We spent a spectacular night making our way through the Strait, sailing for a while, but eventually motoring, cutting across the shipping lanes to our mark at Race Rocks near Victoria. With dawn approaching we then headed towards Cattle Pass at the southern tip of San Juan Island. The currents there can be fierce (over 11 kts at times), but we were able to time our passage to get through about one hour after maximum flood, and by staying in the center of the pass things went smoothly (and quickly).
Once through the pass we were in Griffin Bay, and fifteen minutes later we were being welcomed home by family and friends. Docklines were passed, and after 17-1/2 days at sea we were back on dry land. Arrival: about 11:00AM Thursday, Aug 23, 2012.
We spent the next two days resting, eating, and cleaning, giving VALIS a good scrubbing. All extra gear was taken off, and VALIS was put back into her cruising configuration. The water at the dock is too shallow to keep VALIS off the bottom during a minus tide, so she was taken out to the mooring during the evening hours:
Yesterday we moved VALIS to her new slip in the Friday Harbor marina.
I have to say that this has been a great Pacific Cup, and passage to our new home. During the race we worked hard, made some good decisions, and had some great conditions. Paul Carson, Dick Holm, Rich Jones, Michael Moradzadeh, and Phil Mummah are good friends who are also great sailors.
Our passage home was a completely different experience, and one I will treasure forever. Nicole Chatterson, Rich Jones, Lin Parks, and Jenta Russell were the best possible crew, and made the trip a happy one. Lin and Rich are skilled and resourceful, and Jenta and Nicole, while less experienced, bring enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn that makes them a joy to sail with.
Now that VALIS is finally in her new home, I look forward to exploring our new territory. There’s a lot to see and do up here!
Sincerely, Paul / VALIS