I'm Matt, a software engineer and boating enthusiast based in Washington State (but on the move). I started Hermit Cove Boats, offering cool skin and frame boat plans and kits. Check it out!
Frankly, it wasn’t even my idea to come down here. I didn’t think we had the skills needed to get up north and into the Puget Sound in the first place. But if fate smiled on us and we made it there, it would be hubris to leave those safe waters. We would count our blessings and spend a few years honing our skills in the sound. It was Kristin who said, “If I am leaving Portland, it damn well better be for someplace warm”. And its an excellent point. Not wanting to be the chicken I played along. But seriously, sailing a 30 foot boat around the north end of Vancouver Island, and spending months travelling down the west coast of North America - without previous experience? Stupid. So I have to say I am thrilled to be sitting here among palm trees in Sausalito.
We woke up before sunrise in Drake’s Bay and sped towards the Golden Gate trying to make the best of the flood tide. We arrived at the hairiest spot - the Bonita Channel and the turn around Point Bonita - at max flood. The water was furious. Waves of every size came from every direction, some blue, some green, some brown. We held on tight and turned the corner, moving at 8-9 knots. A supertanker effortlessly fought the flood on its way out. There was plenty of room for both of us, but I was worried about the giant barge in the distance. A barge that turned out to be Alcatraz. Making 0 knots over ground.
With the tide behind us, we were under the gate and into the bay in an instant. We turned north to head into Sausalito. Right there at the mouth of Richardson Bay, S/V Wondertimelay at anchor. A few boats later we saw S/V Velella Velella, a boat we had met while they were on the hard in Port Townsend. Small world. We tied up at Schoonmaker Marina. That night we had dinner with the crew on Wondertime, it was great to see them again and compare notes on the trip south. They left the next day so we feel very lucky to have caught them. They wont be back this way for some time. Adios!
Now we are pondering where we will live and where we will work. It is just as exciting as rounding Vancouver Island. The Big City. A natural environment like no other. We won’t see many bears, orcas, whales, and only a few Canadians, but they’ve got a lot of cool stuff here. Like a train that goes under the bay and sourdough bread. And sailing. It is wonderful to sit in a marina at sundown on a wednesday and see tens of boats returning from an evening sail. But who could resist, when there is plenty of wind and the setting is so iconic?