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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Another long summer trip is behind us and our Nimble 20 'Turnstone'.

We launched in Anacortes and cruised swiftly by the busy powerboat extravaganza called the San Juan Islands via the outer route. Entered the Gulf Islands, where sailboats seem to have more space and are accompanied by their brethren to a larger degree. Exited again thru Porlier Pass and hit the mainland shore near Smuggler Cove. Up the coast to finally arrive in Desolation Sound in time for some well needed overcast skies and rain. Pleasant days were spent exploring before returning largely along the same route, except crossing the Strait of Georgia near Lasqueti.

Not as good winds as last year, mainly due to the record setting heatwave. Still used only 6 gls of fuel total for a months worth of cruising. We are always on a budget it seems, so again we proved that boating is indeed an affordable pursuit open to down-and-out adventurers like us. Besides the food that we would eat anyway we spent under $100 for this vacation including launch fees, gas and one night at a marina. But what marina!! No budget is too tight to not visit Vananda on Texada Island where wharfinger Ted and his wife tirelessly welcome all incoming vessels.


The always exciting wind conditions around Entrance Island lighthouse gave us some good sailing


Porlier Pass anchorage


Close to being becalmed in the middle of the Strait of Georgia, slightly north of Halibut Bank


Elusive Half Moon Bay cove. Dries on spring tides.


Hiking on West Redonda took us to the empty south shore


Smiles all around when reaching in 10-12 knots, Strait of Georgia.


Gulf Islands scenery


Desolation sound flotsam


Cold morning after a beating into 15-18 knots for 2 hours. Lawrence Point, Orcas Isl.


The dinghy sailor at the helm of the big boat


Good old Arbutus and emerald water

 

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That's a cool boat! I know how you feel about the powerboats, I sail a 24' Islander, and even though she is heavy, she can lose all headway when a good wake unsettles her in a light wind.
 

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Great report.

Many years ago (about 20) we cruised Desolation Sound for two weeks in our Catalina 25 with three children and a dog.

We towed the boat from Idaho, sleeping in the boat on the trailer at rest stops and in the ferry lines. We launched from Lund and spent the first night in Copeland Marine Park.

We had a great time, what a beautiful area. At that time it was pretty desolate.
 

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Great report, sorry we missed you this time around. Just got back ourselves from a similar trip but confess to not having your patience and we burned quite a bit more fuel in the doldrums.

..but the swimming was good pretty much everywhere!

Beautiful pictures.
 

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Great photos! Thanks for sharing.
 

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niko - AWESOME report dude! That's looks like some incredible sailing and great time with the family. And on a budget no less!

Thanks for showing us all how it's done!
 

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What a great report! Thanks for the pics. You've strengthened my resolve to make the trip north again next year. Where did you get your earth flag?
 

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Nice job! The sailing there looks wondeful, very different form sailing here on the Chesapeake Bay (what were those jagged hard things sticking out of the water??).
 

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nikolajsen,

What an adventure!! Your photography is stunning.

I love your Nimble yawl. I had never noticed the way Ted Brewer designed the tiller to accommodate the mizzen -- an especially neat trick. Very clever!

It really shows that a small yet sturdy "ship" can undertake some pretty ambitious cruises, crossing the same waters as the larger boats but getting into places that they miss out on. Many of us who gravitate toward larger designs tend to forget that there is a subculture of hardy sailors out there who routinely make trips like this in similar and smaller "pocket cruisers". Proving that we don't really need all that much...

I remember your report from last year. Sounds like this is an annual trip?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the kind words, everybody! It IS an annual thing for us, this cruise up through the Strait of Georgia and beyond and have happened now for quite some years. We take our time, go slow and safe, and usually end up with 4-7 weeks on the water.

On the other hand this is, without exception, the only time we spend on our boat all season. Just one trip. We live too far from the water, and the boat takes too long to rig and launch to justify going for, say, a weekend. The rest of the year we merely read sailing books and practice knot tying...

This summer I purchased a better camera, and therefore brought home some decent shots. The boat is set up pretty simply. While it is a strong and well built little vessel, with adequate seaworthiness for what we do, it is also rather sparse, by today's standards. We cook on a portable one burner stove, go to the great woods for bathroom needs and have no electricity. We charge a handheld VHF and digital camera with a roll-up 14 watt solar panel. The water supply is a bunch of one gallon jugs. Soundings are taken with a leadline. Some of the sea-kayakers we meet have more electronics along.

I think we may be some of the last sailors going about on long trips without a GPS unit. In 20 years of coastal sailing I haven't yet run into a navigational problem that couldn't be solved safely with ears, eyes, chart and compass. My son is saving up for a handheld one, not because he doubt our positioning, but because he's dying to figure out how fast (or slow)we're sailing!!
 

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I think we may be some of the last sailors going about on long trips without a GPS unit. In 20 years of coastal sailing I haven't yet run into a navigational problem that couldn't be solved safely with ears, eyes, chart and compass. My son is saving up for a handheld one, not because he doubt our positioning, but because he's dying to figure out how fast (or slow)we're sailing!!
All my respects. But here's a good project for your son: he'll need a stopwatch, and a float of some kind tied to the end of a long, light rope, comfortably 1.5 times your LOA. One crew stands at the bow and drops the float in the water. See how much time it takes for the float to get to the transom. Speed = LOA / time.

There's also the classic logline: a triangular plate on a bridle, with knots stitched into the line. Typically you see how many knots get pulled out in a fixed amount of time.

You can stow your logline in the same compartment as your lead line. Just be careful because they can get tangled :) On your next trip to DS, your son can be in charge of the dead reckoning :)
 

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There's a broken record around here somewhere.....ah yes.....here it is...

Really the PNW is gobsmackingly beautiful. I can never read too many of these cruising reports on the place or gaze envyingly over too many pics.

That's a lovely litlle boat btw. It really is wonderful to see people out and about in good solid but relatively basic craft. Seems to be plenty of smiles to go around so you don't look like you are suffering too badly.

I'd not realised she was a Ted Brewer design until Pollard mentioned it. Brewer really has designed some very nice boats. Thanks JRP.

and thanks to you Nikolajsen and the crew of the Turnstone.
 

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Fab fotos, looks so relaxed.
Makes me want to get out there this weekend even tho the forecast is for near freezing.
happy sailing
 

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Great pics! Thanks for posting them...cool boat...love the yawl-rig! Any large lakes near where you live? Looks like it would be also be a great boat for some of the larger western lakes..Is the mast set- up time lengthy..? Thanks again for a great post! Thanks Fiasco..I had missed this thread from '09...but it deserves being revived whenever possible due to the stunning photography and boat!
 

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Folks,

Nikolajsen has since upgraded to a beautiful SeaSprite 23, and he shared their most recent voyage here on Sailnet. His new boat is also featured in a multi-page spread in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Small Craft Advisor.
 
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