Pacific USA (2012)
Pacific USA, Washington
Check-in to the US was swiftly made in Anacortes and the good weather continued, so it was a pleasure to sail around in The San Juan Islands, visiting e.g. Friday Harbour and Port Townsend. Here it was interesting to experience the Wooden Boat Festival and admire the many well kept old ships. It was also interesting to compare this show and boats with the boats seen at the larger Wooden Boat Show in Hobart, Tasmania 18 months ago.
Seattle was impressive and interesting to visit, with its large harbour, market, and the locks and Washington Lake area.
One year ago Dana Felicia was on the hard in Cairns, Australia, and it was now time again to go on the hard in Anacortes, so she could be made ready for the trip south to California and Mexico. During the stay here, time was also spent to visit the small quaint town of La Conner.
The sail plan south included a visit to Newport, Oregon. Due to lack of wind most of the uneventful trip was done by motor sailing. Sailing along the US west coast can be rough, partly because the waves from the Pacific becomes big when meeting the continent, and partly because it can be difficult to find shelter, since dangerous bars at river entrances must be passed, and often the conditions makes this impossible.
The trip between Newport and San Francisco was quite uncomfortable due to big waves after a recent storm and too little wind to keep the sails filled. It was very hard on the equipment and caused a broken main halyard and many crushed balls in the sheet blocks.
We entered the large San Francisco bay sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in fog where only part of it was visible. The strong currents around Alcatraz were very noticeable.
San Francisco is very beautiful and was a very interesting experience with its history and characteristic houses and buildings. Also the area around Pier 39 and the museum ships, Chinatown, down town, and Castro were visited.
There were no convenient anchoring possibilities so we stayed in Alameda Marina / Svendsen’s Boatyard for a couple of weeks, and had three solar panels replaced. We were lucky to have unusual good weather during the whole stay.
On the way to San Diego we anchored at Catalina Island and San Clemente Island. This trip was also uneventful with too little wind most of the time.
San Diego is an interesting city surrounding a large harbour which is home for many naval ships and activities, including many air craft carriers. Everything is well organised with many pleasure craft harbours and also a couple of anchorages. Here we visited the retired air craft carrier “Midway” which is well kept and run as a museum, financially self supporting, by old veterans. They make the visit very “live” and have had over one million visitors within the last year.