About Us

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We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

San Fransisco

Approaching the Golden Gate (honest)
The Bridge Appears

We crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca sailing most of the way, to officially check in to the US at Port Angeles. When the wind died we called ahead to US Customs to tell them of our arrival. Not ten minutes later as we were still stowing our mainsail we were visited by a border patrol vessel and two armed officers boarded us to have a look around Narama. They were very polite and to the point, but it was a new and intimidating experience for us! We hit the weekly farmers market and stocked up for the voyage south. Following day we motored and sailed to Neah Bay, the last protected anchorage before the big jump down the coast. There we sat for a few days waiting for the summer north-westerly’s to return so we could set sail for California. I think that we were a week too late! Eventually there was a break in the SE in between low pressure systems and we took the chance and headed out. That first day was spent motoring south and west to get far enough away that we wouldn’t be in the strongest wind when the next system blew through.

It was a week at sea. Two fronts come through with 20+ knots of southerly wind, we had a few days of lovely NW breeze that filled our blooper (asymmetrical spinnaker) and ghosted us along at 3 knots very comfortably and we were also becalmed a couple days. Our daily 24-hour runs (in nautical miles): 127 (under power), 85 (pounding into headwinds), 77 (very light following wind), 133 (very strong following wind), 99.5 (a bit of everything), 95 (hardly anything). On the morning of our seventh day we anchored in Drakes Bay (visited by Sir Francis Drake himself in 1579) spent a luxurious day eliminating the squalor in the boat, having a swim and shower and SLEEPING!

Narama is anchored in the lower right framed by two trees

It was an early rise to catch the flood tide under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. We had imagined this would be a highlight and the excitement was only heightened by the fact that it was pea soup fog. We had to feel our way in with radar (which shows as a solid line for the bridge- so where is the gap?) and only glimpsed the span as we passed beneath. We are now in a great anchorage in the Aquatic Park for a few day stay in San Francisco.

From the log: 12 September, 2009 0200
“The most beautiful display of bioluminescence: 6 Dall’s Porpoises playing under our bow. Their bodies glow like green magic with their trailing wakes still sparkling behind them.”

California SeaLions take over the pier!

Victoria to San Fransisco Species List
(in order of appearance)

Rhinoceros Auklet
Red-necked Phalarope
Glaucous-winged Gull
Mew Gull
Harbour Seal
Harbour Porpoise
Common Murre
Sooty Shearwater
Northern Fulmar
Red-necked Grebe
Common Loon
California Sea lion
Great Blue Heron
California Gull
Heerman’s Gull
Belted Kingfisher
Black Turnstone
Northern Pintail
Pelagic Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
White-winged Scoter
Downy Woodpecker
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Winter Wren
Northwestern Crow
Black-footed Albatross
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
Dall’s Porpoise
Cassin’s Auklet
Pink-footed Shearwater
Sabine’s Gull
Parasitic Jaeger
Caspian Tern
Common Tern
Leach’s Storm-Petrel
South Polar Skua
Pomarine Jaeger
Long-tailed Jaeger
Pacific White-sided Dolphin
Buller’s Shearwater
Turkey Vulture
White Pelican
Western Gull
Brandt Cormorant


Anonymous said...

yeeehaaaa! Well done you two! Have a fantastic time heading south to warmer waters.
Chris and Kara

Chris said...

Aha... luddite of London finds the comments box. Great to follow your travels, keep those random little place names coming for the bays you visit...

Pictures of odd birds and animals please... especially the rhinocerous auklet... I think I want one of those.

Shout hello to Shannon's folk when you pass Santa Cruz.

Take care

Alison Watt said...

hi fearless sailors!
we were thinking about you in the recent storms--great to hear that all is well and you've safely arrived in San Francisco. (It's foggy here too by the way).
looking forward to hearing more....

Narama said...

Chris and Kara, will we see you one day in a secluded anchorage somewhere??

Chris, We'll send you a Rhino instead of a postcard, BC is actually the best place in the world to see these beauties!

Thanks Allison, the fog lifted and we walked across the bridge yesterday in sunshine!

Ruth said...

That bird (and mammal) list has me feeling soooooo jealous! -- wowsa! Timmy and I were at boundary bay last weekend and there were three marbled godwits and 1 long-billed curlew feeding in the thick mud. We tried to get closer but then got stuck in the mud and lost our shoes and fell over... all before 8 oclock in the morning. The birds just laughed but kept feeding hungrily. They probably are flying over Narama about now, so say hi if you see them!

Thanks for the P-C!

Narama said...

We extended greetings to LOTS of Godwits and Curlews. They were still laughing at your early morning antics in the mud! Loved hearing about it!