Well we have finally arrived in Canada. We are both safe and sound albeit a little battered and bruised. Our two cats MIA and POPPY are also both okay. Our yacht unfortunately is in need of some serious repair. It is all fixable though, which is good. It will just take time and money of course. We nearly made it all the way, but couldn't get into the Juan De Fuca Straight we kept getting blown north. We got to within 40nm off UCLUELET. From there the wonderful Coast Guard towed us in. Due to the extreme weather (it was blowing 50kts) they couldn't get us into Torfino. They towed us all the way up the most beautiful inlet we have seen to a lovely little village called TARSIS, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in the early hours of March 18th. The people here are wonderful and very helpful. Unfortunately there is no haulout facility here, so we will have to move the boat. Probably around to Victoria or Vancouver, but after we have recovered a bit first and also after we have cleared customs. Which hopefully will be on Wednesday, when they meet us at Naniamo.
Our trip from Hawaii consisted of lots of sections of being becalmed which we certainly didn't expect. That worse storm we had was a force 11 (Beaufort scale), most of our damage came from when we were attempting to get a food drop from a ship. A crew member threw a light line to us too early and it tangled in our rigging then the end went into the water and got around our prop while at full revs. This ripped our engine back off it's engine mounts and also snapped our forestay and damaged our mast as well. This put us in great peril at the mercy of the sea unable to move away from the ship. We slammed against their hull several times causing serious damage. We were able to eventually slide off their hull as they went astern. This happened approx 800nm from the coast of Canada. Then to top it all off, while we were being towed in due to the hugh seas we took so much water over the bow, then threw the anchor locker that our bilge pumps got overwhelmed. They were coping with the leak in our damaged hull but not with the extra water. We flooded to the cabin sole. Meaning all our under floor compartments were full, which had paper and cardboard packaging on our last bits of food. This mush then also contributed to blocking the bilge pumps. The tow was stopped, we baled and got everything under control then continued with the tow. Our boat was safe but rather wet and dirty from all the bilge water especially when it hit the flywheel on the engine and srayed it up over all the benches in the galley, the walls and the ceiling. To say we have a lot of cleaning and repairing to do is an understatement. But heh!!! we are here in Canada safe and sound after crossing the pacific ocean from bottom to top. And our problems are nothing compared to Japan. We did notice a few particularly bigger swells than normal, these must have been the Tsunami waves heading for the west coast of North America.
Cheers Alan and Lesley Harris.