Quick sailing update

Sailing the Westsail 28 down…

I don’t believe it’s November in Washington, until I slip on the ice on deck… I couldn’t, in a hundred years, expect a weekend like this… on top of the sunshine I’ve even hit two broad reaches a day to allow me to start practicing sailing this boat (pretty much the dream point of sail).

The flight up was spectacular… for $100 everyone should do this – it was really, really beautiful. And it was everything flights should be… they didn’t even check my ID, no security, just get on the (very small) plane and go… exactly what an air-bus should be.

The first day was harry. I was in a rush (fucking tides, you’re always on a schedule in the San Juans unless you can do 10 knots [I do 5]). I had no idea how to use the instruments on the boat, didn’t have time to read the docs, figured I could eye-ball… which thankfully turned out to be true. Headed south from Friday Harbor through Cattle Pass with has zillions of unmarked rocks and really high currents. Survived that, didn’t hit any of the genormous Sea Lions in the pass either. The weather was spectacular (but really cold – sailing in down jackets), I could see Baker the whole way through the San Juans.

Banged a left south of San Juan Island (the island Friday Harbor is on) and header east to Aleck Bay at the recommendation of the previous owner. Gorgeous Bay. Harry entrance, more narrow channels with unmarked rocks. I barely made by sundown (thank god) and dropped the hook in the dark. The full moon was a great help. Beautiful and very, very cold evening… lucky I had my -20 down (don’t get wet!) sleeping bag.

Woke up to a deck full of ice, bitterly cold, but, it was 3 am. Made coffee, putzed, did route planning, learned the GPS way point system on the boat (not docs but, it was kind of obvious). Went back to bed (was freeze) until 6:30. Realized I really need to a windless (something that raises the anchor for you) as I pulled this 16,000lb pig of a boat up the line… barely go the anchor in, managed to stay pretty dry, thank god there was no wind – I would have been fucked.

In semi-light, made it out of Aleck Bay and, with my new found GPS knowledge easily hopped way-point-to-way-point to Port Ludlow. The only trick getting into this super cute harbor was it’s, as usual, fairly rocky and I was sailing into the sun… which means I couldn’t see anything. Kind of stressful but I didn’t hit anything (more luck).

My charts say 8 feet, my depth gauge says 40 but, I’m hoping the anchor holds with the limited scope I gave it… it’s kind of too crouded to anchor properly in 40 feet of water here, I’m swinging pretty close to other mooring-balled boats. Should be a fun night. :)

The run into Seattle tomorrow is easy-peasy. Really worried about docking, but, hopefully that’ll go OK.

Note-to-self – bring sunscreen… even in November :)