2008 Holiday Newsletter

Steveanddorothy

Aboard ADAGIO The San Francisco Bay Area, California December, 2008

We Wish You Very Happy Holidays and a Safe Harbor for the New Year

At the end of December last year, we abandonded ADAGIO to the Pacific Northwest winter, and flew to Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, for three months of festivals, boat shows, music, good friends and outdoor adventures.

When we arrived, the Hobart summer festival was in full swing for the month of January, followed by the “Taste of Tasmania“, the Cygnet Folk Festival and the Hobart Comedy Festival.

Being boat-less, we took the opportunity to explore by car and by tour boat. Most fortunately, our mate Adrian took us sailing aboard CAMIRA, and also for a tour by auto of lovely South Bruny Island. The weather was stormy and dramatic, which suited the photographers in the group. Dramatic skies, miles of beaches and rocky shores, southern hemisphere rain forests and albino wallabies.

We toured the dramatic rock formations along the seashores of the Tasman Peninsula, by a tour boat operated by “Sealife Experience“. The naturalist told us about the white bellied sea eagles that we saw nesting in the trees, fairy penguins in the water near the boat, seals and cormorants on the rocks and in the water. But the most interesting features were the geology of the shoreline. We were in an area where sedimentary layers meet volcanic dolerite. To paraphrase from Wikipedia: Volcanism, associated with the Jurassic breakup of Gondwanaland in the Southern Hemisphere caused the formation of many large diabase/dolerite sills and dike swarms. Tasmania has the world’s largest areas of dolerite, with many distinctive mountains and cliffs formed from this rock type. Locals have given these landforms names including the words, “pillars”, “needles” and “organ pipes”. The tour boat took us close to the rock face, and into caves, much more intimate with the shoreline than we would ever come with ADAGIO.

When we returned to Bainbridge Island, Washington, in April, spring was in the air, the icy docks were dry and warm, and the weather was perfect for bicycling. We followed our favorite shoreline routes several times a week, alternating days with working out at the gym.

We enjoyed watching David sail his Optimist dinghy at Port Madison, and Dorothy even volunteered to help man the “bock” one day of sailing camp. Steve bought David a radio controlled airplane, then got hooked himself. Every Friday evening we met other RC flyers at Battlepoint Park for a fly-in. The guys learned to fly the planes, we all learned how to poke a plane from below to disentangle it from a tree, and the guys learned about fast-drying epoxy and tape for repairs.

In July we visited with family, and Dorothy joined the wedding party for our niece, Elizabeth, at the historic and elegant Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. August brought our daughter’s birthday celebration. And then we were ready to depart for cruising in British Columbia waters.

Our first stop was Victoria, where we enjoyed the Victoria Splash! symphony performance on the inner harbor, the Dragon Boat Races and dance performances, the Canadian Air force Snowbirds air show, and the Victoria Wooden Boat Festival. When the winds turned from northerly to southerly, we sailed north to Nanaimo. This was a safe place to leave ADAGIO for a land tour to the west coast of Vancouver Island, and The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Rain coast forest walks, miles of sand beaches full of surfers on a summer’s day, elegant dining, and an amazing boat tour to watch black bears turn over rocks on the beach and lap up pools of tiny crabs.

As fairly new members of the Ocean Cruising Club, we had signed up to join other members for a Rally cruise with 19 other boats in Desolation Sound, British Columbia. We had met our first OCC members in New Zealand, about 10 years ago. We were very warmly greeted by the Rally organizers, Lisa and Andy, at Cortez Bay. A grand BBQ brought the 70 cruisers together for the first time, and we made friends immediately. Several of the members were friends of other cruising friends, and we were happy to finally meet them in person. Mostly circumnavigators, we felt as if we were surrounded by giants, who were down-to-earth, and looking for a fun time together.

Each day we sailed to a different island, cove or inlet, and occasionally hiked to a freshwater lake for a swim. The weather was exceptionally fine. Most nights we formed a large raft of boats, with boats being berthed side-by-side, and every fourth boat setting an anchor and taking a stern line ashore. The logistics of this complicated operation were handled with great skill by Lisa and Andy. One night ADAGIO was selected to be the center boat in the raft, and the “party” boat for the evening. The Barrel of Monkeys choral group had been practicing for days, and they selected the bow of ADAGIO for their performance stage. All 76 OCC members climbed aboard, with drinks and nibbles in hand, to enjoy the show, increasing the depth to which ADAGIO settled into the water by a fair amount. We were pleased that people did not start dancing, and the evening was a big success.

One late afternoon, after forming the raft along the shore, our organizers led us out into the center of the channel for a dinghy raft-up in the sunshine, with everyone bringing drinks and sharing appetizers, singing, telling stories and spinning the super-raft around in great circles. We agreed that we were probably having more fun than we would allow our children to have.

We made many new friends and hope to join an OCC rally again in the future, with or without ADAGIO. Half of the members attending this year’s rally had chartered their boats in Canada. The other half arrived aboard their own boats.

After the rally, we sailed south to join our friends Ralph and Nan at anchor in Montague Harbour in the Gulf Islands. Ralph led us along the beach and forest trails around the park ashore, and we found more photography opportunities.

Back in Victoria, we toured and dined and visited with our new OCC Canadian friends. Rose and David took us to beautiful places we had never seen during our many visits to Victoria. We shared meals with Tony and Coryn Gooch and Shaun and Penny, as well as the intrepid single-handed circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates.

Hanging flower baskets were being removed from the gardens surrounding Victoria Harbour. Rain clouds appeared more frequently, and we began to plan for our passage south to San Francisco. Our wonderful friend, Joe Siudzinski of KatieKat, joined us aboard ADAGIO for the passage south. After a long wait, we found a solid weather window that would allow us to make our way safely the 60 nautical miles west through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and that also would allow us to round Cape Mendocino in California in safe seas and winds. When the decision was made, we sailed across the Strait, and entered the US in Port Angeles. The next day we sailed to Neah Bay to wait for an early morning departure. We safely negotiated the icy docks as we released our dock lines. As we sailed south down the coast of Washington, an enormous Mt. Olympus raised his snowy peaks. To avoid crab pot floats, logs and large ships and fishing boats, we headed offshore before turning south. We had a boisterious, non-stop four and 1/2 days passage, with only the communications gear giving us problems.

We had sailed and raced our own boats on San Francisco Bay when we lived in Tiburon for 12 years, but never aboard ADAGIO. The winds abated and the sun filled the skies as we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Fortunarely, we had Joe handy to snap our photo.

Since arriving in the Bay Area, we have spent many (but not enough) days with our daughter and her family who have moved to Menlo Park. We will share Christmas with them, then fly to Hobart where we are looking forward to more festivals, Australia’s best Wooden Boat Festival, and the Ten Days on the Island Festival.

At our website, there are lots of photo galleries and earlier dispatches.

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16 thoughts on “2008 Holiday Newsletter

  1. Happy Holiday’s to you… I was just thinking about you and how lucky you are to be in a warmer marine climate. The past two weeks we have been getting our butt kicked in Puget Sound as well as in Eagle Harbor. Such extremes! Wishing you-all the best!

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  2. Dear Dorothy and Steve,
    Thank you for your seasons Greetings and the same to both of you.

    We look forward to seeing you again soon in Hobart?

    We have had an eventful year, with sales of both businesses in June July 2008.

    Tony has been very unwell in fact the illness wa not diagnosed till 2 months ago after dangerously high blood pressure which could not be reduced and a furtive disorder giving him pain 24 hours a day, finally diagnosed by my doctor and treated with small doses of cortisone due to the dangerous consequences for Tony if he took a high dose, thanks to God and Medicine he is as fit as a fiddle and back to his old self, working on his boat and many other projects contemporaneously.

    Graeme has finished the first year of his second degree, this one in Nursing he first of all found it very intensive and was then compelled to catch up and work very hard and came through with credits, he was used to credits and distinctions, he has promised himself distinctions next year.

    He is catching up doing several subjects in the summer break,as well as he is doing some work at an Old Folks home, he loves looking after them, and admits he had reservations, but now enjoys it, he is so sorry he does not have a lot more time to talk to the older folk, as he is interested in their stories.
    He will make a great Nurse, he really wants to be a Nurse Practitioner or educator, but being 39 on the 30th December, he will have to make a choice between work,a possible family or continuing studying, I only wish for him what he wants most for himself.

    I am well and very happy,waiting to be bored, as I have worked since I was 15 and been in business since I was 19 and I am now 65.5 and that has been a long time to be working in ones own businesses.

    I will write a couple of books mainly for the younger members of our family.

    I am busy working around the garden and took the plunge and finished up my housekeeper, she is the third one I have had in 48 years, and we will miss her, I have always had a housekeeper as I prefer to work in business, but now I am happy enough at the thought of cleaning my own home, hard work is something I have never shirked, just preferred to go to business.

    I have enjoyed myself in the garden, boatshed and am about to go and burn of some varnish for Tony on the boat, we are getting it ready for the Wooden Boat festival in February 2009, will you be here?

    Well Dorothy and Steve, we wish you both fair winds and good health and lots of happiness,
    The Scobie Family, Hobart

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  3. All of the best wishes to you both and your family for the festive season and coming new year.

    Kyfho is in an improvement program (always in reality) currently berthed in Corpus Christi, Texas while I do a touch of work offshore to top up the cruising kitty. Short term plans are to venture further south, passing through the Panama canal then north to Cabos San Lucas for a while.
    When you head west are you intending on departing from Mexico?

    Kind regards,
    Callum

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  4. Hi, good to hear you are still having fun. Are you headed toward Australlia next season?

    We still intend to launch Pelagic next year and almost managed to do so this summer until our house sitter opted out. We did manage to sell our spec. house though, no small feat in the current housing market. We are currently making furniture for our house and doing minor maintenance on Pelagic.

    Merry Christmas, Bill and Maryann

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  5. What a lovely way to send Seasons Greetings! It’s always a pleasure to catch up with you both when you are in Hobart. I haven’t forgotten your Mick Quilliam Huon pine platter… Mick is painting some wonderful work – but way too big for your boat! Best wishes…Euan

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  6. Merry Christmas to you all. Great to hear from you. Sounds like you are still enjoying life. Things are hotting up here in the Bay, with lots of tourists and playful dolphins. I am about to start building my house, which will keep me out of trouble for a while. All the best Vanessa

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  7. It’s a white Christmas in Friday Harbor and I would rather be with you guys in California. Snow is for children and youth.

    We do well. The entire family will be together for Christmas and New Years.

    SEA-DOG is all put together, or nearly so, and we are looking forward to some fancy Canadian cruising in 2009. Perhaps in tandem with a sailing raft?

    Continue to prosper and enjoy life, and give our regards to our Tasmanian friends. We have very fond memories of Hobart with the Dardens. Merry Christmas

    Les and Betsy

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  8. You have certainly filled your time in 2008! We envy you the southern sunshine as winter has hit Victoria BC with a vengeance!
    According to the experts most unusual, as cold spells generally last for only a week or so ! This spell promises to last up to Christmas
    with below aversge temps, Rosemary has her X country skis out and is making tracks on the local golf course.We are trying to keep our humming birds alive with warm sugar water every 3/4 hrs!
    Great to hear from you and have a super Christmas!!

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  9. What a fun-filled year! SO enjoyed meeting you on the rally, what an asset to the group as well as a magnificent party boat! Your mention of Hobart brought back fond memories of our time there with Tall Ships in 88, such lovely people and delightful place to visit.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and adventurous new year and hope our paths cross in 2009. Cheers Liza and Andy

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  10. Dear Dorothy and Steve —

    Very happy holiday wishes to you, too. It’s lovely to hear about your travel adventures — particularly the natural wonders you are seeing. Makes me yearn for a visit Down Under!

    We’re all doing well here: in the midst of another snowstorm (following last week’s ice storm). Many in our region are still without electricity and may not get it until Christmas or beyond (a full two weeks after the storm event that caused the outages). Makes one appreciate the woodstove and the electricity coursing through the house’s wiring…

    We hope to get out to California before to long for a visit with Kim and family. We’re eager to catch up with them, and for Lucy to get to meet Sarah!

    Much love to you both,

    Abi

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  11. Lovely to hear from you. We were only wondering this week if you
    were on your way downunder or not. It sounds as if you have had a
    wonderful year with many adventures. look forward to hearing more
    soon. Don’t forget to come and collect your pancake cooker!
    We had a memorable trip this year to Fiji with all of our family (11
    of us), followed by a 4-night cruise through the Yasawa Islands for
    Heinz and me. Otherwise Heinz has been busy preparing and giving
    lectures for U3A and I have started giving some classes in positive
    thinking at the Rosny Library. We are now looking forward to our son, his wife and two little girls coming for Xmas. We wish you both every blessing for Christmas with your family and a joyous and
    healthy 2009 With fond regards, Helen & Heinz

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  12. Dorothy and Steve,

    We love traveling with you vicariously. I have wonderful memeories
    of the time I join you on Adagio in Queensland for SCUBA, in 2002.

    It is a wonderful honor to be one of your sisters, and family.

    Seasons Greetings,

    Love, Helen & Larry 🙂

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