We left!

On Friday, August 19th, we skipped out of our slip in Boat Haven, waved goodbye to friends on docks and piers along the waterfront and merrily congratulated ourselves on finally starting our trip. Barefoot, sunny, smiling, we enjoyed a whole 20 minutes of bliss before rounding Point Wilson and launching straight into thick fog, steep waves and ripping currents. Waves crashed over the bow and water rushed down both decks. Of course I was instantly seasick (but I didn’t feed the fish). What fun! We decided to go a little farther to see if the whole Strait was like this and Rob angled us out into deeper water. Pretty soon it calmed down and we had a fine 6 hour motor to Port Angeles. The fog stuck with us the whole time but we could see all passing ships on our radar and AIS so with that and an occasional bow watch we felt pretty good.

Saturday we were the first sailboat out of Port Angeles harbor, untying our dock lines at 6 am while an amazing orange sunrise over Mount Baker unfolded. Glassy smooth swells rode under us as the sun shone down while we cruised over to Neah Bay. Tried to fly the asymmetrical spinnaker but the winds were too light so back to diesel. It was beautiful to see the whole north coastline of the peninsula by water. I looked for all the river estuaries that NOSC works on throughout the West End. (Yep, that’s a NOSC shout out!)

Now it’s Wednesday morning, already the 24th of August, and the digital voice on the radio says the weather is JUST FINE. So, now we’re really leaving! Neah Bay has treated us well, the town is gearing up for Makah Days, which sadly we’ll miss. But we’ve been lucky enough to get to watch the canoe teams practicing around the harbor, and meet the girls running for Makah Days royalty. We also watched a basketball tournament, visited the Technology Center and spent some time at the amazing Makah museum. It’s very special to spend our last NW days here, listening to eagles and ravens and pouring rain and tribal drumbeats. We even caught up on our sleep and boat projects when it blew 35 and deposited almost a foot of rain on us Monday. But the time has come! We have to get going before the last of our Red Dog Farm kale and Colinwood lettuce is gone. (The Finnriver blueberries barely lasted past Discovery Bay.) San Francisco, here we come!

Thank you for all the wonderful well wishes, cards, sweet gifts and loving farewells. We miss you already!

Love,
The crew of Velella velella
Kai, Rob and Ben

P.S. Is anyone in our slip yet?

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Sailing Away for Now Party this Saturday August 13th – Don’t miss it!

If you are around PT this weekend, you should come to our Bon Voyage party! 3-6 pm Saturday August 13th. We’re tying up Velella velella one last time to the Maritime Center dock and we’re having a potluck with music, drinks, food, and fresh oysters. Come check out the boat and lay some words of advice on us. Then later- roving dance party!

Hope to see you there. We plan to cast off next week!

Velella velella wants to GO!

To Do Lists

They are really, really incredible. To do lists. They have a special power over us these days; I carry mine with me everywhere (uptown, downtown, the hardware store, the head-you never know when you may think of something!) But somehow no matter how many things we cross off, the list has babies and multiplies. My favorite things on the list are the ones that are actually more like 21 things to do listed under one innocent phrase like “Masts.” Ha!

Here are some things we have mostly crossed off since March/April 2011:

  • Design, weld and install a recycled stern pulpit (thanks Bill Campbell)
  • Attempt to pattern, modify and sew new sail covers (thanks Kelsey and Ellen and others)
  • Drop masts to paint, check, repair, fix and generally give some love to our spruce spars, rigging and wiring (thanks Freja Boat Shop, Josh, and many others)
  • Haul out to paint bottom, buff topsides and put some major work into our not-so-small rudder (thanks Kees Prins)
  • Work on engine, fuel tanks, bits parts and pieces (thanks Walt)
  • Sew lee cloths and weather cloths, install grommets (thanks Sarah and Aliina)
  • Keep hacking away at the sail covers (did I mention I haven’t sewn since Life Skills class in high school?)
  • Acquire a pile of things used from Craigs List, Ebay and friends including an EPIRB, Switlik 6-person liferaft, charts, chart card for GPS,  (de)flatable dinghy to get us to shore, stellar old outboard engine…the list goes on. It was fun to drive to peoples’ homes and hear their stories as they passed on their cruising gear to us.

What else? Did I mention we had full-time jobs until July?

>> Create a first-aid kit that could treat a small country = 2 days (thanks Nurse Mom)
>> Install an exotic and elaborate (to us) self-steering wind vane = 3 days + (thanks Myron)
>> Install Single Side Band radio = lost count (go Rob! Thanks Ace)
>> Feeling like we may actually go on this trip, even if we’re broke, exhausted and technically or chronically “not quite ready”? = PRICELESS

Oh yah, and we are really freaking excited. And happy. And feeling grateful and blessed. Big huge thanks to everyone near and far who has been so supportive and helpful sharing time, advice and just positive “You can do it and you’re not crazy!” vibes. We’ll try to get farther than Neah Bay/Cape Flattery so as not to let you down.

Here we come Ocean! Hope YOU are ready for US.

Love, K.W. and R.S.

P.S. I can’t stop with the lists: Costco provisioning, meal planning for gluten-free meals, travel insurance, moving out of our house, parading around in massive orange immersion suits, dropping screws and bolts and car keys overboard into the harbor, 2 quarter port showers, picking, ordering and installing solar panels (!), engine mount, cruisin’ around the dusty yard looking at how other Ingrids do things, our first call on our SSB radio to “True Blue” on her way to Hawaii! I have to say, the cruising books I devoured did NOT adequately cover all this pre-cast off work. But it’s all amazing and gives much more meaning and reality checks and deep joy to what we’re doing.

P.P.S. More pictures coming soon I promise! Watch the Picasa link on the right side of our site to vicariously follow along our work and play.