The day started out rather inauspiciously. This is the scene as I left home on the way to Seattle:
Headed out on an old friend, Quijote. It is good seeing her again and renewing my acquaintance with her captain, Rod, as well meeting Kay for the first time.
I’ll be going out on Quijote again in June for another shakeout before crewing on her trip down to La Paz via the Cojo-ho-ho and then the Baja-ha-ha.
Today started at 6.00 am, though I was actually awake before then. The day was overcast and foggy and drizzly and the border agent just looked at me like I’m crazy when I told him I was headed to go sailing for a few days. Apparently I look sane enough before sailing to be allowed in. I'm not sure the same result would occur on the way back from a sailing weekend.
Arriving at the meeting location at 9.30, we made it to the boat, shipped the lines, and were off the dock by 10:30. Then it was a first for me - transiting through locks to go from the fresh water lake to the salt water Puget Sound.
We did some practice on deploying the spinnaker sail before returning to our overnight slip for dinner. Tomorrow we will be rafting up with other people who are going to do the Cojo-Ho-ho. Rafting up is when we tie up to each other’s boats and have an opportunity to meet each other and socialize. We’ll stay that way overnight into Sunday, then break apart and return to our starting dock. Then it’s time for the drive home.
I’m still trying to figure out how to do my exercises on the boat. There’s not a lot of room, but I’ll figure it out.
Our first day was spent getting to the boat, loading the boat, preparing the boat, casting off, and puttering through the locks that separate Quijote's home from Puget Sound. Traversing locks is an interesting experience. I've never been on a boat that was on an elevator before.
There are two locks, side by side. The "big" one and the "small" one. We were in the small one with a power cruiser and a bunch of kayaks. We tied in to a wall, the portion of which floats up and down with the lock, so we could use a relatively tight tie. The doors close and then... "Going Down! 1st floor! Clothing, Toys, baby carriages and tools. All off please!" Well, OK, noone's actually making announcements like that, but you start out floating next to something that's like a high dock and then slowly the wall grows taller and taller. The doors behind you that they close are also growing higher. in fact, you're in a box that feels like it's shrinking forward and back and side to side, while growing bigger vertically. Oh, and the lock doors leak as well, so there's a little waterfall forming where the doors come together.
I tried not to think about the tons of water pressure pushing against those doors and what would happen if they gave way, It wouldn't be pretty, that's for sure.
We also had to go through a couple of draw bridges. I'm used to calling them up on the radio or they have specified times they open like "15 minutes past the hour." Apparently the procedure here is to use horn signals. One long and one short blast to basically ask, "Pretty please, will you open it up so that we can come through?" Finally we broke out of the canal and pulled into Shilshole where they said, "Pick any slip you'd like on Row __". Up to the office, use the facilities, pay the moorage (shouldn't that be dockage??) fees. A quick meal, and then we were slipping off our lines and heading out into the sound to do some sailing.
Fortunately, the fog had burned off long ago. Unfortunately, the rain was varying from a light drizzle to a rain, and that got our sails wet, especially the spinnaker that we were trying to use. A wet spinnaker is a rather drab and dismal thing. As it takes on water and gets heavier, it's less willing to fly and far more willing to hang, lifeless, from its rigging. We still did some sailing, but not as much as we had hoped. However, it was a good exercise in seeing how the sail rigged on the boat.
Oh! And today was the teddy bear’s first trip! I promise to do better with more pictures on subsequent trips (like the one coming up next weekend.