Monday, August 15, 2016

Route Planning Conundrum

Here we are, four days from the BC coast, motoring through the biggest stretch of windless water I've seen. The motor has been on for four days straight. If we do get a puff of wind, we scramble to get the sails set only to see them start flopping within minutes. I'm watching the fuel consumption and we are doing OK as Traveler only uses a half gallon per hour and we started with 120 gallons of diesel. We are about half way through our fuel supply now and are 500 miles off the BC coast. We travel about 120 miles per day usually.

A few days ago the weather GRIB files showed a big blow building just off the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This gale is predicted to build and spread over the next six days to become a 200 mile wide stretch of 30+ knots wind stretching from Oregon up to the tip of Vancouver Island BC. Of course, that's right where we must cross to make our landfall into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. What to do?

When in doubt, go to Prince Rupert!

So we've turned the bow of trusty Traveler to point at the beautiful little seaside town of Prince Rupert BC, Canada.

Now that a few days have gone by, I see that those strong winds are now predicted to die down in about 7 days. So another option is to just stop the boat, heave to, and wait for three days before proceeding. That does not sound like much fun to me. We are jonesing to hit land, wanting the pizza something bad. Our crew, Randy has itchy feet and wants to get back to Santa Fe. If we don't get him to shore, he will have a conniption fit. Connie and I want fresh veggies. What to do?

Another twist to the situation is that Randy did not bring his passport with him. That's the first thing CA customs will ask for. Thus, when we hit the liberal shores of Canada, their customs folks might not be too happy with us. But I figure we can plead that it's an act of "Dog" and we had to come to their country because of bad weather. Any port in a storm, Ah?

So the die is set. We head toward Prince Rupert. If the forecasts change over the next couple of days, and they always do, we might set our sights further south. Port Hardy, on the north end of Vancouver Island would be nice. And perhaps, just perhaps, the wind will fail in its promise to be a bad boy and it will diffuse soon enough to let us sail south along the outside of Vancouver Island and sneak into the Strait of Juan de Fuca to make landfall at the famous pizza tavern in sunny Port Angeles.

Send good karma thoughts to the weather goddesses to push those bad winds south, towards California where they belong.

Scott, Connie, and (itchy feet)Randy

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1 comment:

  1. I was walking on Pacific Beach today thinking about you all in your little boat afloat upon this mighty ocean. I was also thinking about the drive to PT to meet and welcome you with pizza and vino! I know you'll keep us informed about when and where. May the winds guide you safe and sound! Looking forward to the harmony of it all! Love!