Saturday, October 15, 2011

Casting Off Lines/Big Left Turn

Our voyage started like all great voyages---in a torrential downpour. The minute we pulled away from the dock in Eagle Harbor on Tuesday, a squall came over and we got drenched. Luckily, we had our rain gear on.

We got to sail as far as Point No Point for a change! We had a south wind and were doing 6.0-7.0 knots with only the headsail, so we didn't even put up the main. Gusts of wind up to 25 knots made steering downwind challenging. After Point No Point, the wind died and it was getting late, so we motor sailed the rest of the way to Port Townsend. There, we spent a day at the dock working on minor projects and making sure all the gear was securely stowed for sea. It was a full day, and we did not finish until dark.

Thursday, we headed for Port Angeles. We had all three sails up for awhile and Silhouette was moving along beautifully. But then the outhaul broke (which adjusts the tension on the foot of the main). We jury-rigged something so we could still use it. At the dock, we found that the little safety ring (like a key ring) that you put through the pin of a shackle inside the boom was missing. It must have been overlooked when the boom was reassembled. Luckily, it was an easy fix. We topped off on fuel and water and headed for Neah Bay the next morning. Port Angeles has all the amenities you need at a dock, but I didn't really like it. Very security conscious and locked up tight as a drum. The overnight guest dock (we got there after hours) is right at the entrance to the harbor, exposing the boat to swells all night.

It was a long haul to Neah Bay. There was not enough wind to sail, so we motored all the way. We were in a hurry to get there so we could take advantage of the weather window presenting itself this weekend. We were rewarded with the beautiful and peaceful anchorage that is Neah Bay:  the first safe harbor after returning from the Pacific (although we, of course, are outbound). But it reminded me of when we brought Silhouette up the coast and eased into this harbor, feeling a sense of relief and accomplishment that we had made it to home waters. Last night there were stars and a waning full moon, which meant of course that it was friggin' cold. Even with my new foul weather gear, I'm going to need more layers for our first series of watches tonight!

We have lucked into an amazing weather window for this time of year. Northwest winds from 10-20 knots are predicted for Saturday and Sunday. Perfect for sailing downwind! We should be able to make it to Newport, OR by Monday morning. Patrick is keeping his eye on the weather, and if the weather looks good, we may just keep going until Eureka. 

This post post-dated from a previous email.

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