On The Air

September 6, 2010

in the air near Victoria- nice beam reach
The Bruja Dulce will be sailing out of Victoria, BC this morning, with my Dad and I fully on board. It’s one day earlier than we had planned. A favorable but narrowing weather window along the coast is adding impetus to our timing.

In this brief, calm moment after a last land-breakfast for while, I’m taking stock and I’m thinking that everything and everyone seems in good order- ready to go. It’s a pleasant surprise, and a little different than I had imagined. I can’t remember a time on land where I have made such an effort to prepare for a 7-10 day trip. Here, finally at this point, between years of anticipation and the slippery slope of ocean sailing itself, the dense piece of cake that my months of preparations now seem to be have an additional, unexpected fluffy frosting of the last week’s successes.

Most importantly, my Dad and I have successfully sent an email using the boat’s shortwave radio from Cadboro Bay, here in Victoria, BC through a private HAM station in Petaluma, California, about 800-miles away. This means we will (likely) be able to get on the air and send reports of our position and condition as we sail down the coast. I have set up “post by email” with WordPress, and if all goes well, we will be posting to this blog everyday from offshore. If nothing shows up for two weeks, however, try not to worry- the weather looks good all the way down the coast and the Bruja Dulce was made for this kind of thing…

On the air, Victoria, broad reach

Victoria from our room


Rummikub- I couldn't help but set up the time-lapse camera.... we had fun.

During this week here in Victoria with my family, in addition to enjoying the sites and long sessions of Rummikub, we have been cooking all our meals in this two-bedroom, 7th-floor, condo-type hotel room. And in addition to these meals we have made two extremely large batches of soup- totaling about 3-4 gallons- and have frozen them in separate, meal-sized portions. We have tons of good food- ready to go.

soup making

Split-pea with typical ingredients plus kale, parsnip, turnip, and chard stalks.

This is allowing great happiness to enter my thoughts of the sea- the aroma of homemade split-pea and eleven-bean soups each with a dozen fresh vegetables and spices nicely cooked-in, mixing from the warm steam onto the salt sprayed air. This is an important preparation. Even the saltiest of sailors and pirates benefit from good food.

Lastly, the one day my Dad, Pam, Chris and I went sailing in the waters here near Victoria, I decided (finally having some crew to back me up) to try flying my kite aerial photography rig from the boat. kiteThe little parafoil kite I have been using has always been unstable. I have tried a number of things to stabilize it but nothing has seemed to work. As such, I had little expectations for the flight.

I was surprised.

At the end of the kite string (almost), the kite high and magically stable on the air, in the sky, a speck, (500? 1000? feet away), the  camera taking photos every 10 seconds, I think we were all surprised. The photographs from the flight speak to how I am feeling right now.

We will sail across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Port Angeles today to clear customs back in the US. We will leave Port Angeles with the tide this afternoon and sail to Crescent Bay or Clallam Bay to anchor for the night. Tomorrow, we will sail to Neah Bay, the last stop, and meet up with Kevin and his crew on Tuatara. We’re leaving together to sail down the coast.

Tomorrow, September 7th, is also both my Dad’s and Kevin’s birthday and I plan on baking them a carrot cake in Neah Bay in honor. We will likely leave Neah Bay early in the morning on September 8th.

Farewell for now!



  1. Oh boy…..Sounds like you are ready to go! I’ll be thinking of you and sending you lots of good sailing vibes! I’m glad you are sailing tandem with Kevin and all from the Tuatara – that should be so fun. I know you’re going to have a wonder-full journey! I’m looking forward to the posts via ham radio! I’m gonna be optimistic about that! (^_^) Please tell your Dad Happy Birthday for me! Have a great party! The pictures with the kite are amazing!!! It is sooo cool! I’m so happy that it worked so well. Can’t wait to see more along the way! Well honey….bon voyage and vaya con dias! I love you and am so very proud of you! Big hugs!!

    • Thanks Mom! Wish I woulda got this before we left. Maybe on future trips I’ll have even more communication options and skills…
      Love ya

  2. Absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!! I am so excited that your kite worked so well. This is so neat!! Please be careful but I am so excited for you. What a trip!!! Will be thinking about you and praying that the trip goes well. Keep us informed and up to date. Guess you can tell that I am EXCITED for you guys. Give your Dad a hug for me. Love to you both!

  3. Safe travels mate, see you in the turn. I will be in San Fran Sept 18th – 22nd if you get there around then, free room and board if you arrive around then. I won’t have a rental car but if you call a cab I can cover.

    • Free room and board and cousin-shepherding services. I wish that you were with me whenever red wine displaced so much of my good blood. You kept an even keel for the both of us! Thanks keeping me from capsizing into my burger and fries or running aground on that Sunnyvale skunk. Good times!

  4. Timmy (and crew) –

    Big hugs and high-fives from me, Dan, Hank, and b2. We’ll be thinking of you as you trek down the coast these next couple of weeks. Henry will be thrilled to see photos of the Bruja Dulce from the sky – you’ll have to share your exceptional kite flying skillz next we all meet. Safe travels.

    Xs. Os.

    PS: What is the pirate’s favorite planet?
    PPS: marrrrrs.
    PPSS: 🙂

    • High fives to your family! Especially teeny hi 5’s to b2!
      I’ll bring my kite when next we meet. I need to get some more string tho. Poor guy went crazy and crashed into the water near Alcatraz. All the string I had out balled up on deck during the frenzied rescue mission. At least the kite and camera survived.

      Kevin and I were making up pirate jokes yesterday. The best I could do was:
      What’s a pirate’s favorite country?
      Now thinking about it:
      Despite the cold, the favorite continent?

      All the best to you!

    • Ooh. Ooh. Just thought of another one.
      What’s a pirate’s favorite color of knee-high striped socks?

      Doesn’t matter, so long as they’re mateys!

      • Or, the obvious choice for our sea-fairing friends, Arrrgyle.

        Sorry to hear about the kite crash on Alcatraz!

        Love the photos! Glad that you arrived safe!

        Take care! SC

  5. Tim…the pictures are amazing!! You guys be safe and have a great time!! Love you!! Aunt Carol

    • Finally slowing down enough to look at the laptop…. Thanks for your well wishes, Auntie! See you soon…
      Love ya

  6. Hi Tim.
    Following you is whipping up a whole lot of nostalgia. We did it with Bruja Dulce twelve years ago. Have a good transit to the Bay.
    Bob and Helen

    • Your previous adventures sure paved our way south. So many things went right on the passage. All the equipment you had set up worked so, so well.
      We even deployed the drogue for a few hours to wait for Tuatara without having to turn our stern out of the following seas.
      My Dad and I had a really good time figuring it all out. There was a moment when we couldn’t stop laughing thinking about how much the drogue might slow us down… we were a little sleep deprived… I got some good video of us deploying it!
      So much good thought put into the Bruja Dulce. She was happy to be back at sea! Many thanks!

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