Log #61p On the hard and off to Port Angeles

October 26, 2016 in Log Series 60-69, Logs by Series, Series 61, The Logs


Morro Bay, California

Oct. 30, 2016

Hi Folks,

We are still here in Morro Bay waiting for the winds to shift from the south to the north, expected tomorrow. There is a fantastic amout of sea and bird life in this large estuary, including seals, sea lions, sea otters, several breeds of pelicans, gulls, egrets, herons, kingfishers, curlews, marbled godwits, willets, grebes and cormorants. We enjoyed supper at the Morro Bay Yacht Club on their Friday Happy Hour. The library (for the internet), grocery store, and laundromat are a fair uphill hike that we have taken several times. The weather looks good for us to leave tomorrow, Oct. 31, for San Luis de Obispo, a short 22 mile passage around to anchor, and then on south, expecting to be in the Channel Islands off Los Angeles in a few more days.


Veleda in front of Morro Rock

We are powerful weather agents, as we brought three days of heavy rains, relieving the drought in the area.

This log gets us finally out of B.C. and on our way south to Mexico. It also describes the tow from Esquimalt up to Sidney and the work we had done on Veleda.

All the best,



Log #61p On the hard and off to Port Angeles

Morro Bay, California

Oct. 26, 2016


August 27, the day we were supposed to leave for Port Angeles in Washington State, we were faced with an engine which could not go faster than a slow idle due to a bent prop from damage hitting a submerged log. We had made arrangements to bring Veleda up to Vector Boat Yard in Sidney, 26 miles up the coast. We planned to tow it up, using our dinghy and its 15 hp outboard. The last long tow we used the dinghy for was to move Veleda 10 miles up the James River in Charleston, North Carolina, in sheltered waters, when we also had the tide with us and a couple of extra crew (Judy was back in Toronto with a broken leg). This was to be 26 miles in open coastal waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island up to Sidney.


The fates were with us. The winds were calm and the tide was with us ebbing out of Esquimalt Harbour, then flooding eastward around the south coast of Vancouver Island past Victoria, and northward for a while. We used the engine at slow idle to exit the CFSA at 0700, with the dinghy lashed alongside on the starboard midships. Once out of the club camber, the engine was off and I was providing propulsion for Veleda in the dinghy with Judy at the helm on Veleda to steer. Once outside of Esquimalt Harbour, Judy unfurled the genoa and Veleda was able to sail faster than dinghy propulsion.

I shut off the outboard and got back in Veleda until we approached Trial Island. As we neared Trial Island we put Veleda’s engine into a slow idle forward to reduce rolling in the beam seas to go outside Trial Island. We didn’t feel like trying to negotiate the inside passage of Trial Island, and opted for open water. Once around and heading north we were able to sail for a couple of hours until we lost the wind, at which time I got in the dinghy to keep us going at a speed of 3 to 4 knots.


As we proceeded northwards towards Sidney, the seas settled down a bit and we alternated between dinghy propulsion only or dinghy and genoa. The seas were calmer and Judy took her turn in the dinghy, and I at the helm. The sea was calm enough that Judy actually was reading her E-book as she sat forward in the dinghy (to keep the bow down) just providing propulsion while I was aboard Veleda, with our auto-helm steering the boat.

Judy in the dinghy with her E-book reader

I refuelled the dinghy before reaching Sidney as we did not want to risk the dinghy outboard running out of gas in the congested harbour.


Esquimalt to Sidney with side tow

It actually wasn’t too bad until we reached the large bays off Sidney. We had never been in Sidney before and did not know the layout of the two bays there. The one bay was for Port Sidney Marina, which we did not want. The other is for Tsehum Harbour, a large complex bay with Van Isle Marina with hundreds of boats on mooring balls and extended floating piers, Tsehum Public Wharf, Philbrooks Boatyard, Westport Marina, North Saanich Marina, and Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard, none of which were the “The Boat Yard” of Vector Yachts. We had to find “The Boat Yard”. We furled the genoa and slowly approached the bay using the dinghy, wondering where we were supposed to go. Fortunately the wind was light, but manoeuvering Veleda with the dinghy side tow in resricted waters through moored and anchored boats was difficult. It was a Saturday and there was no one at Vector Yachts to guide us in.


We went past Van Isle Marina over to the Tsehum Harbour Public Wharf, an L shaped high wooden wharf, but which side should we go on?! We started for the inside when I realized it was a dead end, and then went around the outside and a sharp turn to starboard down a long passage past several docks to port and the high pilings of the public wharf to starboard. Where is “The Boat Yard” for Vector Yachts?! Down near the end of the wharf, we were nearing the end of this narrow channel and running out of room. To turn Veleda around using the dinghy in this restricted space would be a very tricky operation. We hailed a chap on one of the docks to help us alongside so we could get our bearings to the Vector Yacht docks. We eased bow on to a short dock to ask him where they were. He indicated they were back about 50 yards. We passed it and didn’t see it.


We had to turn go back the narrow channel. Rather than to try to turn around, we backed out using Veleda’s engine at slow idle, back up the channel with boats alongside to port and the tall pilings of the public wharf to starboard. As we backed up, I had to give an extra kick of the stern to port in order not to catch the dinghy on one of the pilings. We missed it by a few inches. Had it connected with a piling we would have been in deep trouble, damaging the dinghy and drifting in restricted waters with expensive boats nearby to collide with. As we backed up we finally saw the Vector Yachts docks inside a very restricted area, with boats alongside on three sides of a four sided camber. We couldn’t motor over to the one free area. We went alongside a large sailboat, Peter Duck, on the outside in the channel and stopped to settle down and decide how we could get into the small camber which would require a zig zag entry of less than 40 feet each leg, with a 32 foot boat side towed with a dinghy! Lots of fun!


Entrance to Tsehum Harbour

Of course no one was around to help us. I was going to kedge Veleda across with lines to the one open space, but instead Judy suggested we handle Veleda around the bow of Peter Duck and push ourselves over to the dock. We missed the dock we were aiming for, intending to go alongside port side to, but thrust ourselves over to the other side to go alongside starboard side to. We made it (48 40.008N, 123 24.448W), and hoped we were not in someone else’s space. Later another sailboat came in to the area we first tried. When we talked to the skipper, he informed us there was no problem with where we were as he was an employee of Vector Yachts, and we would be hauled out first thing Monday morning. Whew!


Actually we did not too badly as we sailed 26.6 miles in 7 hours with side tow and genoa, finally alongside at 1415 (2:15pm), the last half hour being the most difficult.


Monday morning, Aug. 29, we slowly backed out of our mooring and 50 yards past the travel lift, then forward into the travel lift dock to be hauled out before 0900. Veleda’s bottom was dirty, and the waterline stripe covered with algae.

Veleda at Haulout

There was no perceptible damage on visual inspection, but when the propeller was turned, things seemed to be out of line. The boat was then blocked up in their yard, and further inspection indicated a blade was probably bent, the shaft seemed OK, but the strut supporting the shaft was out of line.


Life on the hard is hard


We were on the hard for 10 days. The prop was repitched, the strut was removed and a new one fabricated and fibreglassed in, and when the shaft was finally inserted we had a new cutlass bearing and a shaft seal packless bearing all to be carefully aligned. The prop was re-torqued from a 14rh14 to 14rh13 to give added power. (14 inch diameter, right hand turning screw advancing 13 inches through the water on each rotation) All this work took time.


Since we were on the hard and had access to shore power, we started several maintenance tasks that we had been putting off for many years. This was the first time since 2010 that Veleda had been out of the water for any period of time. We removed six windows and replaced them with plexiglass we had had cut to size three years ago.

Old window New windows


We replaced a torn stretch of rub-rail moulding on the forward starboard gunwale which was damaged in Florida in 2011. We cleaned, sanded and repainted with three coats of white paint the waterline stripe. We touched up the bottom paint in spots where it was wearing out. (Incidentally, Vector Yachts provided these paints free of charge from open cans they had available.) I washed and waxed the topsides, probably for the first time since the boat was repainted in 2011.


As usual for us we brought some rain for a couple of days, mucking up the boat with our many ups and downs on the ladder as we worked on the boat. Vector Yachts were quite accommodating in that they made availble a vehicle for us to go into town for supplies and to do a bit of touring. We went to the Sidney market and the Saanich County Fair over the Labour Day weekend.


We were getting antsy to get under way, as we had hoped to depart on Aug. 27 for Port Angeles and our trip down the western seaboard, before winter storm season. We were finally in the water by 1130 on Sept. 7. Vector Yachts accepted our insurance deductible on our Visa credit card and said they would accept the insurance settlement from our insurance company. We were off!


Veleda with bottom cleaned, waterline stripe painted,

and prop and shaft installed


We checked out the engine at low revolutions to be sure all was OK. It was! Off we went 17 miles down to Cadboro Bay to anchor there for the night before heading across the Strait of Juan de Fuca next day for our entry into the US at Port Angeles. Incidentally, we could have gone into the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Cadboro Bay, but we preferred to stay out at anchor to leave early next day.

Sidney to Port Angeles and Neah Bay

We appreciated the service of Vector Yachts, and sent an E-mail to Willy indicating the newly torqued prop wound out at 3600 rpm whereas the earlier prop would not allow the engine to go above 3200 rpm.


Checking in with US border control was no problem, we got the cruising permit with the inspection officer, who was quite pleasant. Two other times entering the US, we had to wait several hours while they figured out how to process the cruising permit, including dealing with a surly official in Corpus Christi. We were warned to be polite (as we usually are) as noted in our Waggoner Cruising Guide which said, “While customs officers are trained in courtesy and usually are cordial, they have at their disposal regulations that can ruin your day.”


We walked over town to a grocery store to resupply, and left next morning for the 54 mile passage out the Strait if Juan de Fuca to Neah Bay, the final refuge before rounding Cape Flattery and heading down the Pacific coast of the USA.