Saturday, March 8, 2014

March Madness?

Bremerton to LaConner

Distance traveled:  72.6 statute miles

Travel Time: 9 hrs, 16 minutes

In keeping with our theme of researching whether this new boat makes us happy to cruise all year instead of treating November to April as the off-season, we planned a 7-10 day trip to begin March 6. Among boaters there's a saying that the most dangerous thing on a boat is "a schedule"; so when Thursday dawned with  heavy wind and rain we decided to postpone a day. That's why we scheduled 7-10 days! The silver lining was that allowed us to use this "found" day in our schedule to tackle some projects around the house.  

Friday was much better: cloudy and chilly, but no rain and most importantly, light wind. Having slept on-board the prior night, we rose early and headed north at 7:15 a.m., after our first cup of coffee, but before breakfast. We had a long day planned.

As we cruised up the west side of Bainbridge Island, passing friends Rick and Linda's waterfront home, we called their phone number to see if they were home. We chatted (now really, do you think "WE" chatted?)  for almost an hour, and they both walked to the beach so Linda could wave their yellow kayak in the air to aid us in spotting them from the distance.

The sky was menacing most of the day, but the only waves higher than 1 foot were those of passing ferries or whale-watching boats. Bob's sister Lynn tells us there's a pod of Grey Whales that comes to feed near Everett for 3 months every spring ,and they arrived recently, but we didn't see them.

This part of the State is big on farming and logging, and evidence of both is seen from the water.

Late in the afternoon we turned into Skagit Bay and then Swinomish Channel where the water isn't more than 10-12 feet deep, considered "way deep" back east on the Intra-Coastal Waterway, but the kind of depth that gives Pacific Northwest boaters heart palpitations, accustomed as we are to 100, or 400 and sometimes 1,000 feet of water beneath our hulls.

Finally passing beneath the Rainbow Bridge in La Connor, we tied up at the Swinomish Yacht Club reciprocal dock and took advantage of our first free night of docking, a nice bonus to having joined Bremerton Yacht Club last November.

An hour later a sailboat pulled in to tie up behind us, and we dashed out to help the single-handing Captain by catching his lines. Guess who? Captain Jeff is a fellow member of the Bremerton Yacht Club who'd spent the previous night at Kingston and is also headed north in his 27-foot sailboat. We invited him for a beer later, and the three of us talked boating, mountain climbing, children (we each have 3, though his are young while ours are all grown (we dare not say "old") for several hours.

Usually Cathryn is the one who "talks with her hands" but last night Bob was gesticulating, or was he dancing with an invisible partner while sitting down? Who knows: it was late and the wine had all been poured? This trip is off to a good start.

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