Thursday, 18 August 2016

Avalon

We made it!!!

Well High Five is secured at the dock at the San Diego Yacht Club. This will be her new home until December. 
We will post more tomorrow. For now enjoy some pictures.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

San Francisco and farewells


Well we had a sporty  2 day passage from Newport Oregon to San Francisco.
The sun and moon were covered by the fog for all but the first couple hours. It was so cold we were all wearing all of the warm clothes we could manage and still move. It kept us focused on the goal of getting somewhere warm.
We had some exhilarating surfs down waves both hand steering and letting Auto (pilot) have some of the fun.
There was very little wild life to be seen this leg, except for the birds. There are some very small, tough birds on the west coast. Even 30 miles off shore the birds are out there skimming along the tops of the waves.
We pulled into Drake's Bay 30 miles outside of San Francisco at midnight Friday night in fog so thick  it was hard to see the bow from the stern. We were able to set the anchor quickly and well. This let us all grab 5 1/2 hours of quiet sleep before we were up again to make the correct tides into San Fran.
It was a peaceful 4 hour motor into the Bay. We were accompanied by fishing boats emerging from the fog and porpoises frolicking along side. It was also our first sighting of pelicans! The fog lifted just enough as we were approaching the Golden Gate Bridge for some great photo ops. We arrived at St Francis yacht club and were given a place front and centre at the guest dock. Even better were the glorious long hot showers!
Saturday afternoon we were able to give our legs a good stretch walking along the waterfront to Fisherman's wharf and back. We picked up a couple loaves of San Francisco Sourdough.
The day past by too quickly, before we knew it 4:30pm had arrived, and we had to send Richard and Nicole off in a taxi to the airport. They both have obligations in Vancouver they had to return to.
They have both been a great part of our crew and we will sure miss them on the next legs of our passage.

The plan now is to head out of San Francisco at 9am Sunday to make the slack current under the Bridge. We will point our bow south and keep going for the next couple days and see how far we get.
We're still looking to find some warm weather. Fingers crossed the next post will be written from somewhere warm.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Newport Oregon

Sea lions

Newport, Oregon

At 8pm today we cruised into the harbour at Newport, Oregon for a night of quiet sleep before our next leg of the journey. Tomorrow we are heading out, set on San Francisco. The weather forecast seems to have calmed down for the southern Oregon coast, meaning that instead of a scary passage we should be in for a fun sail.
Our first lengthy passage of the trip, from Neah Bay to Newport, went as smoothly as we could hope, with our new autopilot driving a true course before we decided it was too jerky this morning and replaced it with a smoother human driver. The weather was cold overnight, but turned into a gorgeous sunny day today, with most of us even venturing to take our sweaters off at some point. Unfortunately, we had to motor for the entire 32 hour passage, meaning that we were pretty happy to turn the monster off when we docked, taking in our hard-earned silence with bliss.
We will be offshore until Saturday, so this should be our last update until then. If all goes well we'll see you in San Francisco!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Big Left Turn

Today we are leaving Neah Bay at noon. We delayed our departure a bit due to a nasty bit of weather in Northern Califotnia. That may seem odd considering we are sitting in Northern Washington but really it makes sense in The sailing world.
We will be travelling for the next 48 hours at least. If the nasty weather in Northern California persists we may have to wait a bit in southern Oregon.
Our weather from Neah Bay to Newport looks pretty benign.
We will update the blog when we arrive somewhere.

Highfive!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Neah bay

After a long, boring night of motoring through flat water, we arrived in Neah Bay at 6am this morning! We made a brief pause to wait for our 2pm weather window around Cape Flattery, but will be underway momentarily after stopping at the fuel dock to top up our diesel tank for the last time. If all goes according to plan, we should be in San Francisco on Friday or Saturday, with just enough time for Richy and Nicole to catch their flights home Saturday night. This is it!
This may be our last post for a while as we head offshore, but we will try to update everyone as soon as possible.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Departure day!!

Well it took a lot of effort from several people but Highfive got all of her new electronics connected and talking to each other properly before midnight last night! This meant we successfully met our 6am departure this Morning. We would really like to thank Andy and Jim for working so hard to make this possible.
Vancouver looked amazing with the sun rising over her this morning. Nicole and Janine took the 6am till noon shift and got us all safely to Roche Harbor by Noon-30. We had Orcas put in a guest appearance very close to the boat just after coming through Active pass! What great way to end Highfive's time in Canadian waters.
We were able to clear customs in Roche Harbor with a very nice Border patrol agent. They let us keep all of the food we brought! Thank goodness!! So after stocking up on some final provisions, hot showers and a nice dinner at the restaurant we wiil head out around 8pm. We should reach Neah Bay mid morning to top up the fuel tank and then take the BIG left turn around Cape Flattery Sunday afternoon.
It feels so surreal to actually be starting on this journey. We have been working towards it for what seems like a very long time. As we were unpacking our bags last night it was bringing back our memories of moving onto Highfive in 2007. It's amazing how we can all happily move back into this small amount of space together and easily fall back into the rhythm of sliding past each other and working as a team. We are so lucky to have this opportunity as a family.
Even with the lack of sleep the late night and early departure caused the day has been filled with plenty of humor and lots of big smiles.

Orca!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

High Five Sails Again!!

Well it sure has been a while since this blog has seen any action. After 6 summers of being in Vancouver High Five is itching to get back to warmer climates.
High Five has undergone some major upgrades to prepare for her next adventure.
Included in the list are:
Autopilot (a first for her)
Chart plotter
GPS
Radar
AIS radio
Jib
Halyards
Refurbished canvas with solar panels
High Five is feeling good with all these improvements and slick new bottom paint lets her glide through the water like a dream.
So the plan as it stands is to leave Vancouver the weekend of August 6 and head to San Francisco in the most direct route possible
All of the High Five regulars will be part of the crew as well as the addition of Nicole Johnson.
The last 6 weeks have been pretty demanding getting all the boat improvements, provisioning and safety equiptment organized. As well as fulfilling all the usual demands of regular work schedules.
It's hard to believe we're so close to our expected departure. We've had several offers of additional crew which we truly appreciate.
The weather will determine when we go and how long it will take us. Hopefully we will make it to San Francisco in 7 days. We will lose Richard and Nicole in San Francisco as they must return to commitments in Vancouver. The rest of the crew will sail High Five on to San Diego. Or somewhere in Southern California where she will remain until December. As usual when it comes to sailing trips, the plans are written in Jello.
We look forward to sharing our adventures with all of you. Please don't be concerned if our posts are delayed. It will most likely be due to a lack of ability to get connected.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Grand Canyon 2011 Medium

sorry folks I can't post the video with sound due to copyright issues. If you want to see it, friend me on Facebook, it is posted there. Janine

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Grand Canyon

As some of you know, we just got back from river rafting down the Grand Canyon. For those of you who don't know we were on the river for 20 days. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and there are 30 pictures a seconds here. Just for a little background info, this idea was formed 18 years ago. We just got the permit, applied for in 1993, this year. Signing off once more, Richy and family PS make sure your sound is turned on.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Baja Or Bust

As Richy told you we went to Mexico for Christmas break. Now of course being us we couldn't just hop on a a plane and fly to an all inclusive. That would be relaxing I'm sure, but not quite up to our level of adventure. Also we couldn't afford the flights! So with our limited means Janine set to work figuring out how to get to the sun. We are used to traveling with our house(boat), taking the boat was not an option it would take months. So the solution was to become land cruisers. Now people will tell you you can't take a rental into Mexico, but have you ever tried to tell Janine "no"? So after a bunch of research, she found a rental outfit that will let their vehicles go to Mexico. Camping World if you are interested. Now when you tell people in 1st world countries you are going to drive to Mexico they start going on about the dangers and the shootings and the drug lords. Reality Check! The week before we left 10 people were shot at 22nd and Oak in a gang related shooting! Janine walks past this locale every time she goes to work. To ease some of the worry we got in touch with some total strangers via email, they were going to be heading across the border the same day as us so we arranged a caravan. Safety in numbers. So on Dec.15(janine's mom's birthday), we picked the kids up from school at lunch and headed south. Yes, they missed a couple days of school but we won't let school get in the way of their education. No offence to all you teachers out there. We crossed the border without incident. Actually it was a really nice guy that saw our surf boards and asked where we were going. a big change from the previous trip. We made it as far as Portland the first day. On Dec.16th we were up at 5:30 and on the road. We made it to Buttonwillow, CA. I bet you've never heard of it. It is just north of Bakersfield. It put us 4 hours out of San Marcos, CA which is where we were to pick up the RV by 11am on the 17th. Now when Janine booked the RV online she was comparing the length of RVs to boats. Our boat is 46 feet long so a 31 foot motor home didn't seem to be very big. We arrived at Camping World San Marcos and saw the 31 footer. IT WAS HUGE! The kids were so excited, it was better than Christmas morning, which is fitting because as I said to them "Merry Christmas guys this is your present!". Camping World expedited a speedy check in, including the Mexican insurance (even if you take your own car to Mexico you have to get this). We were on the road in our new home by lunch time. We then did what all land cruisers do, we headed to the closest Walmart. We stocked up on a bit of food, we had been warned not to cross the Mexican border with too much food, and some other bits and pieces. We then headed east towards Tecate as this is where we were to meet our posse the next morning. We spent the night in a Casino parking lot because it is free, and Janine loves Casinos. Unfortunately this Casino was too smokey to spend anytime in. We discovered the DVD player in the RV didn't work..oh well. It was surprisingly quiet in the parking lot, We had a great sleep then were up at 0600h to go meet the other people. We first met Rich and Sherry, they are from Idaho and were driving a pick up truck towing a home built trailer. They turned out to be a great decoy through all the check points. The soldiers always wanted to look in their trailer and then just smiled and waved us through. We had heard horror stories of the rough skinny roads, but the roads were excellent... until we got to Ensenada. They got a bit narrower after this and there was a lot of construction, at least they are working on making the roads better. We made it to El Rosario that night which is where we met our other caravan member. They were 2 couples from California who have houses in La Ventana. They were both driving pick-up trucks with pop-top campers(this would be the ideal Baja vehicle). Gary and Terry, and Joel and Gayle. Joel and Gayle were the veterans having made this commute numerous time. Gary was a very tall" kid". He instantly clicked with the boys and I'm pretty sure Terry was relieved Gary had some body new to play with. We went to the famous Mama Espinosas for dinner. They are famous for there lobster tacos. The food was good and the company was great. Again it was reinforced for us that the best part of traveling is the people you meet along the way. Rich and Sherry took a very early departure the next day as they were going to try to get further, faster than the rest of us. The rest of us hit the highway at 0700h, we had a brief but longer than expected stop at the local "Starbucks" , where Gary gave us one of his walkie talkies so we could chat along the way. He kept us entertained with his vast knowledge of birds( he is as he says a" bird nerd", he completed his graduate studies in ornithology). He also worked on expanding the kids vocabulary. We stopped at the boulders in Catavana, huge boulders in the middle of the desert. Janine very kindly stayed behind to fix some lunch as the rest of the gang went exploring in the boulders. Her sacrifice was only partially motivated by her dislike for snakes. While she was getting the lunch put together a raven came right to the door of the RV and started clicking and cajoling. It had clearly learned that RV's are a source of food. The guys came back excited and hungry, which is really why Janine stayed back to fix some food. We were back on the road in short order. AHH yes the road. Well when previous Baja veterans told us about the roads being skinny, they were right. The road past El Rosario is 9 feet wide, our RV was 81/2 feet wide and there are NO shoulders if you swerve off the road you will likely lose both tires on the passenger side of the vehicle. We saw several vehicles in this situation. This is manageable until you meet a semitrailer coming the opposite way, which you do a lot! Just past Catavina we were passing one of these monster trucks headed in the opposite direction when BANG! Our driver's side mirror was taken out by the truck. At this point it must be mentioned that Gary is an incredible driver! It sounded like some one shot out his window and the mirror slammed against the window but he didn't even swerve he just kept us heading straight. Janine had every intention of sharing the driving until this point, but after that, there was no way she was brave enough to drive our huge RV an the skinny roads with the monster Semis. So Gary drove the 2000 mile trip, without any further incident. Our plan that night was to head to a beach called......We ran out of sunlight... forgot about the time change heading east, and you do not want to drive the Baja highway in the dark! The cows come onto the road for the warmth, so now you are dodging semis and cows. Gary and Terry were about an hour ahead of Joel and Gayle and us, luckily, G&T saw us as we drove past the beach they had stopped at and was able to call Joel and Gayle on the walkie talkie right before his radio battery died. We turned around and found G&T by the aid of Gary flashing a search light from the beach as we approached. We spent a great evening, with wonderful people, camped right on the beach with the Sea of Cortes lapping gently on the sand. There were sailboats sitting at anchor, a couple of them were lit up with christmas lights. Did we ever miss High Five! We agreed one day we will definitely come hang out down here on our boat. The moon rose up almost full just to complete the picture. We all slept well except for the occasional interruption by the dreaded semis using their engine brakes. The next morning we parted company. The others were off by 0830h, we were slowing our pace now that we had found some warm weather and nice beaches. Of course the kids started the morning by jumping into the ocean. They didn't stay in very long, it is not Caribbean warm! Well I wrote this post months ago but out computer had run out space to upload our photos, we solved that problem so the rest of the trip can be told with photos. The highlights were surfing at Los Cerritos, Hanging with Terry and Gary at their place in El Sargente, hanging with Raphael, Sharon and the kids and Grandparents in La Ventana, the kids getting to drive, our kiteboarding lesson and the scenery, and the best part as usual was the quality time we got to spend together as a family.