Orvil Newton's Blog (22)

Merry Christmas!

Added by Orvil Newton on December 23, 2012 at 4:42pm — No Comments


I admit I have been remiss in visiting here and keeping up with the blog etc.  We have, however, been busy sailing from San Francisco to Hawaii, then volunteering with the TransPac Hosts (Waikiki Yacht Club), then updating our own web site and YouTube Channel.  At the moment, sipping a cold beer behind the Ala Wai fuel dock in Honolulu, watching the outrigger canoe paddlers practice. The boat… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on August 4, 2011 at 12:08am — 3 Comments

Plan "B"

Apologies for not keeping up this blog. The video we posted yesterday is from our first attempt to sail down the coast from the straight. After that weather broke we high tailed it into Neah Bay...

To bring everyone up to date: We departed Neah Bay, along with six other southbound sail boats when the weather turned, and resumed our original course offshore where we sailed a reach in brisk winds and fairly large seas. All went well until Laura suffered a severe asthma attack. We were… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on November 7, 2010 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

Spanked by Mother Nature

Neah Bay

We departed Port Angeles at 07:20 on Tuesday, September 22 under overcast skies with good visibility. The forecast was for wind 15 to 25 knots from the SW off Cape Flattery. We neglected to consult the long range forecast. Our mistake, and, later, we paid for it.

We reached the red J buoy at the entrance to the strait at sundown, shut down the engine, hoisted the genoa and mainsail, and sailed on a course of 240 degrees true, making as much southing as we could in the… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on September 28, 2010 at 5:16pm — 1 Comment


After picking up our crew for the trip down the coast in Friday Harbor we returned to Port Townsend for final provisioning. Generally foggy conditions in the strait deteriorated into very low visibility and kept us in Port Townsend an extra day.

We left Port Townsend at 12:20 on Wednesday as the fog lifted but as we motored westward in the Strait of Juan de Fuca the fog closed in again and we found ourselves proceeding in one mile visibility for most of the thirty six miles to Port… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on September 17, 2010 at 11:21am — No Comments

Always the Weather

If there is one thing certain about cruising, it is that one becomes very connected to the weather and less concerned with any arbitrary


As Laura wrote, we love Port Townsend; especially, the Boat Haven. Having said that, we are once again spending more time than

we had planned because of adverse weather conditions: Gale warnings to

the north, small craft advisories to the south, rain and contrary winds

here in the port.

We had intended to… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on September 1, 2010 at 2:10pm — No Comments

A Summer Evening in Cap Sante

by the First Mate

Anacortes, Cap Sante Marina

We had originally planned to head from Friday Harbor directly to Port Townsend

but upon reaching Cattle Pass we once again found it enshrouded in fog

and decided to turn around and make for Anacortes instead.

We spent our afternoon wandering the shops and pubs and visited my favorite

store, Marine Supply and Hardware Company is said to be the oldest

marine chandlery on the West Coast (202 Commercial… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on August 14, 2010 at 11:10am — No Comments

Back in the USA

After cruising in the Canadian Gulf Islands off the east coast of Vancouver Island for a week we are back in Friday…


Added by Orvil Newton on August 6, 2010 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Ready to Rumble

The Rumble Monster lives!

Mark,our diesel mechanic just left.

I had finally gotten the engine plumbed in; all hoses connected, new exhaust system with

water-lift muffler, a new raw water strainer and an an added

anti-siphon loop in the raw water circuit. There was also the new fuel

tank and all the hoses, filter etc.. I relocated the coolant tank while

I was at it. Then I poured five gallons of fresh diesel fuel into the

brand new Moeller 13 gallon… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on July 19, 2010 at 11:17am — 1 Comment

By the First Mate

What a relaxing last few days. I (mostly) had two days off back to back and coincidentally, so did Chuck.

Yesterday for Happy Hour We met some friends at Anthony's for a drink and had some good laughs. We spent the afternoon watching boat traffic go by talking about the weather. Anthony's is the place to


Added by Orvil Newton on May 10, 2010 at 9:08pm — 1 Comment

The Rumble Monster


Added by Orvil Newton on April 16, 2010 at 11:45pm — No Comments

Murphy Loves Boaters

April 2, 2010 Shilshole Bay:

When I lived in Hawaii I used to sometimes put a mini weather report at the end of my emails to people in the mainland. You know, the usual Hawaii weather report - 80, sunny, trades. Here in Seattle it's a little different - 40, rain, gales...

I read in a local paper a while back “You can’t talk about Seattle without talking about the weather…it makes everyone here a…

Added by Orvil Newton on April 2, 2010 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Clausewitz on Planning

March 21,

2010. Seaview Marine docks at Shilshole Bay

Waiting for a tow from Captain Wendell and his Vessel Assist boat.

We hauled out on Tuesday after pulling the engine and delivering it to the

Yanmar Mechanic. I will spare you the gory details but the upshot is

that the engine has been disassembled and sent off to the machine shop

and will be finished in about ten days.… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on March 21, 2010 at 6:05pm — 4 Comments

Planning and Preparation

February 25th, Shilshole Bay

We have begun to take our trip planning and preparation seriously now. I rode my bike to The Armchair Sailor on Westlake in Seattle and picked up the NOAA Catalog of Charts and Publications #3 – Alaska and the Canadian Nautical Charts and Publications Catalog #2 – West Coast. We need charts of SE Alaska of course, and all the other periodically updated publications relating to navigation. It was… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on February 25, 2010 at 1:39pm — No Comments

Getting ahead of myself?

Some would say that I should finish the "Across the Pacific" series before I start something new. OTOH, I have the opportunity to interview the local Boat US Vessel Assist Captain here in Seattle so I am going to go for it; hoping I will be able to spend a day on the water with him.

Do any of you have any questions you would like me to pose?

This promises to be a very entertaining and educational experience: Stay tuned.

Added by Orvil Newton on January 16, 2010 at 8:04pm — 8 Comments

2010 - Facing Future

January 7th 2010, Shilshole Bay: Facing Future

I hope everyone had a satisfying and renewing solstice and holiday season. Leaving political correctness aside for moment; as Christians and Americans, we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with Laura's family in the traditional ways. On New Year's eve Laura and I had dinner with friends and retired early. We were sound asleep by 10:30, grateful that we are not in Honolulu where… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on January 7, 2010 at 1:51pm — No Comments

Autumn: Catching up

November 15th 2009, Shilshole Bay: The Gales of November

We didn't make it to Friday Harbor. Our trip to Port Townsend was uneventful. Light South Winds were not enough for us to sail, the Northward current pushing us faster than the wind. We had a quick trip under power to Point Hudson Marina where Bree and I stayed with the boat while Laura attended her "Team Building" activity ashore. By Wednesday Laura's meeting was over but the weather was closing in. With gale… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on December 10, 2009 at 2:15pm — No Comments

Cruising Plans

September 21 2009, Shilshole Bay: Cruising Plans

Summer is over. Although it is bright and sunny, there is a definite Autumn nip in the air and the shadows are getting long as the sun's arc no longer crosses the top of the sky. Laura is coming down off the frenetic pace as business slows at the end of the season and we are looking forward to spending more time together as West Marine adopts shorter hours for the Winter.

Meanwhile we have been taking full advantage of the… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on September 21, 2009 at 4:26pm — 3 Comments

Puget Sound Update

I have learned one thing during our sojourn here in the Pacific Northwest: To always take full advantage of good weather, Or, as the old saying goes – “Make hay while the sun shines”. Anyway, that is my excuse for neglecting my correspondence, my blog, the web site, all internet forums and our video series. Who knew that Northwest Washington would actually have a summer (Of sorts) this year?

I am being a bit facetious, of course, but only a little. In truth, we have been enjoying… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on August 27, 2009 at 2:43pm — 1 Comment


June 5th 2009, Shilshole Bay:

The weather has been pretty nice the past week or so; almost like Hawaii in the dead of winter. But today we appear to be back to normal – cloudy, cool and wet. A good thing, I judge, as most of the locals have been complaining about the heat (Mid-80’s maximum) and attributing it to Global Warming, or as I prefer to call it – “Spring”.

Laura has been working far too many hours and attracting the wrong kind of attention from upper management – the kind of… Continue

Added by Orvil Newton on June 12, 2009 at 12:41am — No Comments

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