Saturday, September 15, 2018: Lots of activity=A long post

Rain and more rain and rain again! We spent a soggy Saturday morning in Braesail’s saloon, reading, writing, and working puzzles. At about 11, my long-time friend Farhad, who is mayor of Friday Harbor, is a fine singer and pianist, and runs an excellent Bed & Breakfast establishment, met me on shore near the yacht club offices, and accompanied me down to Braesail’s spot on F Dock to visit and tour the boat. He brought beautiful heirloom tomatoes and a yellow crookneck squash from his glorious garden, together with oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies that he’d baked (he makes them for his B&B guests). We had a great time sharing news, and after duties had called him away and both of the the boats that had rafted to Braesail had departed (the one that had been in place overnight had left and had been replaced by a second that pulled up for a very short stay), we steered our sailing vessel away from the dock (Xanadu left at about the same time–might we see her and her congenial crew again?).

Heavy rain continued to fall as we motored to the holding tank pump-out, and with that task accomplished, we headed for Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island, sponging the moisture from the insides of the windscreens every few minutes. By the time we had cruised slowly through the placid bay and along the sand spit that borders it on one side and had reached the Lopez Islander Resort docks, the rain had retreated, but the spot on the dock that we had hoped to occupy for the night was already filled, so we tied up briefly in another place and decided what to do next. I suggested that we motor to Indian Cove on Shaw Island, but it appeared that the night’s wind direction would make it an uncomfortable anchorage, and so we settled on Blind Bay on Shaw Island as a destination.

The short journey there was quite pleasant as skies cleared and sun-diamonds spilled across the sea’s surface, and we enjoyed butternut squash soup and corn chips in the cockpit while motoring. When we reached Blind Bay, however, we found that hooking an anchoring ball proved very challenging, since both the metal ring one attempts to grab with a boat hook AND the chain one yanks up to bring the ring to the level of a boat’s deck so that a bow line can be threaded through it and hitched to a deck cleat were jammed. After I had tried and failed several times to steer Braesail close enough to the ball for Walt to snag the ring, I finally managed to pull the boat into position with the ball alongside the hull, but then Walt realized that he would have to lie on his stomach on the deck and try to grasp the ring with one hand and maneuver the line through it with the other. WHAT A JOB! We were all very relieved when the task was accomplished! As Walt was preparing Coracle for a trip to nearby Blind Island where state marine park registration forms were to be obtained and deposited, the park ranger arrived by boat and was kind enough to give us the required slip after learning that we had a yearly park pass. Now all that we needed to do was to complete the form and slip it into a slot in a metal box on the island.

By this time (around 4 pm), all of us were tired and desirous of some rest; Walt napped in the aft cabin, I slept on one of the cockpit benches, and Joy rested on the other. An hour later clouds were reassembling, and, while Walt prepared a tuna/spinach/pasta dish for dinner, I rowed Coracle to rocky Blind Island, beached the dinghy on the small gravel beach below the campsites and picnic tables, and climbed up the hill to the registration slip deposit box. With my duty done, I made my way up to the crown of the hill in the center of the island, from which I had a fine view of the village of Orcas Landing on neighboring Orcas Island, the ferry terminal there, and the boats resting in the bay. Darkening skies and the scent of rain hinted that showers would be returning soon, so I made my way back to the beach past an old apple tree whose ripe fruit was out of reach, shoved Coracle into the water, rowed back to Braesail, and ALMOST managed to grab the bathing platform. Walt assisted my landing, and told me how to attach lines for lifting the dinghy up onto its davits (make certain that they are straight!) and how to remove the plug that allows accumulated water drainage, but these tasks were new to me and I pulled too hard on the plug, popping it and its housing out onto the floor of the dinghy–AARGH! Some sort of repair will be necessary . . .

After supper, clean-up, “quiet activity time,” and cantaloupe with ice cream for dessert, Joy and I played three games of Farkel while Walt studied. By the time we crawled into bed, the wind had risen to about 8 kts. and Braesail was swinging and bobbing about the buoy and rocking to and fro, causing Coracle to sway noisily in the stern. At about 1 am, Walt climbed up to the deck and lashed down the dinghy, making it possible for us to sleep at last.

[If you’ve read pictureless posts beginning September 8, I’ve now added photos to some of my descriptions, so you might want to look back over earlier entries; rainy weather has encouraged my smartphone to stay snoozing in my pocket a lot of the time, however  😦 ]

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