We finally made it out of the country. Not that we are running from anything and need to get away, more that we are running towards something, or in this case very slowing moving towards something. That something is Alaska, eventually, but for the near future we get to spend a bunch of quality time with our good friend and neighbor to the north, Canada.
Our trip across the Straits of Juan de Fuca was not exactly pleasant. We left Port Townsend with 25 knots of wind out of the southeast, which made for an interesting departure from the dock, and should have meant smooth downwind sailing to Victoria. Instead, the wind died off just about the time we were getting things worked out to sail, and was replaced with a growing wind out of the west, pretty much where we wanted to go. It got to the point of being uncomfortable about an hour out of Victoria, uncomfortable meaning wind increasing and the odd wave coming over the bow or side of the boat. Not really a big deal for us but our cat Hope has taken to sleeping up forward in the bow when we are traveling, and I could see the bow rising and falling 10 feet or more on some of the waves which gave me the mental image of the cat hovering in mid-air up forward as the bow plunged into the trough behind some of the bigger waves. Kind of a Wile-E-Coyote over the cliff type of thing. She didn't seem to get injured or sick from the experience, but was even more ornery than her usually teenage self for the next day or so.
We cleared Customs in Victoria, a truly painless 5 minute process, then headed over to Esquimalt to the CFSA marina to meet up with some new friends and take a couple days to continue organizing the boat. We decided to stay an extra day here which allowed us to see Carol and Livia's boat S/V Estrellita 5:10b go back in the water after several weeks of work in the boat yard. The weather forecast has included gales for some portion of Vancouver Island pretty much every day since we left Seattle, so the next couple weeks will either be very exciting if we venture out, or very relaxing if we sit and wait. It is nice to not be on a schedule.