After spending the work week at James Island, we left to return to our home port of Bellingham. The weather would do little to assist on our day of travel. With only a slight breeze from the South, we were – once again – left with no choice but to motor. On the plus side, the tides were flooding in creating a fair current that we would ride nearly the entire 18 miles. At some points our speed-over-land would exceed 8 knots, which is seriously moving in a sailboat. We arrived in Bellingham after just more than 3 hours on the water. We pulled into a slip directly adjacent to our old one for a three week stay (for the boat anyway).
We have begun planning our winter months. We had originally planned that we would stay on the boat as long as possible, only jumping in Big Blue if the weather got so bad to chase us off. But the gloom of the Pacific North West had already begun. Cold was approaching. The stages of wind had already converted to winter-mode; none or gale with no in between. Basically, we were just beginning to enter the miserable time here in the PNW and I was already sick of it. One night we had a serious heart to heart and decided not to wait to be chased out by the weather. Why go through that? Instead, we would simply plan to leave Meriwether for the worst of the winter and return in early spring. Big Blue would get another winter on the roads. It was a huge weight lifted.
It is extremely difficult to find a slip in the Puget Sound area over the winter. People wait years on a list to get one, forced to store their boat elsewhere during that time. It is now that we are realizing just how fortunate we are to have used our buyer-broker last year. Said broker has since retired and sold his business, but the new owners still welcomed us back with the use of one of their slips. Not only for this few week stay, but also for the entire winter. Talk about knowing the right people! They quickly got to know us with an onslaught of packages shipped to their office.
I can not explain why, but I was pretty grumpy the weeks leading up to our arrival, but Bellingham brought a welcomed mood change to me. Something about a return to “home” I guess. Bellingham is the place that we sat stationary for the longest in our nomadic life. Maybe it was the knowledge that we would be in the van soon? I don’t know… don’t care either. I’m just happy to feel happier. We immediately began running into some of the full-time live-a-boards that we call friends, catching up on each other’s sailing seasons. Moose was beyond excited to get to sniff and pee his way along a well known path around the park at the harbor. I know he loves to explore new places, but this path is clearly home to him as well.
Within two days of our arrival the weather changed. A serious cold snap was blown in with two days of 30+ knot winds. Each morning we would wake to just above freezing temperatures followed by only low-50’s for the highs. Our wood stove has been getting a workout as you can imagine. Kerri and I worked through a list of chores we needed to accomplish before the end of the week, at which time we board a plane to leave this cold-ass place. To the British Virgin Islands we have already gone (by the time you read this), and just in time too. I already need those 80 degree days to thaw my old bones.