See a great article in the January issue of Sailing World magazine about Sloop Tavern's Race Your House by our friend Andy Cross: http://www.sailingworld.com/house-wins?src=SOC&dom=fb
I built up a couple handline rigs this fall for some friends and customers who were heading south to Mexico and points beyond. In contrast to a rod with a reel and lightweight line, the handline is a dead simple setup that allows you to land a fish quickly and easily. With a handline, you don't have to stop the boat to land the fish which is a major benefit.
Seattle Marine and Fishing Supply (www.seamar.com) is THE spot in Seattle to get your gear. The ingredients are:
Mustad 78925 hook
Mono crimp sleeve
300lb test monofilament
Heavy duty swivels
Crimper (You can buy your own crimper tool from SeaMar, or just see if you can wheeze theirs while you're in the store)
Predator Grim Reaper skirt (I call it the Purple Midnight)
150lb test tuna leader
First step is attaching the hook with a crimp to a 6 foot section of mono "leader" and threading the skirt over the line.
Next step is attaching a swivel to the other end of the 6 foot leader.
Next, measure out about 200 feet of tuna leader and attach the end to the swivel on the leader. A figure eight knot works well, although I'm sure a tuna fisherman has a better solution!
Leaving 3-4 feet of slack at the boat end of the tuna leader, terminate the line with a bowline at the snubber. Leave some slack in the leader and tie another bowline at the other end of the snubber. The snubber will absorb the shock when a big fish hits! Tie a loop in the end of the line for attachment to a mooring cleat, stanchion base or other fixed point on the boat.
Be prepared for the big one! Normally a decent sized fish will pop up on the surface and drag behind the boat, putting up very little fight. Just pull it in! If the leader is vertical to the surface, you have a big fish on! A gaff is an excellent tool if your boat doesn't have a good swimstep!
What a great sail! We left Barkley Sound early in the morning for the 80 mile sail down the straits to Becher Bay. The breeze eventually filled in from the West and we had great sailing with reefed main and poled out jib in 25-35 knots. A bit creepy as the fog blew in and we blasted forwards at 8-9 knots but fun nonetheless.
Sunset over a foggy Strait of Juan de Fuca with the Olympic Peninsula in the background.
Our friends on Yahtzee snapped this shot of us heading towards Race Rocks. This was the start of an epic day of sailing that ended with a spinnaker run across Haro Strait and sailing right through Mosquito Pass to the Seattle Yacht Club outstation at Henry Island.
Anchored off the south side of Jones. A few days in the San Juans was just what we needed before heading back to Seattle.
The sunset from Meares Island was one of the best we had all summer. The next day we headed to Tofino, one of our favorite places on earth, where we had great beer at Tofino Brewing and indulged ourselves in a couple great restaurant meals. Do not miss Wolf in the Fog if you stop through!
After a couple relaxing days in town, we headed down the coast to Ucluelet. We had been chasing our friends on Yahtzee all summer and low and behold, there they were at the dock right across from us when we pulled into the marina. Thus began two fun weeks of buddy boating with Andy, Jill, Porter and Magnus. This was a fun change of pace from the rest of the trip and we had a blast exploring beaches, paddling and salmon fishing.
Barkley Sound is the sort of place that makes you just want to build a bonfire on the beach in the pouring rain, drinking beer and eating fresh oysters.
- Epic hot springs flowing into the ocean
- Finding out that we had random small world connections with some kayak buddies we met at the hot springs, then invited over to the boat for drinks the next day
- The hike from hell to Cecilia Lake (we did find some rainbow trout in the river)
- Gunkhole paddleboarding up the Megin River
- Nailing two nice springs off Ahousat... in the words of the Fisheries officer who boarded us later, we were "slaying it"
Nootka means "go around" in the Nuu-chah-nulth language. This is basically what we did. You can sail from the ancient Nuu-chah-nulth sancuary of Nuchatliz (one of our favorite places on the coast, where we spent three nights paddleboarding, exploring and eating great spring salmon gifted to us by some locals) around Nootka Island via Tahsis (home to the great fishing camp of Westview Marina where we met new friends tasted our first draft beers in weeks) to Nootka sound (home of Santa Gertrudis cove, a great nook with a hike through a really cool old growth forest to a lake). We could have spent far more time exploring this area.
We pulled into foggy Kyuquot and tied up at the public pier. Our mission: to find a restaurant meal, the first opportunity in many weeks. A very friendly lab met us at the top of the ramp and led us along the boardwalk and path to Java the Hut café where we had great burgers and spent the afternoon on the deck talking to a few locals and other boaters. Luke (the guy our age with a whale skull hanging on his cabin just across the inlet) gave us some great recommendations on stops further south. His thoughts echoed some discussions we’d been having… if you’ve seen one inlet, you’ve seen them all, but the coastal islands and beaches are the real jewel of the west coast.
Gorgeous sunset in Walters Cove.
A velella jelly on the beach at Rugged Point
A perfect time to visit Rugged Point. With a good southerly blowing on the ocean, we were nice and protected behind the point and had a great bonfire on the beach.
Sunrise North of Brooks Peninsula
Sailing into Columbia Cove
Epic white sand beach a sort walk from the anchorage at Columbia Cove. Are we in Hawaii?
Kite up on the way to the Bunsbys
Bunsby Islands - one of the most spectacular places we have ever seen!