My pipeline engineering conference provided the perfect cover for "just happening" to be in the area. The hospitable, but gullible Seattle fleet took the bait. Here is my daily report.
Saturday July 23 1145: Arrive hotel downtown seattle.1330: my fellow committee member, a Seattle resident with white arms and legs sticking out of shorts and hawaiian shirt, is muttering about being stuck in a meeting on the first real day of summer.
Wednesday July 27 1200: conference over. Based on short peeks out of the hotel windows, there are mountains on the Olympic peninsula, which was not possible to determine during the "Indian Summer Nationals" a few years back. Also, wind on Puget Sound appears to come up late in the day and hang around until after dark. May be sailing on one of two boats Thur eve, maybe not.
Thursday July 28 1145: Converge on Henderson Boat Works with fellow Californians Kirk and Lisa Twardowski. Get tour of the shop from Kris and drool over B6 hull #2 which is cherry red and rigged, ready to goB-6%20003.jpg. It appears I may be sailing with one of three boats with one of two crew this evening. Joined soon after by Frank and John, who will be sailing Frank's M12 for possibly the last time this evening. After some discussion and a phone call, I may be sailing one of one boats this evening.
1330: Follow Kris to Fisheries Supply and drool some more over a wall full of blocks and a huge inventory of line.
1530: Arrive Shilshole. No one at dry yard or 14 dock. Meet recent California transplant "good" Brad at his Beneteau First 42.7. As expected, the boat is immaculate. Offer questionable help as he installs navigation software.
1700: Brad helps me and his regular crew Pat rig the immaculate Woody as the breeze comes up. Outside the marina entrance there are A LOT of whitecaps. I pray that I will not break Woody. With woody rigged and ready to launch, Brian says the two of us can take out Kris H's 14, Shilshole out. Both of us are rusty. Neither of us has sailed Kris's boat before. We look at the white caps, we look at each other. If I sail on Woody, at least Pat will be familiar with the boat. Break Woody or break Shilshole. Choices. Woody is ready to go, so...more prayers that I will not break Brad's baby.
1807: Pat and I are on the water. First start is 1800; "where is everyone". Pat informs me the fleet is pretty casual about getting out on the water. The wind is 10-12. The white caps are due to a tidal race. Whew. We are double trapping, its great, its time to teabag. There are massive holes with little warning and I am too slow coming in.
We sail into the solid breeze out in the mid sound and set the chute - nice. I blow the 1st gybe. The water is not too bad... better than "Indian Summer". Heading back upwind, we pull on the vang -- BANG. I've broken Woody! No, it's just the lashing to the purchase block. Pat fixes it on the water. It lets go again and we borrow some replacement lashing and we're good. Brad and Brian and I think Brad's wife Linda (I'm kinda busy trying to stay out of the sound, so not really paying attention to who is on the boat) come out on the Beneteau to take pics of Woody.
We line up a few times with Frank and John on the M12 and Kris H and Joe B on Joe's B6. Mostly, we have fun and capsize too many times. The wind starts to die and we head in. Brad helps us unrig the un-broken Woody. He says his anemometer registered a max true wind of 15 kts. The Seattle fleet keeps saying it's always like this--a little too enthusiastically.
2100 drop off Pat and follow Brad to his place. Linda has a fantastic meal waiting for us. They overlook Puget Sound and the sun has set behind the Olympic Mountains (sorry no pics).
Friday July 29 0700: Wake to fog - I guess this is still the west coast - it burns off around 10:00. The view is fantastic. Pipelines%202011%20045a.JPG 1100 I offer to clean the bottom of the Beneteau. I get the rudder, keel, bow area, and about 3' from water line all-around before I run out of energy and body heat on the vast acreage underneath. 1800 have dinner with Brad, Linda, and Brad's other crew Jeff on board the Bene before racing off to SeaTac for the flight home.
Thanks Brian, Kris, Frank, John, the rest of the Seattle fleet and especially Brad and Linda for a great visit. I think I'll take real summer in the Sound vs Indian summer.