As It Began So It Ends

Miles traveled day 41: 127
Miles traveled total : 5,078
Miles to Port Angeles: 137

We have read and heard many accounts from northwest based cruisers who said that in all their years of cruising, the worst weather they saw was off the northwest coastline. Well we know now those folks didn’t go to Japan. But up until Japan that was true for us as well. When we left Ucluelet mid-August four years ago, we had 30-35 knots of wind and 20 foot seas off the Oregon coast. Our forecasts for the approach to the Strait this week have consistently said 10-15 knots (even the doom and gloom 96 hour one said that), and the latest weatherfax we had even said 0-10.

Yesterday afternoon we decided to tuck a reef back in the main when the gusts started approaching 20 knots. Last night when I came on watch at 11:00 and the gusts were hitting 27 we rolled up the jib. We’ve been sailing since then, as we did down the Oregon coast four years ago, with a reefed main alone, at 5-6 knots.

This morning I’m downloading weatherfaxes that show the current sea state, and they say 10-15 knots here off Vancouver Island. Why is it that I keep looking up and see my anemometer display 27? I know it’s not broken. I’ve finally found another sea state analysis that thinks it may be up to 20, and the spot forecast says 18 knots here. Good news is, the spot forecasts for closer to the Strait predict lighter winds as we approach.

Now it’s nearly midnight, and indeed the wind did die. We have 2.5 knots of true wind, so we’re motoring in the fog once again. We’re off Barkley Sound, which is a favorite vacation spot of years past, but tonight we’ll just motor on by. We should be on the dock in Port Angeles early tomorrow evening.