Osaka to Seattle, sixth week

I guess I should say sixth and final week.

The last week of this was boring as we’ve sailed south east towards the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Winds were variable but mostly good and the passage fine. After the North Pacific High formed that new center right in front of us we had two days of very slow travel. The high then moved south with the center going slightly below 40*N. This was good for us since we never went further north that 51* to clear the high.

Off British Columbia on Sunday night I popped out into the cockpit and saw stars for the first time since we left Japan. Seriously, we’ve been in fog and clouds for six weeks. Tuesday morning was the first sunrise I’ve seen in the same time. Amazing we have to get close to Washington to get clear skies, not exactly what this part of the world is known for.

After 42 days, 5200 miles, and too many tuna casseroles to count we made landfall at Neah Bay on August 10th. As Teresa mentioned, we had a foul current off south Vancouver Island and decided to stop in Neah Bay when it became clear Port Angeles wouldn’t happen until the middle of the night.

Our route took us down the coast of Vancouver Island. We were once again thankful for AIS as we were passed by numerous freighters and spent the last night dodging fishing boats. All three of us were happy to be stopped.

I realized the other day that on this passage I’ve become cat furniture. It started over a month ago while we were sailing through those lows and cold fronts. The cabin temp was getting down into the mid-fifties at night and even Maya with her cheap fur coat was getting cold. She started sleeping with me, preferring to sleep between my legs. It was cold enough I felt sorry for her and let her sleep there, accepting the limitations and moving less to not bother the cat. Teresa thinks this was my training. Now if I’m sitting around the settee and it’s close to bed time Maya will come find me and sit on my lap, or anywhere else convenient for her. And the other day I was sitting on the edge of the seat talking to Teresa when Maya sat behind me and started pushing on by back; I think she was re-arranging her furniture to go to bed.

Neah Bay offered new sights and sounds for Maya. She has never been around sea gulls before, at least not the kind we have here with their loud cries. The sea lions in the marina and sounds of an eagle were foreign. She spent most of the evening staring out her open window, alternately leaning forward to go out, then ducking down as a new sight or sound appeared. At dark she finally found the courage to go out on deck and spent a few hours outside before retreating to her bed (yes, HER bed) for the night.

Our stop in Port Angeles was nice since we were able to visit with US Customs for a while and catch up with Dave and Rhonda on SV Swan after their 48 day sail from the Marshall Islands to Port Angeles. I actually managed to sleep through the night, after 42 days of sleeping in 3 hour chunks it’s hard not to wake up 2 or 3 times a night.

Today on Yohelah we are officially checked in and slowly motoring in the fog toward Port Townsend, glad to be back.