Trancemission 15

Trancemission 15

After going through the pros and cons a hundred times, Drew and I decided that I should meet him in Vancouver, Canada for the weekend. He was going to be playing electronic music at “Trancemission”, an outdoor festival north of Vancouver and since I had never seen him play and many of our friends would be there, it seemed worth the trip – AND IT WAS!

Juan De Fuca Straight

N 48°11.183′
W 123°39.189′

Yesterday there was a weather advisory for high winds in the Juan De Fuca Straight so we decided to spend the day in Port Angeles catching up on day job work, boat projects and showers (my shower was unfortunately in a large room accompanied by 30 prepubescent children. It was traumatic for everyone involved).

I also went grocery shopping to provision the boat for the next big stretch down to San Francisco. It’s a little tricky to plan 10-12 days worth of meals, without a refrigerator, knowing that by day 6 all fresh produce will be dead and gone. I got a bag of oranges so that we don’t get scurvy.

We left Port Angeles at around 11am this morning. It’s my first time captaining for the day – I’m strict but fair. We are currently motoring up the Juan De Fuca Straight heading towards Neah Bay. We expect to be there by 9pm tonight, then we just wait for a good weather window to head out to sea. It’s super cold and the wind is blowing straight at us so we probably won’t get the sails up today. We are also out of water – this morning I had to make the coffee and tea with club soda. Regardless, we are both happy and excited to make it to the launching off point tonight.

Another bit of wind

N 48°15.520′
W 123°22.437′

Its been pretty cold since we left Vancouver on day one. Yesterday it was not only cold but also completely lacking any wind so we spent about 8 hours motoring, bundled up and remembering the glory of the day before – sunshine, perfect wind, and celebratory scotch. Today is still chilly, but the winds are better. We crossed the US/Canada border at 1:30pm with the sails up, traveling at about 6 knots! Now we head for Port Angeles to clear customs…

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Crossing the US border

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Port Angeles in the distance

Fishing!

N 48°40.281′
W 123°24.574

One of the jobs on the boat that I have taken on is “fish master”. So far I have been less than successful.

My experience, until recently, was limited to childhood pond fishing expeditions with my dad and some spear fishing here and there. I can’t specifically remember ever catching anything except for the summer in Mexico when I was 13 and speared a whole bag full of fish. Upon surfacing, my dad gently explained that angel fish aren’t especially good for eating, then stood next to me, helping me filet each one, and then frying up the 1/4 inch slivers for dinner. He was right, angel fish *aren’t* especially good for eating.

Now I am trying to figure out the whole “sea fishing under sail” thing. I have a couple of books, “The Fisherman’s Ocean” which is written by a Ph.D. oceanographer and takes a more scientific approach, and “The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing” which I highly recommend and has given me a ton of useful information. I also have a little book on fishing rigs that has helped me with the setup.

Drew has equipped me with all sorts of lines lures and swivels. Now all I have to do is catch us dinner. Currently I am running two handlines off the aft cleats on either side of the boat. One is a simple rope-snubber-rope-snap swivel-braided line ending with a spoon lure. The second is more complicated with rope-snubber-rope-snap swivel-braided line-Delta Diver-monofilament-flasher-monofilament ending with an artificial anchovy lure.

I figured by now I’d have piles of fish on deck, and my biggest problem would be how to wash the blood stains away…but like I said, not even a bite yet.

blood moon and a cockpit full of peanut shells

N 49°00.709′
W 123°34.970′

We pulled away from Granville Island dock at 4:28pm. We kissed and bounced and smiled at finally reaching escape velocity.

We sailed along with light winds for a while and discussed the possibility of sailing through the night, taking watch shifts and then arriving at Port Angeles by tomorrow afternoon. A few hours later the wind started picking up and we were making solid progress at 5-6 knots then the water started getting choppy and the VHF was saying possible gale force winds so we looked at the map and chose an anchorage near Porlier Pass – about 3 hours away – to spend the night. I settled in with some lures and fishing line while Drew intermittently tossed peanut shells at me. The moon rose red and the sky was patched with rainbow bursts. I think it’s a good omen.

Day 1: so far so good.