Puget Sound the Inside Passage

Winter Cruising

Sunday, March 01, 2015S.V. CAMBRIA

Last week we finally made good on our promise to do some winter cruising.  We’ve been threatening to do it for years now.  But for one reason or another, it never happened until last Sunday.  Usually that reason is we ‘explode’ during the winter months – everything and anything we own seems to find its way into the cockpit where it sits and taunts us until we finally put it away.

But I digress.

Our trip was a lot more than just getting out in Puget Sound to shake out the sails.  It was also about taking a bit of a break from civilization and living on the hook – even for just a few short days – to give Cambria’s systems a trial run before the season starts.  

It was a fairly relaxed outing.  On Sunday, we left our berth in Kingston and went out into Puget Sound where we tacked back and forth for the next seven hours until we reached our destination for the next couple of days: Port Ludlow. 

Nothing brings a smile to David’s face like sailing does – it’s truly in the man’s blood.  And we’d hoped to go play around in the afternoon winds on Monday, but they never amounted to much so we spent a leisurely day aboard.  I would have like to taken a walk onshore (there’s nice waterfall nearby) but we didn’t bring the dinghy with us and the kayaks were stored away, so I wasn’t sure what to do with myself (David rarely suffers from this problem). 

Last month I decided that I should teach myself how to sketch, so I pulled out my “Keys to Drawing” book and did the first exercise.  I think it describes our time away perfectly: Feet up, slippers on.

The nice weather we’d been experiencing was forecasted to change on Wednesday, so we decide to up anchor and head back to Kingston Tuesday morning.  In an ideal world, we would have had a nice 15 knots from the southeast to help bring us home; but this isn’t an ideal world, it’s the Pacific Northwest and we had to motor . . . against the current.

What did we learn? 

At this stage, all systems are go.  The new portable freezer performed like a champ, thanks to the new-last-year battery bank.  Our Hurricane Heater didn’t, for once, let us down let us down by flaming-out thanks to David killing the bug that had been living in our diesel tanks for months (unbeknownst to us). The solar panels did a good job recharging the batteries (even in the late-winter sun).  The sails are in good form.  And the engine ran brilliantly.

And what did learn?

It was really nice to swing freely again with no neighbours or lines, but I’m not ready yet.  Despite the fact that I’m the one who gets restless and struggles during the winter months while we’re tied up and held prisoner in a marina, it’s still a little too cold out there for me right now. 

Ready or not though, we only have 30 more days before we need to start making our way north if we’re going to squeeze everything we hope to accomplish this season in – starting with an early-April haul-out to paint Cambria’s bottom.   

Tick-tock.  Tick-tock.  Tick-tock.

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