The Sailing Adventures of Lea Scotia


Acknowledgements to the many people who have helped make this trip a reality (I’m sure I’ve left some out so feel free to bitch and whine when you come visit us!):


Family support:  I can say unequivocally that this life changing sailing trip would not have become a reality without the tremendous support from so many family members.  Both my parents Mac and Nat MacLachlan, and Karisa’s parents Larry and Faithe Lester have been completely supportive of our adventure and have helped us every step of the way in many ways:  caregiving for Kiera, planning, preparing the boat, advice, and on and on.  My sister Heather Goss helped me hatch this plan from the beginning and has continued to be a large part of our preparations, plan and ongoing program.  We are SO LUCKY to have such a great family network behind us!  We can’t wait to see you in warmer waters.


Tom and Diane Butine, along with help from Darryl Smith.  We befriended Tom and Diane at Harbor Island back in 1998 when we’d moved “Lea Fortis”, our liveaboard Formosa 51, to the marina.  Tom and Diane, along with their longtime friends Darryl and Cindy, were in the midst of preparing their Celestial 48 for an extended cruise to the South Pacific.  Tom and Di have since returned and moved on to another boat, a Caliber 40 named “Tasman”.  Last year they sailed from Seattle to Central America, leaving the boat on the hard on the Caribbean side of Panama for future adventures later this year.  Tom also helped me deliver our Catalina 36 “Dunoon” from Portland to Seattle in November 2001.  Needless to say, they have a lot of experience.  What’s amazing, however, is how much generosity both Tom and Diane have given us with their time, hospitality, expertise and just plain old help!  Among the many things they’ve helped us with are big projects like replacing the headstay furler, standing rigging (which included custom spreader tips – see projects section for details), adding whisker pole track, solar panel mounting, SSB tuner and battery bank installation.  Let’s just say that these guys did some heavy lifting, both figuratively and literally with regards to getting us off the dock!


Bill Embury and Shelly LaRose:  These guys became fast friends during our first circumnavigation of Vancouver Island on our Islander 28 “Fortis” back in 1995.  There are many stories of our adventures and shenanigans over the years and we’ve remained close ever since we met.  As usual, we received tons of support and brilliant ideas from these two as we prepared for our big departure.  We rely so much on BS (as we affectionately relate to them in print) that we planned our departure from their home port in Ucluelet, BC, intentionally spending a week with them to suck them dry of ideas at the 11th hour.   They did not disappoint, as our custom forward sea berth demonstrates:  Bill and Shelly came up with the idea to forego a lee cloth down the middle of the forward pullman berth in favor of a series of solid boards mounted to brackets embedded into the base of the bed – the result is an amazingly efficient sea berth that requires no obtrusive holes into the bulkheads and that can be removed easily to make a double.  With the boards in place, not only does Kiera have a snug berth to sleep in but we have a great large storage area we’ve coined “the ditch” outboard!  Other nifty ideas Bill managed to not only offer but execute aboard during our time in Ukee this last time are the following:  grab handle for companionway hatch from below, ring lashing for harness lanyards in cockpit, SSB tuner mounting, drawer face mount covering watermaker control panel, jerry can mounting board, and some clever lashing of gear in preparation for the high seas!


Bottom work crew:  Thanks to those that managed to squeak out an hour or a day in late April for some serious bottom work during our haulout in late April.  Those that come to mind are the following:  Carlos, Stephan, Cooper, Crash, Eric Olson, Erik Walum, Joel, Nathaniel, the crew from Theta Xi, Steve Boyle, and others that have slipped my mind at the moment.  A big THANK YOU for your time!


SanFrancico delivery crew:  We had a bumpy ride but lots of sailing.  The highlights from this “rowdy” trip were the pod of killer whales that we bisected on our way out of Ukee, the several spectacular dolphin shows along the way and seeing the windspeed meter jump to over 50 knots.  We all felt a little queasy at times (some of us more than others) and we overcame some obstacles (rudder post leak, topping lift came apart, radar pole almost got free, tiller arm for autopilot needed adjustment, etc) but overall it was a great trip.  My father Doug “Mac”, Eric Olson, and Derek Lester all did a fantastic job of keeping it together and making all our watches.  Big wind and big seas “entertained us” for a couple of the days (top windspeed recorded was 59.5 knots true!) but we all lived to tell the tale and we were blessed with clear skies for most of the way.  I’d also like to acknowledge my mother “Nat” who among a million other things, delivered Karisa and Kiera down to SF via train and spent a few days with us running errands in Sausalito before heading back to Seattle.


Sara and Michael Johnson:  Remember the “Mad Cow” days?  We used to get together with a small band of Shilshole liveaboards for 2-for-1 burgers at Charlie’s back when the Mad Cow issue in US beef made the headlines regularly.  Michael and Sara have been a great source of Mexico cruising information and inspiration from their travels south.  Sara also is responsible for our way cool blog, as she set it up for us and currently hosts the content.




The crew from The Offshore Store:  Brian Rickard, with all his technical knowledge and support, especially on the SSB side of things.  Kyle Holloway, a longtime friend who offered invaluable advice and plenty of work installing the watermaker.  Todd Rickard, for his wisdom and support along the way.  I’d also like to acknowledge Kent Powley from Yachtmasters NW for his advice with rigging (even though Lori charged me ½ hour labor for his spec on the whisker pole setup).  Eric Reiswig has also been a big help – thanks for being a quick study!


Joe Miller & the crew from Miller and Miller:  Joe is a talented welder and great all around boat guy.  His ideas and work on the aft rail and davits were superb.  Thanks also for his advice and work space so I could get those spreaders re-painted in time!


Scott Fordice from Jeppesen Marine:  Thanks Scott for helping me out with the ultimate PC navigation setup – I’ll continue to be a big proponent of PC navigation.  That radar is awesome; I’ll let you know when I get that sounder hooked up!


Michael Donoian from Radar on the Level:  Not only did Mike spec and create an excellent radar pole, he helped with the installation and several other little “issues” that cropped up over the past couple years (like cleaning out a sooty heater tube, for one).   This guy really goes the extra mile!


Paul Patterson from Fisheries Supply:  I’ve known Paul since the early nineties when I worked at CSR Marine – he did our chain to rode splice for our anchor tackle on Fortis before out trip around Vancouver Island in 1995.  For this adventure, Paul was instrumental in sourcing all of our new standing rigging and personally swaged our new lifelines. 


Bob and Kris Ridenour:  I originally worked with both Bob and Kris at Signature Yachts beginning in 2001.  Since those days Bob and Kris have gone on to become professional riggers and all around “boat people”.  Interestingly, Bob and Kris picked up a Taswell 43 (in Japan, no less!) a couple years before we obtained our Lea Scotia.  Bob was very helpful with great advice specific to Taswells, as well as helping install the Frigoboat freezer system.  Bob can take credit for a number of other projects over the years (including the original commissioning of the rig) but his positive attitude has probably been the most important.


Jared Jensen and Jen Finch:  Besides being great people and great friends, this couple has spent (endured?) many sailing adventures with us over the past several years – most of them related to scuba diving.  Jen was amazing in helping us get moved out of our house – the girl can work a steam cleaner!  Jared is also a skilled craftsman (he’s pretty skilled at most everything he sets out to do) and did a great job fabricating new panels for the navigation station.  He’s also the first guy to tell you to quit your job and go do something you really want to do.


Mike “the Dude” Church:  In thinking about all the people who have been around this boat over the years, I most certainly could not leave out “the dude”.  This guy can be a lot of fun and certainly knows how to “get the job done”.  May he get out to Mexico on one of his own boats one of these days…


LaDonna Bubak and Rob Tryon :  LaDonna has been in the “boating scene” for as long as I can remember.  We first made our acquaintance when she was affiliated with long ago.  Since then we’ve crossed paths with both Rob and LaDonna a number of times working the Seattle Boat Shows and have many times benefitted from their amazing generosity – Rob was the driving force behind delivering our Catalina 36 to Seattle from Portland (most people would think a November trip up the Washington coast is a BAD idea – not Rob).  We spent a couple nights aboard their Crealock 37 “Silent Sun” in the Columbia River and most recently spent a fabulous week in Sausalito where there currently live, again benefitting from tremendous local knowledge and great hospitality.  LaDonna is also directly responsible for the great time we expect to have on this year’s Baja HAHA rally to Cabo San Lucas later this year.


All the others:  Whether it be the encouraging word, the smart idea, the mention of an opportunity, the camaraderie, or however else you term “support”, we recognize that there have been literally countless other individuals who have helped shape this adventure.  Perhaps you came to that great Bon Voyage party that Heather Goss and the MacLachlans put on for us…  if you did, we thank you, because showing up shows support.  In any case, if you’ve read this far you obviously have a passing interest, so please consider yourself thanked, and drop us a line!  THANK YOU!