Our first overnight trip

Our first overnight trip

May 9th, 2010  |  by Marilyn  |  Published in Ship's Log

Finally – the weather was right, we had time to go, and the boat was ready. And it wasn’t a Friday – you know it’s bad luck to start a trip on a Friday, as we found out when we tried an overnight a while back and our alternator failed. So this time we left on a Saturday.

We went to Mystery Bay, which is between Indian Island and Marrowstone Island at the north end of Admiralty inlet. Some people don’t like to go there because of the serpentine channel to get between the two islands, which offers many places to run aground. But by paying close attention to the charts, and with the aid of our GPS that interfaces with the charts that Van’s has loaded on his laptop, we made it through the channel without any problems. Shallowest spot is around Green #13, where the depth appears to be only about 7’ at 0 tide. Stray from the channel by but a little, and you’ll definitely go aground. That laptop “chart plotter” sure was cool in helping me know right where I was at with respect to all the sand bars and shallow spots. The channel markers are rather far apart for comfort.

Mystery Bay is a lovely marine state park. We actually didn’t go ashore, but the water setting is very beautiful and well protected. There are 7 mooring buoys and none of them were taken so we had our pick. Good thing, as we had to try 3 times to pick one up. We’ve not done that maneuver since our ASA certification course about 2 years ago, so we needed a little practice. Maybe I should say I needed the practice at the helm, because Van picked up the chain without problems once I got him close enough and stopped the boat correctly. We tied off just as Mary, our ASA instructor, taught us, using one line with a loop to hold the boat with minimal chafe, and  second loose line as a backup and a way to pull up the chain in the morning when ready to release the loop from the chain.

We had just enough wind to sail most the way there, though the wind did die down while we were in the shipping lanes on Saturday so we started the engine and motored out of harms way. Those cargo ships can really move fast –though none were in sight, I didn’t want to whistle for wind in the shipping lanes. On Sunday, there was enough wind for us to sail all the way home, though it was very light at the start. If it weren’t for the 2-3 knot current pushing us along, it would have been a very slow trip home. Or said another way, if the current had been opposite our direction, we would have had to motor to stop from going backwards because our forward motion from sailing was less than the current speed at first. Later the wind picked up and we were doing pretty well on a run by then. It was a very nice relaxing sail home. We went through some exciting rip tides off the north end of Marrowstone – they are always so interesting to observe.

So that’s it – we’ve had our first shakedown cruise, and everything worked well. I have to say, I’m really liking this boat and all its creature comforts!

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