The sun was shining brightly and hot as we managed to get the Lady J out without hitting anything, Don, the owner at the helm. No GPS, just daylight, VHF and a chart to find our way through familiar sailing grounds. The boat pulled off smartly without protest and slid through the silky waters. A bit of throttle to 1800 RPM's and we saw 6.5 easy knots. After a bit, we cracked open the trottle to 2450 for a refreshing 7.5 knots. As we came abreast of Fairhaven, a quartet of kyaks joined in chase. One managed to catch us and slide in under the transom to ride our stern wave with his paddle in the air, for five miles or so, conversing with Don, as I was on the helm.
Intrepid and very fast kayakers.
Two and a half hours later, abreast of Barrow's Isl., I was taking a break and decided to check the bilges. Much to my consternation, i found the water to be about 3" below the boards forward and two aft. The electric pumps were not working and the bow wave was seeping quickly all along the bow, since that part of the boat hadn't been wet yet, it hadn't taken up. I instructed Don to come about and head for Skyline while I got on the radio and the manual pump. Don relenquished the helm to go work on those pumps he had installed and wired. Not being able to raise skyline as I pumped and helmed, I called a Securite', which was promptly answer by CG station Bellingham. I describe the situation and our intention to make Skyline as a diversion in search of a trash pump but Don got both pumps up. At this time I cancelled the Securite' and came about back to Port Townsend. I had the helm for the duration as Don kept bilge watch.
Along about Deception Pass, I saw a Grey whale blow three times but Don missed it. We later saw Dahls Porpoises playing about the boat as well. We kept the pumps up, the bilges dry and the R's at 2000 for 7.1 knots the rest of the way. I made a few inspections of the bow and determined the wood was beginning to take up slowly. We arrive d in PT at about 4:30 PST and I had to put the boat in an unbelievably tight spot. Not the best feeling when docking a boat that refuses to back anywhere near straight for the first time. I prevailed and got her secure without pranging anything.
At rest in her new temporary home;
I had Dinner with the owners and then found Jody's boat to crash and crash I did, from sundown to sunup. Then, after a nice breakfast and a full tank of fuel, we stood out on Hello Gorgeous, back to Bellingham. I took the helm and never gave it back as Jody and Lucky both got seasick.
It was a motor fest until the Rosario straight, where we got some wind. I managed to get Jody up long enough to hoist sail and we were off, for a bit. After 30 minutes, it was back to motor sailing until the top of the Bellingham Channel. We got some decent wind and as I rounded up into it, we got a hard puff, heeling us to 30+.
Lucky doesn't like heeling at all. As Jody, who was feeling a bit better, hoisted the jib, it jammed. Forward he goes in 25 knots and I helm, put up with a 90Lbs Bassett (who is unhappy with me), and go forward seven feet to get the jib halyard as Jody tries to free and feed the sail. It was an interesting dance and the dog was pushing my legs around, still unhappy.
Finally, we get the boat squared away and ten minutes later sail into a perma hole. I've hit this spot three times and there's simply no way to avoid it as the alternatives are worse. With some judicious hand trimming (a sheet in each hand and the main centered), I sailed out an hour later. Finally some wind so I ran down a boat with a two mile lead on us. He had no chance since Jody's boat rates and sails to an 87 PHRF. We blew by him on wing and wing with the main by the lee and flat ran off.
I sailed her up to the channel, we doused and then motored into the dock alongside my M-31. I treated Jody to spagetti that my Son Christopher cooked, took him back to the boat and crashed for that 4AM wake up. it was a good weekend on the water with good friends. Now I'm playing catch up on the work not done that weekend....