Get ready to enjoy your favorite bev - this will be a long write-up.
On Friday night, Steve and I took off for Port Townsend from Elliott Bay. We were to meet-up with Rick and Heidi on S/V "Cricket". For the whole trip up - we had to go upwind so we pointed the whole run. Good wind on the initial departure. But then around 10:30 or so we only had 2-4 knots. But we managed, and Steve was in the same mindset I was in - no motoring - just sail.
S/V "Cricket decided to stop in Port Ludlow for the night and we decided that we would do the same. No point after awhile, of trying to coax wind as when we got outside Whidbey - it was nothing but glass - reflecting the stars. So - motoring we go and Steve retires for the evening.
Around 4:30AM I get us to Port Ludlow and tied up.
I wake up around 10 or so. Meet Rick and Heidi and make introductions. We then settle to our boats getting coffee brewed.
I then hear "Ahoy - request permission to come aboard.", as I am down below.
It's a Coast Guard officer - with clipboard in hand. I was wondering what I did wrong when I first came topside!
He asked if we wanted a safety inspection. So, I assist him on board and we go through the checks. Nice guy as well, he was 86 years old and he shared some stories of his military experience and the likes. We passed with flying colors - with the only note being to have a written inventory sheet of the safety gear and locations.
Rick cooked us breakfast, awesome omelet made with fresh squash.
I had been at Port Ludlow last weekend for a raft-up. I like this marina. Its within a cruising distance, staff is super friendly - and no worries about grabbing a slip. Of course, the name "Hello Gorgeous" always brings a smile or a chuckle when we register or call in. The lady that handled the registration process was no different, and she gave us 1/2 day rate since we came in so late.
S/V "Cricket", takes off - and decide to take the inside passage. We leave a bit later and decide on the channel. We tried - we were sailing pointed again, good speed but never really made it anywhere. The tide was just too strong. After 3-4 hours and it finally dawning on us - while having a great time - no headway - kicked in the motor.
Arrive at Port Townsend around 6ish or so, I think. Make a tour of the marina to see if there are slips and what kind of room we would have. Luckily, Rick spotted us, and helped us get tied in. We had a strong wind on the quarter - and with his coaching we powered in with no incident and not being blown off.
The marina is pretty nice and picturesque . It has a RV Park as well and if I was doing a trip with my Airstream - definitely a destination to go. The showers are huge (but takes quarters) and extremely clean. Long docks with plenty of girth to them. Two resteraunts on site - one a mom and pop kinda place I think and the other a Chinese resteraunt (kinda not what I would expect). One of the highlights was the baby seal.
Also, Storyville - whom is normally moored next to me in Elliotts was there at the docks. I finally met the owners and they too were as nice as the crew of the vessel.
We agree to get showered and cleaned up and to meet in town at a local pub. Steve and I arrive first. Neat little joint - and the use of local color in describing it wouldn't even due justice. We get greeted by Spencer who works at the local loft there in town, as he is part-timing as bouncer / ticket seller for the 7 club blues festival. Have a good talk, buy the $15 tickets and then head up for playing pool.
Playing pool was not a option as they had no real balls on the table. No eight balls, 2 number 9's etc...So, back downstairs we go. Grab a table and look forward to eating and drinking. The table we are set at is for 6-8, but the waitress shows a bit of disdain that we were sat there although we explain we have two more coming. Order some appetizers and drinks, and head out for a smoke.
What Steve and I failed to realize - that we were down to the last two. No worries - just find a shop and buy some. But we wait on that notion, and decide to settle back in at the table. Upon which, we are moved to another table that seats four so that the group of four can have the table we were at. That didn't make a lick of sense then - nor does it now.
Heidi and Rick, show up - order more appetizers and drinks. After a bit, Steve and I decide to buy smokes. Not a place in town had a open store on the street. We meet some true characters - one gentleman that was dressed up like the old captain of the sea, complete with the yars and argh matey. He points us to the Legion down the street. We get there and they are closed (of course) and discover quite a few people were doing the same hunt.
Figure no need - wait till later. Go back to the bar. Decide to order food - and the waitress then informs us the kitchen closes at 10:00. But yet it was a quarter till. I suggest we call it quits on this adventure and Steve and I go to Safeway (via cab) and I grab fixings for dinner.
Back at the boat now, I start cooking. Dinner was fresh salmon slow cooked in a broth of dried mangos, cranberries, Grey Poupon, and a few seasonings, served over pasta with a slice of banana on the side. Good conversations ensued as we wined and dined.
Chris from a Dufour (next to us) popped over and even more wine was had. A fun filled cockpit discussion as even more people popped over. Good times. Crashed after a bit - as we all were getting louder (must of been the wine)...
Woke up next morning. I fixed breakfast for everyone. Grits, served with ham and mushrooms sauce, with baby spinach, as well as, a selection of fresh cherries, raspberries and dates. Orange juice, vodka and coffee for beverages.
After full meal and a discussion on sailing techniques and so forth, we all end up departing for home. It should of been a easy sail for the most part as it was all downwind and the tide was coming in. We go wing to wing - using the pole to hold the genoa out (I had just watched that video on using the pole that was posted on Friday), and I set up preventors etc. We do 7-8 knots for awhile. Easy sailing at first but then the wind eases.
I also have a spinnaker and the asym on board. I decide to try getting the Asym up as I have more experience with it - but not really enough. I should of trusted my own rule of having three people on the boat before debarking on such fool-hardiness. The thought process was that Steve minds the helm well - so should be able to get it up.
Take my time setting things up. Bring down the pole and roll in the genoa. lines setup, sail stuffed through forward hatch. All that we needed to do is raise it.
No such luck. The halyard is jammed as the Asym is halfway up. Can't get the spinnaker halyard up or down!
Wind is blowing half of it up and around and the other part of the sail is in the water. For one of the few times I really was not prepared on what to do - how to do it, or if we could do it. Pull as I might I couldn't get it pulled in and it seemed every time I had made headway on it - the sail would grab another direction and decide to pull me in the direction of over board. Safety tethers luckily prevented that from happening.
Finally, bring the main down - so Steve could give me a hand. We twist the sail and tie it off. Work it around the spreaders where it was jammed on the aft side. We then tackle the sail in the water - which is now all along side the starboard side of the boat. With much effort (and boy I feel it today), we get it pulled in. Start stuffing the soaking wet sail down the berth and finally manage to get the sail around and lo and behold - she comes down.
David (S/V "Kyrie") happened to be out there when he saw the problems we had. He was nice enough to stay around and monitor the situation for us as we were focused only at the peril at hand. Thanks again David - of course we didn't know it was him out there.
After we had finished the ordeal - I made a quip about , "Now wait there will be "Hello Gorgeous" up on YouTube now"...phone rings - its David. He has pictures! I'll post them when I get them...
Needless to say - we tacked the rest of the trip until outside edmonds then motored on in.
It was a interesting weekend, needless to say. I learned how to adjust my backstay, learned a bit more of the local waters, and really had a chance to be exposed to situations in at least if they were to happen - ideal conditions.
One of the major things I have to do this week is finish up the GPS install, rig wiring to the autopilot, and get the navigational equipment I have in and the most important - get a sock for the asym.
If I would of had the autopilot actually working so that it could steer the boat, instead of just locking the wheel would of given me the "third person" needed.
The sock - I can see the advantages of it now, and if we would of had one then what happened probably never would of. But I am signing up for a spinnaker handling class: Educational Workshop: PSSI-Spinnaker Fundamentals (Sat, Jul 16th, 10am-1pm) - The Puget Sound Sailing Group (Seattle, WA) - Meetup.com
I also have to really learn the lingo - after so many years of solo sailing and never being in the company of sailors in general, I realize am deficient in some areas that when it comes to crisis situations could make matters worse.
All in all - awesome weekend. Filled with good company, fun and most of all adventure
and honestly - wouldn't have it any other way!!!!
Thanks again Rick, Steve, and Heidi for making this a great trip.