Dyes Inlet

Although the forecast showed we would have a nice breeze coming from the North East for this day’s sail,  the actual wind would be nothing of the sort. I do not even get all that bothered by it anymore. The unpredictability of the wind in the Puget Sound is just reality, and it either gets accepted or becomes an ulcer. Captains choice. I expected a lot of motoring down in the south Sound, so when we left Poulsbo we did just that. During the first couple hours we watched others raise sail only to sit stationary in the water. It didn’t look fun at all. We had 17 nautical miles to travel to Dyes Inlet, just outside of Silverdale, Washington so we didn’t want to flounder about for long.

Eventually, we would get a slight breeze coming from our port quarter (left-rear). Bored with motoring, we set about raising our spinnaker sail for the first time. Spinnaker sails are those huge, colorful, kite-type sails good for down wind sailing in low wind and that is what we had at the moment. While neither Kerri or I had the experience setting one up, I had been doing a fair amount of research on it in the past weeks. I had the basics in mind and was happy to fumble my way through the rest – my preferred way of learning. It didn’t take long for the spinnaker sock to be peeled back allowing this huge white, red, and blue sail to fill with the breeze and pull us along without the noise from the motor. It was a sweet feeling to have finally pulled this bad boy out, but it lasted only a couple short hours before the wind died on us completely. Nevertheless, we finally did it, and that was all that mattered.

With the sail back in it’s bag and stowed (an aerobic workout I might add) we went back to the motor for the rest of our travels that day, which consisted of going under two more bridges and passing directly in front of the destroyer USS Turner Joy moored in Bremerton. I had toured this ship way back in 2013, and again in recent years with my son when he came out to visit. Sailing past a landmark that I can recall from my land-life memories is something special for some reason. It is at these times that I want to scream out to anyone that can hear me, “Hey, I sailed here! Look what I can do.” 

As is customary on our sailing days, the wind would return at a nice speed in our final mile, just to give us a challenge grabbing a ball or anchoring. Have I mentioned I am tiring of the winds here in the Puget Sound? After anchoring and taking the rest of that day off doing anything, Kerri and I set out to do a quick Trader Joe’s run. Not that we needed any food after our big haul in Poulsbo, but she can’t pass up a TJ’s, even when it means a three mile round trip walk. So for the first time in a while, the trusty mule (wagon) was hauled to shore, unfolded, and dragged across town and back to do all our heavy lifting. It would be used one more time towards the end of our week long stay here, for a super-large load of laundry – the closest laundromat being about a half mile away from the city dock.

As always, we have a long list of sailors-chores to accomplish through out the week. Each afternoon, once our solar tops off the battery, the water maker is setup and run to keep our tanks topped off. This week was the first time we had filled both tanks and didn’t have space for more. We haven’t filled our water from land in over six weeks now and we were full, how cool is that?!

Besides water making, and grocery and laundry runs, minor odd repair jobs are endless and keep me busy through the the work week. One job that needed done badly after our clamming excursions on the muddy beaches in Port Gamble was to wash out the dinghy, so we hung it from a halyard and gave it the good hose-n-scrub from our deck wash hose. This one simple act made us both feel more like full-time sailors than anything else we do on a daily basis – not sure why. Something akin to not feeling like a proper home owner until you wash your car in the driveway.

I even had the time, and dry weather, to tackle one of our chain-plates (metal plate that holds the wire rigging to the boat hull) that was leaking. It is always disconcerting removing a portion of the standing rigging, but over three days the job was completed and everything sealed back up in time for Friday mornings rain shower.

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2 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    Good explanation on the spinnaker, thanks! Seeing Mount Rainier makes any day a good day…

    Have a good week where ever you are!

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