Night Passage

It’s midnight plus one minute on July 30 and I, Melissa, am on watch on this crisp clear night as we pass Cape Flattery off the starboard side. Hugging the coast of Vancouver Island, we decided to do an overnight passage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca in order to stay ahead of winds that would be against us on Friday. I am surprised when I look out over a glistening silky sea, bright with the light of a half moon, and see lights in the distance. I realize I am seeing Washington State for the first time from my boat in over 3 years.

The lights are faintly glowing far off on the other side of the mouth of the strait and I want to stare intently at them, make them bigger and brighter and more real. There is our waypoint on the chart, a gem shaped mark chosen to represent the completion of passages from Mexico and Hawaii. Did we really, in fact, sail all that way? The coastline of Vancouver Island is so familiar, so usual a pattern in my experience that it could be possible to believe, sitting out here in the cold night air, that the past three years were somehow a dream, maybe even someone else’s life entirely. I want to freeze frame this moment in time and sit with it for longer, this feeling of accomplishment mixed with both anticipation of being with family again and getting back to some new kind of life for a bit and with sadness that our full time adventure must pause for awhile. I want to take a photo to hold for the rest of my days. I want my kids and potential grandkids to be told the story: they
did a long journey by boat. And it completely changed them in all the best ways.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

22 thoughts on “Night Passage

  1. Welcome back to the Salish Sea!! Been following you guys off and on since you had your Cal 2-34 “Moonrise”. Fair Winds….. from S/V “Brittania”, Cal 2-34 Hull No 392.

    • Wow, thank you for following for so long! That’s a long time. We still love that Moonrise and there are times we still miss her. We did see her with her new owners down in Puerto Vallarta and they are doing very well by her. It was surreal to be on her deck in the Mexico sunshine.

  2. Washington Ho!!! Welcome home….
    Thank you, again, for all your postings so we felt on board with you.

    • Thank you, Jeff! It works both ways with those posts. It helped us feel connected to the world at large to put those out there. The sea, it is big and the solitude is real.

  3. What an amazing journey and adventure for you guys. Welcome back to Washington and I hope your reunion with your family is wonderful.

    • Very much truth in this statement, Bruce. It’s hard to describe how sad we are that this part of the journey is ended. At the same time, glad to have it under our belts and looking forward to seeing our family and friends. AND preparing to go again.

  4. Welcome Home. it brings tears to my eyes. All that you have accomplished and the thought of sailing home. Both being joyful. Way to go Galapagos.

    • Aw, Kandyce, you know how integral a part of our ground team you were for this passage. We miss you guys. Hoping so much for your sailing season to be fun. Just take big garrafones of water!

  5. Welcome home Mike and Melissa.
    As you begin re-adapting to your [temporary] shore based existence, recollecting the feelings evoked during moments like this one you write so well about will be cathartic, and help sustain your cruising dreams.

    • You completely nailed why I posted this, Bill. It’s so easy to forget why we even bother to do things that are hard, like sailing offshore. This moment, I wanted to freeze it in time so I could never forget. Sure wish we could have toodled up to Alaska this round, but perhaps in future.

  6. You did it! My sissy did it! So incredibly cool and I know you will do it again. Meanwhile, it will be nice to see you in person for a bit!

  7. Echoing all the other commenters and a special hug and big pat on the back to both of you. Hope to see you soon. ♥️

  8. Lovely sentiments. I have been following your blog for a couple of years and appreciate your honesty and excitement about the cruising lifestyle. The ups and the downs and the transitions. Enjoy your coming home and the knowing of all you accomplished.

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