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Come Sail Away With Me

Summer 2009 will kick off with a month+ cruise up to Princess Louisa Inlet. I am dividing the cruise up into three legs:

  • Part 1 will be Seattle to Vancouver BC with Joe James and Joe Palena: June 23 - July 3
  • Part 2 will be with Kim, Elizabeth, Catherine, and possibly Olivia (and maybe Sophia too), from Vancouver BC to Princess Louisa Inlet and then back to Vancouver. July 4 - 13
  • Part 3 will be from Vancouver BC back to Seattle. July 14ish to ??

I am seeking crew for Part 3. This is where you come in! The end date is somewhat open depending on how much time we have. I figure the bare minimum is 5 days, and 7 - 10 days is more like a reasonable time frame to enjoy ourselves.


Vancouver was selected as the crew changeover point as it is easily accessible by planes, trains, and automobiles (or Greyhound...been there done that!)

If your schedule requires, there are opportunities to get off the boat early and fly back via Kenmore Air or otherwise arrange your own return from several of the stops we will be making. I will need at least one person to make it back to Seattle with me.

About the Boat and Accomodations

Aeolus is a 1984 Wauquiez Pretorien. This is a 35 foot sloop rigged sailboat built in France by the Flemish boat builder Henri Wauquiez. Wauquiez yachts are universally recognized as being very well built, even "over-built", and are capable of circumnavigating (and many of them have done so). A sister-ship to Aeolus placed 3rd overall in the 2008 Vic-Maui race from Victoria to Maui. Aeolus has seen extensive refitting and is in excellent condition for the cruise. Recent upgrades include complete replacement of all sewage hose (no more stinky boat syndrome), new navigation instruments, computer, and a new entertainment system. This winter the bottom is being repainted and new batteries installed so we can go "off the grid" in style.

Aeolus sleeps 2 in the forward v-berth, 2 - 3 in the main cabin, and me in the aft cabin. The berths in the main cabin are a single berth to port and a double to starboard. Couples get priority for the v-berth.

We have a galley with 2 burner propane stove, a small oven, sink with running hot and cold water, and microwave (hot water and microwave need shore power however). We have a DC electric refrigerator.

The head has a marine toilet which is pumped to a holding tank we will periodically empty and a sink. Technically it has a shower capability, but I prefer to use sun showers on deck hoisted on a halyard when there is no shoreside shower available. All of the marinas have showers, so the sun showers are only employed when at anchor/buoy in parks or other remote locations.

We have a PC with wireless network when there is wireless internet to tap into. We also have an Archos 605 media player for watching movies on the LCD screen, and listening to music. So on rainy days we can watch that last commentary track from Return of the King you've been meaning to get to.

The boat has a dinghy with outboard motor and oars for exploring and going ashore when not tied up at a dock.

So, where are we going?

Our Route

Our Route

Other than the two "big water" crossings across the Straits of Georgia and Straits of Juan de Fuca which dictate certain stops before and after, we will play it by ear and select destinations together. We can choose to stay some places multiple days if we like. I would classify the types of destinations as falling into a few categories:
  • Resorts with nice restaurants, spas, and swimming pools. Pretty civilized to plush...but with the company that goes with it (lots of shiny powerboats more concerned with extended cocktail hours than natural beauty). Roche Harbor, Rosario (if it re-opens), Poet's Cove, Deer Harbor.
  • Towns where the marina is an incidental and not the main focus. Good grocery store inventory, many restaurants/bars to choose from, other entertainment like movie theaters. Examples are Friday Harbor, Port Townsend, Ganges, Nanaimo.
  • Stops with a marina that has diesel, bathrooms, maybe a small convenience store but not much else other than a pretty location
  • Parks with buoys or good holding for anchoring. Usually very pretty with some hiking and exploration opportunities ashore. Usually some form of pit toilet and maybe a fresh water spigot ashore.

First order of business is to cross the Straits of Georgia from Vancouver over to the Gulf Islands. This is one of the two "big water" crossings which we will try to time for fair weather and an early morning departure. This should be a 4 - 5 hour crossing, after which we will be in the more protected waters of the Canadian Gulf Islands.

Possible stops in the Gulf Islands include:
Then we cross back to old US of A and clear customs at Roche Harbor or Friday Harbor.

Possible stops in the San Juan Islands include:
Finally we will spend our last night at Friday Harbor and early the next morning check the weather and set out to cross the Straits of Juan de Fuca to either Port Townsend, or perhaps even go all the way back to Shilshole in one long (12+ hour) day.


We will share expenses for moorage, diesel, and groceries. No detailed accountings to the penny, but plan on covering moorage or fuel costs when it is your turn and taking an occasional turn at meal prep. Moorage typically runs from $30 - $50 a night when we tie up at a dock, and $10 when we use a park buoy. Anchoring is free! Diesel for the whole trip will be under $200 total, probably closer to $100.


It can happen, but we've never had anyone sick other than during crossing the straits where we can get into stiff chop or swells, depending on the weather conditions.

Last summer we all took Meclizine tablets as a preventative measure for seasickness on crossing the straits. Meclizine is the generic drug name for what is in Dramamine II, the non-drowsy version of Dramamine. Other than the two straits crossings, the waters are pretty calm and protected such that nobody has ever been sick. We found the meclizine worked quite well and none of us experienced any side effects other than some dry mouth. I have a 100 tablet bottle on the boat, plenty for years to come.

What's there to do and why would I want to do this?

Two top level reasons come to mind:
  • Being out on the water in some of the most beautiful areas of the great northwest
  • The company!

Things to do:
  • Relax
  • Read
  • Sail...realistically we sail at most 50% of the time given the islands are pretty protected and we do most of our transiting in the morning when it is typically calm
  • Try some fishing and crabbing
  • Explore undeveloped shorelines and islands
  • Enjoy dining out at adequate to pretty fair restaurants
  • Sampling brews from a variety of pubs
  • Watch other boaters' anchoring and docking antics
  • Engage in our own anchoring and docking antics
  • Change locations every day or two for a new experience
  • Get your Settlers of Catan game on
  • Lend a hand with ad hoc plumbing and electrical troubleshooting (just kidding...kind of)
  • Improve your seamanship skills. Daily knot tying and splicing lessons start promptly at 8 bells!

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