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Report 11 on final leg of RTW - Nth to Juan de Fuca...ETA Victoria Wed 1st Aug

Sunday/Monday 29/30th July 2012 (Days 17/18)

Managing with difficulty to keep on target for early evening Wed 1st August arrival at Ship Point in Victoria Hbr, close to Empress Dock Causeway - but with mostly light , fickle W winds, use of 'iron sail' has been essential to keep up our speed, with frequent motorsailing to avoid both night landfall and also night passage through the Strait of Juan de Fuca - never a very good idea in view of the possible hazard of big logs or tree trunks in the water (a general hazard throughout B.C. waters) added into possible tugs with long log tows, big ships headed to Seattle or Vancouver and fishing vessels passing through on their way to the coast.

Have kept the pole up - mostly with the genoa poled out on it, goosewinged with the mains'l, but at times the genoa has been taken off the pole and over to starboard, as the wind has veered slightly under a raincloud- and then usually increased for a short while so often I was able to cut the engine for some peace and quiet under sail alone.

With the light winds, swell has become minimal so moving about the boat has been a lot easier. Sea temperature has actually increased slightly - clearly we've moved out of the colder S-flowing Alaska current and into slightly warmer inshore waters.

Tonight, occasionally, the rainclouds have cleared to give a lovely view of the near-full moon shining on the relatively calm sea... but no starry skies... Last night, I was out on deck frequently, dealing with the sails but had no need of a torch or headlamp with the bright moonlight being diffused through the thin cloud layer.

Lots of emails to answer or compose again - both congratulatory ones, being so close to finishing now, and ones dealing with boat problems or arrangements to deal with problems. It doesn't help that radio communication is often poor just now - so getting a connection to send/receive emails has often been time-consuming.

Had another go at contacting Tofino Radio - being only just over 200 ml away, I thought it might be easier... I knew what to do this time, after calling on 2182 and 4125 kHz to no avail ... Called up COMSTA Kodiak on 6215 and they relayed my message to Tofino (by phone?). Eventually heard Tofino calling on 4MHz but they couldn't hear me. There was nothing heard on 2MHz. So we still haven't communicated. Close to the Strait, I should be able to use VHF to talk to them - maybe!!

'Charisma' has been on passage for several days from Honolulu now, headed to Seattle, so we've had a regular 'sched' and it's been good to chat for a time most evenings - just as when we both sailed from Tahiti to Hawaii. They've had a problem with water collecting in the bilges - something the pump is coping with just now but clearly a job for when they get in! Chris and Alexis' son Seth has been busy with schoolwork whilst on passage - it still has to be done, ready for September! It was the same for Doug and Susan's three children on 'Long Shot II' - presently on passage from Fanning Island to Penrhyn - schoolwork has to take place most days if they're not to be behind when they return to Canada next year.

DMG: Sunday: 141 n.ml. ; Monday: 138 n.ml. - would be nice if we'd been able consistently to keep up the 7kt or more we had under a cloud for a time over last night!!

Distance to Tatoosh Island/Cape Flattery (Mon 1700PDT/Tues 0000 GMT) : 232 n.ml.

Written by : Mike

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