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Report 13: We 'closed the loop' on 1st August, W of Tatoosh Island/Arrival in Victoria

Wednesday-Friday 1st-3rd August 2012

P1010699 Happy to be back! (Photo: MaryLou Wakefield)

We crossed our outbound path under full canvas to complete this circumnavigation at about 0915GMT(0215PDT) at 48 21'N, 125 19.5'W, on Wednesday 1st August (Day 20 from Hawaii), while sailing at 6 kt towards Tatoosh Island at the W entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Canada and the USA..

Lots of shipping around but we were well clear of it, although Tofino Radio informing me they couldn't see our AIS signal, nor a radar signal, was not welcome - so very little sleep was had overnight.. We struggled to make way with strong, swirling, ebb tidal current, while passing Tatoosh Island and on to Neah Bay, under overcast skies.

However, on reaching Pillar Pt, skies cleared completely and wind increased to well over 20 knots, so by 2pm we were enjoying a lovely, fast sail towards Victoria in bright sunshine, under a clear blue sky, with no shipping in sight, carrying a strong flood tide!! Fabulous!

I had to phone Ken , who was planning to take photos from the breakwater as I sailed through Victoria Harbour entrance, to ask him to let others know also that my ETA was being brought well forward ...We were making 9.6-10.4 kt SOG, with two reefs in, and just 20 mls to go! What a glorious finish!

After entering the breakwater, I downed the sails and made my way carefully alongside the float-plane take-off path to arrive at Ship Point, not far from the Empress Hotel and in sight of the Parliament building, just before 5pm PDT, to be greeted by friends, happy to see me back safely.... Lovely to see them also, but I first had to wait for officials to arrive so as to clear Customs before we could properly celebrate my landfall! Chek News TV camera was there, along with 'Times Colonist' reporter - so I made the evening news and next day's papers...! Everyone around has been very kind and I've had lots of good wishes and congratulations, so the last few days have been very pleasant - helped by continuing bright sunshine. I dressed 'Nereida' overall in gaily-coloured code flags and also hoisted lots of courtesy flags - a 'traditional' way to celebrate the completion of a circumnavigation!

Unfortunately, due to a 'technical hitch', the telephone interview by Sir Robin Kox-Johnson on BBC Radio Solent Friday evening didn't take place - disappointing, but it's expected to be re-scheduled for later this month.

There's a festive air i n Victoria - Monday is B.C. Day, making for a long holiday weekend, which includes a Symphony Concert in the Harbour on Sunday - so the Victoria Harbour area is full of boats and people enjoying the warm days and entertainers on the waterfront.

Written by : Mike

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