Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer trip 2010 our Sea Sprite 23 - Sky Pilot

This years trip was shorter and more local than customary, due to my broken heel, a new to us boat and a move across the West.

The Carl Alberg designed Sea Sprite on a mooring near Doe Bay, Orcas Island. This amazing little 23 footer has the rare quality of sporting a visual appeal often attributed to much bigger vessels. Off course you don't get anything for free, and the flip side of these aesthetics is limited room below. Limited, but not too small yet.

  First year cruising with a GPS. The exciting speed over bottom readings was the only info we extracted with any regularity. But, since these speed records were indeed record-like, we grabbed the little device with trembling hands and more anticipation than such a extraneous, almost superfluous apparatus should warrant in the hands of traditional minded sailors like us.

Evening below, in our cold cruising water, result in regular donning of wool caps and early insertion in the bags.

With my broken heel I rarely set foot on land this year. And when it finally happened it wasn't a pretty sight.

Fog-ust, as this month is called on the Pacific coast, gave us only one bad spell this year. Here it finally cleared at lunch time.

Still haven't learned to coil and hang those halyards properly.

Bjorn's crafty tiller extension came in handy when languishing. Also prominently displayed on this image is the motor, a 6hp 4 stroke Tohatsu, sitting in its well immediately aft of the rudder post. We limited our fuel consumption to under 2 gallons in all of the 17 days we were out.

Light air, the bane of Northwest sailing in the summer. As we have experienced over the years, it's either too boring or too scary up here.

Scanning for breezes, while the genny still draws from the last of the wind.

After slowly sailing thru the narrow Pole Pass, in the process holding up 2 or 3 massive powerboats, the wind came back for a beautiful evening cruise. Here Bjorn is successfully solving yet another navigational enigma, using pilot book and compass.

Toys for boys..
Also in the picture is the trusty one burner alcohol stove that, again, cooked dinner every night. That's right! No Marina resort out to eat dinners in the remote parts we visit, not to mention the impact such an opulent approach would have on wallet and seamanship.

Our main was brand new when we took ownership of the Sprite, made by Vermont Sailing Partners or something like that. Being fully battened we are happily avoiding the violent flogging resulting from sailing light winds among incessant power boat wakes. The genny, by Kappa, is also newer and set equally fine, besides the leech rubbing on the lower jumper stays at most points.

Good sailing, again. The dreaded summer time calms evaded us for many stretches of our 17 day cruise.

The crew busy on a rare warm day.

Quarter reaching in a gathering breeze, which eventually got the better of us. Sonja's helmsman-ship was not the cause, though.

Photo by a former Sea Sprite owner Kevin Horan; here anchored at Stuart Island.

Tanker traffic in Rosario Strait, this time with a sizeable Foss Maritime tug pulling aft on a huge hawser to slow the procession down or keeping the strern from sideways drift.

The tug boat traffic surrounding us inspired some surprisingly effective attempts of our own. Our previous cruising boat did not respond well to such antics.

Luxurious accommodations in these here Sprites (if you're 11 years old..)


  1. You still sailing your lil beauty?

  2. I sit here almost in tears while reading your blog and longing to head up the Sunshine Coast and beyond in my little Seasprite! I went to Jervis Inlet in October of 2012 in my SS23 hoping at least for some windy weather so late in the year but all I got was sunshine, 20 degree C days and glass like seas which resulted in a lot of motoring! The previous owner spent many weeks sailing Desolation as well. The bonus going late in the fall was every anchorage was empty of all other boats. My wife and I recently "upgraded" to and Alberg 30, the big sister to the SS23. We just returned from Desolation Sound and consistently found the A30 the smallest boat in every anchorage. Good on you guys for going far and going simply.