Customs Puget Sound

US Bound

Monday, November 16, 2009S.V. CAMBRIA

After spending weeks fretting over when to renew our US Cruising Permit and where to berth the boat for the winter, we received permission from customs to bring her back into the country whenever we like, for as long as we like.  The funny thing is, all it took was asking –something we were reluctant to do for fear of drawing undo attention to ourselves.  Of course, somehow or anther,Officer Jeff out of Port Townsend got involved and made the process more confusing and difficult than it started out to be but, in the end, we prevailed and checked back into the US this morning from Victoria.

The Pacific Northwest is being beaten to death by a series of weather systems – occlued fronts, cold fronts, warm fronts, and troughs.  They’re coming in one after the other leaving only two words to describe the current weather – violent and active.  But there was a break in the action this morning with winds forecasted to build in the late afternoon, so we took the opportunity and crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca, checked in with customs in Port Angeles, and carried on from there. 

Not wanting to risk being stuck in Port Townsend for days, we made the decision to go to Port Ludlow.  Unfortunately,after rounding Point Wilson, the current was against us and we were only able to make an average of 4 knots over ground which pushed our arrival back to 6:30pm in complete darkness.  By the time we were getting close, the wind had picked up to a steady 20 knots with gusts upto 30 straight on the nose and we were taking water up to the dodger as we slowly bashed our way forward.  In spite of this, we managed to make Port Ludlow without a problem, found our way to an end-tie at the marina, and berthed the boat. 

There was a group of guys on a large launch in front of us who came out to lend a hand along with their praise. They were completely impressed with David’s docking skills who modestly replied that if you can’t berth it, you shouldn’t take it out.  We secured our lines for the night and tucked down below to warm up believing we had seen the worst of the conditions for the night as predicted by the forecast, but we were wrong.  As the night progressed, things started to get ugly….

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