Canada, here we come!
The quick and easy bar crossing leaving Port of Newport (Oregon USA) was encouraging, but as soon as we were out there, we faced a stronger than anticipated breeze on the nose and the short sharp waves made for some bashing. It was either turn back and wait for a favourable weather window, which wasn't predicted anytime soon, or persevere and hope the breeze died down. We chose the latter and after a few hours proved the right decision.
As we continued up the coast staying about 5 nautical miles offshore we were eventually cruising along in flat calm sea and in balmy temperatures. Between the Columbia Bar and Cape Flattery we picked up another beautiful salmon.
Wild salmon for dinner
We passed Neah Bay just before dark and made our last overnight run down the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Not sure of the tides as we approached Race Rocks in the early morning, we crossed through Race Passage and got caught in a 4-knot ebb. Finally through, we continued a short ways to find a respite in a quiet spot off Metchosin. There, at anchor, we did a little cleaning and homecoming organizing. Then our last one hour was a downwind spinnaker run into Victoria harbour; such a pleasant way to end it after hundreds of hours of motoring up the coast.
Adam, our associate member of Bluewater Cruising Association, had organized a welcoming committee that was assembled out at the end of the breakwater. So as we approached, we doused the spinnaker and hoisted up all the flags of the countries and territories that we had visited in the 9 years, 9 months, and 9 days since we had pulled out of this, our home port, in 2009.
40 foreign flags (photo courtesy of Al Kitchen-BWCA)
Cheers went up and horns blared as we passed the finish line. Such a welcome made the climax of our great adventure all the more emotional and memorable.
The day wasn't quite finished though. After a quick Customs check in and 50,384 nautical miles later, we took a berth at the inner harbour Wharf Street docks where our welcoming crowd was waiting. Hugs, snacks, and tales of venture ensued. Our hearty thanks to everyone!
Sea Turtle at sunset in home waters
N48°21.698' W123°31.954' Jul 03 Parker Bay, Vancouver Island BC
N48°25.493' W123°22.305' Jul 03 Wharf Street Marina, Victoria BC