Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grandpa Sailing

I've saved the best for last. Jason's dad, Sam, came out to join us. Bringing the sunshine and a huge smile, he arrived in style, flying in on a seaplane (being a pilot himself he was graciously invited into the co-pilot's seat) into Rosario, docking just hundreds of feet from Marinero. The boys thought it was incredibly cool watching his plane coming in for a landing on the water and watching him step out onto the dock.  After getting him settled into his spot on the boat, we hopped into a rental car and sped up to the top of Mount Constitution to share the views with him before setting out for Spencer Spit. Sporting shorts for the first time in three weeks, we enjoyed a nice leisurely sail under sunny skies with Isaac riding behind in Rosebud while Aaron and I sat on the swim step and drug our feet through the water.

The following morning Isaac rowed us into the spit where we caught tiny crabs, dug for clams, skipped rocks, and got lost on the 80+ miles of trails within the park before heading out to Watmough where, after we anchored, Schooner Martha pulled up, with her all-teenage crew, and anchored alongside of us. The boys were very insistent that Grandpa should see the swing of doom, so up the steep trail we hiked to where Grandpa could see them fly over the tops of the trees. When we reached the top of the bluff we were treated a spectacular show as orcas spouted and breeched in the distance.

With calm winds in the forecast, we headed out from Watmough to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As it turns out the forecast was wrong. Really wrong. Instead of the  10 knot winds we were expecting, we were sailing in a steady 30-35 knots with gusts to 40. With much squawking emanating from me about dropping the jib, we pounded along at 7-9 knots under a double-reefed mainsail and a reefed jib. Grandpa's big smile widened even more as the spray reached over the bow and drained from the cockpit. Arriving in Port Townsend a little jittery, we headed to the marina for the evening. The fairways in this marina are very tight and the numbers marking the slips are very small. With the wind still howling, we inevitably glided past our slip as we squinted to try to tell which one was ours. We had many nightmarish moments as the wind pushed us through the narrow pathways sideways, drifting without the rudder responding, as we tried to turn around in the labyrinth of dead-ends we encountered. I thought I was going to have a heart attack and thanked the sailing gods everywhere that I wasn't the one driving the boat. Eventually, Jason safely manuevered us into our slip. As I shakily stepped off the boat, I joked to Grandpa that I needed a stiff drink so we headed to our favorite coffee shop for caffeinated beverages (and the yummiest salad ever) to chase away our jitters, before showing Grandpa around Port Townsend and meeting an old friend of his for dinner.

The following day, we hit the farmers' market where we ate yummy food before heading for Port Ludlow. Along the way we found ourselves in the middle of a huge pack of porpoises and dolphins in a feeding frenzy. We turned off our engine and watched as they surfaced again and again around us. On shore at Port Ludlow, we slopped around in gloppy seaweed at low tide, dodging goeduck sprays that erupted around us.

Back in our slip in Seattle, Grandpa graciously helped us get Marinero bedded down, helping Jason scrub down the outside of the boat as I cleaned the inside. It was such a pleasure to have him on board with us for the week and we were so happy to share the sailboat experience with him. Thanks for joining us! We can't wait for you to come aboard again.

Click here for photos.

1 comment:

  1. What a great time and gracious, loving hosts. How do you remember it all in such detail. You guys are great sailors and I look forward to doing it all again.