At LONG last, Walt and I left the guest dock in the Everett marina around 10 am as the sun played hide-and-seek with cottony clouds, and headed for Ft. Flagler, near Port Townsend, on the southeastern edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Between June 4 and this morning, Walt had worked on the Braesail, attended a four-day Society of Scholar Priests’ conference in Hartford, CT, done some garage clean-out (lots more labor remains on THAT project!), worked on boat-related projects, and expended yet MORE time and energy on the boat. I enhanced the income of my fantastic “fang carpenter,” who filled two spaces opening around an old, disintegrating filling, visited several friends, attended a baseball game with a fellow fan (the Mariners lost, as they always do when I’m in the park!), prepared for our 100-days-away summer trips, and tried to leave the condo as neat and clean as possible. We had planned to leave on the 15th, but rain, coupled with high winds and waves near our destination, convinced us to delay our departure until this morning.
I backed Braesail out away from the dock without incident, and we motored for some 3.5 hours between Whidbey Island and the Kitsap Peninsula over an undulating shadow-gray satin sea-quilt embroidered with small knots of seagulls. At one point, I glimpsed the fins of two minke whales (https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/press_release/pr2014/scispot/ss1402/minke_fin1.jpg), but they went on their way without revealing more of themselves. When we turned west to approach our destination, the wind speed increased, and the current, which had sped us on our way north, diminished as we motored around a long sandbar and back toward the Ft. Flagler dock. Here, our fellow Moody owners, Daragh and Cathy from Victoria BC, who own the 38-ft. boat, Chantey V, were waiting for us, but the current was so strong and so erratic right next to the dock that, skillful as he is, it took Walt several tries to slip in safely behind Chantey V ,and some quick dock-line catching and manipulation by Cathy, Daragh, and Walt to get Braesail into a secure position.
With the boat safely moored by a little before 3 pm, we four had a great time getting acquainted, chatting about our boats and our experiences, and touring our vessels–very entertaining and educational for us all! Walt and I walked up to the park’s campsite in the level, grassy area at the top of steep, tree-lined bluffs above a driftwood-decorated gravel beach, and bought wine and some chipped ice for drinks. The kind lady behind the counter gave me a little sample cone containing chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream–yummm! It wasn’t long before Jeff and Kim, on Heron, their 54-ft. Moody, which is regularly moored in Seattle, motored by, but after determining that there wasn’t room for their boat at the dock or on the mooring buoys, found an anchoring spots some distance away. Back on Braesail, Walt prepared a lovely supper of shrimp sauteed in garlic butter, and as I was completing clean-up, Linda and Walt D., who, like us, moor Pellucidar, their 47-ft. Moody, in Everett, arrived at the dock and tied up at its end with help from Daragh and Walt. Kim and Jeff arrived at the dock by dinghy from Heron, and we eight enjoyed a lovely evening of conversation over chips and dips in Braesail’s cockpit as the wind rose and the boat rocked gently. At one point we watched a large bald eagle swoop-scoop up a fish so substantial that the predator was hardly able to transport it to its banquet room! Bon appetit!
As the sky darkened and the last red-and-gold sunlight dripped into sea to the northwest, Kim and Jeff returned to Heron in their dinghy, and the rest of us retired to our breeze-swayed floating cradles for the night. What a fine day of fun and fellowship we’d enjoyed!