As Walt was preparing for bed on Tuesday night, he noticed some soreness in his lower back, which, by the morning of Wednesday Oct. 30, had become quite severe. He dragged himself out of bed and walked slowly to the waterfront cafe, where he purchased coffee and some delicious donuts, to see if the pain would lessen. We managed to get the boat to the pump-out station for a necessary holding tank evacuation, and by about 10:30 am, we were on our way to Friday Harbor. Skies were clear, seas were mostly untroubled, except by occasional whirling currents and tide rips, winds were light, temperatures were in the 40s, and views of the islands and of Mt. Baker’s ermine cap were gorgeous. I took the wheel and Walt curled up on one of the cockpit benches to relax his back and sleep.
By the time we were nearing Friday Harbor’s Marina, Walt was able to take over helm duty, and a fellow boater helped us with docking Braesail in the San Juan Island Yacht Club reciprocal area. After a soup lunch, Walt used his cane to help him walk, very slowly, from the boat to the registration office and a grocery store up the hill, while I read, snoozed, and caught up on e-mail and the sending of Halloween e-cards, all while wrapped in the luxuriant warmth of our cockpit “sun porch.” After Walt had had his usual afternoon nap, we made our way from the docks back into town to join a long-time friend of mine (who is the Mayor of Friday Harbor) for a marvelous meal at the Golden Triangle Thai restaurant, after which Walt managed the starlit walk back to Braesail relatively well. Back on the boat, music, reading, and writing occupied our evening, a VERY chilly one outside, but a very cozy one inside Braesail’s saloon!
Thursday, Oct. 31, was another glitteringly sunny, bracing day. Walt stretched his back by walking around the docks while I relaxed in the “sun porch,” read, and caught up on e-mail, and then we went for a stroll together around central Friday Harbor. We walked through the pretty waterside park, up the hill past the restaurants, shops, and galleries (many imaginatively decorated for Halloween), to a delightful bakery decorated with well-executed watercolors of local scenes (the huge ginger cookie I consumed was splendidly spicy!), back downhill past the large grocery store, and back to the marina, stopping into an enchanting chocolate shop on our way where we managed to resist temptation and simply enjoy the sights and smells.
While Walt slept in the aft cabin, I began to do some packing and cleaning in preparation for our return to the new docks in the Anacortes Marina, and decided to try lying down for short rests in the upper berth in the crew cabin (hard to climb into and a bit snug) and in the bow cabin, where our guests sleep (spacious and quite light and airy). My favorite napping spots are the cockpit (the comfy, padded, portable lounge chairs are great!) and crew cabin’s lower berth (dark, cozy, and easily accessible). Following a fine dinner featuring steak and an array of tasty veggies, galley clean-up, another lovely video of “Great Canal Journeys,” and a tranquil night during which a creamy canoe-moon tipped and spilled soft light into the sea, we rose early on Friday, Nov. 1, to begin our four-hour journey back to Braesail’s home port.