Sailing home is always bittersweet – it’s the end of a journey, a return to work, and the end of amazing days figuring out how to harness the wind to take us to beautiful anchorages. On the other hand, it’s a return to a bit more normalcy, routine, and the creature comforts of land life. Returning from a long cruise always stuns me with how comfortable modern life is, how few true problems we have in an average day, and how fortunate we are that that’s the case. It’s no wonder that some sailors never manage to leave the dock.
After Victoria, since we had less than a week left to our month long cruise, it was time to start heading back to Seattle.
[This post took place from July 26-30.]
Always amazing sunsets at Sidney Spit
Sidney Spit had lots of birdlife in the morning. We saw at least a dozen blue herons and this group of seagulls was just a splinter group of a couple hundred seagulls.
We had a couple extra days in our schedule in the Victoria area, so we spent two nights at Becher Bay (around the corner from Race Rocks), doing some fishing both mornings. The point off Becher Bay is a fishing hotspot, and there were 40 small fishing boats out there with us. Since we were in our dinghy, we were the smallest boat out there, and got some curious looks. We didn’t catch anything (trolling along the 120 to 200 ft lines with a flasher, weight and green/white spoon as the current switched to flood) in the course of an hour and a half, but we only saw one other boat catch something (what looked like a small rockfish).
I’ve been having a difficult time having the patience required for fishing. It seems it involves hours and hours of sitting around not catching anything. As they say, fishing is called fishing, not catching. But why do so many people do it when they’re not getting any fish? I guess they may think the same thing about sailing – why sit there for hours going so slow instead of using a motorboat that can go 15 kts instead?
[This post took place from July 22 – 25]
Race Passage – Riding the Lazy River to Esquimalt
We left Becher Bay near the start of the flood and caught a 4-5 knot push through Race Passage. We were sailing, because there had been some inflow breeze in Becher Bay, but the wind completely disappeared outside the bay. But since we were going 4-5 kts on current, we figured we’d just keep going like that, with just the main up. It was fun going through lots of tide rips and lines of squaking sea birds competing for position in the swirling waters.
The cool thing about riding current is it looks like you’re not moving (the boat isn’t moving relative to the water, so there are no ripples, no sound and no apparent wind) but looking to shore you can see the land behind rapidly slipping by (called “making trees” in sailor lingo). After Race Passage we had 7-8 kts wind behind us, so we sailed slowly up to the Esquimalt Harbor entrance. Even though it’s only July 22, we seem to be well into August weather now – there was little wind today and the Strait was socked in fog.
Sea birds competing to feed in the swirling waters