:30 p.m. What an enjoyable last leg to Victoria Hbr! The sun shone brightly on relatively calm and deserted waters all afternoon and we motor-sailed with full genoa for quite a time and made Race Passage just before the ebb started .. I enjoyed the coast scenery (very few houses) and views across the Strait to the Olympics and we made the Victoria Outer Hbr around sunset (having to avoid a lot of big logs floating in the waters nearby), to drop the mains'l and make for the Customs Dock in the last of the daylight... Perfect timing! Someone on his boat even recognised 'Nereida' as I headed for the Customs Dock - and I got a loud "Welcome, Jeanne!" - amazing! Having been in International waters, clearing Customs was a necessary formality to be gone through but the two officials who turned up couldn't have been more pleasant - pity we couldn't share a glass of wine!
Tomorrow morning, I'll make for the fuel dock and then on to the Causeway Dock where I expect to meet up with several friends. For now, I'll enjoy a lovely hot shower and a good meal - with wine!
My to-do list following landfall is as follows:
Organise drogue being sent to Victoria from Fedex office in Richmond, Surrey, B.C. (Customs Clearance needed) and install with new shackle replacing missing one on port quarter.
Stow/flake JSD line into its bag. Buy new retrieval line and fix in place..
Staysail repair - to be dealt with on Monday.
Short section of lifeline oame adrift - new clevis pin needed plus ring to hold in place - last ring clearly too flimsy since went missing in the big seas ... Lucky not to have lost the length of wire, with its end fittings, overboard...
Tidy up in head and in aft cabin and fix items there more firmly, so cannot move in big seas.
Replace all valves in toilet system- not done before leaving (works fairly well but a precautionary measure...)
Buy new sturdy bright torch (flashlight) (to replace one that went overboard...!)
Organise main cabin better - too many items moved in big seas.
Check sending of photos via XGate and Aurora... (From iPad seems good but not from computer or smartphone - sent photo of damaged JSD cones to website from iPad)
Keep an eye out for a good weather window - I expect to be ready to re-start any time from Wed/Thurs onward... Totally weather-dependent.
Making good speed with the flood tide - not far to go to Race Rock
Race Rock LH
Damaged staysail - Victoria Hbr in view