Summarizing our 2020 sailing season
Well, we successfully sailed another season without sinking or being attacked by killer whales, as much as my mother feared it might happen. Although COVID19 utterly destroyed our plans to sail north into BC and Alaska, we still got a lot of sailing in and saw many new places. Though we never planned to sail the South Puget Sound, we did it this year in search of the new adventures. COVID was not the only twist thrown at us this year. West Coast forest fires caused weeks of heavy smoke that blocked visibility of anything more than a quarter mile out. Meriwether also tried to sink twice (in the same week), and we spent two weeks on the hard doing a bottom paint and many other upgrades to the under water parts of the boat.
With the 2020 upgrades on the boat (composting toilet, water maker, freezer, more solar, etc) we really stretched our days at anchor this year, from 50 nights in 2019 to 123 nights in 2020. Last year we anchored only 15 times, but in 2020 we did so 41 times including some nights in 40+ knots winds, which we will be happy not to do again. All that anchoring saved a whole lot of marina costs – which means the upgrades (quite costly ones at that) will pay for themselves in a few short years.
We have decided to make our way to Alaska in 2021 no matter what. Even though Canada has border restrictions, sailors are allowed to sail *through* their waters, even with necessary stops for rest, fuel, etc. While we would not be able to sight see as we would want, we can do that on the way back down the following year – COVID permitting, of course. We are even considering a full on week-long passage on the west side of Vancouver Island to just jump to Alaska in a single hop so we can enjoy more time exploring during the season. Not 100% sure yet, just spit balling the coolest way to do it.