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August 2003

Dear Friends:

Victoria, British Columbia must be one of the most beautiful ports in the world for a cruising boat. For Larry and I after 9800 miles of passage making in less than four months, (82-3/4 days at sea) it is almost sublime. We are secured right in the center of town only a minutes walk from dozens of fine cafes, the streets are full of music and street entertainers, amphibious air craft are moored right next to us, and within a few hours of our arrival, old friends of Larry's found us and made us feel even more welcome. For Larry, this is a homecoming. He was born right in Victoria, and learned to sail in these waters.


We last say Lynne Oakley when she was curator of a museum in Zululand South Africa. She is Hawaiian and was a grand guide to the Volcano National Park.

Our voyage from Hilo, Hawaii was not a difficult one, in fact we never saw more than 30 knots of wind and only for a few hours had less than ten knots. But as it was the last of so many miles of sailing we both were a bit impatient when we had to chase the Pacific High all over the place. We stayed hard on the wind for 14 days out of Hilo, heading almost due north in hopes of going to the west of the high and avoiding the confused and light winds at its center. But this year the high decided to practice waltzing. Instead of being between the US and Hawaii, it moved west almost as far as Guam, and north almost to Alaska, then back south again. So we decided to try going under it and tacked east at 38 degrees north and four days later came into the westerlies for a week of fast reaching. Eighty miles from Cape Flattery, the entrance to the Straits of Juan De Fuca, the winds died off and we lay becalmed for six hours. Then they filled in again and we carried on running towards our goal. The last night was lovely, with light following winds and several passing ships signaling to let us know they saw where we were so we did not feel threatened. Then just before dawn, fog socked in and with almost four knots of tide under us, we passed Race Rocks without seeing them, but guided by the very loud foghorn, we felt good about turning north to cover the last eight miles. Only one mile north of Race Rocks the fog lifted to present the most beautiful sun lit scene you could imagine.

Larry had to reinforce our drafter tack at sea.

I cleaned the boat inside, Larry cleared up the decks, removing our at-sea lifelines, extra hand-lines and preventers. Then we sailed past the breakwater and almost immediately came face to face with reality. The Harbor Police boat came alongside and a young man called, "Do you have an engine on board?"

"No we don't" Larry answered.

I poked my head out of the cabin. The young man said, "It's you two, should have guessed then I wouldn't have had to ask. I'll have to escort you into the docks as this is a registered airport and more than 35,000 seaplanes land here every year (yes 35,000). So you have to stay outside these buoys and accept an escort."

"If I have to have a police escort, please turn on your siren" Larry joked.

"Can't, they took it away from us cause we used it too much" Simon, the water cop said.

A reminder of the dangers of falling over board.


Once alongside the customs dock, we telephoned to clear in and unfortunately for us and the next ten boats that arrived, customs was having a training exercise to introduce two new young officials. They did a stem to stern, locker by locker search of each boat arriving on Saturday. Most of the others were just over from American ports 20 or 30 miles away and had little on board. Of course we had provisions from Chile including far more wine than is allowed into Canada. They could have confiscated all of it except for two bottles each, or charged us 200% duty on every bottle of wine, but the officials let us keep our favorite 12 bottles duty free then walked off with 25 other Chilean reds - They were very polite and careful in their search. Then the head official sat down and told us of his days working in the sailing charter business in Greece. He also told us stories of how harshly they deal with anyone concealing weapons on board. Absolutely no handguns, assault rifles or automatic weapons are allowed into Canada. Other weapons must be registered and sealed. We carry none on board for many reasons but he reinforced our feelings that they can be a real hassle in countries outside the US.

Our "toy'sl is set with our staysail and double reefed mainsail as we beat north looking for the westerlies.

We have decided to stay right here in downtown Victoria in spite of the $25 US a day dock charges just because it is fun to be in a city after all the time in quiet places. Since we are usually at anchor, we rarely have to pay for moorage so it averages over the year quite well. Next week we will sail off to rendezvous with friends in the gulf islands. I have bought a crab trap and plan to use it extensively as we gunk hole. Then we return here to Victoria for the Classic Boat Festival at the end of August, then on to Port Townsend for the Wooden boat Festival. Might see some of you there.

Wing and wind-nylon drifter and lapper as we run towards Cape Flattery.

Our seminar schedule for October 15 through April 23 is starting to take shape. Locations can be seen at http://www.landlpardey.com/SeminarInfo.html
Only the Victoria and Vancouver details are firm at this time, but we will update this information as it is finalized.

Hope your summer is going wonderfully.
Sincerely,
Lin and Larry

We are lousy fishermen - always forget to put a line over. But when we do we often catch maki maki - no luck this trip!


For current information on where and when we will be doing seminars click here

POSTCARDS FROM VICTORIA B.C.






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