The total: June 26-Sept. 26, 2019
The refit: June 26-July 16 (21 days)
The voyage: July 17-Sept. 26, 2019 (72 days)
St. John’s, Newfoundland, CA to Port Townsend, Washington, USA, via Greenland and the Northwest Passage.
The miles: 6658(ish) Nautical Miles
The boat: Breskell – an old timey, lo-tech, cold-molded sled
What is next for me? A million dollar question! But no worries….things have a way…..
Another Resourceful Sailor Series article dropped on Latitude 38‘s online magazine, ‘Lectronic Latitude, on August 5th while I was away transiting the Northwest Passage aboard S/V Breskell. It’s called Sacrificial Sliding Hatch. It’s about a quick fix (band-aid) for the erosion that can occur on a Flicka 20 hatch over the decades. Thanks to Tim Henry for the publication(his name mistakenly appears as the author.)
Click Here for a link to the article.
People wonder where the photos are, as if the internet grows on trees. But there are not trees in the Arctic. We landed in Nome yesterday after passing through Bering Strait the day before, which is our official finish line for doing the Northwest Passage. FACT. Here in port are two other boats we had met along the way, also finishers. Altego 2 of the Czech. Rep. and Inook of France. Breskell is on the outside of the raft.
And a picture of me with one of my favorite bad*^s explorers, Roald Amundson.
Three reasons boats might not make it through the Passage this year. 1 – mechanical failure, 2 – poor seamanship, 3 – poor planning. Notice that ice is not one of the reasons.
Our next and final leg is to get the boat to Port Townsend.
Here is the inReach Mapshare URL for following Sailing With Josh as I continue on with Breskell’s 2019 attempt of the Northwest Passage.
You can also follow the Sailing With Josh Facebook page for updates.
We are presently rafted up in Sisimiut, Greenland preparing to depart across Baffin Bay.
Today, I fly to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, to meet up with Breskell and Olivier Huin to prepare the vessel for the voyage of a lifetime.
I am sitting at the South Gate, in Sea-Tac airport awaiting my flight. That’s Seattle if you were unsure. My friend dropped me off at 12:15 for my 4:33 flight in an effort to a) miss traffic, b) get me plenty of time to check my gear, c) make it through processing and security in a relaxed manner.
Traffic was not too bad, which I am thankful for, mostly for my friends sake. I was able to check my bags curbside which was a relief, as I had enough gear to make man-hauling a serious chore. I realized I have never traveled by air with this amount of gear. This upcoming sailing endeavor requires being prepared, with limited intel. The gentleman at the kiosk was refreshingly chipper and helpful, and got me checked in with ease. I was concerned about one of the bags being overweight, but alas, it came in spot on the limit. Yes, exactly as planned!
The security check point had an epic line. I had plenty of time, so I decided to remain relaxed about it and roll with the situation. The adage, attitude makes all the difference, applies here. When I finally arrived at Checkpoint #2, I used five bins for my carry-on screening. Shoes, overshirt, toiletries and pull out all of the electronics and other gear that you know will look weird on the x-ray. Like the water bottle with flashlights and batteries inside. In my effort to make it easy and transparent with all the gear, I forgot to remove my belt. Ha, that meant I needed to get the full pat-down with the “second observer.” No worries and no stress though. “What’s that in your pocket?” “Oh, you mean these earplugs?”
One of the carry-ons had to have a personal search too. “Okay, sure.” As the agent unpacked the bag, she found some wet wipes, a last minute addition for which I had checked the TSA website to see if they were admissible. “Oh, this must be it. I’ll just have to swab this” she said. “Sure, okay.” So she swabbed it and, of course, it was fine and she sent me on my way.
My next task was to find my gate, S4. Hmmm, I walked in one direction for about seven minutes before I realized I was headed to N(North) gate. I backtracked and saw the signs for A,B and S gate. So I walked that way for about seven minutes and soon realized it was all A gates. Duh, look at a directory. It turns out that the S gates are the ones you need to get on the train loop for. But, no worries, there’s plenty of time.
So far, so good as I wait for my flight. While things are going well so far, the day of travel has only begun. So much can still happen. Relax and stick to the plan. Enjoy the ride. For now, I am happy to be exiting Ballard and it’s dual culture of progressive expansion and degeneration for parts less populated.
Part 2 of the two-part article is now available on Latitude 38‘s electronic version of their magazine ‘Lectronic Latitude. Thanks again to Tim Henry for publishing it. Click Here on the logo below to check it out. If you missed Part 1, not to worry, there is a link available for you to check it out when you click through. If you like it, please let them know. Thank you.
Hi, folks. I have another article published on Latitude 38‘s electronic version of their magazine. This will be a two-part piece. Special thanks again to Tim Henry for keeping it going. Click Here or on the logo below to check it out. If you like it, please let them know. Thanks.
As the summertime approaches in the Pacific Northwest, I am reminded of my first Canadian single-handing expedition in Sampaguita, a 1985 Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20, to the Sunshine Coast. I had read about the cruising destination of Princess Louisa Inlet and fancied a look for myself. There are memories of stopovers, excursions, wildlife, people, sights, and sailing that have flooded back. Upon reviewing the photos, only a fraction of which are included here, the intensity grew. For some, this will sound like a fantasyland, for others, it will be a glimpse of familiarity. Others will think, “been there, done that.” To all, I hope it sparks a memory or provides inspiration.
It was June of 2015, and I had just over three weeks set aside for the voyage. I had been planning all winter, studying Google Earth, Canadian Hydrographic charts, and the Waggoner and Dreamspeaker guidebooks. And of course, getting the boat ready, checking the sails, doing engine maintenance, sussing the anchor, provisioning and whatever else I could think of. I was also working full time, and the month of May had been stressful. After a successful but “seat of the pants” convention trip to Las Vegas, I was hot to get off the dock and on my way.
I recall not yet hitting my anchoring stride, but making the most of the reciprocal moorage agreements of my then club, the South Sound Sailing Society. Stops included the Port of Kingston, the Port of Port Townsend, Lopez Island, the Nanaimo Yacht Club both coming and going, and the Orcas Island Yacht Club.
I used my Washington State Parks Moorage Permit at Stuart Island and Fort Flagler. In Canada, there were dockside and buoy Marine Provincial Park stops at Montague Harbor, Princess Louisa Inlet, Plumper Cove, and Wallace Island, as well as low rent public wharves at Egmont, Snug Cove, and Hope Bay. There were a couple of occasions at Secret Cove Marina and Backeddy Resort where I even paid full price.
On the back half of the trip, I began stretching my anchoring legs. My first time ever anchoring was at Hardy Island Marine Provincial Park. This involved a stern tie, which was a first too. With that fear conquered, I followed it up at Garden Bay in Pender Harbour, False Creek in downtown Vancouver, and Roche Harbor in the San Juans.
There was some terrific sailing and some iron wind days too. I crossed the Strait of Georgia, not just once, but four times. I was fortunate enough that Whiskey Golf was open on the two occasions I passed that way. Three of those crossings were a mixed bag of sailing and motoring, and one was flat calm. I had my first serious lesson in thermal winds as I ascended Jervis Inlet, which is a comedy in itself, and a second, less serious, but still unexpected, in Howe Sound. “Hmmm, now I get it.”
I had great shore excursions too, some on foot and some on the Dahon folding bike which came with the Flicka. I watched kayakers play in the rapids at Skookumchuck Narrows, hiked up to the trapper cabin ruins at Princess Louisa, rode to Turn Point on Stuart Island, and made provision and fuel runs at Nanaimo and Orcas Island. There were hikes on Wallace Island and Pender Harbour, and sightseeing in Vancouver.
I encountered wildlife galore. Seals on Marrowstone Island, deer on Wallace Island, a transient orca in Agamemnon Channel, a pod off of Keats Island, and herons and eagles everywhere. Marine life abound with “belly biology” at the docks, tide pool investigating during shore leaves, and run-ins underway.
I won’t forget the “not-so-wildlife” and the cast of human characters I met along the way. In Port Townsend, I stopped by Admiral Ship Supply for washers, to do an outboard repair, and propane for the stove. In Nanaimo, there were the geezers with “dock fever” waiting for the 10-knot window to cross the Strait of Georgia. I met a couple at Backeddy Marina in a chartered Benneteau who were caught in the same Jervis Inlet thermals as I, and another young couple from Olympia, who were also members of the South Sound Sailing Society. I first met them at Princess Louisa Inlet, and then again at Orcas Island. While anchored in Roche Harbor, I survived the Tollycraft rendezvous, the cannon report of the Colors Ceremony, and at Fort Flagler, was given a tour of a Pacific Seacraft Mariah.
To cover every detail of the expedition here would be epic. My hope was to create a feeling of inspiration and curiosity for you to go and see what is there for yourself. To name places you have heard of, seen on a chart, or map, and said to yourself, “I too, fancy to see what is there.” If you are new to boating, the stories and experiences await you, and if you are a seasoned sailor, you already understand.
As I reminisce over expeditions of the past, simultaneously live in the present, and plan for the future, I am reminded of how inevitable change is. I am glad I got off the dock when I did as the experiences of just four years ago are so much different than the experiences of today. The knowledge gained during the Princess Louisa trip was a stepping stone to expeditions to come. As these steps continue to build on each other, repetition of the time and experience is impossible. There is no going back to the past and no holding up on the future. If you can find a way to go now, GO.