5th Jul, 2008

Tacoma Tall Ships 2008

It was with great regret that we had to cancel our planned voyage to Tacoma to participate in Tall Ships 2008. We have been working very hard to get the ship ready for the show for months and months and have invested countless hours and dollars into the venture. The broken propeller was a huge hurdle for us, thrown at us at the last minute, which we were able, we thought, to get over. Leaving port with such an important part of the equipment untested was a calculated risk but within an hour of casting off we were having serious doubts.
Our ETA for Port Townsend was 1100 hours. After casting off, we found that we could not get any speed up. At times we were making only a knot which pushed our ETA well into the 24 hour plus mark. We were concerned that the stress that we were putting on the propeller and how it had been mounted might cause bigger difficulties. We also pictured the incredible rips that occur off of Point Wilson and wondered how we would fare. With my inability to do heavy work, such as anchoring or hauling on lines etc, our options for anchoring in the Discovery Islands was out of the question.
Soon after leaving, the seas began to build. North Star began to roll, shipping water on each side and sometimes getting popped. Racing down the front of the waves, the new prop would race and then bite into the water. As the ship or her crew have been to sea in the years since the injury, the ocean predictabily found our weak spots. Gear that we thought well enough stowed broke free down below and the crew were feeling the often violent motion. We hung in for hours. Then we sailed into the fog.
Peasoup fog. The waves continued. The ship rolled mightily. Our speed dropped at times to zero – sometimes we were making sternway.
We had a family conference. Safety was foremost in our minds and so with great reluctance we turned the helm up and sought shelter in the lee of Discovery Island. It was still hours before the waves calmed down and we were able to gain speed. Unable to make safely make port in the fog and with the weather we continued up into the Gulf Islands. when the fog burned off we came alongside at Saltspring Marina, Ganges.
Our heartfelt aplogy to the good people of Tacoma and the organisers of Tacoma Tall Ships. We tried everything that we could to make it but it was not prudent to make the crossing. Th
That night, the wind blew up from the SE to gale force. The wind continued the next day, effectively sealing off the last chance we had for making a run to the show.
Hopefully Tacoma will consider giving us another chance in 2011!