May 8, 2017: Monday, Monday–to Seattle and Illahee State Park

No wind disturbed our slumbers or our morning departure from beautiful Blake Island. I was rather concerned about backing out of our space at a little after 9 am without hitting the boat behind us, but with coaching from Walt and Martin, I was able to maneuver Braesail away from the dock and back it up beside the pump-out station (which was only partially functional–yuck!). I had the helm as we motored across to Elliott Bay, while the Cascades’ and the Olympic Mountains’ grand parades of peaks, all decked out smartly in their uniforms of deep blue and crisp white, passed by on either side of the water. Walt took the helm at about 10:30 when we were about to pull up to a dock in a very small marina and send Martin and his bags ashore so that he could catch the BOLT bus back to Vancouver, BC, for a meeting. The debarkation having been accomplished, we motored under cloud-shaded skies to Illahee State Park in Port Orchard Bay on the Kitsap Peninsula, about 3.5 miles from the city of Bemerton, passing a large buoy near the end of Bainbridge Island upon and around which sleek harbor seals were sunbathing and swimming, and arriving at the park at about 12:30 pm.

We decided to hook a mooring buoy not far from the thickly wooded shore, and I soon discovered that I knew the basics of the process–one uses a boat hook to grab the ring at the top of a spherical buoy anchored to the sea bottom and attaches the boat to the buoy–but I couldn’t recall the steps between the snagging of the buoy and the tying of the boat to it! I managed to thread a line, attached at one end to the boat’s deck, through the ring that I hauled up on its chain, with considerable difficulty, from the top of the buoy, pulled the buoy around to the other side of the bow, and then wound the free end of the line around another cleat on the deck. I decided that I needed a second attempt to solidify the process in my memory, so I released the buoy and Walt circled the boat and approached it again (he’s very skilled at that!) so that I could hook it, thread the line through the ring, and attach the line to the cleat. This time I had even more trouble maneuvering the buoy around the bow and tying off the line properly. So I spent a good while practicing tying and untying and re-tying the line while Walt made lunch.

We both enjoyed afternoon naps (I love sleeping in the sunshine in the covered cockpit!), and then we caught up on reading and writing projects. Walt prepared a spicy rice/vegetables/sausage dish with sauerkraut on the side for supper, after which I cleaned the kitchen and then worked through about 40 pages of a book on maneuvering and docking a sailboat under power in preparation for practicing one or two of the exercises presented in the book’s first chapter on Tuesday. After our “Father Brown” bedtime video, we retired for the night as the shiny silver-dollar moon lit the wide, calm waters of the bay.

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