46-Days

We are 46 days from starting our second “Summer Vacation” on Wings of the Morning in the Puget Sound, and the anticipation is building so I am reliving some of the memories of last summer.

Did I ever tell you about the time…

I burned up the impeller on the water pump for the engine, and I jumped into 50 degree water twice trying see what was plugging the intake before I realized the valve was shut off in the engine room?

How about the time I was stepping out of the dinghy on to the boat with a pot full of crabs when I slipped and the dinghy flipped and me and the crabs went into the drink together? I crawled out, but most of my crabs did not.

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Let’s switch things up a little.
How about the time we left Port Ludlow, and sailed a beautiful beam reach all the way to just off of Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, and then came about for another beam reach all the way to Pt. Townsend where we anchored off the little town that figured so prominently in the beginnings of our dream?

We told you about the time we sailed from Jarrell Cove State Park all the way to Eagle Island, but what about the first time we motored from Penrose State Park through Pitt Passage, navigating the mud flats, crab pots, and fisherman in thirteen foot of water, and skinny little channels?

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There was the time I swam from the dock out to the boat, while Sherlene rowed in front of me watching for Lions Mane jellyfish.

Then there was the time the forty-foot sailboat dropped his anchor about thirty feet off our port side in the middle of the night while off of Blake island.

I remember waking up one night to roaring engines just outside while we were anchored way up the creek in Filucy Bay. I popped my head out of the hatch just in time to catch the huge wake and see a large unlit power boat roar away. I never did find out what that was all about.

Evening Light
Evening Light

Fourth of July off Penrose State Park was interesting. We were out of sight of most of the fireworks, but the sound rolled in from everywhere, and it was easy to lay on deck and imagine a war going on around us.

We met a couple that had been out “crabbing”, by wading the shallows and sticking their hands under rocks, and pulling out rock crabs and a light bulb went off in my head and I realized I could catch all the crab I wanted just by doing something a little uncomfortable. There was also the time I had a crab clamped on fingers of both hands while I cursed and flapped my arms and ran circles on the beach.

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Cooling off in the evening by stripping down and jumping in the water. It didn’t take long, and then air drying in the cockpit with a glass of wine. Ha no photos here!

Eating crab every way we could find to cook it, and eating Geoduck clams raw.

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All big male crabs!
All big male crabs!

We had company.
We slept six people, with one on the floor, and sailed with a dolphin, and managed to visit Gig Harbor, Mount Rainier, and the Seattle Space Needle in four days. We were all exhausted by the end, but we made a lot of memories!

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We introduced a few newbies...
We introduced a few newbies…
To sailing and life on a boat.
To sailing and life on a boat.

Sitting on deck while grilling brats in Gig Harbor and meeting so many nice people as they walked the docks.

Watching people admire our boat, and hearing a little boy turn for one last look and tell his mom, “That’s my boat”.
Yes it is little one, and I will take good care of her until you are old enough to come looking for it.

Jerisich Public Dock
Jerisich Public Dock

I remember rowing out to check my crab pot in the middle of the night with a full moon, and a Harbor Seal following along. So peaceful I could hear the waves lapping onshore a quarter mile away, and watching phosphorescence swirl with each stroke of my oars, and pulling up a couple crab that scuttled sideways in the dinghy, and I’m sure they were hissing swear words at me.

Pulling up the trap
Pulling up the trap

I remember watching intently for the full moonrise, and realizing that it was rising straight out of the top of Mount Rainier, and scrambling for the camera. We did post pictures of that.

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One time I was reading in the cockpit when I looked straight up and saw a pinpoint of light. I didn’t think too much of it until I realized it didn’t move. I looked up the news to see if NASA had something going on, I looked at it through binoculars to see if it was a hot air ballon, or a mylar weather balloon or what, but could tell nothing. I watched it for an hour when I realized it had moved west just a little bit and on a hunch, I took out my star gazer APP on my cell phone and found out it was Venus. How cool is that?

Maneuvering was always an adventure, and our slip in the marina was generally good for some excitement. One time Sherlene jumped onto the dock, lost her balance and almost fell in the water. She didn’t let go of her lines though! The fuel docks were the worst because there was almost always someone waiting for us to get done so we tended to rush things. It’s kind of like a plane, any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.

I remember a stretch of at least thirty days when the sun shone every day, with no rain, and a nice breeze in the evening. Near perfect weather for a couple of newby sailors and their dog. We picked berries by the handful, caught crab by the bucket full, learned how to live on a boat, and totally decompressed from the outside world.

Salal Berries
Salal Berries
With blackberry jam simmering on the other burner!
With blackberry jam simmering on the other burner!

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We slimmed down, browned up, and I got a little wooly looking. I wore the same swim trucks and sleeveless tee-shirt for weeks, I washed them and hung them overnight, and waited until the sun dried them before I got dressed.

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I can go on. We hiked to grocery stores for ice, we explored islands by foot, we watched as over a hundred Harbor Seals lumbered on to the beach with steam rolling off in the cool night air, grunting and groaning at each other.

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And I will go on, but I am looking forward to next summers adventures. This winter hasn’t been all that bad, but one thing I don’t remember is how we managed to drive all year around. It does get old. I am writing this on Valentines Day 2016, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found someone that’s as big a dreamer as me.  Thank you Baby!

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46 days..

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4 thoughts on “46-Days

  1. We are starting our ‘summer’ in two weeks. Cruising the San Juans until we cross into Canada mid-April, then head NORTH! How far do you think you will range this year?

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    1. We will start for the San Juan Islands in May but we might not get there until closer to June. We have some favorite haunts we must get back to like Port Orchard and Quartermaster Harbor.

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