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Swab
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The continuing saga of the Vega 27 "Williwa" cruising down the inside passage from Petersburg, AK to Puget Sound.

Day 30: Many weather delays. Most recently we spent six days at an abandoned fishing camp in Rivers Inlet on Penrose Island waiting for gales to settle down so we could safely cross Queen Charlotte Strait. Now in Port McNeill, BC. Canadian beer a poor substitute for Alaskan IPA, but the cheeseburgers have been pretty good. I smoked the last of the twenty cigars I brought for the trip and have not been able to find any decent sticks so far in Canada. Maybe when we get farther south.

Now at the NW end of Johnstone Strait. We were forced to stop due to heavy fog and lack of progress from Port Hardy to our planned anchorage at Port Neville. We will try again tomorrow. Close attention to currents is critical at this point in the trip with a boat that can only motor at 5 kts. We must be sure to wait for favorable winds. Forecast is for NW winds (Good) and we must depart at or near slack water on the flood or face dangerous wind waves when the wind opposes the strong currents. Also, we must be sure to reach the anchorage before the current turns. We plan to run Johnstone Strait in two legs then transit the equally challenging Discovery Channel into the Strait of Georgia. After that, it should be easier going in the familiar waters South of Nanaimo.

We found the Vega "Walkabout" (Ex Sin Tascha) moored close by in Port McNeill. We had heard John and Ann had started out from Gig Harbor about the same time as we departed Petersburg and had hoped to cross paths somewhere along the way but were informed that John had a medical emergency. They had to return to the US to see their doctor and were forced to leave the boat. Prayers for John. We hope all will turn out OK.

With luck, and good weather, we should be in the San Juans in a week and may even be able to attend the Vega rendezvous at Port Browning in early August.
 

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The continuing saga of the Vega 27 "Williwa" cruising down the inside passage from Petersburg, AK to Puget Sound.

Day 30: Many weather delays. Most recently we spent six days at an abandoned fishing camp in Rivers Inlet on Penrose Island waiting for gales to settle down so we could safely cross Queen Charlotte Strait. Now in Port McNeill, BC. Canadian beer a poor substitute for Alaskan IPA, but the cheeseburgers have been pretty good. I smoked the last of the twenty cigars I brought for the trip and have not been able to find any decent sticks so far in Canada. Maybe when we get farther south.

Now at the NW end of Johnstone Strait. We were forced to stop due to heavy fog and lack of progress from Port Hardy to our planned anchorage at Port Neville. We will try again tomorrow. Close attention to currents is critical at this point in the trip with a boat that can only motor at 5 kts. We must be sure to wait for favorable winds. Forecast is for NW winds (Good) and we must depart at or near slack water on the flood or face dangerous wind waves when the wind opposes the strong currents. Also, we must be sure to reach the anchorage before the current turns. We plan to run Johnstone Strait in two legs then transit the equally challenging Discovery Channel into the Strait of Georgia. After that, it should be easier going in the familiar waters South of Nanaimo.

We found the Vega "Walkabout" (Ex Sin Tascha) moored close by in Port McNeill. We had heard John and Ann had started out from Gig Harbor about the same time as we departed Petersburg and had hoped to cross paths somewhere along the way but were informed that John had a medical emergency. They had to return to the US to see their doctor and were forced to leave the boat. Prayers for John. We hope all will turn out OK.

With luck, and good weather, we should be in the San Juans in a week and may even be able to attend the Vega rendezvous at Port Browning in early August.
It appears you are no longer in Hawaii. I followed your posts about coming down the coast sometime back. We fished the Rivers Inlet & Hakai Pass area many years. There was an old cannery in Goose Bay that someone was trying to run a fishing camp out of. We got a tour of the place, it was like going back into time. Enjoy your posts, keep them coming. :)

Paul T

Edit:

Just watched your video in Alaska. Seeing the commercial boats reminded me of the commercial boat shown below that my Dad & I had out of San Francisco in the early 60's.
 

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Wow...I just got back today to Port McNeil...we sailed every day the last 3 weeks above Cape Caution...never saw any gale force winds.

Anyway, going South on Johnson Strait if you leave very early you'll be fine. Good luck.
 

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Swab
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Discussion Starter #4
Stopped in Port Neville over night, then continued through Race Passage to Discovery Channel. Now at Brown's Bay Marina at the top of Seymore Narrows waiting for slack water in the morning. Once we are in the Strait of Georgia it should be easy going down to Friday Harbor and on to Port Townsend. Then I can fly back to my own boat and Laura in Petersburg, AK :)

It has been a great trip and I am looking forward to the rest of it but I am really anxious to get back to My Honey and my boat so I can get some work done before it gets too cold for paint to dry. Thinking maybe next season Laura and I can make the same trip in Lealea.
 

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Swab
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Discussion Starter #5
After negotiating the 20 ft wide, 8 ft deep ditch they call an entrance channel at "Pacific Paradise" marina, they turned us away because they had no space for us - we had tried to call them on VHF and cell phone but got not answer so we went on in. Managed to get the boat turned around in the very tight quarters and pushed on to Comox where we spent the night, then got an early start for Nanaimo. Next stop was Port Browning on North Pender Island. Now we are back in the USA at Friday Harbor.

We have decided to Head back to Port Browning for the annual Pacific Northwest VEGAtarian Rendezvous next week instead of pushing on to Port Townsend. This means we will be hanging out in Friday Harbor for a few more days. After the rendezvous, we will take Williwa, at last, to Port Townsend and I will make my way back to Petersburg while Tom makes arrangements for the boat and heads home to San Diego.

What a great trip!
 

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Chuck, happy to see your post! That's too bad about that ironically named marina. Enjoy the rendezvous, happy things worked out for you to finally be able to attend. :)
 

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Swab
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Successful Voyage

On Wednesday, August 13th, Tom had the boat hauled out for a bottom job and replacement of through hulls and sea cocks, then to be put on a trailer for shipment to San Diego. I boarded the shuttle bus at the Port Townsend Boat Haven for SEATAC and my Alaska Air flight back to Petersburg. In the end, it took us five weeks to get to SE Alaska to the San Juan Islands in NW Washington.

We lost a crew member in Prince Rupert, BC due to delays caused by weather - just goes to show you have to allow more time than you think for a trip like this. We learned a lot, met some wonderful, helpful people, had a great time and a little adventure along the way. While we were in Friday Harbor I had a health issue that got me a helicopter ride to Bellingham and an over night stay in the cardiac ward but I was released in time for us to attend the annual Pacific Northwest VEGAtarian Rendezvous at Port Browning, BC, enjoy a reunion with several old friends and introduce them to the newest member of the Vega fraternity.

After the Rendezvous, we returned to San Juan Island, then made for Port Townsend Boat Haven and the end of the voyage. Now, only two months after buying his first boat, Tom has logged cruising experiences most people only dream of while I am thinking maybe Laura and I will make the trip down the inside passage to the Port Townsend Boat Haven next year in Lealea. She (Lealea, not Laura) needs a coat of paint anyway. ;)
 
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