All passages are intense learning experiences with many long periods of inactivity interspersed with sudden opportunities to interpret, formulate, and react. First the bad news: yesterday afternoon the second autopilot quit with an overload that threw the breaker and blew its internal fuse. Evidently two autopilots are not enough. Fuse replacement and lazarette exam again to no avail. That means we are hand steering and it’s getting dark and the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca is still ahead. Valiantly we persisted making for the entrance, but without any visual cues and magnetic headings difficult to hold, we all decided to hold off and spend the night at sea again and try again at daybreak.
Now for the good news: We are almost to east end of the Strait nearing Port Angeles, where we will stay a few days. Today has been another great group effort weaving among fishing boats and freighters, all the while hand steering in zero visibility dense fog. So landfall has been rather more of a virtual experience, as we have not seen much land except a large rock about a mile away this morning. ” I want to see mountains, Gandalf!” (We listen to the Hobbit at night for dinner entertainment.) Anyway, the Strait has been absolutely, totally, completely flat calm, which is beyond amazing for us after three weeks of roiling seas.
After docking, our first order of business is to find the post passage hamburger and celebrate our combined effort at a successful passage of 2280 miles and twenty days. A wonderful crew with a stout boat can go anywhere. We all thought often of our family and friends out there maybe reading the blog and being somehow connected to support us all together on this journey. All the best to you everywhere. See you soon.
17 miles to go