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You read that right. Sundown is for sale! Click here (https://boatsforsalebyowners.net/106413) to get details and please pass along the link to anyone you think may be interested in buying her.

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Now for the back story…

The last I wrote, Clay and I were beginning our six-week sailing adventure of the summer. True to form, British Columbia was beautiful and we were having fun exploring new-to-us ports and anchorages. We also experienced a series of events typical of boating that I find a bit unnerving, like waking up one morning to a loud thumping noise which turned out to be another sailboat that drug right into us. (How often have you woke up to find your neighbor’s house banging into to yours?)

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Another day, with the mainsail and genoa deployed and 23 knots of wind on our tail, we were crossing the Strait of Georgia. The current was flowing in the opposite direction of the wind, so the seas were relatively big and uncomfortable in my definition (8 to 10 feet tall and close together). Sundown is a heavy displacement blue water cruiser, so she and her Captain Clay were loving it. (“This is just good sailing,” Clay likes to say.) I, on the other hand, was terrified as we heeled significantly about every fifth wave (to the point of needing to reef the main so we wouldn’t broach) and my keen imagination could see my husband falling overboard, leaving me to wrestle down the sails, turn the boat around in the steep seas and save his life. Additionally, the motion of the ocean was making me feel horribly sick. (Have I mentioned that I have a life-long history of motion sickness? And that even in our slip when the boat rocks about due to fetch from passing boats I’m plagued by nausea?)

Basically, I don’t like sailing. The best part of a day on the water for me is when we anchor or dock and I can get off the boat to go for a run or hike. I am admittedly and unapologetically a land lubber who will be much happier with a firm, unmoving structure to call home. I also will be overjoyed to be able to have a big dog again, like our beloved Serendipity who we had to leave behind and who has since passed.

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How does Clay feel about all of this? I’ll let him speak for himself…

He says, “I know this is just another chapter in the adventures of Clay and Kim! I have already started thinking about the next boat project, and once Sundown is sold and we are settled I can start building a smaller boat, maybe a coastal cruising yawl that I can trailer.”

It’s been a grand four years living aboard s/v Sundown and we don’t regret this experience at all. We’ve made so many friends and seen so many amazing sights. Our lives have been enriched beyond measure, but it’s time for a new adventure of a more terrestrial kind that, for now, will be centered back in Colorado where our parents and all of our kids live.

Soon we’ll be hiking and backpacking in the Rockies, paddling our Wee Rob canoes across fresh-water lakes sans big waves and swell (Clay built them), and pedaling our bikes on the several-hundred miles of trails in NoCo. We’ll also be dreaming up the next grand adventure.

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When we began our sailing journey, many people asked how long we planned to live aboard. We answered, “Until the time we don’t want to.” That time has come.

IMG_1242We left Anacortes, Washington, July 20…FINALLY!  We are out for a much-needed six-week cruise in beautiful British Columbia. Clay has been working nonstop on a 70-foot Nordlund as a project manager with the Anacortes Marina Group. While the work is rewarding, it is time for a break. Continue Reading »

Experiencing summer in the San Juan Islands has been delightful! The past two summer seasons we’ve been up north in British Columbia and I didn’t get out of my fleece and wool clothing till we made trips back to Colorado. I was not a fan. But here in Anacortes, we’ve been enjoying temperate weather—60s to low 80s—which feels just right for the adventures we’ve also been enjoying. Continue Reading »

I’ve been drawing a lot of attention on the dock in Anacortes, Wash., lately. Who wouldn’t while they’re stripping down to bareness in preparation for a healthy dousing of oil? Whoa! What? Continue Reading »

Life after Tofino…after we bid farewell to our Belgian clowns*…went by fast.

First we continued to the Broken Group where we enjoyed three anchorages in six days. Then we sailed our longest day yet; 75.4 miles in the infamous Juan de Fuca Strait. It took us 14 hours; 13 of those were in dense fog. The last hour before anchoring in Sooke Inlet we finally could see land and everything else only our radar detected beforehand. The next day we finished our final leg of the west coast of Vancouver Island: Sooke to Victoria.

Continue Reading »

by Clay

The west coast of Vancouver Island. I have read about the challenges, remoteness and solitude to be experienced. So far it has been a walk in the park (although we have had excellent weather) and if you like the scenery of logging’s desecration of vast swaths of forest, then the west coast is for you.g

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Cape Scott

We rounded Cape Scott and anchored in the northeast section of Winter Harbour, then went around Brooks Peninsula and stopped in Columbia Cove where we found very beautiful sand beaches sprinkled with lots of commercial fishing trash. 

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The  forecasted weather called for several days of gales, so we moved to a quaint little anchorage in the Bunsby Islands that we felt would offer better protection. We were welcomed by a wolf family complete with a litter of pups and a bear. We also shared a beach dinner of lingcod and roasted vegetables with our cove neighbors Bob and Dina of s/v Silverado (a scaled down Slocum Spray made famous for the first solo circumnavigation by Joshua Slocum in the late 1800s). Bob is an over achiever who not only learned how to weld so he could build his own aluminum sailboat, but taught himself how to sail as he singlehanded his vessel from Mexico to Hawaii and then Hawaii to Alaska! It was fun spending time with Bob and Dina, and hearing of their adventures.

 

Quentin, one of our clowns from Belgium, and I fished hard for two days in the wind and sun. We filled the freezer with lingcod. Amandine and Quentin made a video of my fishing exploits. Check it out here.

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Lingcod

Next, we went in search of food, fuel and water in Tahsis, BC. Unfortunately, the smoke from mainland wild fires was so thick that it obscured the view of the surrounding mountains.

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Smoke in Tasis Inlet

We choose Tahsis due to the high praise given to its Westview Marina by Waggoner’s Cruising guide. We won’t go there again. First, as we approached the fuel dock, the waiting attendant said she’d been trying to hail us on VHF06 to see if we had a reservation and wondered why we didn’t answer. Kim replied that we monitor VHF16, as all mariners are required to do. That seemed like news to the attendant.

Next, after spending nearly $150.00 for fuel and fishing gear, Kim was told by the owner that she couldn’t fill our water tanks at the dock because there was a small power boat waiting (which pulled in behind us and filled up without a problem). Kim replied that she was handed the water hose by his attendant, at which point the owner went inside and chewed out the staff who then came back outside to Kim and said we needed to move to a different dock to complete filling up with water. Apparently our spending $150.00 didn’t qualify us as elite paying customers. So while Waggoner’s touts Westview Marina as being cruiser friendly, I would guess any vessel longer than our 41’ boat better have bow thrusters to maneuver inside of their breakwater. We backed out without an issue, but I would not recommend this marina to anyone but recreational fisherman and small fishing boats. Waggoner’s has let us down in the past with information that supported their advertisers over unbiased accuracy; they failed us this time also.

 

Next stop: Hot Springs Cove and its popular hot springs which provided a welcome warm bath and our first encounter with real civilization again since leaving Nanaimo back in May. The down side is there are a lot of fast boats and planes coming in and out of the cove during the daylight hours hauling crowds of tourists. So if you want to bathe with at least a couple dozen of your closest friends, you’ll enjoy that spot.

From there, we bumped over to Tofino to celebrate BC Day with the locals. We made some repairs to the autopilot and cleaned house. We also say goodbye to our friends Amandine and Quentin who took to the road again to hitchhike to Cuba. We will miss their company, but will also enjoy our first real time together all summer!DSCN3735

Next up: the south end of Vancouver Island, Juan de Fuca Strait and Victoria!

 

 

He says: So…I saw a flyer down by the dock about a couple of clowns from Belgium who are looking for a ride south on a boat.

She says: Yea, I saw the same flyer in the laundry mat. What do you want for dinner? I’m hungry.

He says: I met and talked with them for about 40 seconds. What do you think?

She says: I think a salad would taste good.

He says: No. About giving them a ride.

She says: What? Are you serious? That would be kind of CRAZY! We don’t know these people. They could be drug addicts or worse. And the boat is small. What about everyone’s hygiene habits and needs?

He says: Yea and we couldn’t exactly kick them off the boat if it doesn’t work out; we’ll be in the middle of nowhere for days. 

She says: Well…God knows we have enough food aboard; we won’t run out of that.

He says: And this could be another opportunity to share what God’s blessed us with.

She says: Okay, at the very least, let’s buy these kids dinner and get to know them a bit.

Thus began the latest leg of our adventure with two clowns aboard Sundown. Continue Reading »

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