Friday - June 5 - A Sail Around Our Bay (3 NM)

The forecast for today was for 10 to 20 kt winds from the southeast with a small craft advisory for 5 pm with winds increasing to 15 to 25 kts. The tides were our old familiar strong flood into the channel. This seems like our traditional day sailing season routine. Leave the mooring around one when the wind comes up, hopefully, sail downwind and fight a strong current to get out of Fisherman's Bay at a low to very low tide. Then sail to our hearts content and come screaming home short tacking up the channel entrance being pushed in by the current.

But a bunch of things were different today. First off, this was our first time back on the boat since Monday's grounding on the Yellow Island reef. I had hoped to go for a nice casual day sail to get my feet back under me. But today's wind just wasn't casual. It was gusty and variable. I was tempted to call the sail off at the dock but eventually we decided to row out.

Once on the boat the wind was still strong and variable. I easily made the choice to raise the main with the first reef already set and we cast off.

I instantly didn't like our situation. First I had mistakenly hooked the main halyard to the wrong location on the mainsail head board. This cause the main to have a funny set which would have bothered me in any wind but really irritated me today. And second, our speed downwind, against the current, with one reef was an easy 5 kts. I didn't need a wind gauge to know there was plenty. We still headed out towards the channel with the idea that we could fix the main we reach clear water.

But then, in the mouth of the Fisherman Bay entrance, the strong southeast wind was completely shielded. Just what we needed, sailing downwind against a strong current with shorten sail and light air.

But the last straw came when we met the typical Friday afternoon flood of boats coming into Fisherman Bay for the weekend. There was no chance I was getting a nice, confidence building, casual day sail with these cards.

So we flip about and dodged the boats stopped in the channel putting on their fenders and headed back to the mooring.

The high wind did give a few opportunity to practice picking up the mooring with an opposing current and after three or four practice runs, I like the result and we tied off.

On a sad note, we did here a Pan, Pan, Pan call from the Coast Guard concerning an overturned sailboat in northern Chuckanut Bay near Bellingham.

Events like this can put a lot of things into perspective.

June 5 Tides - Friday Harbor

June 5 GPS Track

2009 Sailing Summary
Sailing Days-12 / 31
Total Miles Sailed - 143 NM