We couldn’t decide where to go after English Camp, ending up choosing a return to Friday Harbor to restock the fridge and firewood. The route would consist of a few miles backtrack and more motoring than sailing. We did get an hour or so of sailing in that day… close hauled, and tacking, of course – but eventually the wind would calm and we finished our voyage by motor. It does signify the only time we have sailed since leaving Bellingham, weeks ago. The wind is too fickle this time of year – it is depressing.
It was a 15 mile travel day, with no wind to speak of… once again. We knew all week that there would be no wind for the weekend, when we could travel. Unless we wanted to stay on Patos Island another week – with no guarantee of wind the following seven days either – we were going to be motoring anyway. And motoring we did, for more than three hours, on our way to Roche Harbor, where we had yet to visit, even by land.
Returning from the BVI trip took more than 36 hours of ferries, taxis, planes, and airports. We were already exhausted from the week at play, but after the travel back we were just zombies. I knew I would need multiple days to recover, mentally and physically, but life would put me right back to work once we arrived back in Washington; from the daily chores of normal life (laundry, groceries, etc) to having to bring the van back to storage (involving a 30 minute Lyft ride), to making the time for some fixes on the boat that were put off ’till we were in port. We only had a four day window before we were to get back out on the water. I wasn’t alone in the pain and suffering. Kerri went straight back to long days behind the laptop to catch up on work after her first week off in… well, ever.
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).
Forced to move after three days on the ball (damn rules) we used up an evening to make the one hour motor into the embrace of Orcas Island. Half way up East Sound – a peninsula of water surrounded by the land of Orcas on three sides – is a ritzy resort that Kerri chose for a few nights. Rosario Resort & Spa is now off-season, making the marina fees quite affordable. Free showers, beautiful grounds for Moose to explore, and of course the Moran Mansion with a fine restaurant and bar to visit were all on the books. No less than three times did we take part in a cocktail or two sitting at the fireplace in the lounge. Kerri intentionally took no photographs inside the lounge, choosing to live in the moment instead, and I followed suit.
On a calm morning we moved Meriwether to the north guest docks in Everett Marina to use the pump-out. There is even a small park on this side of the marina. Moose would surely enjoy some grass and bushes during his walks. We also had better access to the restaurant and distillery that we wanted to visit during the week. Allow me to emphasize the distillery. It was also a much prettier part of the marina – being newly built and all – to call home for the remainder of our stay.
We have an affliction. It is the nomad blood in us, as well as years of practice. It is a simple one, but one that can either lead to adventure or heartache. Not only do we have a very difficult time staying in one place for more than a week or two (a standard nomad issue), but the affliction demands that we take a different route/road/waterway than the one we took before. This leads me to our current predicament; go north the way we came from – past Port Townsend and across the Strait of Juan De Fuca on the western side of Whidbey – or go out of our way (nearly twice the mileage) to sail up the eastern side of Whidbey Island along a route we had not already done? Yeah… the long way it is.
Rested from the long sail, Kerri and I (Moose too) motored the two miles to our final destination in Hood Canal – the tiny town of Union, Washington. Union is located on the southern shores of the “Great Bend” in the canal. The marina area consisted of only a market-slash-trinket store, a Mexican-food joint, and a small country store across the street. Not much else nearby without a fair distance walking. The tiny marina here allowed us the opportunity to pump out our black-tank and fill both our water and fuel tanks. It was during this process that we got first wind on the hospitality of the locals, who were oddly excited to see such a large boat this far down the canal.
What happens when you find out that the legendary designer of your 40 year old boat is not only alive, but spends his time right down the road from you… and is having a meetup with dozens of other boat owners? You go to the party, right? Well yeah!
Some weeks back Kerri found a Bob Perry fan page on Facebook and joined. Not only is it an active discussion group, Bob himself is a daily partaker of the community. Also, there is an annual rendezvous (I really hate trying to spell that word) in Port Ludlow each year and we would be near enough to seriously consider dropping in. I think we both felt a little uncomfortable with the idea to begin with, as we are so new to this whole thing, but after meeting some other sailing couples recently we were desperate to go see other like-boats to get ideas and advice about our own.
We were off to Port Ludlow where we had a slip reserved and packages were already in route for a week of projects on Meriwether. The sail was pretty straight forward; loop around Marrowstone Island and head south to Ludlow. The tide/current would be in our favor – or so the information said – so the day would be smooth sailing with nature providing us a push from behind. The wind, however, wasn’t going to play nice that day – blowing pretty much exactly from the direction we needed to go, meaning we would spend the day close-hauled (1) – as usual.