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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Bonita Bonito

September 29, 2004
Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz Island (N 34o 02' W 119o 42')

We woke this morning to a wonderful day. Doubly wonderful considering the night before was very uncomfortable due to a lot of rolling.

The fish fountain was going big time in the light of the new day. (Fish Fountain is the name we give to the sound that small fish make when they jump and splash around the boat, it sounds like a fountain.) Sharon and I figured the reason the small fish were jumping so much was because there were larger fish chasing them. I figured I'd find out for sure by putting a lure on and casting it out. Sure enough after about 10 casts I hooked into a fun little fighting fish. When I finally got it up to the boat I was surprised that the fighter was only a 12 inch bonito. We just had to keep it though, so I kept the fish on the line while Sharon got the net out of the lazarette. Unfortunately, before she could get the net under the fish it got off. But, encouraged by a little success, I continued fishing and soon had a larger one on. Sharon got this one netted and we began making plans on how to cook the little wonder. I kept casting and kept catching fish, letting them go until we had another nice one. Sharon cleaned them nicely (did I mention how wonderful it is not to have to catch AND clean fish) and I put the fillets into the fridge for dinner.

Then we took a short dinghy ride exploring the shore around the anchorage. There was one small sea cave that we went all the way into, the surge being low, ducking our heads to keep from banging them on the low ceiling. We also took the dinghy under a rock arch which was pretty cool.

After the exploration trip I was sent fishing again. I made the mistake of telling Sharon that a fisherman I spoke to yesterday mentioned fishing for halibut. Sharon insisted that I go catch a halibut for dinner. I set out in the dinghy and rigged a lure when I arrived where the fisherman had told me halibut might be caught. The thing was, I liked catching bonito. So instead of rigging a halibut lure I rigged the spoon that had caught bonito in the anchorage. I must have caught and released 10-15 fish in the course of an hour. When I finally decided to fish for halibut I found it far too boring, all fishing and no catching, so I returned to NAKIA empty handed.

For the second night in a row we had happy hour on NAKIA. We invited Charlie and Grania from Zester and Bill and Diana from Diana B. over and had a great time. After they left, we put the bonito on the BBQ and ate it with some green beans and couscous. We liked the flavor well enough but all agreed we'd rather have calico sea bass.

As the sun set the wind died and the rolling started. This time I decided to put out our 'rocker-stopper' to see if it would help and the consensus is that it helps a great deal. The motion of the boat is more 'jerky,' but we don't have the incessant rolling that we had last night. We may actually be able to sleep.

Tomorrow we're moving to the east end of the island, which has become a national park since the last time we were here, and are looking forward to a walk on the beach there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Oh my feet!

September 28, 2004
Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz Island N 34o 02' W 119o 42')

We were about to pull up anchor from Fry's Harbor when Linda noticed the shifting lever wasn't working quite right. A quick glance in the engine compartment confirmed that the shifting lever on the transmission was not in the right position for Forward/Neutral/Reverse. I quickly dismantled the binnacle and found the problem, two loose screws on the shifter cable. A little locktite and we were soon back in business.

Fortunately, this little delay timed our arrival in Pelican Bay after several boats had departed. If we had been able to leave when we first wanted we would not have gotten as good a spot as we did.

We put the dinghy in the water, had lunch and decided to go for a hike before showers and dinner. We made our way to shore, getting splashed only a few times by waves breaking on the dinghy, and landed on a gravel beach around the corner from Pelican Bay.

That was at about 1430. We spent the next two and a half hours hiking on the rugged hills of Santa Cruz Island, following the trail out to Prisoner's Cove. It wasn't very hot, but it was quite dry, and we were all pretty dusty by the time we got back to the dinghy.

According to the sign at Prisoner's Cove it's an 8 mile round trip, way longer then we've hiked all summer, and much more than we were prepared to handle. Showers after the hike sure felt good and we all had second helpings of the huge pasta dish I made for dinner.

Tomorrow we plan on hanging out and reading. Maybe I'll do a project. But then again maybe I won't. I'd like to rest my feet.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Pigs and Caves

September 27, 2004
Fry's Harbor, Santa Cruz Island (34o 03' N 119o 45' W)

We spent three hours this morning exploring the Northwest shore of Santa Cruz Island by dinghy. There are no overnight anchorages on that end of the island so we had to make the run all the way from Fry's. Linda and Sharon went all out and put on full foul weather gear for the trip. I think they got wetter from the sweat than from the spray.

On the way out we stopped at Cueva Valdes anchorage and spotted a wild pig on the beach. We let the swell drift us in toward shore to get a closer look, and we felt like we were on some kind of Sunday evening nature show. I provided the whispered Marlin Perkins voice over, "These small animals search for food along the high tide line ..."

We made our way up to the Painted Cave and rowed in, letting the swell push us in slowly. The cave has two chambers, an outer one which is pretty high and an inner one which is separated from the outer chamber by a low arch. We sat at the entrance to the arch for 5-10 minutes, listening to the sound of the waves crashing in the inner chamber and watching the swell reduce the head room in the arch to 5 feet. In the end we decided it wasn't worth risking damaging the dinghy to explore the inner chamber so we just sat in the outer and listened to the thunder-like crashing of the waves inside.

On the way back from the Painted Cave we stopped at several blow holes on the shore. The largest is inside a sea cave and shoots spay and mist 20-30 feet out of the cave when a good swell hits it. It was loud too, we all thought it sounded like a dragon snoring inside the cave. We also stopped at a large rock arch and dared to take the dinghy under it in the swell. Not that big a deal really, but it sounds cool.

Back at the boat we had quesadillas for lunch and then I took the dinghy out to go fishing. Sharon said that if I caught anything she would clean it which made me want to catch something even more. It was pretty windy, which made bottom fishing hard, and I managed to lose my first lure after snagging it on the bottom. I tied on a different lure and cast it out a bit and soon had a good size calico sea bass in the boat. A few casts later and I pulled in a second larger fish. We're having fish tacos for dinner tonight!

Tomorrow we plan on moving to Pelican Bay where there are good hiking trails.

John, Linda and Sharon

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Pt. Conception Rodeo

September 26, 2004
Fry's Harbor (34o 03' N 119o 45' W)

We left Morro Bay yesterday afternoon after spending the morning running errands. Sharon found a garage sale but didn't feel like sleeping with the wine rack she found so decided not to buy it. I found the reported 'coldest toilet seat on the west coast' and decided that it looked very cold, but was not willing to test to find out.

The trip over the bar was uneventful and we were able to set sail after motoring a few miles out from Morro Bay.

I checked the weather reports from Pt. Arguello frequently. I'm not sure why I do this since it's not like we're going to turn around if I know it's blowing 30 kts, but at least it's nice to know what we're in for.

The area west of Pt. Sal had incredible wildlife. More shearwaters then I've ever seen in one place and a huge pod of Pacific White Sided Dolphins. Unfortunately, they were too busy chasing each other to come play in our bow wave. Even with the low overcast the evening was bright because of the nearly full moon, and the sailing was pleasant.

At about 2200 the wind started to come up as we were approaching Pt Arguello and the fog dropped right down to the water. By 2300 we were down to our 'storm' rig of staysail only, the main being doused without incident. We sailed on like this all the way around Pt. Conception, being careful to avoid the oil rigs and their associated buoys using the radar.

Of course after rounding Pt. Conception the fog cleared and the wind died making it necessary to raise the mainsail again. I had to turn the boat upwind a little to be able to do this and, because the wind was so light, the boat would only lie beam to the sea. The resulting rolling caused the rest of the crew to get out of bed and complain about being hit by objects flying around the cabin. Sharon said, "I didn't sign up for a Rodeo!"

The wind continued to die and after an hour or two we were motoring toward Santa Cruz Island. We arrived around 1000 and looked into Lady's Anchorage and decided against it (the swell being too high), and continued on to Fry's where we dropped bow and stern anchors as is the custom here.

After a two hour power nap we all felt a little better and made plans to take the dinghy out tomorrow morning and try to make it to the Painted Cave. It's a few miles along the island shore in the ocean swells but I think if we take it slow we'll make it.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Here's a picture of the sunset at Morro Bay. This is the most blue sky we've seen since we arrived. This afternoon at 1230 we'll be departing for Santa Cruz Island (Lady's Anchorage). This will get us around Pt. Conception around 0100 and to the island around 1100 tomorrow.

This is the baby humpback slapping it's tail on the water.

Here are some pics from our Morro Bay trip. This is a mother humpback whale spouting and baby waving a flipper

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Fog, Shooting Stars, and The Rock

September 23, 2004
Morro Bay (N 35o 21' W 120o 51')

We had a great night at sea last night, with one exception: Fog. The sun set shortly before we rounded Pt. Sur and it was clear from the layer of mist hanging over the water that we were in for an intense dew fall. Sure enough, as soon as the sun set the deck was soaked and water was dripping from the mainsail. The moon was bright though, so we made the best of motoring south.

Before long, the air could no longer hold the moisture in it and the fog descended on us. Strange that it was at this time that the shooting stars came out, at least that's what Sharon called them. In reality they were dolphins swimming around the boat. The phosphorescence illuminating their bodies streamed off in long trails making them look like large green shooting stars. Except these shooting stars breath at the surface of the ocean periodically. They stayed around the boat for almost an hour!

All too soon the dolphins left us with nothing but a small patch of sea to watch, the rest being covered by fog, our only visibility into the world being the radar screen. This condition persisted all night and all the next day, all the way to Morro Bay, where we made our approach to the entrance by radar, GPS and ear (we slowed periodically to listen for the whistle on the entrance buoy). Thankfully the fog lifted a little after finding the entrance buoy so we able to see a few more buoys inside the channel. We didn't see the famous Morro Rock until we were right underneath it though.

After rafting up at the Morro Bay Yacht Club dock, we went into town to see what kind of trouble we could get into. We found the saltwater taffy shop and proceeded to buy way too much candy. Not the kind of terrorizing sailors of old are known for, but we're happy with it. We plan on eating an early dinner and a lot of candy and going to bed early.

John, Linda and Sharon

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Thar she blows

September 22, 2004
At Sea N 36o 36' W 122o (15 nm west of Monterey)

We had a great day today, starting with getting under way from Half Moon Bay at 0630. The wind was light from the east so there was no fog and, even though it was a bit colder than we're used to, we were happy to be underway again. Strange how we can spend a summer in Canada and not get cold until we get to San Francisco. I guess Mark Twain was right.

Our course took us around Pt. Pescadero and then south towards Pt. Sur taking us well offshore from Monterey Bay. This turned out to be great for whale watching. The first sighting, of gray whales, was in the late morning. They were nice to look at but since they weren't doing anything interesting we continued without altering course. Then, just before noon, Sharon yelled out "I just saw a BIG fish jump!" Linda and I both turned to see a humpback whale breach clear out of the water (well, it was BIG, even if it wasn't a fish). This we had to see more of, so we altered course to get a closer look. At a range of about a mile we set sail and turned off the engine so we wouldn't disturb their fun. We slowly sailed to within a quarter of a mile; all the while one whale rolled over and over, slapping its huge flippers and its tail on the water. As we got close it was apparent that it was a young whale doing all the frolicking. The other, larger whale was no doubt its mother. We kept a safe distance and spent at least half an hour watching them until the mother whale told the youngster to get moving and they slowly swam away.

Around 1300 the wind was strong enough to keep us moving at over 4 knots so we set the main with the jib and drifter together on the head stay. This configuration worked very well until the wind dropped below 5 knots and we started the motor again. At least we were able to record sightings of more grey whales, Risso's dolphins and Mola Mola before having to motor again.

We should be arriving in Morro Bay tomorrow afternoon, ahead of schedule thanks to all the light winds.

John, Linda and Sharon

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Southbound again

September 21, 2004
Half Moon Bay, CA (N 37o 29' W 122o 18')

We departed Redwood City this morning after a hectic week of projects and parties. Our good friend, Sharon, is making the trip to Santa Barbara with us. We were supposed to have an additional crew from Redwood City to Half Moon Bay, but she chose to watch the boat leave her on the dock rather then risk seeing a leatherback sea turtle and several whales with us. (Yes Darla, we saw whales!) We sailed a short time, the wind being light most of the day, and at one point diverted a few miles to investigate an airplane which was circling repeatedly. At first we thought they were looking at whales, then we fantasized that they were spotting tuna for a fishing boat in the area. When we arrived under the circling plane we still couldn't figure out what all the hubbub was about until finally Sharon noticed a small head poking out of the water a half mile away. It was a leatherback sea turtle.

Our time in Redwood City was made far more convenient thanks to Patrick Lawrence who was nice enough to loan us a car! Without it we wouldn't have been able to complete half of what we accomplished while in town. Thanks Patrick!

The project list included sealing the chain plates (which leaked during our Pt. Arena boat wash), fixing the whisker pole (which broke on the trip down the coast), and replacing all the hoses on the toilet. All this along with the normal chores of doing six loads of laundry and shopping. The toilet project turned out to be the most exciting. All of the hoses involved are made out of flexible plastic hose which has a stiff plastic rib embedded in it. The hose is easy to cut to length, easy that is except for the stiff plastic rib. The tool I chose for cutting the hose was a brand new razor knife. Knowing my history with knives I was sure to remind myself that the knife is very sharp and dangerous every time I used it. As a matter of fact, I was doing this very thing while I made the last of six cuts to complete the project. Unfortunately I must not have been listening because as the knife jumped through the stiff plastic rib it passed through the knuckle of my left index finger leaving a rather large cut. After a few preliminary phone calls to clinics in the area (we no longer have our Kaiser health insurance) we jumped in the car (with Linda driving and John applying direct pressure) to find someplace to stitch up the wound.

Our first try was a clinic in Palo Alto. One look at the bloody gauze pad and the woman behind the desk said they don't do that kind of sewing at the P.A. clinic. She suggested we go to Valley Medical Center in San Jose "because it's cheap." So we drove off down the road and after three hours in the waiting room I was stitched up good as new. The only problem being that I had to convince the doctor to put in five stitches. He was going to stop at three.

Finally we got down to the wire on Monday. We had returned Patrick's car and were putting away all the last minute items we had purchased when Linda noticed that her fanny pack was nowhere to be found. She had left it in Patrick's car. A quick call to Patrick and we arranged to have him drop it off before our departure. Patrick saves the day again!

Anyway, we're on our way toward Mexico. Linda and Sharon are sharing the watch duties and I'm on 24 hour standby. Tomorrow we're going to Morro Bay, which will involve being out overnight. We expect to be in late Thursday afternoon.

John, Linda and Sharon

Monday, September 20, 2004

Canada pictures now on the web

Pictures from Canada are now on the web, see here:


More posts to follow soon, including the story of John's trip to the emergency room and our hectict last minute preparations.

Monday, September 13, 2004

In Redwood City

We're in Redwood City for a few days. We have a lot of projects to complete before heading to Southern California so the Blog is going to be inactive during that time.

Soon I'll have some pictures to post from Canada. If you have anything you want to see specifically let me know and I'll see if I can post it.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Safe and Sound

September 9, 2004
Drakes Bay (N 38o 00' W 122o 58')

Well we made it. Last night was enough to get us to hasten to Drakes Bay, motoring the afternoon to get here. According to Linda, all the wildlife we saw north of Point Reyes made the night of howling wind and crashing waves worth it. Me, I'm not so sure seeing Mola-Mola (aka sunfish), whales, dolphins, and puffins is enough to erase the memory of last night but it was pretty cool anyway.

We found a new boat maintenance service performed by Mother Nature: The Point Arena Drive Through Boat Wash. Simply take your boat through the area about 15 nm west of Point Arena during a strong northerly blow and your boat will emerge spotless (except for the salt) complete with rinse and blow dry. We had at least three large waves break on top of NAKIA (on both sides and into the cockpit).

It's too bad the worst of the weather occurred at the end of the voyage, had it been the other way around we may have a different opinion of ocean sailing. As it is we wonder about our suitability to crossing oceans. Hopefully this winter in Mexico will help us get a better feeling for our ultimate desires.

On the other hand we can highly recommend the off-shore route for transiting the Washington/Oregon/California coast. We only saw one ship and two or three fishing boats during the entire trip. Compared to our trip in 1997 this was a very relaxing voyage, weather aside.

In any case we're at anchor tonight which is our preferred mode of operation. The best part is that you can set a drink glass down on the table without it spilling when the boat rolls.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Welcome to California!

September 7, 2004
1430 PDT
At Sea N 41o 43' W 125o 57' (75 nm West of Crescent City, CA)

The weather was lumpy last night. Didn't get much sleep, but thankfully today was a little better.

Crossed the boarder into California, so nice to be within the bounds of our home state.

Still planning on a Friday arrival, with the possibility of spending Thursday night in Drakes Bay.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Rollin' rollin' rollin'

September 6, 2004
1830 PDT
At Sea N 43o 30' W 125o 55' (70 miles west of Coos Bay)

It's said that into every life some rain must fall, for the sailor that should be 'into every voyage some heavy wind must blow'. We've been sailing in 18-20 knots of north wind all night and all day with 6-8 foot seas. NAKIA rolls quite a bit under these conditions, but we're taking it as we can. At least the miles are really rolling by too.

We seem to have gotten into a rhythm sleep wise, at least we're not both exhausted. We're looking forward to pulling into San Francisco Thursday night.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Sunday Update

September 5, 2004
1900 PDT
At Sea, 80 miles west of Tillamook, OR (N 45o 41' W 125o 58')

We had a good day today, mostly sunny w/ highs in the 70s. The water is very warm, 65 degrees, and VERY blue. It's like we're sailing in a painting.

I put the fishing line out this morning and in about 40 minutes got more then I bargained for. The line I was using has three lures tied one after another. Two of the lures had fish. I forgot that Albacore swim in schools. It took me quite a while to reel them in.

Not much else to report, sleep is hard to come by for me but Linda doesn't seem to have any problems.

Good Beginnings

September 4, 2004
At Sea (N 47o 20' W 125o 33')

Neah Bay was a bee hive of activity on Friday afternoon. The week end before Labor Day seems to be when everybody leaves Canada to go home. Most of the boats we bound for the Columbia River (Astoria or Portland) though a few were going further. We took the opportunity of a nearby store and stocked up on a few provisions and took nice long showers in the shore side facilities. It may be a week before we take another shower.

We departed Neah Bay at 0600, 30 minutes before sunrise, and motored out past Cape Flattery. The wind soon came up out of the South West, and while that's not the direction we would have preferred the strength was perfect so we set the 115% (probably the first time this sail has been used!) and began beating into the low swell.

I think a lot of sailors discount sailing up wind. In the right conditions, I prefer it to sailing downwind. The wind pressing on the sails keeps the boat more stable and it is much more comfortable then rolling downwind. This was one of those days. We sailed all morning in this fine breeze and only had to motor for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

Even though there's been a ban on all fishing activities by the rest of the crew, I managed to sneak the drag line over the side for a few hours. As luck would have it there are a few Coho still off shore and I hooked one, bringing in and vacuum bagging it whole. We'll have it when we arrive in San Francisco. While cleaning this fish I just let the lures drag about 5 feet behind the boat, I figured they'd be 'safe' there. However, we almost caught another fish right there! Both myself and the aforementioned crew saw a fish strike at the lure. This prompted the afore mentioned crew to remove the lure from the water entirely, lest we actually hook another animal.

People often ask how we manage when we're at sea for an extended time. Of course, someone has to be awake and looking for obstacles at all times. To accomplish this we trade off, every four hours. We're trying a new schedule this time, here's how it goes:

1400-1600 ('1st Dog watch')
1600-1800 ('2nd Dog watch')

The two 'Dog watches' (don't ask me why they're called that, I used to know but not any more) make it so you don't have to stand the dreaded 2200-0200 watch every night.

When one is 'on watch' they have a timepiece, appropriately named 'The Watch', which is set up with an alarm that goes off every 10 minutes. When the alarm sounds it is the responsibility of the person on watch to look at the sea around the boat and make sure there's no ships or other boats that might run us down. Every hour, the person on watch writes our position in the log. That's about all there is, except for sail handling and writing blog reports. If you're off watch there's really only one activity: Sleep. Or at least try to sleep. It's pretty hard to get up at two in the morning for a watch if you haven't had at least a little rest. Oh, there's one other thing you have to do when you're on watch and that is be vewy vewy quite. You don't want to wake up the off watch!

Well that's all for now, it's 0100 and I have an hour left to go before I get to take a nap. I hope I can make it.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

Superstitious, who me?

September 2, 2004
Pillar Point, Washington (N 48o 12' W 124o 05')

We had a wonderful sail from Port Angeles to Pillar Point today. We got out a little later then we had hoped because the fuel dock didn't open until 8 am. No big deal, we set sail right out of the harbor and proceeded to sail upwind (with the tide) about 28 nm. It's really amazing how much better NAKIA sails with her new Max-Prop and new UK head sails. I suppose we could have made it all the way to Neah Bay (and so returned to the scene of our crime) but that would have involved motoring and we were having such a fine day we decided to stop and complete the trip tomorrow. The only problem with the day was the temperature. The sun was bright, there were very few clouds, but it didn't get much over 60 degrees all day long. Both Linda and I had to resort to our winter sailing clothes to keep warm.

Pillar Point, unlike any other anchorage we've been in in the Northwest, is not that great. Pillar Point is on the south shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and juts out into the main flow of the wind only a quarter of a mile or so. It offers very little protection, but has a clean sand bottom that really took hold of the anchor. The current runs around the point and half the time the wind is against the tide. This makes it very bouncy, at least until the wind dies. If you've anchored in McNear's Beach on a windy day you know what it's like. It says a lot about the remaining upwind 22 nm to Neah Bay that we'd want to stop here at all.

Of course stopping here means we simply must stop at Neah Bay. Linda suggested that we continue out the Strait and on our way to San Francisco instead of stopping. She, unlike me, failed to check the calendar and note the day of the week that September 3 falls on. Friday. Any sailor knows that starting a voyage on a Friday is bad luck. Not that I'm superstitious mind you, its just that I don't like to take any chances. Especially with my luck. So our plan now is to begin our passage to San Francisco on SATURDAY, September 4.

Bureaucratic Purgatory

August 31, 2004
Neah Bay, Washington USA (N 48o 22' W 124o 36')

We left the Pinkerton Islands and made the short trip to Bamfield, a little town on the south side of Barkley Sound where we would make our way to Neah Bay and the USA. Bamfield is something of a 'split town', one side is serviced by a dirt road that goes into the interior of Vancouver Island, the other side has no roads. The two sides are separated by a narrow strip of water. We tied up to the public dock on the roadless side and took care of our few remaining Canadian dollars by going to the general store and stocking up for the trip to San Francisco.

We departed Bamfield for Neah Bay at oh-dark-thirty, well before sunrise, and headed out onto the mostly calm Pacific Ocean. It was a motor trip all the way and we arrived at around 4pm. I gathered up our passports and boat registration and headed up the dock to call US Customs to check in. A sign on shore gave me the 800 number and in a few moments I was talking to a young man who's first question was 'When was the last time you checked into the US?' I had to think for a minute, it had been a long time, and I wasn't really sure what the last time I checked in has to do with this time. Finally I arrived at the answer, September 1997, when we finished our last trip to Canada in San Francisco. 'Oh,' he says, 'You have to go to Port Angeles.' Now I wasn't really sure how far away Port Angeles was, but I knew I was in Neah Bay, a Customs Port of Entry, and I didn't want to have to go anywhere else to check in. We discussed this, and finally arrived at the reason for going to Port Angeles. Due to Sept. 11, Customs required a physical inspection of any small boat entering the US unless you had been inspected within the last 12 months. More discussion ensued, including a call to the Port Angeles Customs office, and everyone's answer was the same: You have to go to Port Angeles.

You could say I was a little miffed, but I finally resigned myself to the change of plan and went back to the boat to deliver the bad news to Linda. Then I checked and found that Port Angeles is 50 nm from Neah Bay, all the way down the Strait of Juan de Fuca! A 100 nm detour? No way! Back to the phones I went, and more discussion ensued. An alternative was struck, we could go to Grays Harbor, 100nm down the coast. This seemed better to us, at least it was in the right direction. However, an examination of our charts showed that don't have a detailed harbor chart for Grays Harbor. We had no choice, we had to go to Port Angeles.

September 1, 2004
Port Angeles (N 48o 07' W 123o 27')

The trip from Neah Bay was uneventful. The westerlies that the Strait of Juan de Fuca is famous for didn't materialize until we were within 5 miles of Port Angeles, so we didn't do any sailing. We found a convenient spot at the guest dock around 6:30 pm and once again I went ashore to call Customs. This time the man said someone would be right down to inspect us. Now here's the thing. When an officer of the Federal government says he's sending someone to 'inspect' your boat, you get a little nervous. What are they going to do, look through every nook and cranny searching for contraband? Will we be forced to stand on the dock at gun point lest we interfere with them finding our stash of illegal fruit?

In the end, it was quick and painless. The two officers were more interested in the layout and craftsmanship of NAKIA then they were our Canadian purchased meat and produce. Why we couldn't take care of that over the phone is beyond me. Done it was however, 'Welcome to the United States.' We celebrated by mailing our quarterly estimated tax payment for 2004 to the Internal Revenue Service.