Should We, or Shouldn't We?
After nearly three weeks in a rough anchorage, waiting for yet another repair, our suspicions were confirmed by experts (our son who works in the Coast Guard). The fall weather is sneaking in early this year. We had a feeling that was true, since most days we woke up enveloped in a thick fog. What's more, the wind rushed in every afternoon, and stirred up an even choppier sea that lasted well into the night.
Twice we slipped our anchor and dragged it, scudding backwards out into the bay, miraculously threading through boats we are still shocked we didn't crash into. Needless to say, it got hard to settle down at night when we had to keep popping our heads up out of the hatch to make sure nothing like that happened, again.
Not to mention all that rocking and bobbing was making it almost impossible to walk a straight line on dry ground. It has something to do with balance and your "inner ear," neither of which was working very well for me to begin with. I know this isn't just an illusion because a man in the grocery store (who I thought was following me) explained he had tried several times to pass but I kept swerving. I think he thought I had been… oh, but nevermind about that.
The Captain and I both wanted to high-tail it back to a calmer harbor in the San Juans. But neither of us wanted to get caught in fog or a rough sea trying to cross a major shipping lane on the "big water." Not to mention the leaky shaft was still leaking while we waited for replacement parts. We weren't ready to quit, though. Other than dreaming about houses every night, I still wanted to continue on.
However, there is sometimes a fine line between faith and stupidity, and at this point, I wasn't sure which side was which. So, I said a little prayer there would be some sort of sign to let me know. The first was finding out the Captain and I were having the same thoughts but neither of us mentioned them until the morning after I prayed.
The second was when the weather channel gave a forecast that the following afternoon would be clear, seventy-five degrees, with a steady wind out of the right direction for us to ACTUALLY SAIL. Up until then, we had consistently been "beating into it" at anywhere from three to five knots. How fast is that? Let's just say if we were on dry ground, you could pass us up running.
However, our "weather window" was only going to last one day, and it was at least a nine hour trip. After that, there was a storm front coming in that would arrive in full force by the end of the week. But who knew how long before another opportunity like this would come around? So, the Captain wrapped some plastic bags and duck tape around the leaky shaft, and decided to go for it.
We raised the sails and practically flew across that big water! At a whopping eight knots (OK, seven point eight). The minute we got to the islands, the wind dropped back down to nothing. There were a couple lingering patches of fog, but we just had to nose our way along some ghosty outline of land to keep out of the way of ferries and such.
Not long after that, all was as clear as the forecast had promised, and we finally slipped into the wonderful stillness of Lopez Sound for the first peaceful night we'd had in weeks. Then up early for a beautiful cruise around to well-protected Fisherman's Bay. By afternoon, we were anchored in the sunny San Juan Islands, again.
Oh, yes, and what a surprise to find this place less expensive than where we were on the mainland. There is even a boatyard for when we're ready to make those repairs. On Friday, that storm did come in. But from here it wasn't much more than a stiff breeze under a beautiful blue sky. So, thank you God…