On a glistening Saturday morning, the five of us slept late; Walt had risen at 6 am (and then returned to bed) to reel in the anchor chain and thus pull the boat into deeper water. After a breakfast snack, Dan took me rowing in the dinghy around the boat and then to the muddy shore of the bay so that he could take pictures and we could find some interesting objects to serve as subjects for his photographs and pointillistic paintings. We found some barnacle-covered stones and some beautiful clam, scallop, and oyster shells; I also picked up a short, slim satiny piece of driftwood for him to carve. It was a lovely outing indeed!
We began the last leg of our journey—to the Everett Marina, where Braesail will now “live”—in the late morning as the day grew quite hot. We encountered enough wind to allow us to raise the main and “yankee” (large jib) sails, and later the wind speed and direction encouraged us to raise the gigantic spinnaker (photo by Dan Knowles) but as happens all too often, the wind died after about ten minutes, we furled the sails, and continued motoring past Camano and Whidbey islands toward Everett.
As we approached the large marina in the early evening, the wind rose again and made it difficult for Walt to guide the boat into its slip. He tried backing it into place, but the wind blew it away from the dock as we were attempting to land; he tried again but was again thwarted by the 16-knot wind and the current, and JUST grazed the dock and a neighboring boat (no damage). We were advised by the resident of the next-door slip to take the boat around outside the guest dock, tie up there, and wait for the wind and current to subside. This we did, and after supper the wind and current had subsided sufficiently to allow us to untie the boat, visit the nearby holding tank pump-out station, and take the boat (bow first this time) into the slip, where Walt, Dan, a helpful stranger who happened by, and I were able to maneuver the boat into position and tie up safely—Braesail was home–WHEW!!! I was incredibly thankful! (Photo taken in the early morning by Dan Knowles).
By 9 pm, Walt and Dan were on the way in our Miata to Anacortes, where Dan’s and Debbie’s Prius had been left at the ferry terminal on Wednesday. Debbie, Joy, and I played a dice game called “Farkle,” ate graham cracker/vanilla-butterscotch ice cream sandwiches, drank tea, and had a great visit. I stayed up until 2 am when Dan and Walt returned from their drive to Anacortes, then to the Mt. Vernon railway station (where Dan left his Prius), then to Bellingham (to which they had driven in the Miata) to pick up our Prius (left there before our journey began), and then back with our Miata and our Prius to the Everett Marina. We crawled into bed as quickly as we could get there!
Sunday brought a late sleep and breakfast, the transfer of items from the boat to our Everett condo, a drive in our Miata to Mt. Vernon for Dan and Debbie so that they could collect their Prius and drive it back to Everett, a wonderful Mexican dinner out to celebrate Dan’s recent birthday and Joy’s upcoming one, and an evening of conversation and “Hearts” playing around the dining room table in our 1925 condo. I collapsed into bed just before midnight on Sunday after dealing with three large loads of laundry, settling Joy on our air mattress for the night (Dan and Debbie were staying in their cabin on the boat), and taking a long-delayed shower. I was so grateful to God and to my fellow sailors for a challenging, frightening, beautiful, rewarding, three weeks of “boat boot-camp,” and the sunset view from our second-story condo’s bedroom window had been spectacular, but I missed looking outside at a sky-full of coruscating cosmic glory . . .