Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2018-07 What Comes DOWN Must Go UP, or Avoiding the "Baja Bash"

Sunday, May 13, 2018: La Paz, Mexico

In October-November, 2017 the Wild Blue cruised down the California and Mexican Coasts to La Paz, Mexico.  This downwind-downswell run is, and was, quite enjoyable.  Cruising up these Coasts, that is upwind, upswell and upwave, is less so.  In fact this up coastwise trek has been nicknamed the "Baja Bash" for obvious reasons.  Regardless, what goes DOWN must come UP, one way or another!

In mid-May the Wild Blue was loaded aboard the AAL SINGAPORE cargo ship for delivery from La Paz, Mexico to Victoria, BC.  More information and full Blog entry to follow.

The AAL SINGAPORE anchored in La Paz Bay, Mexico, May 13, 2018.
The AAL SINGAPORE prepares to load the 75 foot SV Holo Makai.
MV Wild Blue is ready to be lifted aboard AAL SINGAPORE.
Note diver (lower left) has inspected belt positions under the hull
 and is helping adjust for a level lift.
AAL SINGAPORE's 350 Metric Ton crane
easily lifts 50-ton Wild Blue aboard.
MV Wild Blue aboard AAL SINGAPORE's port side
ready to cruise from La Paz to Victoria.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018:  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

After an 11-day motor up the Mexico and California coasts, the AAL Singapore with 40+ yachts aboard is passing Victoria, now bound for Nanaimo, BC.  Turns out cruise ships are using the large berths in Victoria at Ogden Point, so the Port re-routed the AAL Singapore to Nanaimo for offload.  The operations for  offloading of 25 yachts begins tomorrow, Thursday, and continues through Saturday.  The Wild Blue is set to splash down at 0900 Friday, if all goes as planned. Considering the 11-day delay and offload port change, we will be happy to see Wild Blue in the water anytime on Friday!

Here's the offload sequence:  Ocean Alexander 82, Nordhavn 60, Viking 70, Egg Harbour 33, Silverton, Nordhavn 43, Oyster 72, Pacific Seacraft 34, Catalina 42, Catalina 34, Fast Passage 39, Hans Christian 43, Trawler 49, Selene 53, Lacco 45, Nautical 43, Oyster 886, Lagoon 57, Ocean Alexander 70, Hylas 70, Merritt 46, PJ 100, Prestige 50, Crescent 104, and Burger 82.

Once in the water, we'll motor the Wild Blue southward towards the boat's winter home in Anacortes, WA arriving early next week.

AAL SINGAPORE passing Victoria, BC, Canada with the Olympic
mountain range of the USA in the background.

Wild Blue still looks to be clinging to AAL SINGAPORE's port side
just behind the 2nd crane from the bow.

Thursday-Friday, May 24-25, 2018: Awaiting Offload of MV Wild Blue in Victoria

Pat and I have been hoteling it in Victoria while waiting for the cargo ship AAL Singapore to arrive in Nanaimo.  Wild Blue's offload is scheduled for tomorrow, and there's no rush to leave Victoria and it's excellent dining options.  This afternoon we rented a car for the drive to Nanaimo early tomorrow morning.

So at 4PM, while contemplating reservations for another great Victoria dining experience, Alex receives an email that offloading has moved rapidly along and instead of 9AM tomorrow, the AAL Singapore crew wishes to launch tonight at 7:30PM.  Can we get to Nanaimo in two hours? Well of course, as Nanaimo is less than a 2-hour drive.

We quickly packed up, checked out of the Prior Castle Inn, and wolfed down a bunch of sushi from a local restaurant.  As we started our drive, Alex fired up Google Maps and was surprised that Maps routed us to the Mill Bay Ferry, instead of the shortest route up BC1, aka Malahat Highway.  The Ferry is a small, 20-car and passenger transporter, but Maps said our ETA would be near 830PM.  So we continued, quite puzzled, while Alex tried to finagle Maps to route us up the BC1 highway, without success.  Once at the ferry, it became obvious that BC1 was closed.  The ferry wait time was 6 hours.  We called the cargo offload manager to let him know the situation.  He said Wild Blue would remain tied to the ship in calm waters for the evening.

Il Terrazzo is by far ours (and many others)
favorite dining establish in Victoria.  Here's
their lamb shank and Cioppino. Awesome! 
While in Victoria, the Wild Blue crew stays at the Prior Castle Inn. Nice!
We drove back to Victoria and the Prior Castle Inn.  With hat in hand, we cajolled the Innkeeper into reopening our room and letting us stay the night.  At 530AM we re-started our drive to Nanaimo and luckily BC1 had re-opened earlier.  We arrived to see our boat in the water alongside AAL Singapore. Next we located the Nanaimo Port Authority transport vessel which took Alex aboard, deposited him aboard Wild Blue and stood by while he re-connected the battery banks, and started up the engines, a 25-minute operation.  Alex motored over to Nanaimo Boat Basin.  After returning the rental car, Pat resumed her job as Wild Blue crew.  After a stop at Dodd Narrows, Montague Harbor, and Roche Harbor US Customs, we arrived at Skyline marina, the boats winter home.

It's O730 in Nanaimo and Wild Blue has been moored
to AAL Singapore overnight.
Jay and Mickey Field along with Dick Squire welcomed us back to the Pacific Northwest with a grand dinner in their spectacular dining room overlooking Skyline Marina and the Wild Blue.  What nice neighbors we have!

The view from Mickey and Jay's home down Skyline Marina
 and Wild Blue's temporary winter home. The boat is visible in the last pane.
Jay prepped eggplant parmesan with
spaghetti and meatballs. Pat prepped homemade
potato soup while Mickey topped this great meal
with a lemon whipped dessert. All over the top!


  1. Hi Alex,
    I just discovered your blog and have been enjoying your posts. I was intrigued to see that you troll for kings using your Selene 53 and not a smaller runabout. Is the Wild Blue still cruising? Hope all is well and thanks for the wonderful blog posts. Mary

  2. Hi Mary:
    Yes we are still cruising from Alaska to Sea of Cortez. We moved up to a Selene 57 in 2018. We will cruise Alaska this Spring-Summer 2022, our 13th Summer there. Then in Fall, if Covid is subsiding, we'll cruise down the coast to La Paz for the Winter.

    Thanks for your comment! Alex