September 30, 2017: When can we go again?

More rain showers were predicted for Saturday morning, so Walt and I untied Braesail from the Port Ludlow dock before 10 am and began motoring back to our slip in the Everett Marina. Teasing sunbeams and clouds, some happily white and others threateningly dark, were chasing each other around the skies as we passed the cliffs, arrayed like long ivory teeth bared between green mustachioed upper lips and pebbly lower ones, that line 50-mile-long Whidbey Island. As we could while traveling east over previous days, we were able to enjoy amazingly clear views of Mt. Baker’s immense snowy cone and its surrounding peaks.

The rain refrained from further dampening our already-somewhat-low spirits until after we’d pulled Braesail into her slip at about 12:30 pm, tied up, attached the shore power cable,  lunched on sandwiches, fruit, corn chips, and cookies, packed the contents of the food lockers, fridge, and freezer into six large grocery bags, and stuffed our roller bags with clothing and personal items, but as  we were loading the shore cart and then hauling it to the parking area, showers returned to remind us that it is indeed autumn in the Pacific Northwest! Walt used our portable jumper to start the Prius, we loaded it with our gear, and we made the first of what will be at least one additional trip from the boat to our condo after we unpack and move back into our  lovely “land home” this afternoon.CloughMansionMay2017

I still think that I don’t have the innate abilities that make one a good sailor, and I have a great deal still to learn, but I do have considerable “head knowledge” and some great practical experience with which to supplement it, I have less anxiety about and more confidence in my competence as a crew member, and my prayers for our safety were answered many times! We were away for about 18 weeks, including about two weeks in Leuven and a day or two each in Bruges and Ghent in Belgium and in Amsterdam. We journeyed about 1500 miles in Braesail, but, out of some 400 hours traveling at sea, were able to sail for only about 10 hours. We were blessed with glorious beauty, natural and human-made; we met delightful people; we enjoyed excellent food; we participated in wonderful worship; we stayed generally well, and, despite some delays due to equipment failure, some frustrations, and some unpleasantness such as one normally encounters during long trips, we had such a superb time that we find ourselves loath to return and are already wondering when we can go out on Braesail again!

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