Sunday, January 1, 2012

Port Angeles - July 24 to August 4, 2011

Tony, Lyneita & Doug, celebrating in Port Angeles after 25 days at sea

Originally we intended to stay in Port Angeles for a couple of days. Tony was anxious to get on with his summer and PA was the easiest place for him to find his way home. The Coho Ferry travels back and forth to Victoria four times a day and from there he could catch another ferry to Vancouver. We were sorry to see him go and were very grateful to him for all his help on the passage. We couldn’t have possibly had a better crew and companion. Thank you, Tony.

Tony departs Ka'sala

We have friends in PA and we decided to look them up. Tom and Carolyn had been two of the most inspirational cruisers we had ever encountered. We first met them twenty years before when they cruised into the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club aboard their Tayana 37, Moon Shadow.

Tom and Carolyn aboard Moon Shadow in Hong Kong 1991

Moon Shadow and Caperata - RHKYC

At that time we were in the process of moving aboard Caperata, our Brewer 44, and were up to our eyeballs in restoring her. Tom and Carolyn were moored beside us and, over the course of the month or so they stayed in Hong Kong, they regaled us with their cruising adventures and inspired us to continue with our dream even when the renovations seemed insurmountable.

These before and after shots give you an idea of the work Doug did to bring Caperata's engine around.
Caperata in Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong, 1994 - finally restored

When Tom and Carolyn continued on to Kota Kinabalu, on Borneo, in Malaysia, I followed, and stayed with them for a week aboard Moon Shadow. They spoiled me while I was there and I got a taste for the cruising lifestyle.

      Moonshadow on anchor at Kota Kinabalu

At the top of Mount Kota Kinabalu, highest mountain in Southeast Asia

 Over the years they circumnavigated the globe and made many off-shore passages. Meanwhile, our cruising dreams aboard Caperata were crushed for many reasons, not the least of which was an aborted passage to the Philippines.

The first day of our offshore sail aboard Caperata

 However, we stayed in touch with Tom and Carolyn and, when we found Ka’sala in 2008, they were the ones we called to join us for the sea trial and help us decide if she was the boat for us.

Tom and Doug at Ka'sala's sea trial - off Sydney, BC, September 2008

Carolyn and Doug - Ka'sala moved gracefully in light airs

Needless to say, they were the first people we wanted to touch base with when we successfully completed our cruise to Mexico and Hawaii.

Tom and Carolyn seemed thrilled to hear from us. Tom came right down to the boat and offered to assist us in any way he could. Carolyn followed with a bottle of champagne and we all celebrated.  Later, Tom offered us his van so we could do our mountain of laundry and re-provision. Later he lent us his cool little 1970 powder blue Volkswagon bug to bomb around in.

How cool is this?

When we needed to do some work on Ka’sala, he was there to recommend the yard and the workmen. Tom and Carolyn took us out to dinner on several occasions and were always there to support and encourage us.
Carolyn and Tom at Fiesta Jalisco

When Ka’sala was on the hard stand they opened up their comfortable home to us and we enjoyed their quiet guest room with the first bed we had slept in since Guadalajara, a hot shower that didn't take quarters!We had a lot of fun rekindling our friendship, catching up on news, meeting members of their family and hearing so many of their cruising stories. We discovered we still had many, many things in common and it was with great reluctance that we finally said good-bye - 10 days after we arrived – way longer than we had expected to stay.

Ka’sala needed some regular maintenance work after her long passages. The hard stand at the Port Angeles Boat Haven had good rates and availability, so we took advantage of that to haul her out to clean, sand and paint her bottom, as well as service the feathering propeller and replace the zincs. (

Yuck!  Dirty bottom.

You can save some money by doing your own power washing.

In the sling

On the hard



 Doug had noticed that the transmission had begun to leak fluid, so when it appeared a mechanic was available to replace the seals, he decided to have them fixed. The bottom work went fine, but the mechanic left us in the lurch.  Luckily Tom knew of someone in Sequim and, without too much drama, Doug was able to remove the transmission, have the seals replaced and get it all back together again.

Ta Da!  Such a good job we shouldn't have to haul again for a couple years.

While on the hardstand, we had a visit from Carl and Cristina off Bambelero - the young couple we had shared Christmas dinner with on Isla Partida, Mexico.

Christina and Carl in the Olympic Mountains

Since parting with them in Mazatlan, they had continued cruising as far as El Salvador where they left Bambelero for the summer.  Now they were in Kirkland, Washington, painting houses to top up their cruising kitty. Their plan was to return to their Ranger 33 in October and continue cruising through the Panama Canal and on to the San Blas Islands over the winter.  (For their continuing adventures:  They were able to take a weekend off to camp in the mountains and visit us in Port Angeles. It was fabulous to see them, catch up, and enjoy their energetic and positive outlook on life. We miss them already.

During the time we were in Port Angeles we had many excellent meals and enjoyed some micro brews.

Gale Force IPA

We dined one night at the Kopapelli Grill with the crews of Alabar and Kialani, two boats that crossed from Hawaii with us. Alabar, with Joel and Ben aboard, were continuing on to the San Juan Islands before wintering the boat on Lake Washington. Kialani were continuing home to the Seattle area. 

Joel and Ben from Alabar with Doug

Ten days after our passage we were still feeling tired and looking forward to finding a quiet place to rest before diving back into our land life.  We had heard that Becky and Paul, a couple we had met two years earlier while cruising in the Broughtons, were gunkholing in the San Juan Islands aboard Zafo, their Jason 35.  We arranged to meet at Roche Harbour.

We left Port Angeles mid morning on August 3 under sunny skies and fair winds - glad to be underway again, but sorry to say good bye to Tom and Carolyn who had treated us so well. Under full sail we crossed the Straits of Juan de Fuca in 10 knots of chilly wind, delighting in the speed Ka’sala could make in light airs. It felt very strange to be going for a daysail instead of a long passage and, before we knew it, we were once again preparing to anchor – for the first time since Hilo.

As we entered Roche Harbour, we saw Zafo in Nelson Bay. We dropped anchor beside them and, within the hour, we were aboard Zafo enjoying a delicious dinner .

Zafo, a Jason 35

Next day Doug and I cracked out the sandpaper and varnish and went to work on Ka’sala’s cap rail, cockpit combings and side stripe. All the exterior wood had suffered in the salt water and tropical sun and we knew we had a big job ahead of us. Luckily we did not have to take it completely down to bare wood, so we were able to do a patch coat, then two complete coats of Schooner Gold while the weather held. In between I had a chance to visit this quaint little port with Becky and Paul, and they were able to join us for a Mexican memories dinner aboard Ka’sala before they had to continue on to meet family.

Becky, Paul, Doug and Lyneita

Roche Harbour is a busy place with power and sailboats coming and going at all times of the day. Dinghies, skiffs and little fishing boats zoom around and our anchorage is surrounded by crab pots. Float planes also take off and land at least a dozen times a day. There are many boats at anchor and the little marina is full of them. The village itself, a tourist resort, built on the foundations of a once successful limestone quarry, attracts hundreds of visitors a day.

Roche Harbour, San Juan Island

Although it still offers basic services such as showers, laundry and provisions to boaters, it is evolving into a more trendy place with boutiques, artwork, cultured gardens and ritzy vacation homes. The renovated hotel is a popular wedding destination and the people walking around are obviously not familiar with the cruising uniform of paint spotted T-shirts and baggy shorts! Culture shock!