June 21, 2017: Summer solstice, great dinner, broken bow thruster

Sunshine smiled through the windows of the aft cabin on the morning of the summer solstice, and we welcomed it after so many “Juneuary” days! Shortly after 9 am we were on our way from Anacortes to Friday Harbor (on San Juan Island), having filled our water tanks and prepared the cabin and cockpit for travel (things stored away and all doors fastened). We were able to sail part of the way, but then the winds became to erratic in speed and direction, and we reverted to motoring with the current running against us and significant stretches of “troubled” water, in which wavelets jostled and spun and bounced and rippled around us, to navigate. By noon we were entering the Friday Harbor Marina, finding that a large power boat was preparing to depart soon and we could take its space at the local yacht club’s guest dock. While we waited, we motored over to the “transient moorage” area, where, with some difficulty resulting from my inadequate bow line handling, we tied up to the dock, slightly scraping one side of Braesail’s stern. During this docking attempt, Walt tried to use the bow thruster and discovered that it had ceased to function; the propeller had been replaced and other repairs made in Everett just a week ago after Walt had damaged the thruster while docking single-handedly on June 1 (he’d let the bow line slip off the boat and entangle itself in the propeller), and it had been VERY noisy ever since. “Oh, NO!” I thought. “We’ll probably have to hire a diver to see what’s happened, and if the propeller has fallen off, we’ll have to buy ANOTHER one and hire a diver to replace it or pay to have the boat hauled out of the water AGAIN for replacement and/or more repairs.” I was not at all happy with the person who did the work in Everett!

Just as we were straightening up our docking lines, Walt saw that the boat on the guest dock was pulling away, so we quickly released OUR lines and motored to take its spot, a successful endeavor. Walt went off to register Braesail for the night, and I was sitting in the cockpit relaxing for a bit after lunch when a couple happened by and asked about our boat. They told me they were shopping for a boat and were very much interested in Moodys, so when Walt returned, we invited them into the cockpit for a chat about our experiences with our boat, what we most like and dislike about it, how it’s built, what features it has, etc. They had to catch a ferry, so I continued writing e-mail and Walt proceeded to clean some of the gunk off Coracle so that he could attach lettering and registration numbers. It wasn’t long before one of the Moody-owner couples, Claudia and Bob, who weren’t able to attend the Ft. Flagler rendezvous, arrived by dinghy from their 1978 33-ft. boat to greet us and tour our 2001 46-ft. “big boat,” which they absolutely loved.

By 5 pm we needed to hike up to the center of Friday Harbor from the marina to meet Farhad Ghatan, a friend from OSSCS whom I hadn’t seen for a decade. He owns and operates and is the very-gracious host of a wonderful bed-and-breakfast, cooks the breakfasts, uses the produce from his own fruit trees and garden in his meal preparation (his chickens provide fresh eggs daily), does all the maintenance and repairs, bakes cookies for the guests, and performs classical pieces from memory s on his Steinway grand piano in the evenings, inviting other musicians to join him and providing his listeners with a glass of wine to accompany the music. He is an entrepreneur as well as a singer, choral conductor, pianist, beekeeper, airplane pilot, boater, gardener, building designer, construction worker, and chef who is also running for Friday Harbor mayor from his seat on the City Council. He is such an intelligent, thoughtful, kind, open-hearted friend to everyone!

Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor Marina–Braesail is not visible from this vantage point

On our way to Farhad’s Friday Harbor Grand B&B, we stopped into a market to buy AAA batteries for our “fish finder” (a small depth sounder) and some hardware for Coracle, and so were just a bit late to our dinner with Farhad, which was exquisite: roast lamb and Persian side dishes of salad, sauteed vegetables, and a dish featuring rice and dried fruit, with blackberry-rhubarb cobbler topped with whipped Greek yogurt for dessert. The white, the red, and the muscat wines he served were lovely too, and we so enjoyed his piano-playing after Walt had done some improvising at the grand piano. It was fun to meet and chat with two ladies from Dallas who were staying at the B&B, and to play with Farhad’s little dog, Roxie, who made friends with me quite quickly.

Farhad gave us a ride to the marina after we’d visited his garden with him and collected a sizeable plastic bag of greens for salads and for cooking–what a splendid friend! Walt and I watched an episode of the BBC detective drama, “Inspector George Gently,” while finishing some hot chocolate, and found our way to our bed after a most delightful day (apart from discovering the non-functional thruster–grrrr!).

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