Friday/Saturday 27/28th July 2012 (Days 15/16)
Very mixed sailing - excellent yesterday afternoon and overnight as a passing Low and Cold Front gave good wind - we were consistently making around 7.4kt. Eventually, around midnight, in fine rain, I took in the first reef, being clearly over-canvassed in winds of 18 kt ...and we still made the same speed! Early this morning, the wind suddenly dropped and veered, increasing again, not long afterward - I gybed the mains'l.. in drizzle. Later found we were heading DDW, in slightly backed wind, so I poled out the genoa - took the usual long time...! It's stayed poled-out all day and into tonight.
Thought I should try to contact Tofino Radio last night to let them know I'm single-handing and soon to get close to the shippping lanes of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and also expecting to make landfall in Victoria, Canada , from Hawaii, USA, so needing to inform Immigration and Customs. Should have been simple enough - just call on the Distrass and Calling HF channels, which they should be keeping watch on, and then move to their working channel once contact made.... Simple...? No way!
I called on each of the dedicated channels several times, but got no response from Tofino. Made excellent contact with New Zealand on 12 and 9 MHz though - Taupo Coast Radio heard my boat name and came up to find out who I was trying to contact... They knew me, of course, from my twice-daily reporting-in from NZ waters all the way to Tahiti and he commented - "Not far to go now!"... Then Kodiak (Alaska) joined the party - COMSTA Kodiak (don't know that that stands for!) came up to ask whether I had a problem and eventually relayed lots of info about the boat to Tofino who had a problem copying me - from 650 mls away...!!
I couldn't figure out why we couldn't talk on another, better frequency, rather than 'COMSTA Kodiak' having continually to relay my information... If I could speak to Alaska and New Zealand, surely I should have been able to speak directly to Tofino? Anyway, I ended up with a Transit number - U150, I was told. Presumably for their paperwork and to quote at officials when I land. Tofino will now keep an eye out for any shipping in my vicinity that might cause me a problem (or vice versa) - and hopefully warn us of each other's presence. AIS isn't infallible - especiallly when fishing vessels and barges with long log tows are around.
I found a packet of ANZAC bicuits when I looked for some fresh ones to have with my tea - from Australia, of course. I was in Tasmania on Anzac Day and all the shops were selling stacks of 'Anzac biscuits'... Turns out that 40% of the selling price goes to RSL (Returning Services League) to help support Veterans, their families and the wider community - seemed a good way to raise funds!. The RSL was started in 1916 for support after the bloodshed at Gallipoli - which Anzac Day originally commemorated, with so many Aus and NZ soldiers in action (and killed) there.
I heard the London Olympics opening ceremony was last night - I'm missing the Games totally.... Will have lots of catching up to do on landfall! Hope our sailors do as well this time in Portland as 4 yrs ago in Qingdao - they did supremely well there!
DMG Friday: 128 n.ml.; Saturday: 147 n.ml. Distance toTatoosh Island : 511 n.ml.